It feels like I’ve been working on this new book forever. Par for the course, I guess. FORE took me 10 years to finish. A year after delivering the first two volumes, I’m still waiting on politics to deliver the final volume of BUT THEY DON’T BLINK. WASTE is different, though. It’s a different sort of forever–a forever from another place.
I wanted WASTE to be all about potential energy. It’s a collection of scrap illustrations and studies for sculptural work I’ve done or am presently working on. I forced a ridiculous tale of explosive potential atop a curated set of 12 sketches, xeroxes, stamps and collages. “Not enough,” I thought to myself. “This has gotta be a more outlandish game.” So, I begged for and stole some lumber. I got a cheap, used 10-Ton bottle jack. I got some scrap steel.
Two sleepless weeks after collecting things and 4 or 5 months after pulling the story together, I’ve built my own letterpress on which to print the book. I tracked down scrap canvas in the form of sail-maker scraps, military tarps and painter’s drop-cloth (could still use more of any of this if anybody’s holding…). The canvas all gets laser-cut into specially shaped pages. The story gets pressed on ’em. The pages get grommeted together and a lot of waste delivers on its potential.
I’ve not yet decided on the edition size, but I know it’s being split up 75%-25% between two flavors. One’s gonna be a bit more expensive and use special ink. The other’s plain-jane jet black. That said, the amount of time it seems it’ll take to generate each book means it’s looking like this sadly isn’t going to be an inexpensive edition. Each hand-pressed, 12-page, 11×17, laser-cut, canvas book will likely be between 100-200 dollars. The caveat here is that the book can also be made to “do things.” More on that when I launch the edition in November…
Here are the very first proofs off of the woodblocks for the first two pages. I’ve never used a letterpress before, so I have no idea what I’m doing, but it actually seems to have worked–even on this crappy utrecht newsprint. A bunch of grumpy whiners on printing forums seemed to imply that using anything larger than a 9×12 block in a homemade press won’t work. To the whiners out there–fuck you. It works. Build the press frame out of steel and use a more robust jack along with a platen design that considers pressure application to your target-size block.