Tuesday, July 28, 2009

workshop and new work

The armature workshop the weekend before last went really well, two days of play with kozo and cane. We made shapes, covered them with gauze then dipped them in a vat of kozo, a technique I learned from Catherine Nash back in 2000 in Tuscany. Pictured is the one I made in the workshop, I dipped it again when I got home then carefully peeled off the fabric once the paper was dry.

During the workshop we did the whole preparation of the kozo from cooking, through washing to beating then Japanese style sheet forming. Most of the morning of the second day was taken up with beating, there were a few sore arms after that. We set up a temporary vat and made sheets which we separated by just a thread in the Japanese style. After a slow, fairly short press with a board and a slowly filled bucket of water I brushed some sheets onto a large pressing board at the Bundoora studio, I took the rest home and rolled them onto fibro cement sheet. I have now torn each sheet into 16 pieces for the next edition of the Deckle Edge (Papermakers of Victoria newsletter). Each workshop participant took home a ball of kozo, myself included, I made some up yesterday to make books for the Melbourne show, I have entered two oriental books, now I have to make them.
Last week was pretty busy after the workshop I went into work to do the tax on Monday, Tuesday was Women's Art Register, Wednesday the Alcove Art Shop, and Thusday I gave a talk and show and tell at Ivanhoe Library, Friday I cleaned the house and prepared for dinner guests, Saturdaywe went to the Dali exhibition and spent nearly three hours there, what a great show and diverse work.
This week I'm catching up on creative stuff, I actually have three days in a row where I can work and as long as I get off the computer I will get a bit done. Yesterday I made some cards using the black card that was given to us by the printer at Bundoora and I bound one and a half books. I also made some kozo and recharged the indigo vat to dye some thread and some kozo pulp, I intend to make some cloud paper with indigo and plain kozo. Today I plan to make some paste paper and do some more indigo dyeing. At my talk last week one of the participants brought in some of the books she'd made, she attends classes with Rae Cummings at Panton Hill. One of the books had a cover of paste paper where the paint used was one of the Lumiere halo colours. I have some pots of that so thought I'd give it a try on the black card. It looked very stunning on the book and I think it would look good on cards.

The books are a series of Melbourne books using some of the photos I took while preparing for the Shared Journeys workshop earlier in the year. I decided to use some of the images for cards too. I have chosen to use a combination of Celtic and Coptic to bind the journals, I like the way these bindings look and how they open flat.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

new work and artist statement

I have made a book to send up to the SCU Artist Book exhibition but have been stalling on writing the artist statement. You might recognise the book as one of my boat shapes with pages, I spent quite a bit of time on the Internet this morning looking at related poems and I joined a great site which has poetry lessons and people give feedback on poems. Then I decided I liked the book wordless, the pages just give it a bit more structure. I decided to call the book Paper Barque because it is a boat made from mulberry bark (kozo). I can see my artist statement forming as I write. I don't mind blogging but I find it quite difficult writing artist statements. I found a couple of good sites with info and suggestions about writing artist's statements so I am trying to take the advice on board. http://www.artbusiness.com/artstate.html
Paper Barque 2009
Here is what I came up with in the end, I still don't like writing artist statements!
Paper in its many forms is a vital part of my practice as an artist. I decided to call this work Paper Barque for the play on words, it is a paper boat made from the bark of the mulberry tree. I feel that the book pages, made from different plant fibre papers with marks made from strips of bamboo add a certain structure to the boat.
Also my postcard from last posting did arrive safely, there were some great icons amongst the postcards, many of them religous but some of them architectural and cultural. Our next challenge is to use collagraph plates to do either a rubbing or embossing, I'm still working on my plate/s.
Below is the final version of Between the Lines.

Friday, July 3, 2009

postcard and flu

I have been laid low with the flu for the last week so have felt OK about spending hours on the computer playing lots of games of lexulous and eucre. I did update my webpage for 2009, it's only half way through the year, maybe I should have made allowance for 2010 while I was at it. It probably needs a complete overhaul but I'm not sure I've got that much energy. Yesterday I felt like death warmed up so just sat around watching videos but the day before I finished off a couple of books and made my postcard for the Yabbers exchange. The theme this time was 'Icons' and there had to be some sort of construction. I have done a few things with icons in the past so already had images on my computer and I had the moulds for the decorative framing that I'd carved in plaster. It was just a matter of casting four copies of the frame then joining them together with some strips of calico and painting them. I used black gesso for the base then rubbed over some metallic oilstick and gold acrylic. I then painted everything with shellac and rubbed again with the gold since the shellac dissolved the oilstick. Now to test the mail and see if it gets to its destination.

The books I made were concertinas for the exhibition at Artisan Books called Between the Lines. I haven't decided yet which one to submit, the first one has the text watermarked between the strings and both pieces of paper had the text watermarked, they don't quite match up but the text is still visible, I am pleased that the text is quite subtle, says something about reading between the lines!

For the second book in the series I lightly coloured some pulp so that there would be a slight contrast, making the text less of a watermark, more a stencil.

The cream paper in the two books is cotton sheeting beaten in Papermakers of Victoria's lab Valley beater for three hours, the blue is archival mount board processed in an old non automatic washing machine and with a blender dyed with cartesol dyes.