happy fourth of july

July 4th, 2010

to friends, colleagues and the occasional reader of this blog.

Gonna do hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill. Max is waiting with baited breath…

all in a day’s work

May 23rd, 2010

Lettering on footballs:

home again, home again

April 13th, 2010

We got back this morning from attending the wedding of Elaine’s youngest niece in Charleston, SC on Sunday. It was a fun trip, and even though we didn’t get to spend much time in Charleston proper I think it may be the most beautiful city I’ve seen. Not that that’s saying much; my experience with cities is pretty limited. Alice and John had a lovely wedding at Trinity Methodist Church and we wish them all the best in their new life together. Elaine found us a great condo in the aptly named Mount Pleasant, where we had our first experience shopping at the Piggly Wiggly. The only downside was the grueling drive from NEPA: fourteen hours down and even more back, thanks to my navigational ineptitude which put us in downtown Washington at rush hour yesterday. Surprisingly, Elaine is still speaking to me…

Now it’s back to a lot of waiting calligraphy, book repair, and getting ready for upcoming classes.

an object lesson

April 2nd, 2010

It’s conventional wisdom that one should provide a valuable book with a box of some sort. Like most binders, I build clamshell boxes for clients’ books as well as  for any design bindings that I do.

A few years ago I did a clamshell for a copy of  James Joyce’s Ulysses. Nothing out of the ordinary; full cloth with a paper lining. The pictures here are of the box after going through a fire and being water-soaked. While the box was pretty well wrecked, the book was completely undamaged which, for some reason, surprised me.

So keep it in mind: boxes work.

my favorite hammer…

March 25th, 2010

is a German backing hammer that doesn’t seem to be available anymore. The slmost square face makes it easier to work close to raised bands

and its weight and  balance are just right for me.

Good tools,  good times.

yet another artists’ book

March 10th, 2010


About a year ago I was at an opening for some artist friends at the gallery of Marquis Art and Frame here in Wilkes-Barre. During the evening I also saw the beginnings of a project called Landfill Art which was the brainchild of owner Ken Marquis and consisted of a number of pieces made from hubcaps. Quite frankly, it blew me away. After expressing interest in participating to Ken I promptly got busy and forgot about it.The idea of doing some sort of bookish structure percolated in the hindbrain for quite a while, finally resulting in the Landfill ArtBook.


When I went to pick up my raw material I found a pair of Fiat hubcaps. Coincidentally, my first car was a Fiat 850 sedan, so I grabbed them and hotfooted it home. After priming them I marbled them in the circular pattern with black oil color thinned out and manipulated on a bath of paste. The rims are covered with black Kaduna goat, pared very thin. The textblock is an accordion of Hahnemuhle Biblio adhered to the interior lining of foamcore covered with black Hahnemuhle Ingres. The piece rests on a stand made from binders’ board covered with black Kaduna. The stand holds both of the hubcap covers in alignment, alleviating the need for any sort of hinge.


Check out some of the incredible work comprising this visionary  project at www.landfillart.org.


March 3rd, 2010

Less than 24 hours after restarting and already there’s comment spam. I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised…

shackled: the reboot

March 2nd, 2010

Once more into the breach. After trying to get cute with the header and mucking up the code, I’m just going to start over and keep things pretty straightforward.


More anon.