Category Archives: Jenna Rodriguez

Abandoned Greenhouse Transformed into a Paper-Making Studio

Last summer/fall I had a wonderful opportunity to transform an abandoned greenhouse attached to the Wells College Book Arts Center into a functional paper-making studio. The space was calling my name the second I arrived on campus 2 years ago. I slowly began to collect material, receive donations, and build equipment. As last spring semester was coming to an end I received a grant from the Edward Family Foundation to complete the entire transformation. The timing could not have been more perfect. I had simultaneously received approval from the curriculum committee that my Intro. to Paper-making Class proposal was approved for the Fall semester. This allowed me to work on summer in order to get the space prepared for the students. Please enjoy the gallery of photos to see the transformation and the projects that took place during the Fall semester.

 

 

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

New State, New Home, New Job, & New Adventures!!

It has been far too long since the last time I wrote a post. The past couple months have been a little hectic! I am very honored to be the 8th Victor Hammer Fellow at the Book Arts Center at Wells College in Aurora, NY. A few weeks ago I said goodbye to Chicago. I packed my bags, my car, and my art to start a new adventure in New York State. It was a great little road trip. My mother and nephews did the drive with me and we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls and Western New York Book Arts Center in Buffalo.

Fast forward to this week. I am quickly adjusting to the slow pace lifestyle and the nature I am surrounded by. Lake Cayuga and all the towns surrounded are absolutely beautiful. Around every corner there are waterfalls, farms, produce stands, vineyards, hills, woods, wildlife, and much more (well kind of). Haha

This semester I am teaching bookbinding. I am excited to be back in the studio and hopefully start producing new work.

Here is a little information about Victor Hammer. I pulled the text from the Wells Book Arts Website.  http://www.wells.edu/academics/programs/book-arts/history.aspx

“Victor Hammer, an Austrian fleeing the Nazi regime, arrived at Wells in 1939 to teach painting, but it did not take long for him to start teaching printing. An accomplished painter, calligrapher, type designer and printer, Hammer used his many talents to produce enduring works of beauty and intelligence.”

“Victor Hammer, an internationally renowned figure in 20th-century graphic arts, founded the Wells College Press in 1941. His respected position among the leading typographers, printers, and artists of his time is due not only to his publications, drawings, and paintings, but to the type he designed, cut, and cast. During the years Hammer taught at Wells College, students entered the world of publishing under his tutelage. The Long Library Archive has copies of many publications Hammer created in the 1940s, as well as copies of his students’ works. Victor Hammer operated the Wells College Press until his retirement in 1948.”

“Hammer created his most well-known and beautiful typeface while at Wells, the famous American Uncial. Designed in the early 1940’s, the type embodied thirty years of scholarly research and technical practice. Hammer’s uncial was not (and was not meant to be) a true copy of historic forms, but instead a dynamic hybrid of roman and blackletter, suited to the requirements of modern literature.”

Here are some pictures of the Book Arts Center

Tagged ,

Download “Extinct” My Single-Sheet Artist Book!!!!

Download “Extinct” My Single-Sheet Artist Book!!!!

Click on the link above to learn more about the show and download all three artists books.

A few months ago Otis College of Art and Design commissioned me to do a single-sheet Artists Book for the exhibition Binding Desire: Unfolding Artists Books. The only restriction was size (8.5 x 11in) so it could be printed from any computer.  The book is now available for download and it includes folding directions. There are two other book artists, Hazel Mandujano and Bonnie Thompson Norman, who participated as well.

“Extinct,” is about the evolution of communication and how face to face interaction is becoming extinct. It is a texting conversation I had with my father. He is trying to adjust to technology and learn/create his own texting abbreviations. It is hilarious and sad because the spoken word is fading. I created the images in the book with pressure printing on a Vandercook and the text is hand lettering.

If you are in the Los Angeles area you should check out the show. The exhibition is up till March 30th. If you are not able to visit the gallery download the artist books.

Here are details about the exhibition: “Binding Desire: Unfolding Artists Books is a group exhibition featuring approximately 120 works from Otis Millard Sheets Library’s Special Collection of 2,100 artists books dating from the 1960s to the present.” (from the Ben Maltz Gallery Website)

Here are some pic of my book…

Tagged , , , , , , ,

CBAA Conference in Salt Lake

This post is a few weeks overdue. I had the honor of attending the College Book Art Association (CBAA) Conference. The conference took place January 2nd-4th. It was a wonderful way to start off the year. There are a few reasons I was able to be a part of this conference. I received a travel grant to get there, I presented my thesis project, and I volunteered to waive my registration fees. I also had one of my books in the Members Exhibition and participated in the folded form exchange.  Through all of my involvement I was fortunate to meet and engage with amazing educators, Book Artists, and Letterpress Printers. It is always wonderful to leave these conferences with inspiration and the juices flowing for my next project.  The University of Utah has an amazing facility for their Book Arts Program. I have never seen anything like it. It is located in their library. When you arrive on the 4th floor you are in front of a glass wall. Behind this glass wall is everything letterpress! Their printshop is on display like a working museum. This is wonderful because all students on campus can see printing in action and it may entice them to take classes. Most letterpress shops are hidden in the basement and no one knows they exist.

There was so much going on at this conference. They had a vendor fair all days where Jim Croft selling his gorgeous bonefolders. There was a book created onsite in 24hrs. The edition size was 250. Particpatants from the conference were able to contribute to it by bringing an item from their studio that could be scanned in. I assisted in the final production of the book (folding, Stapling, and trimming).Here is a picture of the final books. Everyone at the conference received a copy.

IMG_2781

IMG_2787

There was also another ongoing project happening throughout the conference called [in code]. A group of artists go by the name Shift-lab developed this collaborative project. Here are details about the project from their website http://www.shift-lab.org  [in code] is a social media inspired collaborative project by shift.

1. #tweet #retweet #text between January 2-4, 2014 [cbaa] or March 27-29, 2014 [sgc]
2. Use the hashtags #printedword #woodtype #letterpress #shiftlab #cbaa #sgc
3. Watch your tweets become part of a collaborative print project. 

The picture to the right is one of many prints they produced.

Here are pictures of the shop and the exhibitions…

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Students at work…

This was my last week of teaching intro to letterpress at Spudnik Press. I loved teaching in an art community environment. It is very different from teaching at a college. It definitely took a little time to adjust and realize there are no grades. These artists are here because they want to learn. What a fabulous experience. I can’t wait to teach my other classes in the near future! The next session of classes will begin January 11th. If you are interested in learning how to letterpress print you should enroll into my class there is still space. If you already know how to print but want to learn the process of polymer plate making then you can take my class in March. If you have any interest or questions please feel free to contact me or Spudnik Press. Here are some pictures of my last class hard at work. Thank you Angelika Piwowarcyk for taking beautiful pictures during class.

Tagged , , ,

Work in Fort Worth, Texas!!

In or near Forth Worth, Texas? Go to WOCA gallery to see “Running Thoughts” a multimedia piece I created for my thesis. It is part of a group exhibition called “A Seat At The Table on display till January 17th.

“A Seat At The Table: An Exploration Through Artists’ Books is a conceptually-driven, juried exhibition of artists’ books, which gives voice to concepts, ideas, behaviors, beliefs, and experiences that relate or speak to everyday social life. The artists’ books in this exhibition open dialogue about the human experience through multiple interpretations of the artists’ book medium, including traditional book-binded forms and works that use books as a reference or metaphor to create other conceptual forms. ”

A Seat At the Table

Tagged , , , ,

First sale in my Etsy Shop!

I have been working on building an Etsy shop for the past month. I am still working on adding more of my artwork to the shop but right now I have bracelets and prints. Please visit the site, tell your friends about it and maybe even make some purchases! The holidays are around the corner and I have lots of holiday cards for sale. Bracelets also might be a lovely gift for someone special. Everything in my shop is designed and handmade by me! Check out my etsy shop JennaMrodriguez

First Etsy Sale bundled up and ready to be shipped!!!!

First easy sale!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

The End Is Here!!!!!

This weekend I will be walking and officially receive my MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts. It was a long and fast three years. (if that makes sense)  Looking back I feel the time has flown by but during these three years I remember feeling the end of the tunnel was soooo far away. Now I am trying to figure out the question everyone in the past couple months has been asking me… “What is next?” As of now I am hoping and praying for a job in the near future!!! The search mission is beginning. I currently have THREE part-time jobs (I produce the Journal of Artists Books (JAB), teach art at two public schools in Chicago, and the not so fun job of waiting tables). My goal is to find ONE full time job. Oh how lovely that would be. Well that is it for now. Enjoy some pics from my thesis show!

Tagged , , , , , , ,

Lessons I’ve Learned From Rap Songs

If in Chicago stop by 1104 South Wabash. Adjunct Professor Claire Sammons and I have our undergraduate student’s work on display on the first floor.  Last semester both undergraduate intro to letterpress classes collaborated for a wood type project.  As a group they voted on the theme Lessons I’ve Learned From Rap Songs.  Here are some images of the work.


Tagged ,

Teaching Undergraduate Letterpress

This semester was my first time teaching undergraduate students!  Since I can remember this has be one of my top professional goals!  It is soooo satisfying to see my goals come to life.  It was also as satisfying as I thought it would be to teach the undergraduate intro letterpress class.  I have had such a wonderful time with my students and as they were learning from me all semester little do they know I was learning from them. I hope there is a lot more of me teaching in the near future!! I loveeee being able to share the art I love sooo much to people in the world!

So another colleague and I put together a display case of all six undergraduate classes from the Center of Book and Paper at Columbia College.  We off three different classes for undergraduates: 2 Intro to Letterpress, 2 Bookbinding, & 2 Papermaking.  If you are in the Chicago area come down to 1104 S. Wabash and on the 2nd floor you will find the display cases or check these pics out!