Big Jump Press

Breathing room + Deadlines = Honest to God Artwork


A long break in teaching since the holidays has given me the breathing room to think and design. The book I am producing with Shift-lab is really moving forward now. I’ve got to ship it to San Francisco before Valentine’s Day so it’s time to get serious. Shift-lab is a collaboration between myself, Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, Macy Chadwick, and Tricia Treacy. We are each making a book of identical dimensions and a partner print with the theme or title of Shift. Since my last post about mockups and design I’ve simplified this project. Instead of thick panels made of board covered with paper, I’ve moved to cards printed on two sides contained in a wrapper double wrapper. See below:


Pencil lines on this mockup indicate my plans for printing.


Slip off the white wrapper to reveal the gray wrapper.


Open the gray wrapper to find the (unfinished) cards within.


The black lines on these cards have already been letterpress printed from polymer plates. Yesterday I ordered plates for color areas inside the lines. The imagery comes directly from dozens of photos of my body moving as if in sleep.


I am currently working on how to encourage a viewer to rearrange and recombine the cards. I’m hoping that color and text cues will help identify points where a card can “lock in” with other cards in many arrangements and orientations.


I want the act of shifting and realigning to be reminiscent  of unsettled sleep and process oriented dreaming. This book and accompanying print will be completed by mid-February in time for an exhibition devoted to this collaboration at the San Francisco Center for Book Arts.




Thanks to those of you who tweeted and participated in the Shift-lab [in_code] project!


On Saturday, January 4 we manipulated the language gathered from your tweets and set them in metal and wood. (As I mentioned in my last post, we collated tweets using the hashtags #printedword, #woodtype, #letterpress, #shiftlab and #CBAA between January 2-4 and used them for a collaborative printed project.)


In Utah at the College Book Art Association (CBAA) conference, Macy, Tricia, Denise and Katie used that language to make 9 limited edition prints:

CBAA 2014.7

CBAA 2014.24

I skyped in from the UK while we discussed our plan and our colo(u)r pallate.

CBAA 2014.5

While the others worked on the prints, I produced covers for booklets that will document this project.


If you missed this and would like to participate and send us some more language, we will be repeating the experiment during the Southern Graphics Council (SGC) conference on the 29th of March. Details to come closer to the date. We will be collating and manipulating tweets between March 26-29th. (This project has been supported by a generous paper donation from Legion Paper and a micro grant from



I’ve resumed my thinking about what I hope will be my next major book project.


I’m doing some tests on drafting film for a book I’m working on with David Allen based on population data. He returns for a visit in March to continue our collaboration.

Kablam kablam kablam! Art art art! Tomorrow I am back to my weekend teaching schedule and the breathing room contracts, invaded by prep time and rushing around on trains. This time has given momentum to my creative work, however, and I am confident that I will keep it moving over the next few months.

On a related note, I’ve uploaded short videos of a few of my books online for various grant applications. If you are interested in viewing them, you can find them here.  In the meantime, I am taking it easy today. I’ve ordered plates that I will use to print on Monday, I am ready to get to London early tomorrow morning, so today I will take off and maybe make some pencil boxes. Over and out.



6 comments on “Breathing room + Deadlines = Honest to God Artwork

  1. St Brigid Press
    January 18, 2014

    Great work, and inspiring. Thanks for letting us see a bit of the behind-the-scenes design process.
    All best,

  2. metalandmettle
    January 30, 2014

    What a wonderful collaborative project! This is fascinating and inspiring.
    Thank you!

  3. metalandmettle
    January 30, 2014

    Oh, and I forgot to mention that I really enjoyed seeing your books on Vimeo. Thanks for the link!

    • Big Jump Press
      January 30, 2014

      Thanks so much! I am glad you liked that link! Hope all is well in Vancouver, and congratulations on your award!

  4. metalandmettle
    January 31, 2014

    Yes, everything is well here on the Wet Coast.
    Thank you Sarah, you are very kind!

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This entry was posted on January 17, 2014 by in Letterpress, Uncategorized, Work in progress and tagged , , , , .
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