Sunday, December 27, 2009

last minute card and libris

Tonight we are going to a homecoming celebration for a couple who just got married, our friends daughter married a Sri Lankan and I believe this is a Sri Lankan custom. I bought a gift before Christmas but this morning decided I should make a card to go with it, so I dusted off the vat and grabbed the pulp that was left over from my Christmas cards from the fridge and made some sheets for the basis of the card. Luckily I had some cast pieces from another project so I painted them with irridescent medium this morning and am just waiting for the paper to dry before putting the card together. I have a choice of three symbols, the Maori fish hook or is it a spiral? The fish hook symbolizes prosperity and the spiral new beginnings. Both appropriate for a wedding greeting.

The Hindi prana which means life force.

And the endless knot which according to a book I have called The Secret Language of Symbols means continuity, longevity and eternity also appropriate for a wedding card although I'm not 100% happy with the original carving of this one so I think I'll go with the Maori one.

The paper I made before today's batch was for samples for the Deckle Edge (Papermakers of Victoria magazine) and I made red watermarked banana fibre paper since the next edition is going to be dedicated to banana and I had some in my freezer. Here are the removable watermark templates, blutac on fibreglass flyscreen and the stacks of samples.

The wider strips of blutack showed me where to tear the paper to get five strips per sheet, I tore the strips in half so that 15 sheets gave me the required 150 samples.
I was very disappointed that my book was not accepted into the Libris Awards and my proposal to talk about artists who use handmade paper in their work has been ignored even though I both emailed and posted a copy in good time for the deadline for proposals I haven't even had a response. I was hoping to improve the status of papermaking but I guess that is not going to happen it seems that printmakers do rule! in the Aussie artist book scene anyway.
Here are some pics of my book which is not quite finished but the impetus is gone now, I am waiting for a Japanese translation of the haiku I wrote to go in the book.

Here is the cover of the slipcase made from hemp paper with hemp string embedded inside, the catch is a bone piece with hemp string.
The slipcase is lined with a digital print of ferns on hemp paper and the book is kozo with fern bound with hemp string in a toji or stab binding.
Endpapers have ferns embedded.
Text and images are printed on hemp paper and woven into the kozo pages.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

photoshop and christmas

We had our yabbers breakup lunch yesterday and did our card swap, here they are sitting on our piano. They are all very individual and very special.

I made mine from cotton linter beaten together with offcuts of heavyweight Hoshu paper (machine made highly refined kozo). I divided my 15 x 31 cm moulds into three by sewing knitting needles onto the mesh and had precut shapes from oriental paper left over from my ornament book kits and the workshops I did for Art Education Victoria. I placed the shapes on the paper before couching and they became laminated to the paper. Here are some pictures of them drying on the fibro sheets, you can see the lines left by the knitting needles, the paper held together enough to feed through my printer so I could add the greeting then it was easy to work out where to tear the sheets apart. I used a feature I've learned this year of dropping images behind text using the opacity feature in photoshop.

Now to print and send them out!

I thought I'd share the instructions for the ornament books I designed earlier this year so here are the instructions and some pictures showing the folds.

Ornament Book
· 5 squares of heavy white paper 10 x 10 cm
· 3 squares of light card 5 x 5 cm
· 2 squares of decorative paper 5 x 5 cm
· 40 cm thread or thin ribbon
· two beads

· scissors
· gluestick
· needle for threading thread or ribbon through beads, may not be needed

· fold each white square in half diagonally

· turn each one over and fold in half both vertically and horizontally

. push the diagonals in so that you end up with a smaller square

· take one of the squares of card and draw your design, note that the design needs to be on the diagonal.
· cut out your design to use as a template
· Cut the design out in the paper squares and glue them together back to back ensuring that the folded corners are aligned
· glue the squares of decorative paper to the remaining two squares of card
· use your template to cut your design from the decorative card making sure that you turn your template upside down for one of the cards so you end up with a front and back cover.
· glue the thread or ribbon to the back cover with the halfway mark at the folded end of your design
· glue on your stack of pages
· glue the thread or ribbon to the top sheet
· glue the front cover on
· press
· thread the ends of the thread or ribbon through a bead
· tie a knot 10cm from the book
· thread the other bead through one strand and tie the thread or ribbon around the bead
· slide the first bead away from the book and turn around so that the covers meet back to back
· slide the bead back to hold the book open.
I learned some cool stuff at this week's photoshop course though I don't quite understand how it works but here are a couple of examples I worked up myself with the original photos included. By the way I was very pleased that I sold the two blueish collages at the Burnley Harbour exhibition last weekend.