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Re: Tyvek

In a message dated 96-04-19 Pat Baldwin asked:

>What's the big attraction anyhow? What does [tyvek] do that paper won't do
>some form or other? Have I missed something vital?

The big attraction for most of us is that tyvek doesn't, won't, can't tear.
 I used dry transfer adhesive to back tyvek to a text strip 20"long, but only
1/2"wide.  The text strip had to be repeatedly pulled out of the mouth of a
papier-mache frog and then wound back inside.  Every paper I tried did not
hold up well on its own.  I finished the book (Lunch!) in 1993.  Since then,
it has been a popular attraction when I do book arts programs in the public
schools and has received a lot of hard use.  It has held up perfectly without
the need for repairs.

Tyvek is also an important element in Carol Barton's imaginative binding
(available in a do-it-yourself kit) for her artist book of overlapping
pop-ups, "Insturctions for Assembly" (Nexus Press, 1993, ISBN 0-932526-46-2).
 Again, my copy has been shown and handled frequently and, as Timex would put
it, "takes a licking and keeps on ticking."

Conservators play an important role in the book arts and I value and
appreciate the lessons they have learned and the challenges they face.  But
for me, a fundamental part of being a book artist is exploring new materials
and new techniques.  I'll be the first to admit that some succeed better than
others.  But I think there is something to be gained by trying and

Maybe, some time in the future, my books will only be remembered in
photographs or in the memories of people who enjoyed them.  Maybe a lot of
conservators will have gotten rich repairing them.  Maybe my books will be
gone and no one will remember them at all.  It won't be the end of the world.

I define a book as "a structure for storing and sharing information".  The
"storing" part is important to me.  So is "sharing" information in new and
imaginative ways.

Ed (Hutchins)

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