Bad Weather Days is a small (hard won) prototype booklet, reflecting both a bit of meagre progress and I think my general mood from the last few months 🙂
The project started life as just a few “weather words” printed on my Adana. I have a very limited amount of type having just one or two complete founts and those so limited in the numbers of “e”s and “a”s that I can only print a few words at a time. But I do like to play around with things now and again and I have some gorgeous chunky Centurian caps which I have wanted to use in some way.
Short words were necessary, 4 or 5 letters at most, and I realised that many weather words are quite short, enough to make a small series. When I made a rough list, the bad weather words were really the most interesting as bad things often are!
I paired them up with some adjectives using what letters I had from another small fount have. A real “making do” process.
But sometimes, making something work using just what you have is SO much easier than trying to make decisions from thousands of possible variations, if very frustrating at times.
The prints sat around for a few weeks before I could think of what to do with them. I thought of combining them with abstract prints, some small watercolours or some lino cuts, but that seemed impossibly complicated in the gloom of winter and Covid.
I wanted to show the weather in some way and I think I was was having a particularly miserable week, with awful weather stopping me getting out, so I thought about a doorway framing the different bad weather images But that seemed a little too impersonal so I decided to add the little dog, who is also hoping to go out.
It was only after working on it for some time that I realised the dog was really me!
Initially I was just going to draw an open door but felt it would be more interesting if the door opened to reveal the weather. Nice idea, but making it all work together as a booklet has given me many headaches, a couple of bins full of rejected stuff and a lot of swearing, both at myself and the various bits of software and hardware I have had to get to grips with.
I made the mistake of using some cheap horrible scraperboard for these first image ideas. Now I know the book will work ( more or less) they need to be done a little better.
I am very fond of the dog, It is one I would like to give a home to. I think a bit of a mix of dachshund and terrier. I sketched him in my sketchbook, hand coloured a printout and scanned them into Photoshop.
Assembling the book
There was no way I could make the book from the original prints so everything was scanned in, adjusted to print and assembled using Photoshop and Affinity Publisher. Phew. These two programmes really don’t like each other. After many tests and faffing, just as I was poised to print the prototype, the printer died. Then the replacement, just a cheap but Ok printer, printed darker than my last one so it filled in some of the detail and picked up some strange very pale grey background tones here and there. HELL! Back to Photoshop and Affinity.
Eventually I had printed enough to “put together” this prototype. I can’t really use the word “bind” because that would imply something completely OK.. but I do know it works.
I cut the doorways and added the weather insets then glued the text block
Because the book is made in spreads with inserts between the pages I used the drumleaf binding again. This involves glueing the spine and foredges and I just tipped the top and bottom of the pages to keep them together. I know from trials that glueing them solidly causes real problems of warping.
I trimmed the book by hand (not a great idea) so it is now a little shorter!! 🙂 but still Ok to assemble.
The cover boards are made with original prints, created by printing the words on the Adana and overprinting with a lino cut. Because this binding style leaves exposed edges near the spine I added some red bookcloth edges….then realised I had not inset them! .. so started again.
The spine piece was added, then the covering prints, then the book was assembled and pressed. This is the most nerve racking part especially as I had printed the endpapers on thin paper which both warped and stretched. Oh dear another lesson learnt. Next time it will be thicker!
But it works! Now I know all the problems I might try a couple more books. I might just get a perfect one.
The Dog again
In making this book I have rather fallen in love with the dog, So I made a wired felted model. Ahh .. because I think I am going to use him again!
Here are a couple of spreads from the book. I will make a full set when I can get some good photographs.
…but of course, in the end, there has to be fair weather and hope !
It was a coincidence that the day I put the book in the press..(Friday 29th Jan) I had my first vaccination. Hurahhhhh..