Sunday, June 28, 2009

Albums Of My Life - The Roxy Laurie Tape

Sadly, this edition of Albums Of My Life is a posthumous one. Having succumbed to the sweltering summer heat of my car, the Roxy Music/Laurie Anderson tape has turned into the Roxy Music/Laurie Anderson wrapped-in-a-blanket-singing-under-water tape.

Three years ago, I found this tape in a pile marked FREE at the artist's studio building I was working in. The cover was handmade, clearly from the 80's and simply said Roxy/Laurie on it. I was intrigued. I had Laurie Anderson's The Ugly One With the Jewels, and listened to it sometimes, although it gives me the creeps for some reason. And Roxy Music was just one of those bands that was on everybody's list. For Your Pleasure, every music magazine list seems to have it. I knew them by name, but not by sound.

So I took it home and started listening to it in my room. At first, I felt weird. Side A is Mr. Heartbreak by Laurie Anderson. It is so world music it hurts. Side B is Avalon by Roxy Music. It has saxophones and Bryan Ferry is ...well... just weird. But a strange this happened and I became obsessed with this tape and I would play it in my car back to back for days on end. It was like a drug, a smooth jazz and pan flute drug.

that's condo-owning music, people.

As for Laurie Anderson, I went so far as to make a poster with the lyrics to the song, "Langue D'Amour."

Let's See :: letterpress poster

Also, here is the really sweet early computer art video for "Sharkey's Day"

So, thank you Bryan Ferry and Laurie for three free years of music, and I know you are in the big free tape pile in the sky now.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Posters and Paper: Let's Drop Names

This week, I am taking a class with Mina Takahashi, who directed the legendary Dieu Donne paper mill in New York for many years and who pretty much knows everything. She's amazing. The class is being assisted by the Amy Jacobs, former core student and swell lady who is in the process of starting a paper mill at Asheville's Bookworks with Frank Bannon, another swell person.

I am learning a great deal about color and paper, including how to color paper with natural dyes. I'm also just learning how to do things right, which is incredibly satisfying, and will come in handy when I try to do this all by my lonesome this winter.

:: Paper I made last winter using scraps from the studios at Penland ::

:: Mina forming a sheet of kozo paper ::

:: Amy Jacobs ::

On a more neon note, my buddy ol' pal Jason Burnett and I just finished the poster for the 90's party this weekend.

This poster was precluded by the watching of Clueless...
:: Spray Paint, Stencils, and Letterpress ::

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Ring Ring!

robin's egg :: enamel on copper set in sterling silver

sunshine :: enamel on copper set in sterling silver

yellow :: button set into sterling silver

daisy and cloud:: glass button set into sterling silver with red thread

These last two weeks, I took a little break from letterpress and making books and took a class with Bob Ebendorf. He's a big deal. He's got his own Wikipedia page, right here. I always wanted to take a jewelry class in college but never got around to it, but being here at Penland has been a perfect opportunity to indulge this curiosity.

When I make jewelry, I like to make simple things. Things that I would wear. I make rings because and earrings because they are what I understand best as a jewelry wearer. I hardly ever wear necklaces or bracelets.

These are just a few of the things I made, I'll post more when I take pictures.
Here's a sneak peak of some earrings and my haircut. They are mother of pearl buttons and sterling silver.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Going Home To Roost

Yesterday, I had to pleasure of opening my email and getting the sweetest message from going home to roost, who featured Huldra Press's recycled paper cards in their beautifully designed blog. Thank you guys!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Albums of My Life - The Idiot

Look, before this series of Albums of my life goes any further I'm going to cue you in on a little secret. 90% of what I listen to is at least 20 years old. And 90% of that 90% is from the 70's. Like a good shirt that you find a the thrift store, if it's new to you... it's pretty exciting.

The Idiot was Iggy Pop's debut solo album produced by David Bowie. I believe that when these two gentlemen recorded this album, they were completely out of their minds. In turn, the album sounds like a coked-up robot factory in Berlin having a bad day.

I bought this album around ten years ago after reading Please Kill Me: The Uncensored Oral History of Punk. I was very into Lou Reed and Patti Smith, but a little wary of this peanut butter smearing, shiny pants wearing fellow they called Iggy Pop. But it was love at first listen. The combination of David Bowie and Iggy was a seductive one.

In fact, there was a time in my life when I was listening to this album and playing legend of Zelda so much, that I can't hear Dum Dum Boys or Nightclubbing without seeing that 8-bit screen.

A few years ago, I found a copy of The Idiot on vinyl at a yard sale as I flipped through the endless permutations of So..., A Star is Born (Kristofferson/Streisand edition), Thriller, Tapestry, Framptn Comes Alive, and Dave Brubeck blah blah.

The record comes out when I'm working in the studio occasionally, and when it does, I play Dum Dum boys at least three times. Wanting to listen to the Idiot is like being in the mood for a rainy day. It doesn't happen often but when it does, it is to be savored.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Say Hello To The Core Fellows

It's hot near the core...

Well, as you may have noticed, I haven't been taking many new pictures lately. I lent my camera out to my roommate, Wes, who's taking a digital photography class here at Penland. So I thought I'd take this time to introduce you to the nine people I live with, the core fellowship students.

From left to right:

Leah Frost - Leah makes whimsical kinetic sculptures. She has the cutest dog in the world, Boo. Boo will eat out of your mouth and wears sweaters sometimes.

Jessica Heikes - Jessica is from Kansas. She just got a haircut. She's also very funny and has lived in Alaska. That's impressive. She makes conceptual mixed media sculptures.

Jason Bige Burnett aka Cakeboy aka Cupcake - Fu... Jason does everything. Screenprinting, clay, sewing. We are planning to take over the world someday with our team screenprinting/letterpress posters.

Wes Stitt - has my camera. Wes is a video artist and sculptor. He has excellent taste in music and the same tonal range as Ian Curtis. His interests also include Dracula, the J. Peterman catalogue, and American history.

Beth Schaible - Beth makes books and letterpress and is going to the survive the apocalypse when all the rest of us are wondering when to plant our tomatoes.

Tina Boy - is German. You can make her laugh by saying things in German. She gets really red when she laughs. She makes excellent furniture out of wood and metal and also gives excellent hugs.

Mark Warren - Mark is the resident anemographer and dinosaur expert here. He enjoys vitamin B-12, cut-offs, and laser pointers. He says he can beat me in Nintendo RBI
Baseball but I don't believe him.

That's Me

Joshua Kuensting (not pictured) - was not at the party. He makes beautiful ceramics and built is own bed. He has a lot of Vietnam movies. We share a bathroom. He is probably also going to survive the apocalypse.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Monday, June 8, 2009

Friday, June 5, 2009

Foil Stampers, Teddy Pendergrass, and

It's Friday night. I'm sitting in my little studio here at Penland, thinking about foil stamping machines, and listening to Teddy Pendergrass.

Turn off the lights by Teddy Pendergrass. It was a case of a rare, auspicious, ITunes shuffle. I heard this song for the first time seven years ago at a party when a friend of a friend played it for me because I didn't believe it was a real song. Well, it's a real song. About showering and other things. Really, download it if you have the time.

I have a theory that the best music is the stuff you're embarrassed to listen to around acquaintances. For me, this would include

- The Traveling Wilburies
- most of the Roxy Music catalogue
- Scott Walker
- Journey
- Fleetwood Mac's Tango in the Night


I've been dreaming of possibilities of foil stamping and embossing. It could add such an interesting element to book designs. Dammit, I want a foil stamper. They're pricey little buggers though, and I know very little about them. I'll have to do some research.

I'm very interested in industrial tools that could be used for more personal projects.

It's gorgeous stuff anyway, and I can dream about it.

Like this journal I saw on FPO: For Print Only.

Also from FPO...

An Alexander Girard book

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Cow Book

The cow book is a directory of breeders and their cattle. Thousands and thousands of cattle... their names, their birthdays, their parents. It took me awhile to realize the enormity of this book. The typesetting alone for gods sake! And such specialized information...

I got this book a couple months ago at the indoor flea market in Asheville for a dollar. The first time I saw it, I didn't buy it. The second time I saw it, I thought I was crazy for not having bought it. The leather cover is decorated simply with a gold stamped image of a melancholy cattle looking over its shoulder at you.

Its corners are worn, its spine is gone, revealing its aged linen cloth and paper.

The top and bottom have stripes, like pajamas.

The edges of the book are speckled gold.

What I truly love and admire about this book is the ridiculousness of its mission, and the care that went into it. It could easily have been printed on the cheapest of materials, like a phone book of sorts, but it's beautifully bound and has lasted over a hundred years. Sort of feels like...why...being a craftsperson! And making handmade books and journals!

It was good to be home

we went to the river
feathers were found
the ghost was promoting his book tour
and the animals were curious
brian wrote a song about it
it was good to be home