Sunday, April 03, 2011

wot i dun lately

I've been a bit busy. I really, really miss having a decent camera, and I haven't really made enough money to warrant buying a new one. Want to help me buy a new camera? Visit the Duckshop! Sigh.

Anyway, what follows is from my iPhone camera. It doesn't have a flash.


Breathing, on the front step late one afternoon, sucking back a cold one with a mate. Cockies flew raucously overhead. Good times.


Watching and listening as legend Professor Jack Golson talked up legend Professor John Mulvaney at the launch of Prof Mulvaney's new book of memoirs. I used to be Prof M's secretary, and am very proud to be excellent friends with him and his lovely wife, Liz. It was a launch stuffed to the gills with interesting people, and the stoopid Coop Bookshop only brought one box of books along, which sold out within minutes. Prof rang them the next day, enraged, and demanded that anyone who requested one in the next couple of days got them at the Launch discount price ($10 off). I went in to order one and lo! they did so. Heh.


I've been working on a catalogue design for Thomas Middlemost of the Charles Sturt University Wagga art collection, for a print folio exhibition called Fair & Square. Due to all sorts of printing house bumbles, the printing & binding was completed on the morning of the opening, so I had to spend Friday morning sticking on enough of the custom-printed letterpress ampersand stickers to get through the opening & initial mailout, then I picked up the boys and we personally delivered the catalogues to Wagga CSU (we were going to the opening anyway, but hadn't planned to be couriering the boxes!)


There were 14 different ampersands used for the stickers, so choosing a copy was a bit like a personality test, great fun at the opening itself.


All the boxes in the boot of my car. And that's the last photo of the event that I took! I forgot to get my camera out the rest of the evening... It was a Rona Green-organised print folio involving at least 30 printmakers, with some of them at the opening, and then a lovely dinner at a restaurant called Magpie Nest. Rona gave us all badges at the opening, so we felt like a real gang.

wagga gallery redux

Next day I visited the Wagga Regional Gallery where I saw the excellent Recycled Books travelling exhibition (not to be missed! Probably coming to a regional gallery near you) and then was shown the aftermath of their flood damage. They have to replace the floor of the entire main gallery... ay ay ay!


And then we did some op and antique shopping. Bumblebee found a dinner suit that fitted, I found a few old books and tins, and Best Beloved bought a vintage apple peeler and corer.

We only stayed the one night. Apart from the few days I spent being born there, that's the longest time I've ever spent in Wagga. It's a nice town. It has almost as many roundabouts as Canberra!




Today, Bumblebee and I learned how to make rice balls, thanks to this post. We fell in love with them in NZ, and you can't get them at Canberra sushi shops. They are such handy lunches.


At the same time, the cats helped BB with the washing.

I went to the studio and caught up with a printing fellow I met in Dunedin, John Holmes of the Frayed Frisket Press (in town for a medical conference), and then played with the wonderful wood type that I asked printmaker Ros Atkins to engrave for me:

RA wood


Apologies for the quality of those last shots. I really miss the macro bit of my camera.

I also rearranged some of my type from large loose cheap typecases to nice condensed cases within cabinets, in a desperate bid to declutter:

24pt Tudor (old case)

24pt Tudor (new case)

Tomorrow I'm teaching my book class how to make a hardback sketchbook in one four-hour class. Normally it's a tight but do-able class, but I've got a very large class, with a few dreamers, so wish me luck...


The Elephant's Child said...

You have been super busy. Looks like the cats have settled in really well too. Good luck with the class.

ronnie said...

who's a busy duckie?

nice to see familiar names ... of mutually familiar places and peeps (small world wot?)

and I think you should pass around the hat in that very large class - shake the little buggers down as they leave (that'll keep the dreamers on track) - I think we all deserve a macro shot of that deeelitefully engraved wood type - so shake 'em till you get results!

birdmonkey said...

I went to Wagga recently on a road trip back from Canberra- I was also mightily impressed with this country town- especially that the hotel had wireless.

maybe see you this week at school?

Carol said...

Lovely post touching on so many subjects. Rice balls - yum! And your engraved wood type is really, really beautiful.

Cat Drawings said...

Really lovely post, Duckie. Great to hear you're getting lots done.

Alexia said...

Beautiful cabinets for your type; I crave one of these. Cool post :)

Zarquon said...

Oh wow. Where may I get a copy of Prof. Mulvaney's book? There's a legend in my family that he was friends with my (late) Dad at Melbourne Uni in the 40's.

Anonymous said...

Oh my that hand cut wood type is a divine thing!!

Thanks for sharing!

Sara Bowen said...

Cool stuff - I like Wagga too. Didn't realise the gallery was so badly damaged... we were only there in November! Anyway, I feel the photo of Bumblebee requires me to say, "goodness me, hasn't he grown!" and "He's got his mother's eyes!" He's allowed to hate me for saying so.

Ampersand Duck said...

Zarquon: It's called 'Digging the Past' and should be readily available in most bookshops, except the ANU Co-op, where they keep selling out :)

Sara: he's such a big Harry Potter fan that saying 'you have your mother's eyes' is the one thing that doesn't make him squirm, so you did good.

Ta, everyone else. Lots to do, lots to be done.

Anonymous said...

I loved the engraved wood letters, so much I had to comment. And now I see I'm not the only one.

Mummy/Crit said...

Look at that lovely boy you made (and all those ampersands too.

JahTeh said...

Duck, I found the perfect housewarming gift for Bumblebee, a light sabre toilet roll holder.

It's here, and she keeps the spare light sabres in the broom cupboard.

Ampersand Duck said...


And utterly do-able without spending money in this house-of-many-lightsabres.

Brasil said...

Sure you have a lot of household things to do for a day..