Saturday, December 22, 2007

ornament books

On reading Wendy's and Lee Kotner's blogs about ornament books I was reminded of a book I recieved in a Christmas book swap back when I first joined the online community. It was made by Raven Regan Arts and Crafts in Canada. It was made the same way as the book on Lee's site but had several pages and a bead closure.
That lead me to make a few variations on the theme.
Starting with squares, the pictured book is made from printouts of a snowflake clip art. The clipart had one side blue on white and the other white on blue. When joined together the book has one side blue snowflake on white and the other white snowflake on blue. I made six pages but I think it would have been better with five. The bead on the ribbon holds the book closed and will hold the covers together when the book is open and can be used to hang the book either open or closed.

This is another variation with shaped pages. There are lots of possibilities for this book, here are just a few.

Back in 1998 I made a series of blue pineapple books which were explosion concertinas. I only had a small amount of the pineapple fibre so made lots of small sheets from plain pineapple fibre and indigo dyed fibre, the darker indigo dyed paper was made from pineapple tops and the rest was from fibre imported from the Phillipines.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Another day at the computer

This will be a short post since I don't want to spend another day at the computer, my family is getting jack of me sitting here all the time. I was going to do so much else on Tuesday and must do more today. Anyway I spent a bit of time updating my website yesterday. I figured I only had work I had done in February on the site so I selected a few of my favorite pieces to represent the year.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Christmas Cards and creativity

I have just spent over an hour reading emails in between looking at blogs and there's so much more I could read but I promised myself I'd catch up on the washing, dishes and try to do a bit of a tidy up. I'm looking forward to a very uncreative day, I've packed away my papermaking gear and drained the pulp. I have only one more project to complete before the end of the year and that is to get some denim beaten for some friends, I promised it to them months ago but then my beater stopped working, in fact it is now in pieces, so I guess the first thing I need to do is get it back together, I'm afraid I've put that in the too hard basket. I'll see if I can hire Papermakers of Vics beater this week and then put my mind to getting mine fixed, I might need to hire a handy man.

I feel very relieved I finally posted out all the IAPMA ( bulletins, I've been working on them since 1 September, got them back from the printers about 3 weeks ago and apart from the first night have put covers on and samples in over 350. The paper for the covers was sent from Scotland months ago and I sent J one of my Bundoora books in exchange for the postage costs, I hope she's happy with it. My next editing job is the IAPMA newsletter, then the Women's Art Register Bulletin. The newsletter should only take a couple of days but the Register Bulletin will take a little longer, I didn't have much for it but I've chased up a couple of articles and have extended the deadline to mid January. On my way to Portland last weekend I called into the Warrnambool Art Gallery and saw a couple of shows, I was very taken by an exhibition by Katherine Bowman which was black and white figures, almost just suggestions of figures but when you looked closely small sections were beaded. I bought a copy of the catalogue and was able to contact Katherine re including her work in the forthcoming bulletin, she pointed me in the direction of Craft Culture where there is a review of the exhibition and sent me some images for the bulletin. I'm also hoping to include an article on Bronwyn Oliver, her work was on the cover of our second bulletin back in 1988 and not since then. Given her untimely death last year I thought it might be time to feature her work again.

I have been doing a little bit of creative work lately. The time came to make Christmas cards, it's go so that each year more people expect handmade cards from me. This year I've taken a bit of an easy way out, instead of handmade paper as the base card I've used watercolour paper. When I did the card class I discovered a shop in Croydon that sold books of 280 gsm watercolour paper for $10, there were fifteen A3 pages so I was able to get 60 cards from one book. It wasn't very good quality for watercolours but fine for cards with a rough and a smooth side. I got a bit carried away and made over 60 cards (I've bought 3 books all up). Here are pictures of four of them, the others are all similar, just variations on a theme. It all started with the scraps from my Christmas books, I just added a bit of paper which had been sprayed with a bit of gold acrylic and with strong red dye.

Now I really must get off the computer!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kinder Kids

I'm just recovering from two days of teaching 3 and 4 year olds to make paper. I've put in pictures of the paper from the first day drying in my shed. I made A5 sheets with the 3 year old group and A4 with the older group. They all made three sheets, one plain, one with stencilled foot or paw prints and one with a hand print. All bar one child made their three sheets, many of them unassisted. By the end of the second day I had everything going swimmingly, I had only one helper so split the class into four groups of five or six each child had a name tag which they placed on their last sheet. I had six couching beds and left the sheets in place until all of the children had finished then I picked the stacks up and put them in the press all at the same time, calling the children back to see the water being squeezed out. In the previous sessions I picked up all the sheets after each group had finished and made the children wait while I pressed the sheets, they did like to help turning the handle of the press but it worked much better if they could just make their three sheets then go inside to do something else. Something else I streamlined over the two days was that first I was giving the children a choice between a hand print and a foot print but it worked out better if they did one of each but swapped the colours of the base sheets and second sheet.

I was totally whacked after two days leaning over low tables. Hence a morning sitting at the computer before I get stuck into my next project which is making some special cards for one of my neighbours. One pastel, one bright and one with plenty of bling, lets see how I go.

Then a visit to my mum via refilling my gas bottle so I can finish cooking fibres for the workshop I'm running next Saturday in Portland (about 4hrs drive from home). I found out last Friday that there are 15 enrolled in the class so I'll need plenty of fibre.

Monday, November 19, 2007

That Christmas Book

Well, I've done the Christmas books, finished them off at about midnight last night. I decided to go for something abstract. Not very Chrismassy many would say especially since I've chosed black and white for the colours. Since I had the Roman columns I decided to go with Roman numerals for the date. The tree on the cover is one of the moulds I've been using for the Christmas cards this year. I think everyone will be getting a collage card on watercolour paper this year.

See the pictures below.

I've been teaching some classes the last few weeks, three weeks of bookbinding and one of card making for Christmas. Next week I'm going to a Kindergarten to make paper with lots of three and four year olds. I'm going to have to get busy making pulp, the weeks seem to fill up so quickly.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Blurb, Libris and Yabbers

I was on Channel 31 the other week in the program Blurb I haven't seen it yet but I'm hoping my brother has taped it for me. A friend of a friend saw it and contacted my friend, so I know it's been on.

I finally found out the other day that my book has been shortlisted for the Libris Awards, I hadn't heard anything and figured I'd missed out but when I saw a listing the other day my name was there. I suspect there might be something wrong with my email. A while ago I also heard that a couple of my books were accepted into the Lark Books production 500 Handmade Books.

In the last month I have made a few things and I got the rest of the vessels back from the Basket exhibition at Artisan Books. Here are the ones that were in that show. Only the large one has any weaving as such so they can barely be called baskets but Daniel was quite happy to have them in the show. They are made from a range of plant fibre papers all of them natural colours except for the red which has been dyed with Cartesol dyes.

I also made some more simple sketch books for St Lukes Art Supplies. This time I used recycled board that I dyed black and leather thonging to hold it all together.

For our next Yabbers session we are planning to do some solar printing. I thought I'd better do some practise samples to make sure my dyes would work. I made a couple of long strips and some rectangles on 150 gsm Cartridge paper, the same paper I used in the sketch books. The process is to wet the paper well then drop the dyes on, spray with a bit of metallic acrylic paint, then drop flat things on to the surface and cover with glad wrap and put in the sun to dry.

Some of the things I used were some young tree fern and geranium leaves and some of my flat plastic shapes that I have for embossing. I'm always checking out $2 shops and the like for glow in the dark shapes, you can get quite a range but they only appear for a short time then something else takes their place. The fern and the plastic shapes worked best but I did get some nice effects from the glad wrap with the geranium leaves. I photocopied one of the sheets onto some handmade paper and used it for the covers of the two demo models I made for my book class on Friday. We did a straight concertina then a concertina with pockets. I used the strip I'd made for the straight concertina and plain Cartridge for the pockets.

I'm considering I might make a set of the pocket books for the Christmas book exchange V is organising for Papermakers. At an earlier Yabbers gathering we made things from paperclay using B's moulds and I made six of each thing thinking I'd use them for the Christmas books. Now I just need to come up with a way to link Christmas with cupids, wings, masks, columns and fish????????? My thinking cap is ON.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Exhibition Opening

We had the opening of 'Threads, Thoughts and Inspirations' yesterday and it went really well, the show looks good, it's on at Bundoora Homestead Access Gallery until 2 December. We opted for afternoon tea and cakes instead of wine and we ended up with a wonderful spread.

It has been ages since I wrote anything here, I don't know where the month has gone. I have done a bit of bookbinding and have been teaching a class the last couple of weeks, just one more week to then I have a card class. I've been trying to get together a few things for Christmas sales, the Alcove one starts next week, I'm helping to set it up on Monday. I'm also doing some for StLuke, Lumina and Highway galleries. The books below are a new idea, landscape format with the pages held together with a variation of double needle coptic stitch and with leather to protect the spine and to help hold the covers on.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Cards again

Before going away last week for our 30 year anniversary I spent a day making some cards, getting ready for some classes I'm teaching later in the year and maybe thinking a bit about this years Christmas cards. I've got heaps to do before I get too carried away with Christmas cards though and while we were away my mum had a fall which resulted in her going to Hospital and looking like spending up to six weeks there and at rehab.
The first picture is of the cards I made for a possible kids card class, the angel has one inside which flies. I hope they inspire some children to have some fun with their cards.

The next lot are a range of cards incorporating various casts I've made over the years with some handmade and some other paper including a couple of pages from one of the books I bought at Kazari a while ago. I discovered that if I fold a paper tissue into about 8 then wet it well and press it into my plaster mould it will hold together as a cast.

Next is a series of photo cards including photos taken on King Island and at Werribee Zoo.

This one is a piece of mixed plant fibre papers couched together.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Journals and a frivolous day

My stars today said that I could expect some frivolous activity for the weekend. Could be true! We started it by going to a Fringe Festival Cabaret. It was fun though we were four of about a dozen in the audience, very cozy!

I only know what the stars had in store for me because V who is the same star sign as me came and we drove together to the Geelong Forum. I guess you might call visiting the forum frivolous although I did keep a fairly tight hold on my purse strings, only bought a bag of silk worm casings and bits.

I'm not sure what I'll use them for but they looked interesting enough to add to something. When I opened the bag it smelt rather bad so not a good omen.
I think they reminded me of the "eggs" I made during the week. I've taken the better ones in to Artisan books for the basket show coming up next week. We have to stretch to call them baskets, one had woven paper the others were just cast, high shrinkage stuff, a mix of dyed well beaten ginger lily, montbretia bracts, artichokes and some gingko pulp given to me by B. I didn't take any photos of the ones I took to Artisan but here is the one that stayed at home.

I had duty at the Alcove Art Shop on Wednesday so it was a chance to get some binding done. I seem to only bind at night or when I have shop duty. I've been out so much lately I haven't been making many books although I've made a couple of large (about A4) Journals and want to make a few more to build up a few supplies before Christmas. I think we'll give the dark one to the friend who's 50th birthday party it is tonight.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bulletin and Show

I haven't done much this past week apart from work on the IAPMA Bulletin. I've nearly got it done, just waiting on a couple of things and still struggling a bit with InDesign.

I ended up just taking the hemp out of the beater half beaten and I've put in some pulp with an additive that Mark sent me to sharpen the blades. I'm hoping that will stop it sticking. Then I might have another go at the hemp.

I did quite well at the show this year - two firsts and a second. I had planned to go to the Show on Friday but decided instead to do the galleries with a friend. We started at Charles Nodrum, where cousin Bill Yaxley's show is about to finish. Then on to Pollock, Dickinson and Christine Abrahams. Then we went to Albert Street and did the galleries on one side of the street then went to Kazari - this amazing warehouse with Japanese furniture, fabrics, old books, etc. Then back down the other side of Albert Street and home. All in all I think we visited 10 galleries - a record, even for us. We saw some great art and some ordinary art. But it was a good experience to prepare for the Women's Art Register gallery walk I'm organising for the 27th of October.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Blurb and Beater troubles

Today I did an interview for a new TV program for Channel 31 called Blurb. It is planned to air early in November at 7.30 pm on Monday nights. I had taken way too many books but we got to look at a few in detail. I'll have to find someone with a video player to tape it for me. I also took my books to the show which opens on the 20th September. I must try and go this year since I've missed the last couple of years and they've made some big changes to the showgrounds in recent years.

We've got yabbers here on Wednesday and the plan is to beat up some hemp. I've started with one batch but have been having awful troubles. It started when I beat up some samples of curtain fabric which were described as being 93% cotton and 7% linen. Well they eventually formed some type of pulp but I had to constantly stand at the beater to help the fibre around. Now I've started on some hemp and although it is rotating properly it is constantly getting jammed unless I have the roll so high it doesn't do anything to the fibre. The pictures show the chopped up fabric and the state of the pulp now. I have been attacking it with scissors from time to time but don't have time to stand all day chopping. I need to put on my editor's hat and get on with editing the IAPMA bulletin. ( I think it will be a good one this time as I've got some interesting pictures and stories.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

books for Bundoora

I have been working on a series of books for the Bundoora Exhibition. The brief for the exhibition is that the works explore the house and it's history. I'm doing two series one is a combination of casting or pulp painting with cyanotype and these will be glued to canvas stretchers.

The books are from recycled paper and I started with concertinas which incorporated the words Bundoora Homestead interspersed with objects from the history of the house like the house itself, a horse to represent the early history, a bed to represent the time the house was used as a mental hospital and easels to represent the current use as an art gallery.

I've made the books from recycled cotton card and joined the pages with glue, then I've coated with rabbit skin glue to give added strength then sprayed through stencils with metallic acrylic paint then sprayed with paper dyes and coated with satin glaze.

I have made two concertinas with the symbols and words and one with the symbols and the house.

I then decided to do two concertinas representing then and now. One has the house in the middle of bush and the other the house stuck in suburbia as it is now.



Then I decided to move to a different format and make a piano hinge book using the sticks left over from Child's Play firstly to show the house through it's history and then

The horses. And then

The house itself!