Big Jump Press ~ England
(Sarah Bryant)

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Sarah Bryant: "Big Jump Press is the imprint of Sarah Bryant. Under this name, I produce letterpress printed artists’ books, prints, broadsides, and hand-bound books. I started Big Jump in 2005 in Tuscaloosa, Alabama while an MFA student at the University of Alabama."

By Sarah Bryant
Brighton, United Kingdom: Big Jump Press, 2012. Edition of 75.

4.25 x 7.25"; 28 pages. Drum leaf in slipcase. Letterpress printed on Zerkall paper. Type is Adobe Garamond. Edition of 75: 10 deluxe; 65 standard.

Deluxe : Numbered 1-10 (Out of Print). Housed in clamshell box with one of the ten objects featured within the text. Each box is constructed to accommodate a different object; therefore, the ten copies of the deluxe edition will be slightly different depths. Ten prints are housed in a paper wrapper alongside the book.

Standard: Numbered 11-75. Bound in cloth boards with paper inset on front board. Slipcased. Cloth covered sides with paper top and bottom edges.

Sarah Bryant: "Fond is an investigation of memory and archive as manifested by the small, valueless objects that individuals collect and preserve. These objects, casually assembled over the course of years, serve as an information retrieval system and an emotional bank. A fond is a collection of documents organically accumulated by a person or institution. Using halftone photographs, color silhouettes, and a winding rope of text, I constructed a history of several objects.

"I produced Fond over the course of 2011-2012 while I moved from Upstate New York to Alabama and finally to the United Kingdom."
Deluxe, out of print
Standard $375

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Point of View
By Sarah Bryant
Gordo, Alabama: Big Jump Press, 2008. Edition of 100.

5 x 7"; gatefold structure. Letterpress printed from polymer plates and Perpetua metal type on Arches Text and Wyndstone Vellum. [N.B. The colophon says the transparent material is Chartham Natural Clear, but this is wrong. Bryant's Creative Thesis cites many problems with Wyndstone Vellum: "I apparently hated this material to such a degree that I didn't even want it in my colophon, accidentally citing a paper I had used in some earlier mockups as the transparent material for the book."]. Endsheets: Fabriano Ingres. Casebound: German flatback case with 6mm joint. Cloth bound, blind stamped.

Sarah Bryant: "An exploration of one moment and location, one position in space and time. This book was designed, printed and bound over the course of two years....If all goes according to plan, this book should satisfy my thesis requirements for the MFA in Book Arts from The University of Alabama."

"Objectives: When I embarked on this project in the spring of 2007, I started with a series of simple guidelines. I wanted to incorporate the structural device of the dissection plate into a book that dealt with a person's relationship to their immediate, everyday environment. I wanted to create a book with a relatively simple binding in a significantly larger edition than my other books, printed in editions of 45. I wanted to work primarily with imagery, using text sparingly.

"Design: ... I hit upon the gate fold as an ideal structure for the book. The gate fold allows for the simultaneous dissection of the recto and verso pages. It was the simplest structural solution to the problems inherent in creating a series of dissected spreads. As in my other books, the structure and content of this project are linked: one cannot be developed without the other....

[Questions as to how to use the structure led the artist to these conclusions]
"[1] The theme of the book would be our perception of the relationships of the groups of people that surround us.
[2] These groups would be the subjects of the dissections.
[3] The book would focus on one moment and position in space. Four spreads would function as views from a central point, as if the viewer were standing in one place and turning 360 degrees, 90 degrees at a time.
[4] The translucent layers would include diagrammatical imagery, color, and text.

"Initially, I believed that these groups of people should be environmentless, simple halftone figures floating in a white space. ... [but I] realized that those that included an environment were much more interesting. The surroundings of these people were critical to the book, helping both to establish a position in time and space, and to reinforce that these spreads were connected in some way....

"... the back sides of the gate folds ... presented a challenge. Somehow, this space needed to introduce each spread and use a system which unified the book.... I decided to use a map, complete with dots to indicate locations of people. I used red to highlight the groupings which would immediately follow each map. The central point, which represents the observer whose perceptions the book explores, is gray throughout all of these maps, save the collection of dots on the title page, where it is red....

"Determining the text: ... I decided on a combination of two text systems. First I inserted a small amount of text that indicated direct (printed in black) and overheard (printed in gray) dialogue. It is my hope that using dialogue places this book in a moment and an environment, and helps to set up the idea of being aware, sometimes inadvertently, of the immediate environment; of being an observer and eavesdropper. The second system, punctuation, gives an abstract indication of the relationships between the groups of people in the book. I used ampersands, ellipses, brackets and asterisks: punctuation whose basic function is to indicate that something is missing or anticipated. Brackets include and exclude. Asterisks highlight something unusual or important, and ask you to seek an explanation elsewhere. It is my hope that the punctuation sets up a system of classification that highlights themes of inclusion and isolation."

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Big Jump Press Out of Print Titles:
• Index

By Sarah Bryant
Aurora, New York: Big Jump Press, 2010. Edition of 75.

5.5 x 8.75 x .75"; 26 pages. Twelve spreads (including title, colophon, and an unfolding spread near the center). Letterpress printed on Zerkall Book Vellum. Quarter bound as a hard cover drumleaf with one unfolding spread near the center. Housed in a clamshell box.

Sarah Bryant: "The book is an exploration of the chemical elements in the human body and the roles they play elsewhere in the world. Each spread is a diagram describing the elements as they exist on the periodic table, the earth's crust, a variety of man-made weapons, medicines and tools, sea water, etc. Each element is identified as a specific colored rectangle and these rectangles continue through the diagrams. These diagrams sometimes are difficult to decode, and toward the end are interrupted by blind stamped organic shapes and pressure printing."

Diagrams: You are what you are made of
                   You are part of something larger than yourself
                   You are what you stand on
                   You are what you make
                   You are what is similar to you
                   You are where you came from

As with many titles from Big Jump Press, the printing and design are meticulous and exquisite, the content is poetic, and the result mesmerizing. (Winner of the 2011 MCBA Prize)

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By Sarah Bryant
Gordo, Alabama: Big Jump Press, 2007. Edition of 45.

5.25 x 8.25 x .75"; 14 pages. Printed on mylar, Rives BFK, and Hahnemuhle Copperplate. Text set in Century Schoolbook and printed from polymer plates. Bound in cloth-covered boards and housed in a cloth-covered slipcase.

A puzzling book, so meticulously crafted that it carries the sense that something important is happening; however, what that something is is not obvious.

Designed to suggest a dictionary (each page seems to have a finger index tab), but with a single image and corresponding word-plus-definitions per page. The top portion of each page has an image, a slice or cross-section of an object, outlined in black on mylar. The pages are of double thickness and in between the sheet is a removable card that gives the image color. Beneath each object is very dictionary-like text: pronunciation key and list of definitions. But some of the definitions don't fit: the brain as "the lair of a burrowing animal"? Adjacent to the definitions is lightly printed reversed text that turns out to be the definitions of the work on the backing page.

The words: shell, trunk, brain, influenza, earth, bulb, egg, tide, apple, atom. Like a list you give to creative writing students: make a story.

Correspondences? Resemblance? Wittgenstein's fuzzy categories? How format suggests genre and genre guides – or determines – our expectations and thus our thinking?

This work plays with our need to make sense of things, and our human facility for seeing patterns.

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Page last update: 01.17.16

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