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Week #16
This work was done by Ann Rabinovitz in New Orleans in 1990 for the session “Foundational” in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
Apparently age is catching up with me, as this time around attending Reggie’s Year Long class, I kept coming up short on ideas and of course eventually short on time. In reviewing past projects that I had done in his previous classes, I dug out my gimel book and was surprised to see how well it had held up and the lettering looked ok, as did the layout, so I decided to bring it to the class that dealt with making books. (If you get through the video, you will see the date on the colophon page.)

I remembered doing extensive layout of the pages of the book before actually doing the final version and after looking in several places, I found my original layouts done on the back of some old flyers that I had never thrown away. Despite knowing that one should always practice on good paper, I was amazed to see how almost finished my original ideas for the book were, being done on just plain copy paper. I had even done the washed-out water color areas.

I recalled checking other resources for maybe a more intensive meaning of the Hebrew letter “gimmel” and the words “gimulat Hasidim”. All Hebrew letters have a name and usually a meaning and some actually also have a numerical number. But there didn’t seem to be any other interpretation or meaning than what Reggie had given us, so I then concentrated on making different gimels and how to use them in the layout. I loved the open stylized letters that I used in the title page and I have no idea how I came up with the idea of making the “i” in gimel, a “gimel”.

Then I made one gimel and copied it over and over again to make the gimels on the wave page.
In my original layouts, I kept using regular solid gimels and then realized that I needed to isolate one gimel as the one soul and so kept repeating the open gimel letter from the title page somewhere once on each page. And at some point, I think I finally made a rubber stamp gimel for the last page, as it was too time consuming to keep drawing the gimels.

I also did a lot of research on decorated letters and page borders. However, I decided to only put a border on the middle pages, as they were the only pages with just text and needed something to tie them together and be a little more interesting to read, which is why the border design looks inward. It was quite difficult to make the border design come out even with the corner motif, it took a lot of precise measuring. Then I did all the lines carefully with a ruling pen. The Hebrew letters were done with a left handed cut mitchell nib and all the lettering was done with stick ink. The front and back cover pages are a folded over Japanese paper. The cover itself was a leftover piece of fabric that I had and the gimel on the cover is a piece of cut out mat board that I glued on before stretching the material over it. The inside book pages were done on a printmaking paper called “incisioni”. It is a very soft pinkish cream colored paper and nice to work on.

I am very honored to have Reggie choose it for a pic-of-the week and so glad that I included all that information in the colophon. I didn’t realize what a great way it is to record useful and important information.

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You can enjoy all the Pics of the Week from 2009 through 2018,
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