An open and closed copy of Cruces
|We always run our Yarnell mini "cocktail" beater with a few drops of wine.|
|Peter making paper with the iphone sized papermaking mould constructed by Brian Queen|
In the morning we finished up the papermaking. We started playing with a cross-shaped piece of paper, folding the flaps to make a little container, or perhaps a shrine, for the little 3 by 2 inch pieces of paper we had just made. Then Donna and Gatis began cutting linoleum blocks for the cross-shaped paper.
|More miniature papermaking|
|Century plant paper drying in the sun|
In the early afternoon we went down to the NMSU art department to print the cuts. NMSU has a Vandercook press, but we did not have wood to mount the linoleum on, so we crossed the hallway to the printmaking studio and used their etching press instead.
|Cutting linoleum in the school printmaking studio|
Donna and Gatis then swapped blocks and cut away more for the second run. Gatis called it making a “suicide print.” At the same time Katya cut linoleum for the cover to be printed on a very strong flax paper Katya had made when she worked at Cave Paper in Minnesota.
|After the second time through the press, ink is offset on the slip sheet, below is the print|
After printing the second run in rust-colored ink, a swash of deep red applied with a second roller, the blocks were again swapped and cut away for the final olive-green run. After the third cutting there was very little linoleum left on the block. It was a “suicide print” because there was no going back. It almost became a real suicide for Gatis when he stabbed his hand while cutting away at the block. He worked the rest of the night with that hand wrapped in gauze held over his head.
|Gatis working one-handed, still smiling!|
After finishing the third run it was almost midnight, but we still needed to print the cover. We inked the cover’s lino-block with the olive green already on the slab, placed the paper on top of the block, then took a slip sheet covered with the offset ink from the previous run and placed it face down on the paper, then we pulled the print. The result was that the paper had the green linocut on one side and the three color “ghost print” on the back. We were excited with the results and pleased that the ghost print could conceptually tie the printmaking to the text, as O’Keeffe had lived at Ghost Ranch in New Mexico.
|Prints drying in the garden|
|Dusting with the earth of Las Cruces|
Donna wrote out the quote by hand on 20 little pieces of the century plant paper, while Katya sewed them in place on the print using three cross stitched crosses to reference the town’s early logos.
|No, not the typewriter! Donna writes the text out by hand|
The covers were punched and cut. We titled the book “Cruces” and Donna cut a lino-block title. Using green ink saved from the last night’s final press run, Peter and Gatis printed it like a rubber stamp on the cover.
|Gatis and Peter printing the title|
The final step was to sew the folded cross page into the covers.
|Katya and Donna sewing and making the final folds|