Wednesday, September 22, 2010

An Evening of the Arts

A Magical Gala Celebration of the 30th Anniversary of AN EVENING OF THE ARTS

An Evening of the Arts Presented by Island School Council for the Arts, Friday, September 24, 2010 at Historic Honey Horn Plantation 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. Tickets $125.00. To reserve call ISCA: (843) 681-5381 Arts Gala Fundraiser with live Art Auction. Proceeds benefit Artists in Education Program. ISCA on facebook.

"Little Women" one of three pieces I created several years ago using discarded book parts, wax and other found objects will be one of many art works auctioned off for this benefit. Mira Scott of the Picture This Gallery on Hilton Head Island is the organizer of the event.

This is a difficult piece to photograph. The two other companion pieces are privately owned and one was pictured in a New York Times art review by Helen Harrison. The three pieces have been successfully shown in several NY galleries and I continue to "borrow" (on loan from:) from the owners for showings. I love these pieces and have recently purchased canvases to create smaller similar pieces. Brown craft paper is glued to the canvas then wax applied along with book parts and other found objects.... this (pictured above) is 30"x36". All in the set use wax dipped, multiple pages from a decayed book - Little Women by Alcott (I have 5 sisters - 6 girls !) so this piece may have subconsciously come from that fact. It's more about women's equality... I think.

a print of a crow with a chicken bone is caged behind wire screening

Blue, Blue, Indigo

Indigo (indigofera tinctoria) was a huge cash crop for South Carolina between 1740 and 1790 actually changing the economics of the whole state. This was replaced with cotton. Remains of the plantings of Indigo can still be found in my area which make finding this plant and working with it an interesting project. It seems that indigo (dye) is present in all parts of the plant - leaves, stem and root. The processing is very unique and difficult but not unlike making paper from plants. I was wondering if anyone had ever tried this ?

my cloth drying on a saw palmetto plant

I attended a workshop at The Coastal Discovery Center in the Honey Horn Plantation Preserve of Hilton Head given by Karen Hall of Clemson University. What fun.... there were at least 25 crafts persons attending, most dressed in some form of indigo! (blue jeans)... We all made a decorated cloth and hung it to dry while taking a walk to Honey Horn's indigo garden. A very unimpressive plant... looks like a big weed! So now I'm on the lookout for this growing wild but bought seeds at the gift shop just in case.

other designs (most tie dyed)

indigo dyeing under live oaks, hanging Spanish moss and palmetto palms

Monday, September 20, 2010

Friends of Dard Hunter Conference

Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (founded in 1912)is hosting the Friends of Dard Hunter 2010 Paper Conference this year in Gatlinburg Tennessee

Conference - October 18th-24th

- October 19th-21st workshops
- October 21st-24th meeting

I can't wait. These conferences bring together national and international hand papermakers for a few days for workshops, lectures, art shows, new ideas, tools, theories, master and novice papermakers and bookbinders, scientists, educators - all anxious to share their knowledge. All committed to keeping the tradition of the art of hand papermaking alive.

I will be attending with my long time friend and artist, Madeline Gary of Charlotte, NC. Part of the fun is chatting on the drive to Tennessee while anticipating new found knowledge like making bone folders from bone and antlers (Jim Croft demonstration) or Explorations with Encaustic (Catherine Nash), Miniature Books (Peter Thomas), Clay moulds for paper casting (Jon Hook)- on and on. The ride home equally exciting as we discuss it all and try to remember what we learned and what we will put to use. This conference is the highlight of each year in papermaking.

I will enter a piece for the art show at the conference "Into the Woods" (in progress)

more copper sunset papers

mixing sticks

making my favorite tools for the FDH Trade Fair along with other tools and papermaking "things"... walnut hulls for dye, feathers - as well as stacks of unusual papers. I take a table almost every year as a way of meeting new members or visitors and to let everyone know what new projects I'm working on.... not a money maker by any means...just a fun way to socialize.
Each mixing stick has a whittled handle and tip that is hammered into a drilled hole in the "X" then sanded - no glue or nails... each unique and crafted to feel good in your hand.

I use one for each vat of pulp I'm using, especially when working with children's classes. This prevents little hands from cross contaminating the vats of different colored pulps... and fun for the children as well.

sea grass, banana, copper

still making more - sunset copper

Copper Sunsets and Paste Papers

Last night there was a most beautiful "copper" sunset - it looked as if all of Bluffton was ablaze ! The next morning at 7 am the sunrise was equally as beautiful... everything coppery - hmmmm.
I was about to enter my studio for a day of paper decorating - maybe copper paste papers or copper marbleized papers for books or buttons ?

7 am sunrise from my front door in the lush SC low country

I was still thinking of my conversation with my daughter the night before and about how very special old handmade books have the privilege of touching and feeling work from so many centuries before..... inspiring.
My daughter received a gift of an 18th century Italian prayer book dated 1750 with gorges marbleized end papers. Not sure if she was reading the roman numerals correctly, I got out my French book, handmade and water marked papers, gilded, dated 1782 also with beautiful marbleized papers. Our serendipitous conversation was held between the copper sunset and copper sunrise.

title page (French book) 1782

gilt pages and marbleized endpapers
(glue on leather seeping through the end papers around the edges)

paste papers drying

I started working with my recycled photo and sea grass fiber papers and played with metallic copper acrylic and wheat paste. By the end of the day I had a line full paste papers drying and I loved the results. My very own sunset in my studio.

paste paper buttons

These are some of the cards I'm making for the keepsake program for a paper conference in Gatlinburg, TN. Friends of Dard Hunter I used the dried copper papers for some buttons,(my favorite so far) the yellow paper is dyed with turmeric the rest are banana, corn husk and cotton with commercial dyes. I need to make lots more copper or rather "Sunrise" papers...ideas welcome !