Jessica Spring: Mind Your P's & Q's
June 19, 2012 | 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Jessica Spring, proprietor of Springtide Press, discuss her artist books recently exhibited in “Circus Libris” at Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound. Jessica’s newest work is Printer’s Blocks, an abecedarium letterpress printed with vintage wood type and printer’s blocks. Uppercase letters are arranged as in a type case. Two sides of each block include handset patterns created from American Type Founder’s Dainty Border No. 1 that—like the border—can be arranged to delight. Printer’s Blocks and other examples of Jessica’s work will on display for this special presentation.
"Circus Libris" describes both the collection of art on display here and the background of noise, chaos and upheaval that currently surrounds the codex. Doomsayers predict its demise as readers load their devices with digital books, trading paper for pixels. Looking back on 25 years of making books, I have a different perspective. I’ve been joined by legions of new and eager printers, bookmakers and artists and have watched the terms “letterpress” and even “Wayzgoose” become familiar to a growing audience of appreciators. There’s an obvious response to the increasing speed and quantity of information we handle: a desire to slow down, an appreciation of the handmade.
An artist book connects with that appreciation, offering what begins as just an idea and emerges only after writing, typesetting, printing and binding—often one-of-a-kind or in very small editions. The complete control of this process is appealing, as is the opportunity to give the reader a different “reading” of an old familiar story, from horses or spices to the man in the moon. Artist books engage the reader on multiple levels, using form to enlarge content.
Jessica Spring has an MFA from Columbia College Chicago Center for Book & Paper Arts and teaches book arts and typography at Pacific Lutheran University. She was the 2011 recipient of the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation of Art Award. Her books are part of many library collections including the British Library, Northwestern University, University of Washington, Yale, Ringling School of Art & Design and the University of Puget Sound. Springtide Press is located in Tacoma’s north end where Spring lives with her husband and son.
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