Still a bit dazed by all the visual stimulation of the Codex Book Fair, I went to the Tribal and Textile Arts Fair, another blockbuster international exhibit. I was particularly struck, as I've been before, by the beauty of the Japanese folk tradition of pieced cotton textiles, and the very strong similarity to some of the Gee's Bend quilts. Both use white thread in a running stitch, often with the knots at the ends of the thread providing a sort of punctuation mark, and both stem from the strong necessity of making use of every valuable scrap of available material. I found an excellent article on Japanese patchwork online at www.kimonoboy.com/short_history.html.
- Janet Jones
- I'm an artist living in San Francisco, on a wooded hillside overlooking the Farallon Islands. Redtail hawks soar overhead and sometimes perch outside the studio window, and raccoons, possums and skunks are nocturnal visitors. And this is in the middle of the city!
Tuesday, February 8
The Codex III book fair, which took place in Berkeley for four days, ending February 9, was all I hoped for and more. There were 138 exhibitors from around the world presenting world class work, and I'm still a bit dazzled by the experience. In particular I loved the elegant simplicity of the letterpress books of Leonard Seastone, of The Tideline Press in New York State. In the top photo he holds an example of a clever book structure that lies flat when opened, and a spread of this book is shown in the middle photo. He prints large sheets of paper with wood type characters, and then cuts the papers up and reassembles them into book pages, with an eye to the abstract relationships of the characters and the space around them. The bottom photo shows two pages of a delightful book in which he's created formal compositions by typing (remember the typewriter?) directly onto the book pages. If you look closely you can identify the characters.