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.