Big Jump Press

Work in Progress: The Fairmont Color Card (full post)

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Many centuries ago, in November of 2019, I made a visit to the Birren Color Collection at the Haas Family Arts Library at Yale University. I spent a few days digging through examples of 19th and 20th century fabric swatches and color cards. This was all research for an artist book project that might somehow connect these beautiful objects to the origins of landfill culture and planned obsolescence. When I returned home, I began making sample books out of my clothes and sheets and matching colors to my walls. I planned to use my domestic space as a framework for the project, using what was around me when at home. Soon after, Covid-19 gave domestic spaces a new significance and I struggled to find a way forward with the project that was not mired in the pandemic. The swatch books hibernated in a drawer for over a year while each of us struggled through a private Covid experience, many of us from home.

And then, as if a switch was thrown, I suddenly found myself interested in the project again.

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There will be two components to this project:

  1. A sample book of fabric swatches taken from my clothes and bedding. These include items such as my work apron, the dress I got married in, a vest I used to wear every day. These are not random items, but clothes that I kept or wore for long periods of time. I matched thread to these samples and to other colors in my home: walls, skin, hair, and eyes.
  2. A series of seven (or more?) editioned collages made from the cloth and thread above. These collages will be paired with text from two sources: 1977-1978 Home Furnishing Color Card, produced by The Color Association of the United States, Inc. and The Wastemakers, by Vance Packard.

I am making an effort to use what I have. For paper: a heavy stack of offcuts given to my by Michael Bixler 15 years ago. For the text I am distributing and setting type from dozens of ziplock bags of loose Bembo that I inherited somewhere along the way. (I owe someone a huge thank you here, but who?)

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What is this project now? It is still related to my original intentions, I think, but is also inevitably tied up in a pandemic year. Its production necessitates activities that I find calming during periods of anxiety: winding thread, cutting cloth, working in the home, thinking about the home. I am committed to finishing it without overthinking it.

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More information on this soon. Thank you Sarah Scarr for your help with this project.

PS does anyone read blogs anymore? I am too boring for Tiktok and have no dance moves. Maybe I’m all alone out here.

21 comments on “Work in Progress: The Fairmont Color Card (full post)

  1. Michael Durgin
    July 1, 2021

    You are not alone. Keep writing!

    • Big Jump Press
      July 1, 2021

      Thanks Michael! When oh when will I see you again! (and I still owe you a print!)

  2. bopadopoulos
    July 1, 2021

    I don’t in fact read blog posts apart from yours, but I do read yours. I hope you are all well and happy or at least content. I’m retired now for a full month,  doing lots of stuff including setting a book. I make lots of mistakes.  Love Chris 

    Sent from Yahoo Mail on Android

  3. Paul Romaniuk
    July 1, 2021

    You are definitely not alone! I religiously read your posts as soon as I’m notified by email. Love your work and your attitude.

    • Paul Romaniuk
      July 1, 2021

      And by attitude – I mean your excellent sense of humor that comes through so clearly in your posts.

    • Big Jump Press
      July 1, 2021

      Thank you Paul! (and I appreciate your generous interpretation of my attitude!) Best wishes,
      Sarah

  4. DerekL
    July 1, 2021

    Also checking in… Blogs are definitely kinda deprecated, but there’s still a dedicated audience.

  5. Kim Snyder
    July 1, 2021

    I read blogs! And I don’t have any of the other things that normal people have. And I appreciate your blog. And your creativity! And I positively love the idea “ I am committed to finishing it without overthinking it.” I will probably print it (on an uninspired laser printer) and hang it on my wall, so I can remind myself what good advice that is, about most everything, every day. Thank you.

  6. Fiona McQuarrie
    July 1, 2021

    I read blogs (and write them) and I’m really interested to see where this project goes!!

  7. Ann Frellsen
    July 1, 2021

    You are so not boring! I always enjoy a glimpse at your thought processes. And ditto what Kim said about not overthinking as a motto. I love that the pandemic allowed us the time and space to realize how important those simple tasks of life and our art are to our mental well-being. Keep on keeping on. I’ll keep reading.

  8. Russell Marrt
    July 1, 2021

    Sounds great, looking forward to seeing the finished piece.

  9. Selene
    July 2, 2021

    Not alone! Another reader here who isn’t on TikTok or IG or FB or even Amazon Prime. I’m always excited to see one of your posts land in my inbox. I enjoy reading about your projects and processes – invariably gives me something to think about. How is it to set Bembo from a bag? How do you find the letters you want and how dinged up are they?

    • Big Jump Press
      July 2, 2021

      hahaha the Bembo. First I distribute it from bag to case, then from case to stick. I was really worried about their condition, and part of my impulse for setting that type for this book was to check on the value of the type and decide whether to continue this monumental task of organizing it. It ranges in size from 24 point (not much of that) all the way down to 8 point. I haven’t been brave enough to diss the 8 point yet. Thanks so much for your message, Selene!

  10. Su Bonfanti
    July 3, 2021

    Still reading here on the other side of the pond! Who has time for TikTok and endless podcasts? Reading is quick and easy and you can go back to it. Keep on keeping on

    • Big Jump Press
      July 3, 2021

      Haha thank you Su! I think of you often and hope you are well!

  11. Cara Schlesinger
    July 4, 2021

    Definitely still reading – – every post! I’ve long admired your unique combination of whimsy, patience, artistry, curiosity, and faith in your own vision, which leads you to produce and communicate consistently thoughtful, thought-provoking, and beautiful work. Please keep on writing!

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This entry was posted on July 1, 2021 by in Bookbinding, Letterpress, Work in progress.

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