From Field Notes, Summer 2017 edition
Field Notes’ 35th Quarterly Edition celebrates a chemical process we witness nearly every day, but rarely take the time to appreciate. Fire gives us heat and light. Fire can frighten and endanger us. With a bit of olive oil, it makes asparagus palatable. But in its most primal, elemental state, it inspires us to gather around and watch it while we share stories, ideas and friendship.
We hope these memo books will inspire you to spend some time gazing into a fire this summer. It’s ridiculously satisfying to collect some wood, carefully build it into an attractive structure, then watch the dramatic light show as it burns away into smoke and ash, leaving no trace.
Our inspiration comes from everywhere and anywhere, but “Campfire” started with an actual campfire. Steve, Matt, and Bryan set out one afternoon to northern Illinois to build, film, and photograph the process of building, enjoying, and extinguishing a campfire.
Matt’s family has a summer house on Long Lake that made a great location for our shoot. His grandparents bought the family land, which was originally used as resort, and built the house there. Matt’s parents, Jim and Chris, welcomed us as we set out to collect some flagstones and dig a fire pit along the lake shore, filming, and photographing the process.
Back in Chicago, we had great photos and footage, but still needed to do a bunch of tests to determine the plan for the notebooks. We tried a whole bunch of variations, as always, inspired by our collection of vintage notebooks, and also various Boy Scout handbooks, merit badge guides and other ephemera. We eventually decided on a technique common before process color separations made color printing easy: a photographic halftone printed over blocks of solid spot-colors to simulate a color photo. In this case, each book is printed with five different spot colors, the darkest color being the photographic halftone. Three stages of the fire are represented on the three covers, “Dusk,” “Night,” and “Dawn,” and Aaron Draplin came up with a series of logos, “Geometry,” “Community,” and “Responsibility,” for the backs. They’re printed on a coated-one-side paperboard (coated outside, uncoated inside) with a satin varnish applied to protect the finish.
The body pages are white Finch Opaque 60#T ruled with our 3/16" graph, each featuring a different ink color matched to the inside cover. The books are bound with gold staple wire.
With at least three ex-Scouts here at Field Notes Midwest HQ, we feel any night spent around a fire in the woods, should be rewarded with a patch. So, we created a handsome 2-1/4" one inspired by (but larger than) merit badges, and our friends at Brewery Outfitters in PDX stitched ’em up. There's one included with every 3-Pack. We hope you'll wear yours, and that our Summer 2017 Field Notes come in handy as you become a true Campfire Master.