Modern Makers Blog - Part 6: Glasgow CCA Visit


Written by Modern Makers participant Emily Tough

View all of this project's blog posts 

Katy and I ventured out to Glasgow to go visit the CCA printing press. A friend, Phil Palios and I are putting together a writers anthology, he booked us into the visit to the CCA for us to explore different options for book binding. I opened up the invitation to the Modern Makers to see if anyone else was interested in seeing how a small book publishing company works.

The Centre of Contemporary Art in Glasgow is a hub for creatives in the evolving arts centre. Hosting exhibitions, discussions, talks, creating a platform for artists and philosophers to realise their projects. One of the ways in which they aid this is by offering a self-publication suit for members to hand build books. This is the bit we were most interested in that day.

Hugh Bryden had given us an excellent introduction into the world of art books and book binding. We are very lucky to have had this introduction from Hugh, who is constantly experimenting and designing new and exciting bounds, folds and forms for his work. He is renowned for his experimental approach to his artwork and it was evident why as he started to show, what felt like hundreds, of different art books. I especially like his clever use of folded paper to create movement.

Following on from this, the CCA printing press was much more traditional in its approach. The room we were taken too was a small sub section of the massive CCA building. Inside, stood several bulky machines and several long shelves full of the books that had been produced there. The room was quite full, what with the 9 people in there. Some of whom I knew; my friend Lois who’s studying jewellery design at The Glasgow Art School, Joe from my writing group whose a big part of the writers anthology, Phil my creative husband, Katy and I, alongside the intern who was holding the induction and a few others who had booked into the session.

The machines were as follows; the printer, a classic business inkjet sort with variable functions. A fold press contraption, which would create the spine in your cover paper. A hot glue press, which would bind your paper together. And a very heavy weight guillotine. All you need really for some decent book binding. These are the basics for the book binding process, and as the intern pointed out, it was up to you to be creative and experiment with the various ways you could use the machines to the effect you wanted.

By going through the induction to the machinery in the press room we are now able to hire out the space, at around £30 for half a day. How many books you make in this time; is of course variable. Depending on how confident you are in your design, how efficient you and concentrated you will be in making, and probably, something that would get much easier with a bit of practice.

The rest if the CCA was closed that day as they were undergoing an exhibition change. So we decided to visit The Gallery of Modern Art, where we saw Hockney’s, Warhols, Shrigley’s and an extensive range of other thought provoking artists. Some of my favourites being a lithograph and screenprints by Eduardo Paolozzi – Blueprint for a new museum 1981. Which consisted of drawings of grand architecture full of bizarre curiosities, a good thought, I thought, about the way we experience museum and gallery spaces.

After this visit we popped into the Glasgow Climbing centre. Katy and I are both interested climbers and it felt so good having some tall walls to climb up.

Written by Modern Makers participant Emily Tough