Monday, June 17, 2013

Glass Boston and Typesetting

MIT, Cambridge, Mass

I had a great experience at GlassBoston this week at MIT.  It was overwhelming just being at MIT!  I had never been before and didn't expect it to be so vast.  Buildings were interconnected for miles it seems.  I attended several lectures but my two favorite were by MIT professor, Michael J. Cima and artists, Erik & Martin Demaine.

"Shape Matters" was the topic of Cima's presentation and ranged from how 3D printing can assist the glass artist to the architecture of Antoni Gaudi.  He spoke about the inventiveness of artists and scientists alike and how at MIT they describe a good inventor or innovator as someone who collects solutions, gets into the shoes of the user and has infectious enthusiasm.

The work by the father (Martin Demaine) & son (Erik Demaine) team had a more personal connection for me.  Martin is a paper artist/glass blower and Erik is an origami/paper artist & mathematician, and both have extremely scientific minds.  Here is a sample of their work.  Folding glass is near impossible but this is what they are trying to do with their next body of work based on their origami paper folded sculptures.  

Bridge to Cambridge

David Wolfe
On Saturday, I had the great pleasure of taking a day-long workshop with David at his Portland studio.  Wow, is all I can say.  My eyes were open wide as I watched him operate his various typesetting machines and presses.  David's been printing professionally since 1979-see his website here.  I set my sights on designing and printing a simple business card, or so I thought it would be simple!
Learning how to make the lead lines of type

Proofing: adjusting design at every step of the way.

Good eyesight is a MUST with small type.
There is a connection to David's innovative problem solving and the Michael J. Cima lecture at MIT---Innovation.  And the innovation of a good printer is astounding.  I saw David trouble shoot and problem solve dozens of times throughout the day as 5 of us designed business cards, bookplates and letterhead stationery.  The designers of typesetting equipment were innovators and inventors themselves.  Tools that can make almost anything happen.  And David was a wizard at making everything happen! 

I came away with gorgeous square black & white business cards.  I intend to embellish them with some mandala activity in watercolor or colored pencil.  I could see falling in love with the process but have to be careful because I'm in love with too many as it is!

That brings me to the next push in the studio this week.  Some glass boxes for a gallery here in Maine and the beginning designs for a triptych stained glass piece.  There will be some distraction though as I am anticipating the exciting workshop with UK book artist, Paul Johnson on Friday...but more on that next time!

No comments:

Post a Comment