Shaping a Surfboard
Text by Dave Parmenter
Aquatints by Jessica Dunne
San Francisco: Eastside Editions, 2009. Edition of 20.
12.875 x 12.875"; 18 pages. Flutter book. Eight spit-bite aquatint etchings with softground, drypoint, and roulette. Letterpress printed in Quadrata on Hahnemühle Copperplate Warm White paper. Bound in blue cloth over boards with red cloth spine. Title embossed on front board. Text from an article in the Surfer's Journal (Vol 13, Number 4) titled "A Shaper's Fugue." Includes a one-page letterpress-printed Glossary loosely inserted into an flap on the inside of the back board so it can provide easy reference for the reader.
Eastside Editions: "CRAFT: Shaping a Surfboard is an exploration of what it means to spend days working with your hands. The handwork required to make a surfboard, an etching, or an artist book is the inspiration that enabled Jessica Dunne to fuse her love of the craft of making prints with a lifetime spent in the world of surfers.
"The idea of putting words with images to create an interaction between them has always fascinated Dunne. This is her first artist book after years looking for the appropriate text. Dunne's father, Philip Dunne, was a screenwriter, and her grandfather was Finley Peter Dunne, the political satirist. With this background, she realized that to put words and images together required the right text. She found that text in the writings of Dave Parmenter.
"Dave Parmenter is a renowned surfboard shaper, writer, and former
professional surfer. He writes personally - and often furiously - about
shaping boards, surfing, and contemporary surf culture. In his dedication to his craft, Dunne found something akin to her feelings about her own work. His article in the Surfer's Journal about shaping a surfboard, with all the considerations that make it function in dangerous situations, is excerpted in this book.
"Dunne grew up in Malibu, and her partner of many years, Mark Renneker, is a devoted big-wave surfer. She has lived for years with as many as forty-five surfboards of varying lengths and silhouettes. She is not a surfer, however. But it wasn't the sport of surfing that caught her attention as being the motive for shaping a surfboard. The craftsmen involved in the task, their tools, and the terminology all fascinated her....
"The craftsman holding out against technology and mechanized efficiency is a driving force in the author's monologue. And the prints evoke the working environment of the surfboard shaper. People involved in fine crafts have more in common than not. Since the industrial revolution began, craftsmen have been skulking around, sensing, and maybe enjoying, impending obsolescence....
"Each page of text faces a spit-bite aquatint etching.... a technique of
painting acid on an aquatinted plate to produce rich and soft tones. Dunne is well known for her spit-bite aquatints in black and white. In this project, however, she created color prints using multiple plates.
"This book is about shaping a surfboard, but it is also a tribute to
craftsmen, including those who contributed to the book itself: Dave
Parmenter the writer, David Avery the etching printer, Jonathan Clark the typesetter and letterpress printer, and the binder Klaus-Ullrich S. Rötzscher at Pettingell Book Bindery."