The day was clear and fine in San Francisco, particularly in the sunny microclimate of Potrero Hill. So we spent a glorious afternoon at RoadWorks, a celebration of printing, paper, and handmade book artistry sponsored by the San Francisco Center for the Book.
Everyone loves watching prints being made by steam rollers, don’t they? Especially in the middle of the street.
We also learned about the printing process on a much smaller scale. We cut soft linoleum squares into designs of our own creation, rolled them with ink, and then pressed them onto paper between plates, similar to pressing a hamburger patty. Guess which one is mine, and then guess what I did wrong. I decided that my error reflects my personality.
Maybe the actual print will help.
I am fairly backwards, aren’t I? Or perhaps I was thinking I’d always have a mirror in hand to read my name. My husband, the sailor and visual artist, carved the sailboats.
We also printed our own covers for the mini books we made. It’s very satisfying to “roll your own” cover.
Inside the Center for the Book, we checked out the exhibition: Water Paper Stone – A Walk Through Book
From the artist’s (Judy O’Shea) original exhibition proposal on the Center for the Book’s website:“…wander through an enormous book: 15-foot covers, a 20-foot spine, and pages hanging from the rafters. The primary structure…would be constructed with paper that Judy makes by hand at her Inverness, California studio. Judy invited 17 artists (10 American and 7 French) to contribute the “pages” for this special artists’ book. The pages are as varied as the artists, but are all originally conceived for the site, and have a special dialogue that comes from collective experiences.”
I loved standing among the “pages.” My favorite page? The 3-D paper stones. Gotta admit it reminded me of the kid’s game, Rock/Paper/Scissors.
“Water Paper Stone” will be on exhibit until December 2, 2014.
The next time you feel like discovering something unusual in San Francisco, take a side trip to the Center for the Book. The steamroller won’t be there, but there’s plenty to remind you that books and paper are much more than the sum of their parts.