Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Gala Evening, Art, Bubbly & Cake

A fantastic fun evening, huge crowd - electric atmosphere.....most of the art sold ! All for charity.
After all enjoyed some bubbly...champagne and wine, and got to meet the artists and chefs who were paired together to inspire each other..... a signal was given to ask to have a slice of any or all cakes. I only wish I could have eaten every one. - 10 in all... no one went home hungry or empty handed... a great party.
Picture This Gallery on Hilton Head Island S.C. The event idea and success belongs to Mira Scott owner and artist. Electric !...the place to be and be seen on Nov 19th.....

my collage cake "Behind the Scene" and chef Sherri's ( Sherrie's Edible Designs) incredible wedding cake....behind the scene and (below) front of the cake...just beautiful.

such a shame to cut into this cake ...but very delicious....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Art , Bubbly & Cake - red carpet too

ART, BUBBLY & CAKE - November 19th, 6-8pm
Hilton Head Island, SC
10 celebrity artists and 10 celebrity chefs will pair up for the evening to benefit the Island School of the Arts and the Gullah Museum. The chefs will create a unique cake based on the painting or creation of a cake by the artists and all will be auctioned at a fabulous red carpet (for real) event.
Tickets are $25.00 each.

I am one of the artists....my entry "Behind the Scene" a deconstructed cake is a collage of wrappers and a collection of old recipes with handmade paper of course. It was more difficult then I thought and a very interesting fun original idea by gallery owner Mira Scott.

the beginnings of my celebration cake

rough placement of wrappers --- still pushing all sorts of scraps and pieces around.

Poster for the event.
pictures of the evening will follow...it was a privilege to be chosen to work with some wonderful artists and chefs.

Monday, October 17, 2011

I wanna swim in a vat of pulp

You Tube Video by Patricia Sahertian

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Bookopolis, Asheville Bookworks

Asheville Bookworks in western North Carolina is holding it 7th annual juried book show in the
Bookwork Gallery
September 23 through November 28th, 2011
428 1/2 Haywood Rd
West Asheville, NC 28806

" Bookopolis" kicks off its show with a weekend celebration and display of all artists books entered into the show. Most books can be handled with care and many tools and processes are demonstrated: sewing books, cranking the Vandercook press - and guests leave with a printed memento. Books selected by jurist Eileen Wallace are on display for the remainder of the exhibit and are represented in a full color catalog.

This is my entry: "Daily Wants: Dominoes" it was displayed during "Bookopolis" weekend and selected for the remaining juried show and included in a beautiful catalog.

I was lucky enough to get up to Asheville NC and see this show. There are some very beautiful works in this collection. Go here to view a sample of the catalog.
The print shop and papermaking facilities are very impressive. There is an open workshop area where you can watch artists at work. I was able to watch a multicolored woodblock print being made. The variety of printing presses assures that all types of printing process can be practiced.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Friends of Dard Hunter Annual Paper Conference

Friends of Dard Hunter 2011 Regional Paper Conference
Appelton WI - Oct 13-16
Pittsfield MA - Oct 18-22
Santa Barbara - Oct 21-23
Hemel Hempstead UK - Oct 14-16

Arrowmont School of Art and Craft, Gatlinburg Tenn. 2010

site of last years fabulous paper conference

The Friends of Dard Hunter Annual Conference is a very special gathering of the best of the best in hand papermaking in the US. Nothing like it anywhere else. This year there will be 4 regional meetings. New England, Wisconsin, California and England. Unfortunately I cannot attend this year...a very big regret...such golden opportunities to meet papermakers and book makers who share their expertise. Anyone even slightly interested PLEASE check out the schedules, lectures and demonstrations..... and sign up. YOU WILL HAVE AN AMAZING EXPERIENCE. www.friendsofdardhunter.org

Friday, August 26, 2011

Uncommon Threads / Bookopolis 2011

Uncommon Threads : The Handicrafts in Book Arts
an artists' book show at:
"23 Sandy Gallery" Portland, Oregon
September 23 - October 29th 2011

Unfortunately my entry and newest hand made artists' book - " Made Elsewhere", 3"x4"- did not fit the criteria for the show but I enjoyed making it and found some new ideas and techniques along the way. Looking forward to seeing the books in this show...should be quite wonderful...mark your calendar...and take a look.

"Made Elsewhere" photos printed on used coffee filters.

The cover is made of banana skin paper with a fabric collage.

All pages are used coffee filters (abaca) with clothing label collages or ink jet printed photos of needle work...banana skin fiber outside and banana leaf (abaca) fiber inside.

This book records a survey of my closet .. noting all the countries that are represented on the clothing label tags, and which companies have outsourced production of these items. Most are third world countries... no surprise but I'm amazed at how many items I own that are made elsewhere.

Bookopolis 2011
Book show open to all book artists at the Asheville Bookworks, Asheville, NC, September 23 to November 28, 2011

In conjunction with the 25 year birthday celebration of Hand Paper Making Magazine, the Asheville Bookworks is hosting a party and one day open studio for papermaking.... luckily I can attend this event on October 1st and view the book show in person. I am also entering my book about the history of dominoes - "Daily Wants: Dominoes" pictured in a previous blog.

.......photos on my return.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Monumental Ideas & Time Flies When Your Having Fun

The Future of the Book is here.....so states a poster for the Jaffe Center for Book Arts.


The Jaffe Collection of hand made artist's books is housed at FAU's (Florida Atlantic University) Wimberly Library. A course in the study of book arts is centered around this unique collection. This summer's exhibit, "Time Flies When Your Having Fun", celebrated Arthur Jaffe's 90th birthday. I was lucky to attend and I recommend a visit to the center at anytime. - OR visit YouTube for an in depth discussion and artists books in collection viewed ...wonderful..... OR the blog

This little accordion book, retrieved from a gumball machine for 4 quarters was basically the show card for the exhibit. How much fun is that ?

"Monumental Ideas in Miniature Book Making"
Savannah, GA

is a traveling exhibition of more then 100 artists' books from 8 countries. I was able to view this show at the Savannah School of Art and Design (SCAD) in Savannah, GA this August. It originated in Ohio - University of Akron...if you have an opportunity to see it ... I highly recommend this show as well. You can view it all online but it's not quite the same. One of my favorite book making couples, Peter and Donna Thomas are represented - always a joy to see their books.

Investigating Fibers for Perfect Papers

My tulip fold book - pages: miscanthus paper, cover paper: Kristoferson Studio Itajimi paper

A previous blog mentioned a gift of Miscanthus plant fibers from Mira Scott owner of "Picture This Gallery" on Hilton Head Island, SC. A few rough samples of papers made with this fiber were pictured as well. Finally learning its properties (trial and error) I made some very wonderful papers. I used some to make this tulip fold 2 1/2" square book as a thank you for Mira. The paper folded beautifully.... it was worth the work of processing these fibers.

(2 1/2" square) August 2011

miscanthus fiber

Cotton boll breaking open.........

........fully opened boll- ---- Cotton !

My cotton crop (only about 2 dozen plants !) is finally maturing. I plan to experiment with the cotton PLANT itself... the lovely fibers that bloom, the actual cotton, are as strong as iron and could never be processed (by me) into paper in a small studio, although I might try one day.

Sometime this fall I will be giving the dried stalks a go !!!

"BIG" papers
I am working with Mira Scott on a large scale book that can be "walked" through when set up in a gallery. Mira is supplying her beautiful stories and artwork . I am creating the book structure and hand made paper. I finally decided after much experimentation to use a combination of cotton linter, abaca and corn husk for a little variation in the color and texture of the papers... and gelatin sizing for all. These large papers will be made sometime early this fall.... much too hot and sticky out for the papers to dry naturally at this point.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Emily Dickinson as Book Artist

"A Poet's Garden"

Cotton and abacca paper cast into plaster mold of a bean pod. "Seeds" are accordion folded artist made mulberry paper, ink jet printed with poetry of poet labeled on pod.

Detail " A Poet's Garden"

Larger detail of "A Poet's Garden"..... leaves also of cast cotton paper, all forming a vine of "book chapters" (bean pods) wrapped around fencing - poles and wires. (In private collection)

I made this book several years ago before I became enchanted with Dickinson and a devoted member of the Emily Dickinson International Society. "The Poet's Garden" fits Emily's image. During her lifetime she was well known for her beautiful gardens.

Just read a new book about Emily Dickinson - "Maid as Muse" by Aife Murray who apparently also makes artist's books. This about the help.. the maids...cooks... stable men... gardeners and seamstresses who attended to all the needs of the Dickinson family.

Murray uses new descriptions for how Emily presented her original poetical works... collage artist and book maker. She would add stamps, paste cut up book pages and images on her letters as well as draw cartoons - an early collage artist ? The 20th century collage artist, Joseph Cornell, was greatly influenced by Dickinson, dedicating several pieces of work to her. Then there are the fascicles ... her poetry hidden until after her death found in 40 pamphlet bound small single signatures books called fascicles. Artist's books ? Each designed mostly by placement of her very unusual hand writing by stretching words across a page to fill the line. Something to think about - Emily Dickinson, Artist Book Maker.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Daily Wants: Dominoes, Kalamazoo Book Arts

The Illustrated Accordion Book Show
Kalamazoo Book Arts Center May 6th to May 27th 2011

This is my favorite book ! It includes a brief description of the history of dominoes as described in the Dictionary of Daily Wants 1858. I had a lot of fun making this. I collaged photographs of the dominoes in my collections and colored prismacolor pencils were used for illustrations. The small pop outs of dominoes add a unique dimension. I am very pleased with the inside front cover - this lion is my favorite domino....well one of them anyway.

I also made rubber stamps....cutting pink erasers... of dominoes falling.

The paper used was given to me by my dear friends, artist Pat Sahertian and her husband artist Jake Sahertian on their return from Paris where they purchased this paper for me to make something beautiful. I think I did.

The cover is a colored reproduction of an Asian patterned cloth - the domino is made of leather with white leather "pip" (dots) inserts (cut from old white leather gloves).

Some unusual designs on wooden dominoes. I rubbed gold over them to highlight the images.

The beginning... planning stage.

See all books entered into the 2011 Kalamazoo show here.

A Book About Death - Memento

A Book About Death - Memento
Willo North Gallery, Phoenix, AZ opening May 6th

My first entry (postcard) graphite on tracing paper.

I actually witnessed a crow trying to fly with a chicken bone on the front lawn of my son's house. It scared me... so I drew it... it always reminds me of death. (feather memento)

My second entry, (postcard) copy of a lithograph

I made this several years ago in response to a Walt Whitman poem "A Clear Midnight" (my favorite) it's a little more gentle but again dealing with death "away from books... the day done... night, sleep, death, the stars..." (Whitman poem memento)

Phoenix based artist Patricia Sahertian has organized an A Book About Death - Memento (ABAD) exhibit for May 2011. Following the tradition that started with the original ABAD show at the Emily Harvey Gallery in NYC 2009. The Phoenix show asks for a small memento to be sent along with the postcard art giving the exhibit a unique twist on the original format.

I have contributed to the ABAD shows at MOMA Wales, Long Island and now Phoenix. Go to the website for the current entries in the Phoenix ABAD show. And for information about shows past, present and upcoming you can look at the ABAD archives.

Artists from around the world contribute original art in postcard form to be displayed and then kept together permanently as an unbound artist book. Everything is documented and exhibited online as well as in a gallery. VERY INTERESTING TO SEE HOW ARTISTS SEE OR FEEL DEATH. All shows have an open call for all artists. This concept, expanding internationally, has taken place in many locations in the USA: South Carolina, Texas, Omaha and Long Island, as well as Brazil, Italy and Wales.

A.R.T. Picture This Gallery 2011

Concrete Illusion, detail


Concrete Illusion #4, detail

Art Recycled from Trash. A.R.T.

Picture This Gallery on Hilton Head in SC is hosting its second annual juried exhibit featuring items recycled into art. It was a huge success last year and has been expanded this year. It includes every imaginable form of art and media and is open to everyone. I decided to enter piece #4 from my "Concrete Illusions" series. These pieces are made of marine Styrofoam that washed up on a Long Island Beach, cast recycled paper, re bar also found on the beach and found objects acquired while digging for old bottles ! (boy, do I ever miss digging).

Untitled Concrete Illusion # 6

My paper was formulated to look like concrete... recycled paper with added hosta fibers (from my garden) for a gray color and undercooked daylilly leaves for texture along with torn pieces of black and white paper. The handmade paper while still damp is heavily glued to the Styrofoam with white glue and placed in strong sunlight... quick drying brings some of the glue to the surface adding to the overall look of worn cement. Results are always a surprise !

Untitled Concrete Illusion #4

This series is a comment on our constant destruction, wars, and poor stewards of the earth... a warning of the desolation we can create. Sort of dismal but always with a little hope (tree able to grow in concrete).

Friday, February 11, 2011

The Joy of Papermaking

I've been away from teaching formal papermaking classes for awhile and almost forgot why I did it. After years of giving classes at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Islip Arts Museum and many other places I would periodically take a break from lugging vats and equipment, bucketing water and massive cleanups but somehow I always returned.

I just began teaching a series of classes,- beginner, intermediate and advanced - 8 in all - at the Picture This Gallery on Hilton Head. I realize I'm drawn by the miracle of creating a simple sheet of paper from seemingly simple materials. The process never ceases to impress me and I'm so grateful that I have the knowledge to do this... a secret gift from nature.

The first class - everyone is either smiling, intensely thinking or never looking up... just so busy

Creative juices flowing.......

Full attention and determination to make some beautiful paper....

However... it was the little squeals and gasps as each made their first sheet of paper, and smiles... and child-like joy....... now I remember.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Finding Felts in a Warm Climate

I left behind so many things.... when moving South. Plentiful old army blankets that I could cut to various sizes for papermaking was something I just took for granted. I have not been able to locate even one here in the "low" country even with all the military bases nearby (Parris Island is just one of many).

I have resorted to cutting up a variety of wool blankets when ever I'm lucky enough to find one. Most work well but all create different textures. Nothing like a well worn wool army blanket.

Gingko leaf embedded between two thin sheets of miscanthus fiber formed on "Weed Block". In luck, Mimi Aumann passed on a wonderful website and blog called Ifugao - a source for papermaking products and information. I noticed owner Keith Gum using landscape cloth in place of felt.... so I found a heavy version of synthetic cloth called "Weed Block"... it's made of used plastic water bottles.... how wonderful. A very large roll was reasonably priced and worked very well in place of felt. (leaves a very small pattern but perfectly fine for most plant based paper) AND IT'S GREEN.

Weed Block dries fast, holds its shape - no cockling of the paper, and cleans easily ! I may have found my new "felts".

Miscanthus Results & Indigo Seeds

I just love the color "Indigo blue". The piece below is a cyanotype print - Durer's Adam and Eve - on extremely thin mulberry stitched into a frame of dirt paper ! (paper formulated for the books "In the Trenches" and "Button Tales and Myths") I used cotton linter, sea grass, earth and roots. It was entered into the Friends of Dard Hunter Paper Conference Show and Sale.... not sure exactly what happened to it.... but it had me wishing I had planted my indigo seeds. Hoping to do some more cyanotype prints this spring and experiment with indigo plants as a fiber source in the fall.

"Through the Woods" 2010 FDH Conference

miscanthus wet sheets pressed between blotters and boards

The miscanthus "donation" from Mira Scott was fairly easy to work with. I cooked a small amount of cut and soaked fiber for 4 hours and pulped it in a blender. I was able to make quite a few decent small sheets. I colored some with cinnamon for fun.... the cinnamon fragrance did not last long !

finished miscanthus paper with embedded ginkgo leaf - fun

Indigo seeds on the right and seeds for Hibiscus manihot used to make formation aid - ready for spring

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Miscanthus Giganteus Anyone ?

Picture This !

One early Saturday morning my doorbell rings and there is the owner of Picture This Gallery on Hilton Head Island, Mira Scott, with a large bag of Japanese Silver Grass (Miscanthus Giganteus). Always up for experimenting with new fibers for papermaking, I was grateful for her effort. A friend of Mira's is growing large quantities of this non-invasive ornamental grass for experimental use as a bio-fuel with great success and she was able to obtain some for me. I love unexpected gifts ! Papermaker, Jane Ingram Allen, has used Miscanthus floridulus, in this family of Silver Grasses to make an excellent strong light tan paper during her papermaking journey through Taiwan. I think I can get a similar result using M."Giganteus"... it looks like a tough plant !

Miscanthus Giganteus

So, along with my banana skins and Canna Lily fiber I have Japanese Silver Grass to process for classes I will be giving at Picture This Gallery beginning February 5th. (see below)

Left: Banana skins, I keep them in the freezer until I have enough to process for a large vat. When my doorbell rings its usually neighbors with banana skins ! Fun.

Center: bark from stalks of my Confederate Rose Plant (they have been steamed and peeled)

Right: Canna Lily stalks and leaves (dried and retting outside for the winter)

Sea Grass (Spartina) found washed up on the beach has to to be soaked and rinsed well to rid it of salt before cooking and beating.

Cooking sea grass (usually covered) in soda ash for several hours before beating.

Vat of beaten sea grass pulp... blender beaten and Hollander beaten, a small mold and deckle on the table (student sized) - I found that the best papers were made in this Nepalese sugetta with a fine bamboo screen.

Finished papers: banana skin - right, sea grass - center, recycled rag paper with some seagrass fibers added and painted with stripes using a paste paper method - left.

Hand Papermaking Classes
This February I will start with beginner papermaking at "Picture This Gallery" on Hilton Head Island. The classes will include a lecture, instructions on making all tools necessary and how to obtain suitable fibers to make acid free quality papers. Students will mostly be using cotton rag fibers, some Asain fibers and for added interest we will combine locally grown and prepared plant fiber.

Intermediate Classes will include plant gathering and preperation, use of different types of molds and deckles and drying systems with some small projects, pulp painting on a small scale.

Advanced Classes will be with Asain type fibers to create fine translucent papers (generaly called rice paper) totally prepared by students, refining beating methods, papercasting and mold making.
The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum, Atlanta, is worth a visit...plan a whole day...if your in town.

If not check their web site. It features current exhibitions and interesting links to many papermakers and artists. It also is featuring a 1/2 hour video, called Mark of the Maker, on the history of the TWINROCKER HANDMADE PAPERMILL.... a fascinating look at every stage of making paper.