July 7, 2008

Friends Far and Close


This is a small painting done by Margaret Kilgallen. It's of a bookbinder and I love the way she drew all of the tools on her workbench.

I had the pleasure of working with her and my friend, Dan Flanagan, years ago at the San Francisco Public Library. It seems like a really long time ago, and worlds-away for so many reasons, but I really cherish those memories. We could all just sit and talk/argue about bookbindings, letter-forms and life in general, drawing on the daily inspiration sitting in each of our hands. In our jobs, we all had a common goal (mending and preserving books) yet we all approached this with such different styles. 
I had studied bookbinding first, prior to letterpress printing. My hands/brain understood how to build a book but it was getting the printed-words on to the pages that now piqued my interests. Margaret and Dan had both been accomplished printers prior to being bookbinders, so we were all somehow in the same collective mix. It was at this time that I finally had someone to try and identify typefaces with or guess the period of a book based on design-decisions, binding-styles, etc. (and no cheating/without just looking at the publishing dates). I loved it.

Like many people, we all crossed paths and became friends through/because of our jobs and frankly this was my favorite part of working at SFPL. 

I'm not sure where I'm going with this; I guess I just miss my friends today.

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