Microseasons Collective Book
This project is meant as an introduction to letterpress fundamentals. Inspired by the 72 Japanese microseasons, you will each pick a 5-day time frame during the year and write a haiku based on seasonal shifts or changes taking place at that time. Perhaps these changes take place in a different or even fictitious location, or are based on the effects of climate change, or something that isn’t weather induced—but more personal or metaphorical. You will handset type for your haiku, and illustrate a pressure print background for it in a 5˝x 5˝ square format. We will print everyone’s season all together as a single sheet pamphlet snake book, and everyone will get a copy.
A Little Background on Japanese Microseasons
Leaning heavily on the Chinese almanac, Japan’s poetic year starts with risshun, the ‘birth of spring’ in early February and ends with daikan, or ‘greater cold’ in late January. With a level of precision far beyond anything we can imagine, the sub-seasons between are then divided into three micro-seasons, observing subtle shifts in the natural world with evocative names such as ‘fish emerge from the ice’, ‘wild geese return’ and ‘mist starts to linger’. Encouraging a close observation of the passing months, each ko lasts approximately five days, serving as a poetic, mindful journey through Japan’s ever-changing landscape. (taken from wearejapan.com)
See all of the Japanese microseasons here.
A haiku is a short, unrhymed poem that adheres to a specific three-line, seventeen-syllable (usually 5-7-5) format. Traditionally, a haiku depicts a tiny moment in time and includes a kireji (a “cutting word”) that creates a pause or sense of closure.Traditionally, haiku were often about nature and seasonal changes. Over time, poets began exploring other themes in haiku. In both traditional and modern haiku, it’s common for the poem to focus on a small moment and juxtapose distinct images for dramatic effect.
Traditionally, a haiku meets the following requirements:
What is a Pressure Print?
Pressure printing is a way of creating imagery with a proof, platen or etching press using a low-relief collage placed behind the printing sheet in combination with either a type-high printing surface or a monoprint block. The high relief areas of the collage create more pressure behind the printing paper and grab more ink than the lower relief areas. Areas that are cut out of the collage create ‘white’ areas, or the same color as the paper. As opposed to other relief processes, this technique produces a right-reading image which allows for the use of right-reading materials such as press-on letters.
Pressure Printing Guidelines
See also Pressure Printing under Resources & Techniques
Other Edition Guidelines
3 Conceptual development, 3 Design, 3 Craftsmanship
9.11/ All printing complete, assemble books in class.
Haiku & Pressure Print Examples