Posted on Dec 5, 2013 in Vancouver | 2 comments

New Leaf Editions has launched the fundraising campaign on for the poetry book I am illustrating with copper etchings of urban sketches!

Below is the video from the campaign:

The book

This is a big collaborative project between the printmaker Peter Braune of New Leaf Editions, the poet Christopher Levenson and artist/urban sketcher Sigrid Albert (me) — a 40-page hand-printed, hand-bound book on archival paper containing 18 letterpress-printed poems and 9 copperplate etchings. The book will be hand-bound and the cover will be an embossed, hand-made paper by another local artist and printmaker, Reg Lissel of Heavenly Monkey. It will be a limited edition. The final quantity will depend on the amount of interest generated by the fundraising campaign.

I designed the book too, and helped record and edit the video you see above (you will quickly be able to tell that I am not a professional videographer.)

The poetry

The poems are beautiful, wise, and witty impressions of Vancouver. Christopher Levenson, a highly regarded Canadian poet, moved here 6 years ago with his wife Oonagh from Ottawa, and wrote these poems as he discovered the city. We became friends shortly after their arrival in Vancouver.

If you do nothing else, listen to Chris as he recites “In the Public Libary” from 2:44 to 3:48.

The etchings

Over the last 6 months, I’ve been visiting locations all over Vancouver to create urban sketches for the 9 poems I’ve chosen to illustrate, and then drawing and developing these scenes in great detail on copper plates in a challenging, narrow vertical format of 3.5″ x 11″. The initial sketches on location are very rough; the final drawings are done directly on the copper plate.

This is my very first foray into copper etching, and I have loved every minute of it (OK, with a few frustrations, but one can fix a lot of things in the process). I have learned so much about what goes into printmaking and copper etching. I have explored working on hard ground, soft ground, with aquatints, and drypoint, under Peter’s tutelage.

All etchings are being electro-plated in steel to protect the linework and to allow printing in bright colours, which might otherwise be affected by interacting with the copper.

I will introduce some glimpses into the book and the etching process in the next few posts.

Support traditional print-making and get a hand-printed piece of art

You can visit the campaign here:

• For $25 you get a hand-printed poem.
• For $75 you get a hand-printed broadsheet with a poem and an etching.
• For $150 you get a printmaking session with Peter Braune, to a finished print.
• For $200 you can order the whole book in advance. It’s $300 to buy it later.

Expected completion: March 2014.

I make no money on this, my deal is that I get a certain number of prints. But the printmaker, Peter Braune at New Leaf Editions, is testing out this new way of fundraising to finance the project partly in advance, because it is so much work. The printmaker will be working for days or even weeks, just printing this project.

It’s truly a labour of love.

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