Tag Archives: glue

Wordy Wednesday: Wheat Paste and Posters

Back in the late 90’s I move back to the area of Maine where I grew up. After 4 years of college I felt stifled by small town life. During that time I started publishing my ‘zine “To Avoid Suffocation” and bought my first desktop computer. It opened a world up that just would not have been accessible to me otherwise. While I was in school a friend introduced me to the bulletin board system and the magicial world of listserv. Oh my.

I started designing fliers for feminist and lesbian groups. The fliers were specifically made to be cheaply reproduced in halftone on a photocopier to look spectacularly shitty. Think punk posters drawn with sharpies and graphic ripped off of websites, manipulated in paint and stuck together in the magic of some forgotten lotus program. They were saved as bitmaps and distributed via the listserv, email, and zines everywhere. I must’ve made a good 50 or so designs and put them all out there under a pseudonym. I have a few hard copies of some of the designs and frankly they are terrible. Horrible stuff, but effective in their messaging. Which, is, I suppose the purpose of all posters.

While visiting my ex at her University I would manage to make a hundred copies of the posters, which at regular letter size fit easily into a regular bag. A spaghetti sauce jar of wheat paste and a cheap brush allowed me to quickly and easily slap all hundred copies up in a short period of time, and dispose of the evidence. I pasted them up alone and without my ex’s knowledge. While I waited for her to get out of class I’d flier bomb the restroom of whatever building she was in, the nearest dormitory, or the library. I wasn’t picky but I had a goal of putting up 100+ fliers each time I visited and I did. I realize now that I single handedly caused thousands of dollars in cleanup* effort, I kept the maintenance men very busy for a semester.

I was never caught. My disguise was that I looked like a student and I routinely was carrying some of my Ex’s books about so the look was complete.

I look back and wonder at my fervor at getting my message across. I suppose it’s the same passion that drives me to maintain this blog, though the messages are vastly different the drive is the same. I’ve got thoughts I need to put onto the screen, for whatever reason I do this and I enjoy it.

I should scan in some of the least offensive and terrible posters and put them up. Though, what is the statute of limitations for damage to public property?**

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Book blocks, glue and leather

Whew. In addition to mowing the lawn* I managed to finish that fat stack of 7 hedgehog/ moleskin notebooks I've been sitting on for close to 2 weeks. The elastics and envelopes went in in no time and pressed for a few hours. In that time I glued 6 more blocks into leather covers.

I pulled the finished books out of the press, signed and dated them, stuffed business cards in the pockets and then shot pictures. Edited said pictures and then listed all the items to my artfire shop. It went smoothly and everything looks good.

Thursday I visited my friend in Swampscott and she had been hoarding some paper and advertising posters for me. I walked away with 20 or so posters and about 2 reams of paper. I'll be able to use the guillotine to chop them up into nice matchbook notebooks. The posters are already chopped to size and will be stored until the next time I make a big batch of jotters. I also got some plastic posters that I use for jigs. I set up a jig to make covers with some of the left over scraps as the spine with some great backer board as the cover. I picked up some 30×40 sheets of backer board at the Charette clearance sale in Woburn.So I'm going to try out some new books and stitches. Fun stuff planned.

Tomorrow I'm headed to Western Mass to help a friend set up an ArtFire and an Etsy shop. I"ll spend the afternoon testing out my skillz.

*no small feat considering that it's rained every weekend for the last 3 weeks and I've not been able to mow for that whole time. The grass was halfway to my knees and I"ve got an electric lawn mower… It wasn't pretty.