Thursday, December 08, 2016

The book will beat the Rooster

With the writing proofed, the design about finessed, and plans to debut at Codex in February 2017, all that's left to do for China under the Covers is pay the printing bill. Can you help?

At "the apprentice" level, you basically preorder the book, signed and sent to you hot off the press in January 2017.

Check out the video: nine hours of filming distilled to three minutes!


Sunday, October 30, 2016

Ma Nao Books makes a move, and a movie

Handsome durable portfolios go on sale this Friday.

After a video shoot to promote the book, the studio space—and the awesome house that houses it—is up for sale. If you or anyone you know seeks modern convenience in a thriving established Portland neighborhood, check out my listing and get in touch!

Not to worry, the studio has moved just five blocks away and will soon set up shop. In the meantime, the shop for Ma Nao Books pops up as part of the Northeast Community Center's annual craft confab from 4 to 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 4, at 1630 N.E. 38th Ave. (at Sandy). Always one of my favorites, this well-run event lays on the live music, refreshments, and cheer. The variety of work and artists represented make it a great place to start and finish all kinds of holiday and special occasion shopping.

After painfully moving the contents of my studio and inventory, I am slashing prices on most everything this Friday, so if ever you hankered for a copy of a limited-edition title, or houseware or accessory (such as a portfolio covered in Japanese paper (top)), made by my hands for yours, come on out and say hey.

Edis Jurcys and Cathy Zheutlin learn about the juanzi zhuang,
the first known form of book on paper—aka the scroll,
and plenty more about Chinese bookbinding and book history
in a nine-hour shoot two weeks ago at the studio for Ma Nao Books.

Progress continues on publication of the bookbinding book, China under the Covers, which will go to Codex Foundation's biannual confab in the Bay Area in early February 2017, this time serendipitously celebrating the art of the book in China. Once edited, the video will be grist and inspiration for a crowdfunding campaign to underwrite a first printing (register here to get notified when it goes live).

Monday, July 25, 2016

Write on for posterity

At an event honoring Woody Guthrie's time with the nascent
power agency (from left) BPA librarian Kay Silver, archivist Libby Burke, and author Greg Vandy gathered earlier this month to talk songs and history.




Books rule, and so does music. Together, they make an unbeatable combination. Now add in a Woody Guthrie angle, and it's darn near irresistible. While I make some headway on publication of my Chinese-bookbinding book, I applaud others for making it to press.

So it was on the occasion of what would have been Woody Guthrie's 104th birthday, and the 75-year anniversary of his productive stint with the Bonneville Power Administration, that author Greg Vandy explained how Guthrie came to be an "information consultant" for the U.S. government for a month. Guthrie toured hard, he wrote like crazy, and he smelled bad. But boy—what an assignment, and how he aced it.

Next time I face a big deadline, I will think about Guthrie, songsmithing to support his family of five, and knocking out 26 songs in 30 days.

Monday, June 27, 2016

A Québec, elles aiment les livres aussi

It's not often I come across public art that magnifies the delight and intrigue of reading. After all, this very interior activity would be difficult to make dynamic in the far larger, open "stage" of a streetscape. This cute Canadian trio drew me in from across the street. 


Friday, April 15, 2016

Global literature students get hands on history

My annual pilgrimage to a class at Warner Pacific University that's freshly read Dai Sijie's Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress again brought hundreds of years of book history to the fore using Dai's sweet story as a launchpad.

If you have not read the book, it's a pleasant short read detailing two teens' adventures of re-education far from their urban and familial underpinnings. Their story is one of many stories, and includes many stories in itself—indeed, the friends survive, evolve, and grow stronger through storytelling amid turmoil and uncertainty.

Speaking of stories, I am into the really, really weary stage of publishing my how-to bookbinding manual and adventure tale, which means it's the step toward the home stretch, and the printer. Latest quandary is whether to crank up some Kickstarter for the first print run.

In the meantime, I keep busy checking last facts and line wraps (right), all part of the glorious editing life. I also help the art director brainstorm cover concepts (below). Referencing the traditional Chinese color for scholars, the cover for China under the Covers probably has to be some shade of indigo and perhaps xian zhuang, bound in silk thread.

Monday, February 08, 2016

2016 already looks like a barrel of fun


Sunday, January 31, 2016

Flip it good

Shab Levy (left) and Becky Luening of the Portland book arts
group get ready for some flip book action.

Some tools of the trade in creating flip books, including a
Levy-generated template.

Shab Levy led us local book makers on a thorough, fun foray into the making of flip books over a couple of recent rainy days this month in his airy Northwest studio. My first flip book is too embarrassing to post here, but it felt good to craft with my hands again and get some creativity flowing after all the time I usually spend on words, words, words.

At first we sought inspiration from all kinds of creations, including Levy's own impressive catalog of flip books and, of course, a zoetrope (that green object on the table above). Always good to have a zoetrope on hand, just in case.

Then we got to work, drawing, cutting, and delving into computer programs to set up the perfect sequence—to spread across some 40 to 80 pages. Flip books "read" fast, but they come together    s   l    o   w.

The next adventures of the year look like this, in about this order.