Monday, December 8, 2008

Self portrait, nest and workshop book

Mike found this abandoned nest in the ivy growing along our side fence, what a great find since Zoe and I are working towards our nesting exhibition for March next year. I clipped it out of the ivy and luckily it stayed pretty well intact. We are having working days today and tomorrow, planning to make some more banners using the long sheets of paper I brought back from Korea. There are all sorts of problems managing the coating, exposing and washing but last time we worked on it we got 2/3 of a banner made and we plan to finish it off today as long as the sky clears.
I have finally made a mock up of the book for the workshop that I'm happy with. After really struggling with getting the needle through the book cloth and the timber I decided to dispense with the hard covers and go for a soft cover book. Thge next thing to work on will be a design for a slip case.

I am still working on making my papers for the book but that can happen in February, I've made gumleaf and have cooked up tree fern and have stripped some blackwood bark. I think I need a week with doing nothing but preparing fibre to get it all done. I need to get my beater back in action too, I don't know how I'm going to get enough fibre out of the tree fern to hold together but I'll find out.
This is my self portrait that I did for the T'arts group which I joined this year after being invited to exhibit with them last year. Since I'm doing a lot of cyanotypes lately I decided my portrait should be done in cyanotype. Recently I visited my mother when she had someone come to cut her hair, my sister and Mike were there and they both got there's done too and I collected all the hair and have added it to the pulp for this paper. I made a lot of long strips with the view to making some concertina books and towards the end of the vat I sandwiched two sheets together with some strips of cooked banana leaf fibre caught in between. I'll be using some of them for the nesting exhibition and I used some for this.

Some of the cyanotypes worked better than others, I've been learning how to increase the contrast using photoshop levels and some of those images have worked really well but the others have ended up quite blue but since I didn't have time to start again I have included all in this book which was really just for show and tell. It was meant to be a challenge for the year but most who did it finished it in the last week.


jo horswill said...

Gail, this post is full of wonder.
The nest is superb! I have just finished making a collagraph printing plate with bits of rubber I carved from another print block I was making. The shards of rubber, lent themselves to becoming a nest...yet to print it. but will soon!
Your self portrait is amazing!
I love your process here.

Papergail said...

Thanks Jo,
I look forward to seeing your nest. Nests are marvelous things aren't they?
PS thanks for the postcard!

Joanne B Kaar said...

Hi Gail,

Do the books with the wooden spine open out flat?

Joanne B Kaar

Papergail said...

Hi Joanne,
sorry I've taken so long to answer this but the book opens nearly flat. As you can imagine the solid spine restricts it a bit but it would be easy enough to write in it.

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