Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Preparing to go to Market

I spent a good portion of March getting some books and prints ready to go in front of the Kingston Farmers Market jury committee. I want to sell my work at the market this summer, but all participants need to be evaluated first (They seemed to like my stuff but I wondered at their judgement - one of the jurors spent a portion of my appointment upbraiding the previous entrant for her "disgusting" hemp perfume.) Kingston's Market is the oldest outdoor market in Ontario - over 200 years old - and features organic produce, crafts and other hippie shit (like hemp perfume). I already had some samples I could show, but I figured I'd use the scheduled appointment as a deadline and make some prototypes or mock-ups of notebooks I plan to create en masse this year. So, I got some beautiful paper from Talas and Japanese paper (for endpapers - shown above) from the wonderful Paper Place in Toronto. I completed five styles of notebooks; a blank one comprised of heavy, fine art drawing paper, a wine journal, a garden journal, a storyboard book, and a guitar tablature book, the last two of which were created using hand-carved rubber stamps. The wine and garden books were harder to complete - I ended up buying a laser printer in order to finish them, disliked the overall result, and returned the machine a few days later (thanks Staples!). The rubber stamp projects, on the other hand, were really satisfying, so now I'm leaning towards making all of the books with paper, boards, bookcloth, linen thread, glue, and stamps. While pouring over the website for Green Chair Press (I took a great letterpress class given by the proprietor while still living in Oakland), I decided that, instead of wine and garden books, I'll make a reading journal and a movie journal. For awhile, I tried to make a note on my computer of every movie I saw, where I saw it, when and what I thought of it but eventually abandoned the task. It's revived, though, in the form of a beautiful book you can toss in a bag and grab at the end of a theatre visit (or DVD) to preserve thoughts and responses (if the movie's worth it). The reading book will be organized along the same lines. It's funny how things stay with you. When I was a little kid, I liked to play library. This involved putting my books in a room and having my little friends come round and pick some out. Then, I'd stamp the return date on the inside using one of the many stamps I owned back then. If we ever wonder, as adults, how to occupy ourselves in fulfilling ways, we need only recall being 8 years old. I loved libraries, books, stamps, bacon, and musical theatre - none of that's changed.