Daily lettering: freely written capitals with leftover gouaches

Freely written capitals using that same palette of leftover gouaches and a 1.5mm Brause nib.

I’m thinking that the little meander book (2.5 x 3.5 in or so) in the corner may be how I got this leftover palette of gouache in the first place. The colors match. If so, then I began with three primaries (warm yellow and blue, cool red), and that’s it.

At this rate, I’ll be binding another journal of daily lettering soon.

February calligraphy exhibit in Butte

During the month of February, there’s a great exhibit of calligraphy at The Main Stope in Butte. You can see calligraphy and book arts by artists from all over Montana. I have several pieces there:

  • Fragment“, which recently came back safe and sound from the Guild of BookWorkers traveling show.
  • Prairie Spring“, using the text of Willa Cather’s poem of that name.
  • The broadside, “Scintillate, Scintillate“, which was in the Inktober show in Helena last fall.
  • One of the series of artist books entitled Scintillate, Scintillate. (My lack of imagination for the title reminds of the three brothers on The Bob Newhart Show: Larry, Darryl, and “my other brother” Darryl).

Scintillate, Scintillate – a variable edition of 12 manuscript books

Scintillate, Scintillate – a variable edition of 12 manuscript books

I learned this sesquipedalian version of the old children’s poem,
“Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star”, as a child, and it has always been a
favorite. This is a simplified version of an in-progress edition of artist
books. 4 in x 7.25 in.

Dr. Martin’s metallic and white inks on Arches Cover Black text,
folded to make the panorama book presented in Hedi Kyle’s book, The
Art of the Fold. Black cloth covered hard covers, with endpapers from
a dwindling hoard of Black Ink metallic marbled papers from 1990s.
The spacer bar is covered, laminated book board, added to square up
the thickness of the book.

Editions book 9, 10, 11, and 12 will be available for sale soon.

Edition of books in progress

In-progress edition of manuscript books

I’m so excited about the edition of books I’m working on now. This makes … uh … three different variable editions of manuscript books I’m working on at the moment. Ain’t it great!

The first seven of this 12-book edition are going to my book exchange group so I won’t show the whole thing just yet. But they’ll be going in the mail in about 10 days, so stay tuned for more after that.

Oh, all right. I’m too enthusiastic about it to be totally discreet. Here’s a sneak peek at the text block.

A pair of testimonials

I recently had the pleasure of making two testimonials for a pair of sister schools. As usual, they took much longer than I anticipated. But it was fun.

detail of an illuminated testimonial
detail of an illuminated testimonial
slanted view of part of one of the testimonials
slanted view detail

Shopping for the artist: pigments, brushes, and eye candy


Pigment Tokyo
Pigment Tokyo

I would love to visit Pigment Tokyo! An artist dream of color. The scale is dizzying, and the design intimidatingly slick. They claim to carry over 4,200 pigment colors, more than 200 antique ink sticks, and 50 animal glues.


Pigment - Brushes
Pigment – Brushes

And the brushes …!


Kremer Pigments, NYC
Kremer Pigments, NYC

When I visit New York City, I try to get by to Kremer Pigments. It’s more like an apothecary of color, and I love it.

via Colossal

How technology is ruining our young people, c.

Last month, I was amused to read this Slate article  by Rachel Adler, entitled, “The 19th Century Moral Panic Over … Paper Technology”. The subtitle is this: “Before Snapchat and Instagram ruined young people, there was cheap paper.”

The article states that a 500-folio page could sell for 30 florins in 1422, but that by the 1470s that price could be 10 florins. I wondered what this meant in terms of purchasing power.  A little unsubstantiated googling seems to indicate that a gold florin (equivalent to a ducat in Venice) was worth 117 soldi. Only big purchases employed florins, and you can see why: manual laborers were paid only 8 soldi per yer, and mason were paid 15 soldi per year. that architect of the Florence cathedral made 100 florins per year, and that city houses ranged in price from 200 to 3500 florins.

But in the 19th century, the price went down some more, thanks to major developments in print and paper technologies. Rachel Adler writes:

Books remained, however, far outside the range of the common man or woman, until the price plummeted once again in the 19th century. No longer was literacy necessarily a signifier of wealth, class, and status. This abrupt change created a moral panic as members of the traditional reading classes argued over who had the right to information—and what kind of information ought to be available at all.

It’s an interesting read.