AIPAD 2014

Please visit me in Charles Schwartz Ltd.’s booth #409 at AIPAD this week at the Park Avenue Armory on Park Ave. between 66th & 67th Sts.  I will be there from the Gala Wednesday April 9th (5-9pm) and all week through the weekend showing my 3D printed photo books.  They will be an interesting 21st century contrast to some magnificent 19th century pieces Charles is showing.

Manual 3D printed BookIsambard Kingdom Brunel by Robert Howlett

An Enigma

“Russia is a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma” said Winston Churchill.  Russia continues to vex us today.  My latest 3D printed book “Enigma” is like a Russian matryushka doll – 5 nested books, the innermost book is black and contains a USB flash drive with all the data files used to print the book.  One of the books is red.

The book is bound in PLA resin 9″ x 6″ x 1.5″, edition of 10, 2014

Enigma 3D printed book Enigma 3D printed book Enigma 3D printed book



3D printed sculpture class at Montclair Art Museum

I have been teaching teens to design and 3D print sculptures at the Montclair Art Museum.  After 6 weeks – one 2 hour class per week – we have some great examples of the kids’ work.  They design in Tinkercad and then print on a Cube printer or on my Makerbot Replicator 2.

There will be another session of the class – for teens only – beginning in April.

3d printed sculpture 3d printed sculpture 3d printed sculpture 3d printed sculpture 3d printed sculptureheather_MG_7029bruce_0001 heather_MG_7043 kalesta_MG_7038 miriam__MG_7034 miriam__MG_7047

Guns are Art

When people hear I am working with a 3D printer the first question they ask is “Have you printed a gun?” And I emphatically answer “NO!”  IMHO the 3D printed gun story is blown way out of proportion.  Sure, a person could print parts of a gun, but not the important parts like the firing chamber.  The printers available to most people today print ABS or PLA plastic and these materials are not suitable for making a high precision part that must withstand the substantial stresses of an explosion that is the source of the power of a gun.  Someday there will be printers readily available which can print metal, but until then, today’s printers can only print parts which have nothing to do with the firing parts of the gun.

That is a long introduction to my latest 3D printed book “Black and Blue” which contains 13 pages of photographs of guns.  Plus I put a gun on the cover.  So now I can answer those people – “Yes, I have printed several guns…” And off to the races we will go.  Don’t shoot me.

5″ x 4.375″ x 0.75″, 13 pages, translucent PLA plastic and archival inkjet prints. Edition of 10, $1000

Black-And-Blue-Book Black-And-Blue-Book Black-And-Blue-Book

Manual Printed 3D

Manual is the latest in my series of 3D printed books.  It has 60 pages of archival digital inkjet prints enclosed in a translucent PLA binding which cannot be opened.  It is signed and dated on an interior page which is not visible.  The book is then enclosed in a 2 piece black PLA box with a hole in the top which exactly matches the hand shape which is on the cover of the book.  The interior of the box is lined with silver lamé fabric.  The book is 4” x 6” x 1.25” and the box is 4.25” x 6.125” x 1.75”.  Published in an edition of 10 the price is $1600.

Manual 3D printed Book Manual 3D printed Book Manual 3D printed Book Manual 3D printed Book Manual 3D printed Book

My 3D printed photo books will be available at AIPAD’s Photography Show at the Park Avenue Armory in NYC April 9-13, 2014 at Charles Schwartz Ltd.’s booth # 409.  I will be there Wednesday through Saturday to show the books.

3D Visions

I seem to always be straddling eras of technology and the Camera Obscura Project which was a collaboration with Charles Schwartz is a great example.  It began with Charles’ Camera Obscura which is located on the upper east side of Manhattan with a dramatic view over New York City’s Central Park.  We spent years using a digital camera to photograph the pre-photographic live camera obscura images.  A catalog of the work “Visions In The Dark” was produced for an exhibition at the Alan Klotz Gallery.

Recently I produced a new 3D printed edition of the catalog images. The back of the book has a pinhole just like an ancient camera obscura. It is printed using a Makerbot Replicator 2 in black and translucent PLA with archival inkjet prints inside, the book is 3.875″ x 3.75″ x 0.5″, slip case is 4″ x 3.5″ x 0.5″; price: $1400, edition of 10

3D printed book

3D printed Visions In The Dark book and slipcase

3D printed book 3D printed book 3D printed book

3D printed book

Pinhole in the back of the book

Shakespeare in 3D

A new book sculpture I’ve made is The Complete Works of William Shakespeare.

This is a miniature book – 2.375″ x 1.875″ x .75″ and the box is 3.75″ x 3.25″ x 1.1.25″

Inside the 3D printed translucent PLA covers are a title page in the front and an author portrait in the back.  Inside is a USB flash drive containing a text file of the complete works of William Shakespeare.  I designed the book cover and box in Tinkercad and printed it with a Makerbot Replicator 2 using a translucent PLA plastic.  The interior images are printed with an Epson R1900 inkjet printer. It is presented in a “hand-made” silver PLA 3D printed box with a blue velvet lining. The book is published in an edition of 10.






I have also completed a full size version of the book – 5.875″ x 4.875″ x 0.75″

larger Shakespeare book

larger Shakespeare book

larger Shakespeare book

The text of the book comes from the Gutenberg Project.

What is a book?

For years I have been publishing my work in book form.  Mostly soft bound print-on-demand picture books.  But lately I have changed how I do things.

I have been watching – and sometimes enjoying – how the publishing industry has changed.  Not only can we self-publish POD books, but we can promote them on the web.  We can make eBooks that are wonderfully portable and accessible.  Books ain’t what they used to be. My latest work is a series of books unlike any others – they are 3D printed and cannot be read.

Bill-Westheimer_Oddyssey_MG_6903 Bill-Westheimer_Oddyssey_MG_6885 Bill-Westheimer_Oddyssey_MG_6913Bill-Westheimer_Oddyssey_MG_6916Oddyssey 3D printed book

The latest edition of my ODDYSSEY book is an example of my latest craziness.  The binding is 3D printed and the interior is the images from my ODDYSSEY project.  But to see the images, to “read” the book, you have to destroy the book.  The content is sealed inside the 3D printed covers.This limited edition artist’s book is handmade – sorta. With my very own hands I designed the book cover and box in Tinkercad and printed it with a Makerbot Replicator 2 using a translucent PLA plastic.  The interior images are printed with an Epson R1900 inkjet printer.

It is presented in a “hand-made” gold PLA 3D printed box with a gold lamé lining.  Produced in an edition limited to 10, the book is 4.75″ x 3.875″ x 0.875″.  It is signed and dated on the interior pages. The box is 6.75″ x 5.875″ x 2″ and is signed in 3D printed relief inside the top.

Albumen and Salt Printing

Last week I participated in an Albumen and Salt Printing Workshop at the George Eastman House Museum in Rochester NY taught by Mark Osterman and ably assisted by Nick Brandreth.  We learned how to make high quality handmade prints using glass plate negatives and plain paper sensitized with a silver nitrate solution.  These historic processes date back to the very early days of photography in the mid 19th century.

For albumen printing we cracked 5 dozen eggs to separate out the whites, mixed in ammonium chloride and beat until stiff – just like making a meringue except for a slightly different recipe.  After the egg whites settled back to liquid form we coated paper and after it dried we sensitized with silver nitrate.  Then we exposed the paper using glass plate negatives, and then processed with gold chloride and fixed the prints before washing and drying.

coating with albumen

Eric Baillies coating paper with albumen

Mark Osterman loads a printing frame

Mark Osterman loads a printing frame

checking exposure

checking exposure

processing albumen print

washing albumen print

washing albumen print

albumen print

dried albumen print

We also learned how to make salted paper prints, a similar process but without the egg whites.

salted paper print

salted paper print from a digital neg made from a glass plate

Finally we waxed the salt prints with bees wax and oil of lavender.

waxing salt prints

Waxing the salt prints with Eric Baillies, Mark Osterman and Maria Santo

The other students were Eric Baillies and Maria Santo.  We also spent time looking at the extraordinary examples of albumen and salt prints in the Eastman House archives.  Including seeing some Hill & Adamson daguerreotypes in the conservation lab.

Hill & Adamson daguerreotype

Hill & Adamson daguerreotype

It was a great week learning and refining my skills, studying the history of photography and making friends.

By The Numbers

As the second part of the three exhibition series “Triad” – nine of my pieces, including work from MOMENTO, ODDYSSEY, and BILLIAD are included in a show titled “By The Numbers (More or Less)” at the Arts Guild of New Jersey in Rahway October 13 through November 7, 2013.  The gallery is at 1670 Irving Street, Rahway, NJ .

Artists include Eileen M. Foti, Adel Gorgy, Frances Heinrich, Peter Jacobs, Neal Korn, Tom Nussbaum, RoCa, Diane Savona, Rocco Scary and Bill Westheimer.  The show was curated by Donna Gustafson, curator of the Zimmerli Art Museum.

By The Numbers