This year's California Rare Book School course was on the history of typography, taught by Paul Shaw, designer and design historian, with Grendl Löfkvist, printer and Education Director at the Letterform Archive.
This is the second time that I have attended the CODEX Biennial Book Fair and Symposium, and again, I came away having learned more valuable information about book arts and collecting.
Pedigree of a Vandercook Press: Below are some photos of how my new Vandercook Universal III was carefully crated and shipped from the fine arts press of Stephen F. Austin State University. It arrives this Friday.
Tape is the Enemy of Books: This is my next book repair project. It is a Meta Given's Modern Encyclopedia of Cooking. This edition is from 1954, the 17th printing of the book.
I have purchased a 1971 Vandercook Universal III with an adjustable bed.
For this project, I wanted to see if I could make a solid color book cover, then cut out portions of it, and inlay a different color book cloth. Then I wanted to see if I could create a drawing or design on the lighter colored cloth.
From this first experiment in using a tabletop platen press, I learned that the use of the ink itself is going to be a critical skill to learn just like making and using paste is in bookbinding.
Here is one of the irregular sized books I've been binding for fun and experimentation. There are interesting issues that come up with binding books that are miniature or very narrow in shape.
This is a video of the book studio progress from the first of December 2019. There is a full basement underneath with stairs in the back and a wide open space for lifting heavy equipment down into the basement.
I read somewhere that a bookbinder has to make at least 100 books before they can claim to have the necessary skills to do quality work. Each of the 100 books is intended to provide one or more lessons in what not to do.
Over the course of 2018, I read books about mastery. Every book hammered home the same point: You cannot master anything that you don't feel passionate about. Learning a profession, any profession, requires hours of commitment to learning, failing, practice, and mentorship. 10,000 hours is the number the experts say is required to "master" a skill. But according to my study, the hours alone are not enough.