Storing scrolls in ancient Rome from A History of Reading by Canadian author Alberto Manguel.

March 2002- Issue 11

Welcome to all the new subscribers!

Normally this newsletter comes out closer to the first of the month. Ahem. Well, I just don't know what happened to February. It was a short month, wasn't it? Well, here I am, at last, with kind of exciting news to tell you. I have always liked the idea of rubber stamping and the versatility they present. And I confess I was a rubberaholic in the early 80's. Then I went on a rubber diet. Until now.

I decided that, rather than use other people's designs, it was high time I produced my own. So today I present to you, the first in my selection of rubber stamps.
Click here to check them out!

Alphabet Tag Swap

Those of you that are new to byhand will be unfamiliar with this swap which has just finished.
In a nutshell, I called for adventurous artists to join in a swap where I assigned each person a letter and then had them decorate toe, um, er, shipping tags, appropriately. Each artist sent in 16 tags all the same and received 16 different ones back. Well, we didn't quite get the whole alphabet, so we're going to have to repeat the exercise! (Relax, not yet!) Two tags were shown in last months issue of byhand and there are two more this month. Below you will find Joan Byers tag which is truly different than all the rest. How many of us went to the physical effort that Joan did?? When I asked her for a description of her tag, here is what she wrote...

C - tag was done on a Letterpress - Chandler and Price 10x15 Platen press (scroll down the page when you go to this link!) from 1900. The type is all individual pieces of metal type - for the tag I used all the same point size (36 pt) - to make it easier for the locking up process which is the second step - where you must literaly lock the type pieces into a "chase" using "quoins & keys" and "furniture" as fillers so that the type does not fall out when you put it in the press. For the back side of the tag, I chose type faces or types of lettering which started with the letter C. For the front, I chose majuscule and minuscule letter C's, from various fonts in our collection, as well as dingbats of things starting with the letter C (corners, camel, cherry, clover, candle, cancer/crab, Christmas, coffee). Once the chase is on the press, gauge pins are set on the "tympan paper" (a special paper which is on the "bed" of the press) to mark the exact place where the tags are to be put to receive the impression. The press is then inked and a huge (three feet in diameter) wheel is hand turned to make each impression. The process of "setting the type" was repeated for each side. Once finished, the press is cleaned and the tags are printed!

Thanks for the write-up Joan! You can even see the impression showing through from the other side on the scan. Cool.

The Q tag was done by artist Ginny Porter.

Q-tag - Questioning - a "Q" word. The quail, the egg (in case you didn't get it - "which came first the quail (chicken) or the egg?") were all lino-cuts done using the "safti-cut" lino blocks (so easy to work with). At first, I thought, to make the quail image quick and easy I would find a picture of one, get it multi-printed in appropriate size, cut-out and stick-on (mini collage). Ultimately with time running out it was easier to cut my own. The quail and egg images are printed using a water soluble printers ink (black), nice easy clean-up. The quilt pattern done in fours or quartos was printed using ink pads (stamp art), the squares, two, again were cut from safeti-cut. Wire curly-q at top of tag to reflect quail. Gloss finish is Krylon gloss spray used to seal work and give it bright reflective look.

P.S. And I have it from a good source that the blue Q and border were done with gouache.

Don't Forget!

will run September 13-15, 2002, in Richmond, B.C., featuring artists like Nina Bagley, Karen Michel, Claudine Hellmuth and Mary Jo McGraw just to name a few. Registration is continuing.
For more information about ARTwerx, click on the logo above to go to the website.


Welcome to issue 11 of byhand! If you wish to check back issues of byhand click here.

If you wish to contact me, my email address is:

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Please feel free to browse through my website Quietfire Design. There is now a link from my website to this newsletter, but I suggest that you bookmark the index page of this newsletter, so you can return here at any time.

I have added a printable general supply list for bookbinding classes to my website.
Click here to see it!

(The back click will take you to the Classes page!- sorry - use your browser back to return here)

Books to Inspire

I have known for some time that creating lists is a common prompt for writing in your journal. We're not talking about "what I have to do today" lists!
Lists are rather fun - I use them as "snapshots in time". For instance one of the prompts I use in my Artist's Journal class involves listing everything in your purse or wallet. Five years from now, that could be very different - I know five years ago I might have been carrying diapers. (Just let me say that I'm glad we're out of that stage.....).

My friend Cathie, who belongs to a group of Goddesses (she *would*!), passed me some information about a book of lists another Goddess had come across. Well, I can never pass up an excuse to purchase a book.... So, I gave my husband permission (!) to leave early on a business trip to Portland OR, with a list of books I needed from the famous Powell's Books. (The scary part is that he bought them all....). One of the books he bought was List Yourself - Listmaking as the Way to Self-Discovery by Ilene Segalove and Paul Bob Velick.

The authors, by choosing pointed topics, simply have you make lists, and without aid of a guru or therapist, help you discover your personal fears, secrets and desires. In the authors' words; "List Your Self headings provide triggers, topical suggestions to take you on your pilgrimage and keep you company....It draws out things you never knew were there...This is simply a wild and probing ride through your personal history. Listmaking turns on the juices. Your memory will start to dance...."

There are about 280 pages, each with headings at the top and blank lines for you to fill in below. Some of the headings are as follows.

List the things you must do before you die.

List the food that's always left in your refrigerator after everything else is eaten.

List the times you've said yes when you wish you'd said no.

List the fantastic pranks you've successfully pulled off.

My husband phoned me after he'd been to Powell's and said he wasn't sure he should have bought this book... It seems he had bought a more or less blank book!
After seeing it, I think it's a keeper!

Studio Tips

In a class on Saturday, one student wanted to use a button with a shank on the back to decorate her book, but didn't know how to deal with this big bulge. In my experience these are easily (usually!) removed with a pair of endcutters. Most contemporary buttons are plastic, even if they don't look it! I also have a pair of cutters that my Dad would call sidecutters which work almost as well. And they don't have to be large and expensive! Don't forget to protect your eyes, the little bits fly when they come off!
It makes it a whole lot easier to glue those buttons on without the shank!

(Thanks to, ahem, Lee Valley for this picture!)

I'd be delighted to receive your favourite tips for inclusion here - we can all learn from them and probably save someone - like me - frustrations!

Gentle Thoughts

This piece was done with a Mitchell's Roundhand nib and Higgins Eternal Ink. I lettered it a number of years ago before I was really familiar with the Foundational Hand. The spacing in places is nasty.... Sorry. I originally saw the quote in Fred Salmon's studio and loved it. (The piece was done by Valerie Elliott in the early 80's I think -in Neuland - which means something to you if you're a calligrapher!)
In preparation for telling you about the new Foundational class I am teaching this year, let me acquaint (or re-acquaint) you with the origins of this hand.

The Foundational hand is sometimes referred to as Roman Minuscule, Humanist Minuscule or English Caroline Minuscule. It is a bookhand, so legibility is important. We have a gentleman named Edward Johnston to thank for it. Johnston lived at the end of the Arts and Crafts movement of the 1800's and developed a passion for lettering. Living in Britain, he had easy access to many ancient manuscripts and studied them carefully. He was introduced to the Ramsey Psalter (Harley 2904) which was written in the south of Britain, probably Winchester, in the 10th Century. Johnston, thinking this to be an excellent hand, pared away some of the archaic traits to modernize and use it as a beginning hand for students. His book Writing & Illuminating & Lettering, published in 1906, is still available, but you will find little of his Foundational there, as that hand was not fully developed until about 1919. Another of Johnston's successes is the typeface he designed for the London Underground which is still in use today.

The characteristics of this hand are: 35 degree pen angle, 4- 4.5 pen widths body height and vertical strokes, with emphasis on roundness ("Think Round!" is our mantra during Focus on Foundational classes!). In Vancouver, in June, I will be teaching Adding Funk to Your Foundational in which we will stray from the traditional and - well, stay tuned - I'll tell you more next month!

"Beware of practising with a fine nib, which tends to the substitution of prettiness for character."
Edward Johnston

Teaching Schedule
Winter and Spring

To get more details go to my website Calendar of Events page. Use the back button on your browser to return here.

Mar 9  Burnaby  Artistís Journal in a Day  Burnaby Comm. Ed.
Mar 10 Surrey Coptic Stitched Journal Private Class - full

April 6  Victoria  Artistís Journal in a Day  Fairbank Callig Soc   - full
April 7 Victoria Over and Under the Covers The PaperWorks    Gallery - full

April 13  Courtenay  Instant Letters  North Island College

April 20 Victoria Instant Letters Shoreline Community School
April 21 Victoria Over and Under the Covers The PaperWorks    Gallery - full

May 4  Port Alberni Spring Craft Fair  P.A. Athletic Hall

May 11,12  Calgary  Artistís Journal in a Day  Bow Valley    Calligraphy Guild
May 13 Calgary   Coptic Stitched Journal   Bow Valley    Calligraphy Guild

May 25  Kelowna  Focus on Foundational  Kelowna    Calligraphers Guild
May 26  Kelowna  Artistís Journal in a Day  Kelowna     Calligraphers Guild

June 1  Vancouver Adding Funk to Your Foundational*
   Westcoast Calligraphy Society
June 2  Vancouver Artistís Journal in a Day    Westcoast Calligraphy Society

*I'll have more information about this class next month!

For those of you who have taken the Coptic Stitched Class, you may still acquire waxed linen thread from me. It is $0.50/yard Cdn ($0.30/yard U.S. funds plus $2 for postage).
If you send me a SASE* with your cheque (made out to me Suzanne Cannon) that makes life a lot easier for both of us! Please email me before to check for availability. Thanks!

Here is a list of the colours I currently have in stock:

walnut brown black
olive drab maroon
dark forest green rust
Victorian rose plum
navy blue sage

It takes two yards of thread to complete the book as we made it.

*Quietfire Design, Box 1231, Port Alberni, B.C. V9Y 7M1 Canada

If there is any information you would like to see in this newsletter, let me know. Each month I will email you to let you know the new issue is published. If you know someone who would like to receive notice of byhand, just have them email me and I will put them on the list. Bye for now and thanks for visiting!
(250) 723-0321 Quietfire Design

I have put together some sewing cradles for sale as some of you have been asking for them. They are not things of great beauty, but really, really handy for when you have a lot of holes to pierce. They are large enough for an 8.5" spine length and are $20Cdn (or $15US -new price!- to the States) shipping included. Email me if you can't live without one! I will try to bring these to classes so you can see them in person!

Here is my nasty little illustration of one!

The original title lettering of byhand was done with a Mitchell's Roundhand Nib, size 0, and Higgins Eternal Ink.


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© 2002 Suzanne Cannon
It is for the personal use of the subscriber and may not be reproduced without written permission from Suzanne. You are welcome to email or print it in it's entirety to share with friends, but ask that you include this copyright. Thank you for your help and your understanding.