Showing posts with label butterflies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label butterflies. Show all posts

Monday, June 24, 2013

Exhibitions and workshops

I just realised it is over two months since I posted, I have been off the grid because we have had builders here converting two rooms into a bed and sitting room and totally changing the bathroom for disabled access so that my 92 year old mother can move in with us. She is currently in independent living in a retirement village and although she is reluctant to move she realises that she is struggling with preparing meals and other things. I have sort of been the project manager running around chasing after all the bits and pieces. It is now 99% finished and looking good.

The move also means that I have had to sort out all my STUFF that was jammed into one of the rooms. It has hurt but I've thrown out lots of artworks from my 30 odd years of producing and others have been jammed into plastic crates for storing in a couple of sheds in the backyard. I nearly have my workroom back, there are just a few things to find homes for and maybe a bit more to discard.

Meantime I have been preparing for some workshops in Colac that may go ahead, I am beating up some denim, after three days it is nearly done! I have also beaten some calico and another load of mixed quality papers including abaca and cotton rag. I am also teaching plant fibre but in my clean up I found a box of fibre cakes that I had stored several years ago.




Last week I got in and made a few books that are covered in book cloth and decorated with pieces of some old pulp paintings that I was reluctant to discard. I will be taking these to the Alcove Art Shop for the Winter Delights Exhibition. 









I have done a few cards, still with butterflies, these may be the last! Some of these papers were in timber light shades I made years ago and recently pulled apart so they are recycled in a different way.




I have also been invited to be part of this exhibition at the Highway Gallery in Mt Waverley.





Monday, April 8, 2013

belated update


I have been doing some work this year, though you wouldn't think so from here, I am just not documenting very well. The first piece is one that I made for a show in Bulgaria as part of the Amateras Foundation's Sofia paper Art Fest, there are five panels each approximately 80 x 40 cm.
Signs of Life - Natural 2013
Various plant fibre pulps, pulp painting
A very good friend of both of my daughters got married recently and asked me to make the invitations. She and her fiance also invited us to the wedding so I made them a guest book in the colours of their wedding. The yellow pulp was left over from the invites and the blue from my Christmas cards. I decided on a concertina format so that several people could sign at once.
Wedding Book for Claire and Simon
Recycled paper with dye and digital print of a cyanotype
Unique state
My book Obsolete was shortlisted for the Libris Awards at  Artspace Mackay, the exhibition runs from 10 May until 30 June, I don't expect to win but it is good to be there, I very nearly didn't enter because I felt it was too expensive but I relented on the last day!

Obsolete 2012
mixed plant fibre and digital print,  tunnel book
Edition of two


My daughter Katy was keen to enter St Lukes Palette show again and talked me into it too. I was uninspired for along time then elected to make shaped pages and turn it into a book with the palette sawn in half for the cover. I kept seeing a face in the palette so called my book Oddbod. Katy has done a fabulous one based on Alice in Wonderland.
Oddbod 2013
Wooden palette, paper made from cotton nappies, abaca and recycled board, cotton thread and ceramic beads
Unique state


Oddbod 2013
Wooden palette, paper made from cotton nappies, abaca and recycled board, cotton thread and ceramic beads
Unique state
Katy Stiffe
Rabbit Hole 2013
Acrylic paint and fabric collage
Butterfly Book 2013
Book board, marbled paper, turning mechanism, black cover paper, New Zealand flax and other plant fibre papers.
Unique state




I have entered these two books in the East Gippsland Art Gallery 'Books Beyond Words - Revolution' Show. The Butterfly book is an extension on the butterflies I have been making for the last six months or so and it revolves when the handle is turned. I scoured our local op shops until I found a music box with a ballerina, I pulled it apart, removed the music and made a new box to hold the mechanism. The other piece 'Revolution' is largely the result of an etching workshop I did with Liz Powell a few weeks ago. In the workshop we used zinc plates and copper sulphate but at the end Liz mentioned that you could also use clear acetate and that is what i used here for the line drawings. I carved the letters for the word from soft cut. Each page is larger by one letter than the one before and I felt the need to have the book circular in format.

Revolution 2013
Paper made from cotton nappies and abaca, acetate etching and block printing in posting tube.
Toji binding Edition of two

Monday, February 18, 2013

reinvented butterflies

It has been way too long since I posted, here it is almost the end of February and it seems that the year is just starting! I haven't been producing very much lately, seem to have been spending too much time on administration and on clearing out a room and a couple of sheds. I am only partly done on both those counts and we are in the middle of a heatwave so it is definitely a day for either staying inside or heading out somewhere that is air conditioned. We don't even run to a fan but our house is well insulated so it is still bearable inside.

I decided to reinvent some of the Butterflies that I made as part of the Yabbers contribution to Earthworks, the Papermakers of Victoria exhibition that was held last year so I went ti IKEA to buy some deep square frames and wouldn't you know it they didn't have any of the size I wanted. They did however have some rectangular ones and as it turns out they work perfectly. I will be submitting the set of three to the Contemporary Art Society exhibition that is on at Herring Island (in the middle of the Yarra river at Burnley) from 2 until 17 March, weekends only 11.30am to 4.30pm. I have called the piece Papillon in Three Parts, very original!!! The black is commercial card that I've hand cut and the colour is mostly New Zealand flax paper that has been dyed with Cartesol dyes.




The large stamp is my name stamp that I carved at a workshop with Miho Araki and the smaller one is an antique soapstone chop, I don't know what that says.


 Since Christmas I have made one batch of books using the papers that I dyed last year with rust and plant materials, the covers are book cloth that has a photocopy of one of the pages from the book. These were all done in a stainless steel pot with bits of rusty metal and the bundles of paper a la India Flint. I have since inherited an old copper and a cast iron pot but haven't had a chance to test them out yet.



Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Butterflies and keepsakes

Back in late January on return from holidays I noticed that a couple of my daphne bushes were looking very sad, I think they had got wet feet, one had died and the leaves on the other had gone very yellow. What does a papermaker do but steam the stems and cook up the inner bark then stick it in the fridge!
A healthy daphne
The stems in the steamer
The stripped stems
Two hours later the inner bark ready to cook
Sheets of coffee chaff paper. Last year I was sent a big box of coffee chaff,
I cooked some up and washed and made paper without any beating.
The backs of my sheeting couching cloths, the coffee paper shrunk quite a lot.
The third lot of sheets that are part of the keepsake exchange for Watermarks 2012, FDH and IAPMA joint meeting in Cleveland. These sheets are bluebell flower stems courtesy of Beverly Bennett who brought a giant bag of dried stems to the last Papermakers of Victoria meeting laminated with well beaten cardamon stems and leaves from Margaret Mason's garden. Koala, kangaroo and wombat signs were made from gaffer tape to form stencils.
As usual I have gone over the top my keepsakes are taking ages to put together, they have daphne, then coffee chaff then the laminated cardamom and bluebell (scilla), I have done about a third.
I have a bit of a butterfly theme happening at the moment, yabbers are making a range of butterflies for the PoV exhibition that's to be held at Open Drawer in November. I have made these with black card and coloured New Zealand Flax, I liked them so much I decided to frame some. 
Papillon Three, is currently on show at the Contemporary Art Society Members Exhibition at 314 Church Street Richmond until 16 September 2012






I have used butterflies on books and cards
I also made some origami butterflies out of paper I made from recycled teabags, I had asked the T'Arts to save me some teabags then remembered how well teabags work with photocopy transfer using oil of wintergreen. This pic shows the original butterfly and the transfer onto teabag and the paper that was under the teabag.
Lemons on our tree
Lemons again transferred onto a piece of silk that Ruth left under the teabags she was collecting for me.
Pulp Fiction my contribution to Book Art Object Edition Four