A Conversation with Rinne Allen and Susan Hable on February 10th

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day which is quickly approaching, FLP wants to honor the holiday with an event with Athens’ artists Rinne Allen and Susan Hable. Their collaboration on Colorset 3 is eye-catching, beautiful and romantic, making it the perfect V-day gift for your photo book lover. Colorset 3 is a book, but you the pages also fold and tear out, so you can hang the images as posters on your wall. Such a cool idea, right? We just had to know more…

FLP: The form of your book is so unique, how did this idea develop?

Susan Hable: We thought long and hard about how this book would be developed and both agreed that each time we would come up with a different format, so we aren’t sure if this will be repeated! We used what resources our local printer could do on a deadline, meaning everything was done in house. It was important to us to keep it simple. The cheesecloth binding and chipboard fit right into our aesthetic. We thought the tearing out was clever and a way for people to actually use the book if they didn’t want it to sit on their shelf. So far, we hear people are doing both! 

Rinne and I have collaborated for years now and have great respect for each other’s work. With Colorset 3, we decided to just dive in and do something outside of our regular work. There weren’t any rules other than to have fun and use color as our tool. We have a lovely friendship and the conversation between my art and her photography is one that we wanted to go further with and share as a project for years to come. 

Rinne Allen: I wholeheartedly second Susan’s thoughts, but I will also add a few others…

We knew we wanted to do a series of artists books. And we knew that these books would focus on the dialogue between our work: my photographs and Susan’s illustrations. As Susan said, we have worked together for a very long time (going on 8 years, I think…?), and we looked at this new collaboration as a way for the two of us to share inspiration with each other, but also with the folks who would discover our books.

When we initially went to meet with our printer, the first meeting was full of brainstorming. We talked over ideas and they showed us some examples of things they had done in the past. Our ideas started to develop because of their capabilities - for instance, they mentioned that they had a letterpress in the back that they rarely used. Once we heard that, we were very excited to use letterpress in the book. They also showed us a book with a similar binding to ours and that led to us going with the cheesecloth. It was a very organic process - we did not go in with a ‘fixed’ notion of what the book would be, but we are very, very pleased with how it turned out! I should mention that the printers were very patient with us and allowed us to come everyday that they worked on our book, to check color and watch them print, and they also allowed us to document the whole process. Not everyone would want someone looking over their shoulder like that, so we were lucky!

We hope you will join us on Friday, February 10th from 6 to 9 to talk more with Rinne and Susan. Stay tuned to out blog for more information about the artists and their book.