The Work Gets Ugly

Katie Baldwin

I don't want things to simply be beautiful, but I do strive to have beauty in my work.


The tools and materials I use in book arts and printmaking are in themselves lovely things. 

 Wood, paper, ink = beautiful. 

Awls, bonefolders, type, printing presses = beautiful.


For me, artist books are monumental projects. 

They are complicated, time consuming, and challenging.


The craft involved often brings me to my knees. Days upon days of printing, the deeper I get into the project, the more I am terrified I will make a mistake, losing the hours of work completed the previous day. Concentrating on registration, creative decisions, imposition, type-o's is exhausting. Sometimes the work gets ugly. Initial lists are re-written with sub-lists. Printed textures aren't working and I decide I need a third layer. 8 PM becomes 1 AM. 850 impressions later and I still need to print the colophon. My hands are cracked and dry. I have not a coherent thought in my head, and then I start to bind 20 books. I am working towards the completion of 1825-1862-1918 (Shift) for an exhibition at the San Francisco Center for the Book during Southern Graphics Council Conference. In it's final state it will be a finely crafted object of beauty. However, my studio is not: 

06_chaos type.JPG



A switch from coffee to tea, perhaps not a good idea.



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