Archive for November, 2010

What the wife and I got at the craft fair this past weekend

Posted in 21st century life, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Event on November 30, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Plate by Julie Wiggins

I’m debating about doing the fair next year. Talkin’ bout the Carolina Designer Craftsmen Fair

It is pretty hard to find an audience for fine press books. The books don’t exist or find good homes at galleries—largely due to the overwhelming majority of gallery owners’ extreme unwillingness to take them on, whether they posit themselves as a “fine art” gallery or a “craft” gallery, and to do their part to educate the public about a still surviving art/craft/whatever form), and hand-printed books disappear/get swallowed up at bookstores. Craft fairs would seem the logical venue that might find an interested and understanding niche audience.

But, I’m still a little gun-shy from a few semi-traumatic experiences (not to mention financial flops) at fairs in the past. (If I had a dollar for every time somebody said “It’s so great to see someone is still doing this and I love your work” but then didn’t buy a single thing, not even the ten dollar set of hand printed cards; well you get the picture). And there wasn’t a single bookmaker or letterpress printer at this year’s CDC fair.

Like most craftspersons, I realize there’s not going to be that many people interested in the type of work I do, and the nature of the work prices it outside the purchasing range of a majority of folks. The hard part is finding those few people who *would* like this work and actually would want to own it, and getting the work in front of them. Doesn’t just happen on its own (and Bella doesn’t seem to be taking the bull by the horns in tacking her newly acquired marketing responsibilities)

Speaking of fairs, Annie and I are thinking of heading out to Cali to check out the Codex Foundation Book Fair. Would be an inspiring trip for sure, I’m going to scout it out and consider doing it on the next go round (the booth fee ain’t cheap).


Thursday talk at the Gregg, Ben Galata/Evan Lightner

Posted in 21st century life, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Design, Event, Friends on November 30, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Two of my good ‘n talented friends back in Raleighwood are giving an informal talk/discussion this Thursday, December 2nd. The Gregg Museum of Art and Design has mounted a nice exhibit of their work. The talk starts at 6:00 and is free. Their show is up through December 18 and is a nice accompaniment to the Southern Roots of Mid-Century Modern exhibit in the larger gallery space.

Ben Galata and I shared studio space at Antfarm together for a few years back in the 90s. His forge was about thirty-five feet from the H&B print shop.

As I got H&B up and running, I worked part-time as a cook for Evan Lightner when he was a co-owner of Vertigo Diner. (Thankfully, he is a lot better woodworker than a kitchen boss. Put a beer in front of me and I’ll tell you stories)

Seriously though, they both make great work and are proving that craft is alive and well and finding a relevant and meaningful place in today’s world increasingly filled with products that are more about planned obsolescence than attention to detail. Annie and I very much enjoy the work of Ben’s we own, and we are looking forward to the custom bed Evan is going to make for us next year. Do check out the talk and show if you can, like most all of the exhibits at the Gregg, there’s great work and it is exhibited in an intelligent and interesting manner.

Gregg Museum of Art and Design website

Ben Galata website

Evan Lightner website

Custom guest book for wedding

Posted in 21st century life, Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Horse & Buggy Press project on November 17, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

I make a fair number of custom hardcover coptic bound books for people.

Photoalbums. Journals. Guest sign in books for weddings, and hybrid books.

I really enjoy the specificity of making the book for a very certain event/person/use.

Jocelyn from Duke Press asked me to make a sign in book for one of her good friend’s wedding. She brought me the announcement they sent out and I worked off that, using some of my handmade paper from the Antfarm days.

The first signature in the book is thick, black album paper with a one inch tab that runs along the gutter so as to compensate for the thickness of what gets inserted. The idea is the announcement will go in here and making a couple pictures of the couple. Then the rest of the book’s pages use heavyweight, writing paper for guests to not just sign in, but to leave a note for the couple. I usually suggest the book be given to the best men, bridesmaids, or whomever and have them write notes on the first pages, so the precedent is set when guests come upon the book (to encourage them to get creative, share, etc)

The nice thing about the coptic binding is that it is sewn into and through the cover so you can really open the book up flat all the way. And the sewing, done with four or seven ply waxed linen thread, is exposed which is rather beautiful in itself.

Here’s how the book came out.

Hit and Run Case Update

Posted in 21st century life, Politics/Philosophy on November 13, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

At the bottom of this entry is a link to a good summary of the case with some very interesting details and back history. I’m almost 40 years old, but I still have enough of an idealistic streak that this kind of blatant injustice gets me all worked up. As my Grandpa said “Ain’t no justice in this world.” But during the beautiful and rejuvenating season of autumn, I tend to have more energy than other times of the year so I’ve written letters, made phone calls, etc to people so they know their misguided judgments are being noticed.

Specifically, I’ve called the Morgan Stanley branch in Colorado where the hit and run perp works and is in charge of $1 billion of other people’s investments. My simple question to the branch manager was “You don’t think somebody who exhibits a reckless disregard for others, incredibly poor judgment, and a total lack of responsibility should be allowed to continue in a job of managing other people’s monies do you? Because if you don’t fire this guy by the end of the week I’m going to pull out all my money from Morgan Stanley accounts, convince my employees, colleagues, and friends to do the same as well as my multinational corporate clients.”

(don’t tell MS but they think I run a 300 employee company out of RTP specializing in multinational outsourcing or some bullshit.) So anyway, the week ended and they haven’t fired the guy, so looks like I’ve got to call on Monday morning and up the volume and move this action up to MS HQ.

If you find the case to be troubling or you think its whack/appalling/inexcusable that the district attorney treats white collar felons differently than other felons, consider taking 5-10 minutes and make some calls or write some letters (info in previous blog entry).

When Hit and Run is not a Felony article

How Things Work (continued)

Posted in 21st century life, Politics/Philosophy on November 13, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

I’d go to Raleigh for this…

Posted in Art, Event, Friends on November 12, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

Skillet made a great looking poster for a special musical event next week, Sunday Nov 21.

Dilettantes Ball: Benefit for Chip Robinson

Alejandro Escovedo (backed by the Buck Jones Band) was recently announced as the headliner for this benefit which will be held Sunday, November 21st at the newly opened Southland Ballroom in Raleigh, NC. Also on the bill: Tres Chicas, A Mexican Terrarium and Patty Hurst Shifter (who are reuniting just for this occasion). The benefit is to help Chip out with medical expenses incurred from a recent bicycle accident in NY which left him with a broken hip.

see you there.

Career in Book Arts Panel Talk, 9:30-11am Weds November 10

Posted in 21st century life, Art, Craft: not country-cute, but Craft, Durham, Event, Horse & Buggy Press project on November 9, 2010 by horseandbuggypress

This is another side spur event of the Book + Art: Artists’ Books from UNC and Duke. (I designed the poster and hand-printed a keepsake broadside for this exhibition, more on that in the near future)

When: Wednesday, November 10, 9:30-11:00am
Where: Perkins Library, Room 217

from the press release…
“Join us for a panel discussion about making a career out of a love of book arts, featuring Laurie Corral, founder of Asheville Bookworks, Dave Wofford of Horse and Buggy Press, and Meg Brown, Duke conservation librarian and exhibits coordinator. Moderated by Beth Doyle, Duke conservation librarian.”

–I’ll be the token guy. (the book arts doesn’t seem to generate a whole lot of interest from the male side of things)

back to the press release…

“Refreshments at 9:30am with program beginning at 10am. This program is part of Books + Art, a semester-long celebration of book arts done in collaboration with UNC Libraries. Sponsored by the Professional Affairs Committee of Librarians Assembly.

More info at the Duke LIbrary Website

There is some really fantastic work in the exhibit at Perkins Library (open to the general public, not just Duke folks) which will be up through the end of the year and was curated by Kelly Wooten. Get a glimpse at a few of the books here at the exhibit website