Polymer Plates

Planning and Discussions

Yesterday, I managed to meet with all three of my advisers for this project (two of which are actually my academic advisers.)  First, I stopped by Bernie’s office to ask about the printing of my project.  

Last year, one of my classmates had trouble printing the lat part of her book because the type she was using wore down.  The quality of the printing lessened, and it halted most of her project.  If I’m going to be setting type, that will be an issue.  Luckily, I won’t have to set type for my entire book.  

I asked Bernie about getting polymer plates made of my book.  He showed me some examples of them; they’re flexible and can be attached to a board so that they’re the correct height for the printing press.  The ones Bernie had were blue, and the text was gold.  I can send a word document of my project to a company that will make the polymer plates for me.  That definitely saves me from the stress of setting type and having it wear down.

Second, I stopped by Coach’s office.  Yesterday was the day we decided that I would hand in the drafts of my prose poems.  I talked about some things I want to change (such as the point of view of one of the poems) but wasn’t sure how I would go about it.  Coach says he’ll look them over and hand the drafts back to me next Thursday.  That means I’ll have all of break to make my final edits.  

Third, I met with Erik to talk about the marketing of my project.  I’m working on creating a graphic to put on the UMM web page.  I’m also going to have to start posting this on my own Facebook to advertise what I’m doing.  This is all pretty nerve wracking, but I do think this pressure will help me propel my project forward.

I have another idea for a binding, but I’ll post about that later once I have my mock-up made.  (Sometimes ideas look better in my head than they do when created.)

Things are moving forward and I’m pretty excited.  I honestly feel like things are getting underway. 


It’s Fine Press Friday!

This week we present Sarah Bryant’s The Index produced in 2006 in an edition of 45 copies for her Big Jump Press while she was still an MFA student at the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. With letterpress printed text using Caslon and Bell types, and images made from linoleum reduction blocks and polymer plates on Rives Heavyweight Buff paper, the book uses a form often referred to as a snake or maze structure. As each page is turned, the viewer progresses down through a skeletal frame from skull to toes. Along the way, there are “index’” marks that seem to be identifiers for specific references, but if one pays attention, you will note that when strung together the index letters form words or parts of words. Additionally, when those words are strung together, they form a sentence that describes the artist’s relationship to her own skeleton: “We spend all our time together.”

When the book is folded out entirely, it reveals a full 5’6” human skeleton, adapted from Mosby’s Atlas of Human Anatomy, surrounded by an outline of the artist herself. The text off to the side, also taken from Mosby’s Atlas, is a complete index of the female anatomy. The book itself is housed in a handmade, grey-linen, clamshell box.

Sarah Bryant currently lives in Hove, England, and is expecting her first child this summer (YAY!!). UWM Special Collections holds a comprehensive collection of Big Jump imprints with ten titles. We featured her award-winning book Biography in a post back in November 2014.  


I’ve started printing!  I have much more to say about that later–and a lot of pictures to sort through–so in the meantime, here’s video of me printing on the Vandercook press!


Week 18 - Workshop Scrapbook

This week a scrapbook made from stiff watercolor paper to collect in one place the negatives, plates, and prints from the Polymer Plate Photogravure workshop. I contrived some sort of loop stitching so the pages would lay flat and made cutouts in the pages for the negatives so they could be viewed against the light…