Rock · Paper · Book

Rock · Paper · BookElizabeth Eisenstein wrote a scholarly two-volume tome on the printing press as an agent of change. For this class, we decided to look at how paper was also an agent of change, by researching various papermaking methods as paper moved from its beginnings in China to the rest of the world. By making paper themselves, the students developed a new understanding of the complexities of papermaking: gathering the pulp, figuring out how to fibrillate it, experimenting with several kinds of moulds and even hand-beating of the pulp with rubber hamamers. In this way, students’ attitudes about paper in general, and about the paper we would be using for the book, were changed. As a result, they decided to develop the theme of paper and ideas for this semester-long book project. To deepen their understanding, we invited John Risseeuw to give the Frederic W. Goudy Lecture in September on how paper has meaning. He demonstrated in the workshop how the even the choice of pulp can impart meaning to the paper. Snippets of the students’ own handmade paper are presented on the Rives BFK paper that wraps each of their sections.

Fourteen students developed the ideas for this book. The texts and images were printed on Rives Heavyweight using four Vandercook presses. Images were hand-cut into linoleum, or paper itself was added to act as an image. Drawings and cuttings were added to enhance meaning. Each student chose a typeface to present their ideas. The front and back matter are tyepset in 12 and 14 pt. Ehrhardt Roman and Italic. The binding continues the theme of paper and ideas by using Rives BFK gray wrapper paper to complete the covers. A Coptic-style sewing pattern was used to hold all the sections together using linen thread. The class was effectively aided by teaching assistant Chris Yuengling-Niles. Size: 9.5 x 5.5 inches. The book was printed in an edition of 105 copies.