Archives for posts with tag: book project

sewn signaturesLast night I finally finished watching Battlestar Galactica. Oh, and I also finished sewing all my thesis text blocks as well. But who’s counting?

I am. It took me around twenty hours spread out over two days to finish sewing all these puppies together. And by “puppies” I mean “books”, not actual “puppies.” (Pictured Below)

Red Clover puppies 154



Also, here’s what the outside of my thesis notebook looks like:
image-1 image


And here’s a picture of the awesome pens I’ve been using on all my charts and diagrams:








saturn V black and white


saturn V color


Al Shepard red

First Alan Shepard color layer.
*Note* I know, I know. He looks like our President.



Mercury 7 red

First color layer of the Mercury 7

old glory sans stars

Old Glory sans stars

color chart

These are my color swatches. Picked em up at the Home Depot





That’s a really good question. I’m so glad you asked.

Well, I’ll tell you.

I got to do a lot of really cool, space-related things this summer. Not because I’m cool. I just got lucky. For example, I got to go to Houston and visit the Johnson Space Center on an all day, behind the scenes tour. I got to attend the Space Academy for Educators at Huntsville’s U.S. Space & Rocket Center, which is really just Space Camp for teachers. While I was there I visited the Rocket Center’s archives and sifted through box after box of Wernher von Braun’s personal papers. I got to visit the “suit morgue” where they keep all the space suits that aren’t on display in the museum. I just got really lucky.

While all this was happening, I was also falling love with a girl I’d known for years. I won’t tell the whole story here but basically I didn’t think she liked me as anything more than a friend. She’s the one who invited me to go on the special tour at NASA. I knew she was special, but I still didn’t think she liked me. We spent four days together in Houston and then I left to go to Space Academy and she left to go to Europe.

My thesis is all about parallel stories and what goes on under the surface of things.

Al Shepard page


The main text is black. It’s all about the space-related things I did that summer as research for my thesis. The red text in the margins is all about what was going on in my head the whole time. It’s all about my confusion and self-doubt and I hope it comes off funnier than the way I’m describing it here. I wanted it to be funny, but I also wanted it to be very personal. This is without a doubt the most personal piece of art I’ve ever created. Only my proofreader and I have read the text in its entirety so far, so I’m a little nervous about the public presentation I have to give. My girlfriend, the girl from the story (oops, I just ruined the ending!) hasn’t read it because she wants to be surprised.

I hope she likes it and I hope people want to buy it. I don’t want to be stuck with fifty copies and have to use them to level tables and whatnot.

I just wrapped up printing the text for my thesis and now I’m moving on to the images. Which is good because my defense is in APRIL. April 8th, actually. But my show has to be set up and open to the public on the 4th. I’m having my show in the university’s observatory. I’m pretty sure this is a first for both the history of book arts AND The University of Alabama. (Roll Tide)

Yesterday was my first day printing any images so I took a few pictures.

The Prints

Al Shepard page

This spread features one of the 4 color prints. It’s the first American in space, Alan Shepard. Let’s light this candle.

Al Shepard plate

This is one of the polymer plates for the Al Shepard image. This is the black layer. For more information on photopolymer plates, please see my “Award Winning” post on photopolymer plates!


This is one of the images of the moon that will be in my book. I was having paper problems, so Sarah Bryant suggested I “ink the hell out of it”, and I did. And it’s beautiful. There’s so much ink on this print that you can actually feel the moon’s craters. Which is an added bonus.


moon plate

The Charts

If you’ve ever been unfortunate enough to talk to me for five minutes, you’ll know that I love hand-drawn, needlessly complex, multicolored charts. I love them so much that I show them to anyone who will look. I figure this is a good opportunity to show the whole world.

standard deviation

This is my standard deviation chart. Don’t be fooled into thinking I have only one of these. If you look closely at the top you’ll see that this is the “OVERALL” standard deviation chart. I also have separate deviation charts for the text portions and image portions. I like to know how many I screw up and this helps me visualize that. For another “fine” standard deviation chart, you should probably look at this other post.

print settings

This helps me keep track of all my settings. Unlike the standard deviation chart, this one is actually quite useful.

color distribution

This is my color distribution chart. It tracks how many times each color appears throughout the book and how much of that color appears on any given page. Usefulness rating: 4 out of 10.

best chart ever

This is quite simply the best, most useful chart I’ve ever created. It shows the front and back of each spread in the book. I constantly use this as I’m printing to make sure I’m printing the correct thing on the back of some other correct thing. It also helps me keep track of which portion of each page I’ve completed via a complicated series of color-coded marks below that page. This book has 3 different colors of text and four different colors for images, so things can get pretty complicated pretty fast. Anyway, I love this chart. After this is all over I’m having it framed. Or maybe bronzed. Or both.

colophon and title page

Text from "The Face" copyright Jack Vance

Well I’ve finally completed my Jack Vance book project. There are still a few left to bind, but most of them are finished.

I’m trying not to rest on my “laurels” though. I’ve started work on my next book project, which will be about astronauts and loneliness.