een Hand Gebonden Kunstenaarsboek '(The) Fairing(s)', the Artist's-Books Workshop,Vilnius 2009 a hand-bound Artist's-Book / le Livre d'Artist / ein handgebundenes Künstler Buch / Mahler Buch

daylies of

the International Artist's-Books Workshop

'real time' 15 - 10 - 2009

The way from the hotel to the Academy is short but nice.

Somehow my morning starts earlier than the needed 'nine-ish', and there's time to see a growing crowd of students interested in 'what's coming' - their numbers would largely oversubscribe our classes, some 'picking' is to be done. The academy-teachers (sorry 'professors') do us the honnor.

I see the class-rooms, machines and materials, all showing a bit of a lack of love and good care. My good old 'Robel' proofing-press is standing there a bit 'down' if I may say so. This is the press donated by Atelier It Plein 19 and the Book/Work/Research Trust. It was picked up by Kestutis in a week-end - I'm beginning to see the need for such a press here, and I'm beginning to see what 'trip' Kestutis has made to get the poor thing up and down. Now here it is, without the properly working ink-work "as the students would not care to clean inking cylinders" - sadly I'm later to find out that staff does not properly know how to use such machines. OK then, if one cannot work such presses properly it does seem logical not to see a need in teaching students how to go about them, cleaning included. In the hands of an artist a press should be like a pencil or a brush! A press is like a pencil, and a brush, and a cutting knife, and the spoon to print with.
And just as much as one needs to learn to cut a multi-purpose-point on a pencil in order to have it make lines - thicker, and thinner, softer as in grey-ish, and harder as in black-ish - as in a natural flow from the movement of one's hand on the drift of one's thoughts, one should learn to work a press - evenly and un-evenly, with and without extra pressure on one special spot or other. A professional only knows where and what.
If one thing, an artist should not be something of a useless idiot shouting in an unfathomable darkness. An artist should be an professional with all the materials on hand in order to have a mind free to wonder and go about the emotional powers in the actual work of the artist: the thing this professional is adding to his 'best' doing - is to 'create'. The creative power is free from technique only when the technique is easy as 'all in a day's work'.
In all academies, academies around Europe I should add, relief print (and even more editioning relief print) is considered the lowest grade in artistic printing.
As a result of this, new artistic developements in the technique as such, and (and that is worse) in an artistic sense - core business if you like - is scarce; or indeed 'not heard of'. The 'not heard of' is not so much because the individual artists here and there would not care for it, or would not know about it, but because galleries are not interested as prices do not make them happy. Hard-luck! one would think, but hard-luck on galleries hits on many artists, so there you are; even I can see that point - though I have never seen that point being related in any sense with the appreciation for Japanese wood-cut.

'Clean', as earlier mentioned regarding the printing machines, the clean that a paper maker would like to have - and thinks nessessary - seems to be in some other, far away land - nobody seems to think that I'm even serious about that anyway; well I brought, and can find what is basically needed, and hope for the best. "Papermaking is an old whives thing" stands one to one with "Papermaking is a godly-gift to a special tribe in Japan".
Again I see some funny thing regarding 'this Japan thing'; somehow people in Japan have managed to create (and export) a general respect to ageing trades as wood-cut and paper-making. Craftsmen in this trade are considered 'national heritage'. There is an important lesson to be learned from the Japanes approache of such matters: The love one has for, or one can develope from a well-cared-for trade can generally add great value to the trade and the knowledge of the crafts in that trade.

The afternoon goes with finding the right gear in good working order for on-line internet (with sound) and a beamer. God I'm glad I decided on bringing my sheet music for some of my piano pieces, and my music-box, as that solves a great many problems; the approach seems unusual but is welcomed with more enthusiasme than expected. Some explanation about carillons and their traditions brings forth that indeed one professor comes forth with the information of Lithuania having two towns with a proper carillon each. We will visit them in coming time but as the sceduals are tight there is no time for a visit. (Back home Auke de Boer tells me that there is an idea amongst the international carillon-society to have a meeting there in some coming year; would be nice . . .
One of the carillons is in Klaipeda, the other in Kaunas. Wikipedia: Kaunas 35 bell carillon (range from as1 to as4) in the tower of Vytautas the Great War Museum was completed in Belgium in 1935. The bell music from the tower started to ring in 1937. Regular carillon concerts began in 1956. The first carillonists of Kaunas carillon were Lithuanian composers Viktoras Kuprevi?ius and his son Giedrius Kuprevi?ius. Kaunas carillon was restored by a bell foundry Royal Eijsbouts, located in in Asten, Netherlands in 2005-2006. After the restoration, Kaunas carillon has 49 bells and new keyboard. Everyday the Lithuanian melody "Oi, neverk motu??le" is being played automatically in the middle of the day.)
The grand room where the presentation is held is, well to my surprise, generously filled with an eager audience. The place as such is one of the older and certainly finer places in the building, old cloister rooms, that once were part of the outer city-wall. On-line internet is asking a bit much though.
Again I find that when making pages for my internet site - eventhough I do really consider the possible circumstances in other places than the Netherlands - one can never do that simple enough, any extra is most possibly never going to make it to those in the great wide world that you might have made it for in the first place.

Preparations are being made for a trip in the coming three days right through the country and along the Baltic sea. Course I like the idea, but on the other hand, the time for really doing things gets shorter and shorter.


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