Monday, April 30, 2012

The City of the World web pages have been updated.

Final Image is up as well, direct link:

 And we were very close this time on financials! Very impressive.

The Great City Colophon Book is getting printed, soon to be available.

Tell a friend!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

City of the World 2012

Prints are mailed, should be at everyone's doorstep within a few days in the US and maybe a week or two everywhere else. Website updated soon with final pictures and final word.
I have my fingers crossed on the world shipments but have full faith in the Postal system. No tracking available once the happy prints leave this country so please let me know, either here on the blog or by email, when prints start arriving at foreign shores.

The five sheets were tough to roll up so they should snap flat in no time once unrolled. The enclosed key is but a taste of what the real colophon will be like. And speaking of which, I'm nearly done assembling the colophon and ready to send to publishers for a test book, then once I receive and approve I will make available to all.

All participants will be able to download a free copy of the electronic book/colophon for about three months. Once that period is over, I can still make a CD with the electronic book and ship to anyone that has participated.

The e-book and real paper book will be available for purchase from me and from the publisher: I've used them before and like the way they work. They also make books available in Amazon so we'll all be famous...infamous? Anyhow, hopefully a few book sales here and there will help fund the next project!

What else can I tell you!? It was a pleasure directing this project, a true challenge to get it done, an incredible surprise to see it printed, a real pain in the butt to get it mailed JUST KIDDING!!!
I loved every single minute, every paper cut, every image, every word all of you wrote, every little gift that came with the blocks, I loved everything about it, honestly. You have all made me very happy, I don't really know why but who needs to know why?!

That's all for now, send pictures of your City of the World mounted and framed up on a wall. I will post on the blog.

Until the next one! Be good, make art, make lots of art!!!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Wrapping it up!

The latest few tasks are now completed.
First a re-count of the piles, onced aired out. Amazing what a bit of cobalt drier and 6% humidity will do to ink! Dry as a bone by the time I got home, although the studio windows remained opened for a couple of days.

Will have to remember next time to take a click counter, seems we were off on every block! But no fear, plenty for everyone. Make a mental note that there are (thank goodness!) 101 sheets of paper in each 100-pack of Stonehenge...or else someone at the paper shop also needs a counter!

And last but not least, today I assembled, tweaked, played with and otherwise messed around with imagery to come up with a "key" that will be mailed out to everyone. I will also upload to the website soon enough. I left the key pages unassembled so that participants could spread them out as they explore the imagery in the "real" prints.

Now to await the print-shop output, to be delivered in a day or so. Then I can begin to mail out the sets. At the very latest, all sets will be mailed by end of next week. Can you feel the anticipation?

Here's a low-resolution peek at the cover for the key.
Neato! Huh?

Next task, update the website with the final images...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Live! From Portland Oregon! It'ssssss the Print Party!!! (and the audience goes wild...)

Alrighty then YouTube fans just forced me to make a video and upload the ugly truth about the recent Print Party in the Atelier Meridian in Portland Oregon USA.

Just go here and watch and weep:
Obviously named, PrintParty1 and PrintParty2

We simply repeated 600 times over the course of 3 days and we were finished. Prints are happily sitting in my studio airing out.

Next tasks are to take a photo of each panel, repeat the Key-making process backwards (easier now that I have all the names in Photoshop) and then upload the result to the website. After that I will send everyone of you a copy of the Key with your prints; mailing party photos and videos to come soon enough.

The Colophon with the expanded information for each print will be published as a .pdf file distributed to all participants for free and as a bound book soon after. I will make the .pdf file available online as as a download. Once I finish the book and proof it, I will publish on demand as a bound book for those who prefer to caress the beauty of a real book. 

The Amazing City of the World Colophon Book will be available at publisher's price to all participants and at retail for anyone else. Any proceeds from the "real" book will go to the bank account of the next project, of course!

There is still time to add to the colophon information if you have not yet sent it. Also, those with blogs, websites, or other web-spaces, feel free to send me via email the link to your web-place and I will add that to your print information. I will send an email to all participants with that request for those who don't follow the blog, or for those who do follow but distractedly so.

Send info here:

Email me at 1000woodcuts at gmail dot com to send me links to your respective web places if you want that added to the colophon.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Lordie! 600 prints 1200 miles (x2) Happy at Home!!!

I have done a lot of crazy things in my life but this one has to be around the top 10...maybe top 5!!! Drive 1200 miles with 5 blocks and 600 sheets of paper with the plan of getting blocks on print in 3 days. What a fantastic and totally undoable plan!!!
But wait...

Day one seemed very long and I confess after it had passed I wondered how far we could get. We were working about as far as our bodies could withstand and yet still a big chunk of prints to print.
Well, we ate so I thought maybe if we don't eat tomorrow...nah, we didn't go that far.

Day One we probably put in around almost 8 good hours but we were bound and determined to top that on Day Two. We met for breakfast nearby, loaded up with fuel (calories, I mean) and headed off to the Atelier Meridian, in the midst of downtown Portland, Oregon. At the end of the day we had collectively printed around (exactly) 144 prints.

Day One also entailed setting up the presses, getting the "system" tweaked so that three printmakers could work on each press, pressure just right, packing material just so, ink about there, and so on. All fell into place and we went into production mode.

Day Two we had decided (ordered with no exceptions and no whining) to meet for a hearty breakfast early. We began printing around 8:30 AM and I believed we washed our hands for the last time at around 7:00 PM. By the end of the day, we had 266 prints pulled, a true marathon of a day!!! Our grand total was now 410 and in my mind, no way in you-know-where that we would be able to finish the next day. Bodies were sore and bruises appeared but our resolved and good humor never left us.
A well earned full plate of blackened salmon was the highlight of the day. I can still taste it...

Here are some highlights in photos. I'm still editing the video and will post that next:
Team Barbara, Sharri and son Don

Terry Peart with Sharri LaPierre in background, apparently doing absolutely nothing? whaaaaaaat?

Ah yes, looking like a happy city

Full rack and then some, rack held 36 prints twice, we miscounted at least 6 times

Sir Doug Haug inking da block

Lady Terry Peart pulling a print

CODE 111! At print 111, we finally got Terry to say "perfect!" so every perfect print from then on was "coded" 111

Terry and Barbara miscounting, er, counting I mean, the finished prints.
I have no idea what Sharri is doing...

We took a .057 second break to pull some infamous roller art prints. Soon available on an Etsy store near you!
That's it for today! Day Three blow by blow yet to come. Editing the video so you can see 1/600 prints pulled by each team. Still catching my breath.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Print party!

Here we are in a seemingly peaceful setting...working ourselves silly. Argh! Whose idea was this? Who the heck is Maria?

Seriously, we're working hard to bring everyone presents, much to do yet. Inking as fast as I can and still can't keep up with my speedy elves, Doug and Terry. At the other press, Sharri enslaved her son, Don, and Barbara inking like there's no tomorrow.

Now that I think about it, there's NO tomorrow! Been so busy 3 days have gone by.

Last picture we charmingly named, "printmaker down!" I was just stretching my back, a short-person tactic to work as fast as a tall person...
The fun continues today!!!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

For everyone's delight, blocks up close with key to the city

Without further introduction, here are the completed blocks with key, all my fellow citizens! You can get the large version of each photo by clicking on it, then print if you want but don't waste too much paper. The real thing will come your way soon enough!

Wow! huh? huh? Wow....I'm in love with these...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A new dance! The paper "jig"

Here's the gist of the problem: the paper is roughly 22 x 30 inches, the blocks are roughly 22 x 30 inches. Printing will require very careful placing of the paper on a rather large inked block, both nearly the same size.
Not wanting to put too much pressure on the printing team or end up with too many mis-printed precious sheets, I decided to build a paper placement jig. This contraption allows one person to handle a larger sheet of paper, place it with confidence on a little shelf perfectly aligned over the block, then lower the paper in perfect position.
The jig can then be retired to run the block through the press, and replaced to position the next sheet of paper.

Basically the paper-placement jig is a simple “kento” (Japanese registration guide) shaped foamboard construction.

Take foamboard strips and glue them together in a corner shaped “L”, checked with a square. I used two strips for the entire length of the contraption, about 22 inches long side and maybe 8 inches short leg.

I next cut enough smaller strips of foamboard to build up the paper-shelf supports in the corner and some distance along the long side.

I built it to the height of the block plus one layer because the block will be inked when the jig is placed next to the block and the paper shelf needs to be above the block.
Next I glue a paper support “shelf” on the corner and a papr support shelf somewhere along the long side of the jig. I made these out of a contrasting blue matt-board to aid in visibility.

The corner shelf is below the square in the picture above, already secured with the paper guide made of foamboard on top. The long-side shelf shows the (blue) shelf before the paper guide goes in place.

Secure with another piece of foamboard, the paper guide, aligned to the exact place you want the paper to be. I offset the long side about a quarter inch because my paper is that much larger than the block (when centered, of course). You can see the pencil marks on the blue shelf above indicating where the paper guide will be.

Next picture is the completed guide placed against the block:

Next picture is paper placement, pretty self explanatory. Just place guide against the block, and place corner of paper against corner guide.

Hold paper in place with two fingers, guide with the thumb or however it works for you; the guide is very lightweight so it has to be held in place while placing the paper or it will shift away from the block.
Lower the long side of paper against the long-side guide, let the paper drop gently. Secure to the block with a caress of the hand and remove the paper guide before running the block through the press.

After a few tries and the invaluable "husband test" I glued a strip of rug-hug to the bottom of the paper-placement-jig so that now it does not slip at all when placing the paper. I hope the print-team is reading this, there will be a quiz before we begin!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Not done yet! Some substitutes and final assembly

Next I had to do some tweaking of a few blocks. Two were missing so I cut substitutes and carved some quick images. There were a few "problem" blocks that I foresaw would stumble the printing process so I did some extra carving on backgrounds or edges or whatever needed to be done without disturbing the owner's image.

After carving all the backgrounds, I went over the flat open areas with a flat chisel to eliminate any burrs that may catch ink. They are not anywhere near perfect but will just have to do as I am out of time before my trip to the printing lands.
Two of the background blocks had broken in a couple of places and I re-glued them together with wood-glue.

Finally, when all was tweaked enough, I lightly glued each large block to a background matt-board and then re-assembled the puzzle over the glue so that everyone sits still and behaves properly during printing. I used Lineco white glue spread with a foam roller for speed and evenness of application. Also this glue remains flexible so that if any blocks have to be propped up from underneath to aid in printing, the flexible glue and matt-board will yield.

Here are the next set of process pictures:

Now on to building the paper-placement jig!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

How to drive yourself mad with artful pleasure

Not having learned my lesson from the two previous puzzle projects (Web and Cairn), I merrily engaged in yet a third, the City of the World. If you have been following this blog then you know it has been quite an adventure already.
And were it not for the eager hands that were raised when I announced it was time to print the beast, I would be doing that myself. At about 40-60 prints a day (my max effort) I would be printing for 10-15 days straight. That's a lot of PowerBars.

But off I go into the great Northwest to meet my fellow conspirators and we should (should!) get the thing printed in only 3 days, maybe less. How awesome is a great team!

Now that I've caught up on posting everyone's contributions, it is time to also post what I've been doing to fast-forward this project into completion. Last time I posted a project report I believe I had just cut the blocks and mailed them.

The next few months were spent logging the arrivals, opening each with the anticipation of a gift from a fellow artist. Being organized and not wanting to have a huge task, I kept up with pictures and posts of each participant.

Next came the cutting of the background skeleton (the large blocks that hold everything together), and assembling the puzzle. Here are the photos, without further explanation:

More to come!