caitri: (Default)
More pics forthcoming later, but today was Hamilton day! First we did the full pilgrimage, going to Trinity Church to see the Hamilton family and Hercules Mulligan's graves, then going to Federal Hall (the site where George Washington was sworn in; the original building is no more but they had the surviving stone balcony where he took the oath and gave the first inaugural address, and bonus! a printing press in an exhibit on the Zenger Case! much commentary forthcoming), then had lunch at Frances Tavern (site of a regular meeting place for the Sons of Liberty, one of Mulligan's hangouts, and where Washington held a farewell dinner for his officers at the end of the war, plus a little museum with a couple of exhibits and one of which was all about Lafayette), then went to the American Finance Museum (Scott can give TONS of commentary on that) to see the Hamilton exhibit. We hit the Hamilton store (because apparently you need it with that much demand) and got a light dinner, and then we SAW HAMILTON. YOU GUYS.

Okay so we were in second row center, which meant we were less than four feet from the stage, when the actors would come up for their big moments they were RIGHT THERE, it was amazing. Especially when at the start of act 2 one of the ensemble climbed out of the music pit to start and waved at us. I brought a bunch of tissues because despite having listened to it a million times for the past year and a half, I *still* tear up at the sad bits and figured it was gonna be worse in person, which, yes. I cried a loooooot. And in person, seeing the actors emote, I mean, the Hamilton actor was in tears throughout "It's Quiet Uptown" and that just starts the sympathy feedback loop. The new Burr is absolutely freaking incredible, as is the new Washington. We got the Hamilton alt but he was still excellent. Anyway at the very end I was among a number of still crying people and so when they took their bows the Laurens/Philip actor winked in our general direction; I like to imagine he went backstage and was like "we got a bunch of the fangirls again." But yeah, wow. Dude. WE SAW HAMILTON AND WAS AS AMAZING AS WE THOUGHT IT WOULD BE!!!!!!!!

caitri: (printer)
Last week I was at Wells College for their Summer Book Arts Institute, this time taking a course on punchcutting. A punch is the first stage in making a matrix, or mold, that can then be used to make type. In theory, I could design a whole new typeface, take the matrices to a typefounder, and then have a set of types all my own. (And the ambitious part of my brain thinks ~how cool~ would it be to have a set of types in Sindarin and Quenyan?!) And it's difficult to write about the process of creating an object from raw steel on Monday and then printing with it on Friday afternoon, but that's pretty much what happened. Also, out of seven students I was the only woman, which thankfully was managable; all the guys--which included Todd--were good guys, so that was a relief.

Here's some photos from Todd's Instagram, because I don't have pictures of my stuff, and anyway, it's kind of embarrassing in contrast.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BIYk83PBJiF/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BIWCRnghC8q/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BITsEADhyQJ/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BId5vWQBeHF/

I was feeling incredibly frustrated for the first two days because I was so behind everyone else--I finished a set of two punches, while everyone else had four or five--but on Thursday through happenstance I was seated at a different workstation, and...the files there were SO MUCH BETTER than the ones I'd been using. Which was just happenstance, but also speaks to how important it is to have the tools that are ~right for you~ which I don't think I quite understood until then.

I also got to do a small print project in the off-hours; having access to a full shop with a huge type and ornament library is lovely. Although Vandercooks still freak me out. I like platen presses, ok?
caitri: (Gamora)
The new WoW update included lots of new options for transmogs for gear. After way too much time thinking and playing, I got my Level 100 Blood Elf Hunter some sexy new gear:



SO PRETTY. SO BADASS.

*is so absurdly pleased that I managed this unified look out of a variety of random things* *THIS IS NOT ALL TOP-LEVEL GEAR, THIS IS SOME RANDOM THINGS I HAD PLUS SOME NEW STUFF THAT I MADE INTO THE BEST I HAVE.* *I STILL LOOK SO BADASS THO!!!!*
caitri: (Dorian)
Text-To-Speech in 1846 Involved a Talking Robotic Head With Ringlets
Meet the Euphonia, a machine that boasted the ability to replicate human speech.


The Euphonia was the product of 25 years of research and an undeniably impressive feat of engineering. Fourteen piano keys controlled the articulation of the Euphonia's jaw, lips, and tongue while the roles of the lungs and larynx were performed by a bellows and an ivory reed. The operator could adjust the pitch and accent of the Euphonia's speech by turning a small screw or inserting a tube into its nose. It was reported that it took Faber seven long years simply to get his machine to correctly pronounce the letter e. ...

The answer may lie in a thought experiment put forth by the roboticist Mashahiro Mori in 1970. Mori proposed that “as [a] robot became more human-like there would first be an increase in its acceptability and then as it approached a nearly human state there would be a dramatic decrease in acceptance.” This dip in public approval represents a Goldilocks zone for robotic anthropomorphism: Robots who find themselves in it are simultaneously too human and not human enough. Faber's Euphonia seemed to have gotten lost somewhere in what Mori called “the Uncanny Valley.” ...

Sigmund Freud defined the uncanny as “that class of terrifying which leads back to something long known to us, once very familiar.”  The Euphonia, in spite of its familiar and quintessentially human ability to speak, was still undeniably inhuman; A mechanical imposter in a rubber mask.







caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
A few weeks ago we adopted a new puppy to be a little sister for Bilbo; we named her Rey because she is tiny and has so much attitude.

Prepare yourself for the cute.






caitri: (printer)
1022151148

Made these at a workshop at Virgin Wood Type. I actually find making wood type more stressful than making metal type because with the machines you can't actually see what you are doing. >_< You have to focus on operating around a pattern and then pause carefully and look over to check yourself as best as you can--as you can tell with the heart, I failed a bit. But, I kind of like that ding--which actually doesn't show up badly on the carbon proof--because it goes to show that I really did make it, so. *G*

Anyway, today's the slow day, so I have a little bit of time to relax that is sorely needed. This afternoon I'm heading back to campus to check out a book arts vendor fair and, hopefully, get a shot at doing a pull on the Kelmscott Press, which was the same one used by William Morris in his shop and is held at the Cary Collection at RIT. Yes, I am rather pathetically stoked at being able to have a go on a specific famous press because hi, have you met me?

Relatedly, last night's talk was by the folks at Virago Press, who primarily specialize in translations of Polish poetry from 1976-1989. One of the founders, Gwido Zlatkes, put together a book reprinting various things including a printers' manual used during the period, and when I went to chat with him we ended up talking about fanzines as underground literature, because, yes, only I can go to a print history talk and end up talking about fandom. I'M NOT SORRY.

More squee

Jul. 1st, 2015 07:47 pm
caitri: (printer)
Tonight I got to spend some quality time organizing my job cases into the type cabinets.

0701151939

There's still a stack to go, amongst many other things, but still!!!!!
caitri: (printer)
0630151118

That's 2100 lbs of awesome. Also three cabinets of type in the background...

Query

Jan. 5th, 2015 12:58 pm
caitri: (Gamora)
Working on my Maleficent paper, and.... is it just me, or do her wings in glass recall the good ol' diagram of women's reproductive organs?

Maleficent's wings

I mean, sometimes the Sacred Feminine is just the Sacred Feminine, but...
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
This morning was the last day of workshop, and in an hour I'll catch the shuttle to the airport and thence home. Some last photographs:

0621140952

We had book-decorated cupcakes as a final farewell.

0621141152

We also made enclosures to take our projects home in safely. Hard to believe this little box carries everything I made this week, but it does!!!!!

Leaving is bittersweet because I'll be glad to be home again tonight, but I've really had so much fun here this week!!!!1
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
Very tired after today's art show, so a quick post:

This was my table display with the work I did this week:

0620141130

I got a number of kind comments from visitors, including one from a woman I shared the airport shuttle here with: "I had to come see the show today because I've watched you walk around every day with your face lit up like a Christmas tree because you're so happy to be here!"

This workshop has been one of the best ever--I'm including the whole Kenyon experience. Every writer and artist I've talked to has been genial and thoughtful and constructive; there's none of that sort of jockeying for position competitiveness I've experienced with other groups. I absolutely want to come back again!!!!!!

I also manned the letterpress demo station for the show and made cards to give out to visitors:

0620141139

Don't worry, I fixed that "N" after I took this photo!

It was very cool to, for maybe the first time, be a printer in my own right. I've always been in the shadow of Todd and it was neat to be there on my merits and recognized for myself rather than, you know, the also-ran or the apprentice, you know? And the instructors were delighted that I was "a pro" who could set things up for students and clean etc without direction and whatnot. So it was all pretty cool!!!!!!
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
A quick post of more sneak peeks of my work for the studio show tomorrow--I was working until 10:45 there tonight trying to get things done!!!!

0619141508

0619142157

Funny story: I'd been texting Todd pictures of things as they came along and whatnot, and mentioned this to one of my instructors; I didn't think anything of it since I had written a nonfiction piece about working in BHW with him, Chris, etc. The instructor blinked and said, "You talked to the character from your story?" "....who is a real person," I explained. Basically, I am way entertained having a bestie who people apparently think is fictional.

...I am entirely too slaphappy. I should probably try to go to bed eventually.
caitri: (books)
So tired: I was in the studio all day and now I'm trying to finish some text for the books I want to finish tomorrow. Here, have a sneak peek:

0618141656
caitri: (books)
Today was a bit more low-key than previous. I've finally gotten myself into a more or less focused mindset: projects in mine, strategies in place. I spent half the afternoon in the studio marbling sheets and making paste papers for projects to work on tomorrow. Unfortunately, after lunch I started feeling a bit dizzy (dehydrated, I think) and went back to the dorm to take a nap. It helped a little, but I still feel a bit out of it and not great. I did finish my homework though; I opted to skip out on the student readings tonight (I feel guilty, but there will be more nights, plus if I feel like crap and no one's going to miss me then why not).

Anyway, here are some of the marbled papers I made:

0617140934

I painted them down with some varnish and hopefully will have some smooth, burnished sheets tomorrow.

This morning we also got to visit the Special Collections at Olin Library and look at their collection of artist's books. They also have an exhibit up of the first two volumes of the St. John's Bible (the Heritage fine press edition). The St. John's Bible is a massive seven volume work made by a team of artists to create a medieval volume in the new age--every page of the vellum edition is hand done script and hand done illuminations and art. The fine press edition is on paper but still has hand elements, as with the gold lead illuminations in the capitals, etc. This is the opening of Genesis, with the creation of the world in seven days:

0617141124

This evening's writing prompt was for a fiction piece, which I spun into a mini-scene from the printerfic:

On Games of Chance )

~

I was hoping to write some more tonight but I'm not sure I have it in me. It could just be that I'm too tired from the last few days and need some recouping time.
caitri: (printer)
So to start off with, for some reason they decided to have an art studio class without providing aprons OR telling students to bring their own. Because printing ink washes out of nothing, ever, I improvised an apron with my rain jacket:

0616141002

Not gonna lie, I feel like it was my best Macgyver moment ever.

Anyway, the day started with transforming yesterday's writing and image into a pamphlet:

0616141003 (1)

I'm still not thrilled with it, but it offends my sensibilities much less in this form, I will say.

In the afternoon we made a flag book with another accordion binding--a structure the prof is clearly really into:

0616141451

I hope I can come up with some things I actually like before our studio show, I really, really do.

0616141503

Today they set up a letterpress station, which, FINALLY, something I know how to do! I ended up helping a couple of students with it, as, of all things, apparently I have way more letterpress experience than anyone else. (That is a sentence I would never think to write when surrounded by book artists!)

Anyways, I had my writing critique today, and it was useful. The instructors are excited about my printerfic and were encouraging, which was great: no bewilderment about the language or concept, no wanting more violence, no arguing against the protagonist's race, which, THANK THE GODS. They suggested I try as much as possible to tie in the week's projects as a sort of meta for the novel. So.

Tonight's writing assignment was nonfiction, so here's what I came up with:
Wayzgoose )

So now it's about bedtime, and I'm zonked, but there you go. Stay tuned!
caitri: (books)
There are a hundred students in this round of workshops; there are four workshops of poetry, three of fiction, two of creative nonfiction, and then the lone "literary/book arts hybrid" class I'm taking. My class has 7 people in it, while the others have ~15 per. Consequently, over the last day and a half, I've explained what book arts are to about 40 people.

I'm tired.

BUT!

Here are some pictures of what we did just today:

0615141425

This is a sheet of paper marbled using the Japanese suminagashi method, where you take a small paper circle, drop a few drops of dye on top, and then blow or move it around the water with a skewer; the dye only adheres to the surface of the water, and so you can place your paper directly on top. You don't have to treat the paper beforehand, or spend a few hours doing other set-up and prep as you must with Turkish marbling. Consequently, even though the dyes are less vivid, I am quite the fan!

0615141455

We started off with two exercises. The first was "Twenty First Lines"--potential first lines to twenty works which we submitted before the workshop started. The instructors printed and bound these to create small prompt books. The "Word Dance" was an activity where we created cards using phrases from our writing samples which we shared and redistributed as a group, making poems with the new (randomized) material. Mine reads:

Excuse me
sound might grow a steady stream
if such was ever to be

maybe someone had someone
again and again
subject to the will

Shoes by the door nose each other like fish
tingling cheek
promise of London Devil
garb thin as a sapling.

[I'm only proud of the first six lines which sounds like an actual narrative to me. It's pretty clear I had no idea what to do with the other four.]

0615141450

Another project we took on this morning was creating a commonplace book, bound accordion style and creating a collage on the cover. We were given envelopes of various interesting scraps, and this is what I put together. The ribbon ties in the back to hold the volume shut; it has an envelope glued in the back to hold various project materials. I don't typically care for accordion bindings, but I'm pleased with how this one came out at least visually.

~

I've written a story for tomorrow from a prompt; I'm happyish with the text but not the accompanying image, which I'm not going to share, because no, it looks juvenile. (OTOH maybe tomorrow I'll go to class and it will magically seem better, but I think not.) Here it is:

Necessity

If you stay with me... )

~

Last night I wrote a poem, and it at least I an pleased with:

Texts
sent at midnight
and at 8am

read and responded

demonstrate only

that I am
the signifier
and you
the signified.

~

Tonight we listened to readings by each of the student fellows--effective "apprentices" to the instructors this term. Like the workshops, they were a mixture of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry. I suppose it was a classical "writing seminar moment": all of them white, at least approaching middle class if not actively upper class. One was a gay man. They all had, I guess you could say strong voices, but in that workshoppy way they were indistinguishable too, talking of permissible things like love and loss and extra-marital affairs. One older gentleman had a story from the pov of a recovering alcoholic struggling to connect with his son; the gay writer mentioned a bathhouse. This was the non-normative material. This morning my instructors had a brief spiel about "safe space" and to be aware and accepting of "raw" material, but I am rather underwhelmed? Does that sound awful? And you can count the POCs on one hand; I've spoken to half of them already through happenstance.

It has all made me feel rather anxious. But this may sound like I'm disappointed in the whole thing--I'm not, exactly, and I've never been surrounded by so many creative types before, so that's interesting. So, we'll see what happens. I have my personal conference with my instructors tomorrow, and we're going to discuss the chapter I sent them of my printerfic--the one with all of the triggery stuff. So. We'll see what they make of that.
caitri: (Life is groovy)
Is that the Cap 2 trailer makes me want to sit down and start writing academic papers about popular representations of government policies in comics and the stills of X-Men: Days of Future Past make me want to write fic.

I blame pics like this one:



Source.
caitri: (Cait Yatta!)
So on my last day of work Todd gave me a present to remember Cushing by: a framed set of our original designs for the DTS banners. He sent some of the photos yesterday, but this is my favorite one:

the real banners 2 ~

~

Survived move to Colorado. More later when I'm less plfttt.

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