Tuesday, January 23, 2018

BCAF -- MLK Day, 2018

Entry into BCAF 2018 

Well, hello again! Yes, yes, I know that it has been about forever. Or nearly 3 years, which is almost the same, depending on your life span. While I knew when I started that I would probably not be a regular blogger, I also never intended to let so much time lapse in between posts, but, well, life. I've updated some details on the main sidebar, and updated reading lists and sites to visit will come soon. If you are interested in more up-to-date details you can always follow me on Instagram (@ninaevezeininger). Now on to the post:

A few arty things have happened since 2018 rolled in and I thought to restart this ol' blog, the Black Comix Arts Festival (BCAF) would be a good way to go. This year was the festival's fourth year but I am ashamed to admit I didn't know it was a thing until I was tipped off by Red Letter Day Zine. Boy, am I glad I was! The event, sponsored by the NORCALMLK and the San Francisco Public Library was full of incredibly talented and nice folks, great artwork and yes, comics. 

As much as I would have liked to, I wasn't able to talk to or purchase work from everybody. Here are a few of my highlights:

   business card of Paul Lewin

postcards from ZeeCee Art and Swag Patrol Comic

The first table I stopped at was that of Lawrence Lindell. If anything was wrong with your day, you would feel a hundred times better leaving his booth with the above note that he was kindly giving away for free. To everyone. Love always wins.

Next, I found myself drawn to the artwork of Marcus D. Newsome. The way he incorporates graffiti and other street art into the backdrops of his comic Lightening Strike is phenomenal. He also makes sure his story is relate-able, whatever walk of life the viewer is from. The digital version of this comic was also incredibly well done. Newsome himself was very kind, signing my comic in gold and even doing a quick sketch inside!

I had a great time chatting with Matt Silady, chair of the California College of the Arts MFA in Comic Arts program. He can make anyone feel like they're the next great comic artist. The MFA students in the program are very talented and I'm happy to have gotten a copy of the 2015 anthology. I chose it over the 2016 anthology mainly because of the work of Bex Freund, seen in the second photo above. The MFA program also has a comic to promote it, which is, to state the obvious, spot on and charmingly creative (and a great read while consume a lunch of veggie burger and chips). 

My last stop before heading home to the aforementioned veggie burger was Smurphy Graphics Cartoons & Illustrations. The human in charge of Smurphy Graphics, Murphy Milburn, has a collection of comics done in the single-sheet-book format and they are wonderful. This book structure is the one I begin my Introduction to Bookbinding workshops with because I think it's versatile and also a great warm-up/starter structure for those just beginning their bookbinding adventures. Sometimes there will be students disappointed that there 'isn't more to it'...I think Mr. Milburn's work begs to differ. Each of these mini comics is a self-contained world, a story with a beginning, middle, and end. They show how off how much can be done with a simple format and some creative energy.

Here's to seeing these artists and more of their great work at future comic & zine fests!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Inventor Trading Card Book

Inventions, both outlandish and practical, along with their inventors, is one of the things Maker Faire is all about. It'd be difficult to sum up the fair in a single blog post but the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office booth has a fun way to showcase the importance of inventors: with trading cards!

I'm not an inventor myself, but the folks at the U.S. Patent Office booth won me over with the trading card set (free, by the way) they have of important/famous folks that had patents for inventions.

I loved the cards but had no idea what to do with them. While cleaning up some scraps around the studio, it came to me- make a book!

Since cards are individual sheets of paper and it was important to view the entire card, front and back, the loose leaf Coptic stitch was the way to go. It holds all the cards between two hard covers and allows the entirety of each card to be viewed with minimal destruction to the card itself.

The cover boards are wrapped with a cotton fabric that was not originally intended for bookbinding but which I starched myself with methyl cellulose for easier use. So, it was almost like I was an inventor too...

Did I mention all the cool people and things I got learn about while I made this book?!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Built from Apples

Who doesn't love the chance to combine two things they love? Now, bookbinding and cider might not seem like your typical duo, aside from the occasional glass of cider while putting together a book, but, bear with me here because you have to literally think inside the box. 

I love traditional binding structures and materials but I also enjoy having fun and experimenting so when Hand Bookbinders of California put out the call for their 43rd annual members' exhibition, I knew just what I wanted to do. 

The Hand Bookbinders of California promote fine bookbinding in all its forms so I decided to push the limits of traditional technique by using non-traditional material: namely a cider box for the cover. 

I have been working with French Linkstitch binding for a while now, exposing a sewing method that is often hidden behind a spine, to make journals that open flat while the sewing creates nice designs along the spine. To let the binding method sing true along with the cover material, I went with a Smith & Forge Hard Cider box. This crisp, dry, canned cider come in larger boxes which means a larger end result and more visible stitching. The lightweight cardboard used in the packaging shows where the cans were placed which added an unplanned but nice texture to the project. 

The container was made the same way that canned soda boxes are, with a part on top you can punch in to create a handle. In order for this to operate properly, the side panels of the box, which are the ones that to create a cover, were made with small slits at the top, right in the center where the fold would go. The slit height fell exactly where I needed my kettle stitches to go so I had to do a bit of light paper repair for the stitches to hold. A small piece of Lokta paper (handmade, Nepalese paper), a bit of PVA, and a bone folder were all that was needed. The Lokta paper was glued to the inside of each panel, across the fold, covering up the slit. Because each side panel would be folded in half and then laminated together after sewing, I knew that just one strip would hold and I also didn't have to try to disguise the repair because it would be hidden. 

Because the motto of the cider company is 'Made Strong', I used that  motto for inspiration of the design/placement of the sewing stations. With the orange-red logo color of the cider and given the fact that I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, 'made strong' to me makes me think of the Golden Gate Bridge and the Bay Bridge. Both bridges have survived earthquakes and tons of traffic on a daily basis and they make use of tall and shorts posts for support (forgive my oversimplification of engineering, these bridges were inspiration only and the sewing was a very loose interpretation). This lead me to alternate the spacing of the sewing stations for the X-shape created with the French Linkstitch, so there would be small X's holding down the ends and a large X in the center. 

The final result was a blank journal both bookbinders and cider enthusiasts could enjoy. 

If you haven't had a chance to check out the Hand Bookbinders of California 43rd Members' Exhibition, please do. There are many amazing feats of binding by some incredibly talented people. It'll be on view at the American Bookbinders Museum until September 13.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Walk Around Lake Merritt

L and I are spending our Saturday running errands all around the Bay so here's a more relaxing post from our most recent meander around Lake Merritt.

I was kind of obsessed with the bonsai...

 A bit of chamomile

Corn snake at the nature center

California poppies

Lady Bug!

Friday, July 17, 2015

A Morbid Cake

Now, while I'm not much of a cook-- my cooking adventures often end in flames-- I do enjoy getting my bake on from time to time. A few months ago (yes, I am behind on new posts, I know, I know) I had the chance to combine baking with my love of paper craft in a cake made for a friend. 

This friend is into many things strange and morbid and it seemed only fitting to make a graveyard cake. The gravestones were hand cut out of paper, hand lettered and then attached to toothpicks to top the cake. I even made a personalized 'not dead yet' gravestone (not pictured).

The cake was chocolate, resembling dirt once you cut into it. For an added layer (cake pun), I used strawberry preserves as a filling so things would seem a little 'bloody' while you were eating.

The cake was frosted with a simple cream cheese frosting which was easy to manipulate into a cemetery.

A bunch of graham cracker crumbs, cocoa powder, and a bit of edible gold glitter completed the look. Not your typical birthday cake but hey, it was fun to make and it tasted great!