Saturday, June 23, 2012

Third Annual A.R.T.

Art Recycled from Trash

Picture This Gallery, Hilton Head South Carolina
Third Annual Juried Exhibit  April 2nd -28th 2012

An amazing selection of wonderful pieces were exhibited this year along with several from a local pre school (seen hanging from the ceiling)in a separate category - complete with a milk and cookie afternoon reception giving youngsters a valuable lesson in recycling and a chance to be proud of their sculptures.
My contribution this year was an altered book titled: "Commercial Geography". Each piece had to be created with 75% manufactured goods that would end up in a land fill.
I used parts from several books rescued from a dumpster. Keeping old covers and spines mainly for all sorts of collages and projects. Pages were folded back and glue and wax hold the pieces together on a base of another book cover.
The "story" appears to be squeezed out from the pages using all sorts of bits and found pieces....and some buttons too!!!!
The birds are made of my favorite paper... flax dyed with indigo made by "Cave Papers"

Friday, June 8, 2012

Sometimes its the Little Things

A collection of deer rib bones found at the beach, wisteria seeds, oak galls for making ink or not ! and a little friend peeking over a leaf....... sometimes its just the little things that pique  your imagination...the shapes, colors, textures, the feel of it, that entices you stop and pick it up... the need to collect many of the same gather for no apparent reason... the hunt... just because........

bones worn smooth by river current

Wisteria seeds popped out of their pods by warming weather and sprinkled all over the driveway- collected for giving away to neighbors or displayed in a lovely Asian bowl

a little caterpillar puffing himself up to frighten me away...on his way to being a black swallowtail butterfly

Oh the allusive oak galls... dropped from oak trees along with acorns...not easy to spot.... like tiny apples until they shrivel up and look like rust. Couldn't believe my good fortune to find an oak tree here in South Carolina that produced so many... it was easy in New York. Boil the galls with a nail or screw... add a little gum Arabic and you have a rich iron gall ink to play with (much like the 6th century scribes) OR place in another little Asian bowl as offerings... for those that just like little things.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Angels as Interns

Sometimes Angels just show up and lend a hand...and sometimes they are disguised as interns. Artist Nancy Mitchell of Hilton Head (above) is one of those rare beings.  I was having a great deal of difficulty beginning work on a rather large project and after several phone calls of encouragement she appeared with sleeves rolled up and demanded that I direct her. And so a friendship developed and a great respect for all those who just chip in where needed....angels need more recognition.

Nancy is not a papermaker but heard that I needed to make some very large sheets of paper for a proposed collaboration with a deadline looming and that at the very least it was a 2 person job.  As an artist she felt "my pain".... the project, a large accordion book (12 feet long) will be documented  in the next few blogs... mistakes, pitfalls...and down right stupidity will be shared (how not to make very large papers) and hopefully a final success. I had to enlist the help of some very experienced papermakers and artists along the way as it did not go as smoothly as was hoped.

a mold and deckle had to be built to specifications for this project (notice in the background that Spring has not yet arrived)

from the screen (mold and deckle) the extremely wet newly formed sheets of cotton and spartina(sea grass)pulp are carried to boards set up on horses to drain and dry a little in the sun.

Pressing the wet newly formed sheets, 30"x 48", between boards...clamped and weighted. Each sheet of newly made paper is extremely heavy and awkward to carry...all sorts of clamps and maneuvers from screen to boards set up on horses in the sun to a final pressing in the studio required at least 2 sets of hands.

further drying of thick sheets of paper on the dining room table with a fan before a final pressing.

Hopefully these will dry flat enough to form pages of a book... working title:"Inner Voices" I call the whole project BIG PAPER.