random reports 1, 2 and 3

RR1 RegretsRandom Reports is a series of poems by Barbara Henry derived from vocabulary lists chosen by chance and choice from the first section of The New York Times. They reflect the spirit of the day and are specifically dated, and the subject of the poem is strictly a result of the wordlist.

RR1 House Fire

They are often titled from the headlines. Many many years ago I asked Barbara to allow me a binding gathering the volumes 1, 2 and 3. Time being a theme on all I try my hand at, this sat unfinished for about 7 years. After an involved first attempt with low-relief carvings of scaffolding layers on wood covers that were deep enough for the gauging but too thick for the binding, its potential baffled the binder: thanks to Barbara’s kaleidoscopic talent with words, the number of design venues to explore was vast. Not to mention the weight of my own deflation. Little did I realize how ambitious that first attempt had been. It might photograph well, but oh it functions poorly. Under deadline-pressure I even went ahead and submitted it out to be handled. Oh the shame.

RR
first attempt

Trusting the process kernel originally glimpsed, however, I embraced as propelling force a writing technique known as “hasta pronto adelante“: forward forging ahead from wherever the work is at – a mindset that shares an essence with the poetic constraints of the work. Binding-wise I was in for a trial-and-error loop, but at least this time I kind of knew it. Such kindness to myself totally shared a vibe with Barbara’s forbearance: she never once asked me what was going on.

rr front cover
re-re-re-revised version, with slipcase

Forever forward moving, the initial scaffolding dimensional backdrop made its way to the foreground with the recourse of graffiti rubbings: reminiscences of the tactile response one gets from handling inky newspapers, the original substratum for the poems.

rr back cover
back cover, w slipcase

The back covers offer a contrast with this rough reality through the sensuality of leatherwork – alum goat hand-dyed to match Barbara’s color motif – bringing the harsh graffiti input to an immediate association with skins: layered experience, in tandem with the poems essence.

3 books were bound in this fashion, one of which is available for sale. The price (slipcase included) is $850. Inquiries, please feel free to email me at cordeiropaulana@gmail.com

This final version luscious photographs are by Roni Mocan.


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lightweight the limp-vellum

 

lw text 1my long time obsession with limp vellum bindings, finally fully indulged.

lw closed

lw frontflyleafand there is even an explanation for it:

text 2

lw text 3as for the content, after many weeks working long hours to finish it up in time for the spring Book Fair, all I can say is I hope you will enjoy as much as I do (meaning, even though I’m completely exhausted it still tickles me, as a puppy or a kitten that keeps one awake the whole night would)

lw first spread

 

 

lw stairs

lw stairs closeup

lw tulips

lw felines

 

lw colophon

oh yes, it surely had to have its own funny box:

lw w box 1

you probably wouldn’t be seeing these images without the priceless technical expertise, creativity and heartfelt generosity of Celine Lombardi and Roni Mocan, not to mention the constantly invigorating enthusiasm of Maureen Cummins, Linda Broadfoot, Kara Lack, Sarah Nicholls and Jessica Lagunas. And of course, none of this would have ever happened if it wasn’t for my Mom.

happily ever after

lw w box 2

 

For the artist statement, tech specs and more images, please click here.

Lightweight Photos: Roni Mocan

 


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book heads

I do find book anatomy a very sexy subject, and I quite am sure I am not alone at that. In case you don’t know: the top of the book is called “Head”, and the bottom is called “Tail”. The spine is known as “Spine”, and the page opening side is called the “Fore Edge”. Why, I realized after the fact that all the images that slide away on this blog header are, well, “Heads”. Oh, nerds! Don’t we love them?

lw head crop

This particularly attractive Head is from Lightweight, the new project featured here. The top portion of the pages turned out so pretty, I had to show it off. I had to.

(yes of course I paid a price, yes of course a staggered Head is not a particularly predictable element. Yes, yes, it drove me crazy. I know! But it makes me happy, what else can I say…)

 


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what i do when i am not “working”

is what some may call “also work”, guts a as in “breathing”/”forgetting-breathing.” guts b

Sometimes I say I am just making “something for someone”, quasi the bird

sometimes it’s “my own work”, sometimes it is a “job”. I must say, though,

– I have never gone through any of the above as if in a vacuum. cory the cat a     cory the cat c I understand proper labeling is an important function, I guess. But, what if one’s interest falls exactly in the conflict zone?

cory the cat b

 


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journals

SSS detail

For me one of the great advantages of having a bookbinder mentality is the ability to, uh, bind.

SSS 360 view

Having to constantly deal with the imports of my unrelenting memory, I quickly realized how soothing is to gather my somewhat scattered mind products in order to get them folded-pressed-stitched-glued-and-covered.

dia del muertos

There is hope for us all, books tell me. I am not sure I can always believe, but apparently a faltering faith is all the more faithful. Crawling leaps.

green catterpilar


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getting into it

notions closeup

I am a bookbinder. My skill is my comfort – I hardly ever feel need to take breaks, or to zone out of work. My life, however, is pretty damn complicated:

Living Abroad/Papers/Politics,

Legitimate/Illegitimate Limits,

Tomorrow/No Tomorrow.

bare abyss closeup

Creating my own work alongside grew out of necessity to cope, language being a tool both for shaping and to shape.I hear often that what I do is sculpture, and that is certainly part of it. Words not set on stone gotta take some sort of form for my taste. But my previous career was in Communication, my first obsession was metalinguistic artifacts, and my present gravitational field is around coherence.

caxixis-ny boy

It all naturally coalesces as book forms.


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