Friday, November 25, 2011

Sculptural books with Gail Stiffe

I did a sculptural bookmaking course last weekend taught by book artist Gail Stiffe.  I had a lovely time with my oh so creative friends from Stitching and Beyond for the three day workshop at the Moonah Arts Centre.  Pictured below are some of my efforts from the class.

This book is made using a "W" binding.  The paper on the covers was made by me using a technique learned in the class whereby acrylic paint is squeezed directly from the tube across the top of a piece of paper and then spread across the page using a paint scraper.  The process is repeated with as many colours as you wish to use.  I found 3 colours to be good.  Any more and my work ended up looking like a muddy mess.

Judicious use of silver metallic paint makes the colours on this paper really "sing".

Fortuitously the colour of the painted paper perfectly balanced the coloured card that I had earmarked for this exercise before starting the course.

This is my version of a flag book.  Sadly I glued the different sections incorrectly and so it didn't really work as a flag book.  Nevertheless I think it makes an interesting wall hanging of deconstructed images.  To see the effect it should have had, there is a fine example here.

This is my piano hinge book.  The name is self explanatory.  This is a simple white book made from 210 gsm water colour paper which has enough body to allow the book to stand without benefit of a cover.

An up close internal view of the "hinge".  Just like on the lid of your piano, right?

This was the first book I made in the class.  Here I have used a two needle coptic binding.  The cover boards are covered with a gorgeous indian silk paper.  The pages are 110 gsm paper taken from a ringbound artist's journal and folded to A5 size.

The workshop was titled "sculptural books" and when I first signed on I thought we were going to be making sculptures from books, or at least sculptures in book form.  Of course, after checking out Gail's blog I realised that it was going to be a little different to what I expected.  That was fine with me as I have never before made books and the general techniques really interest me.  On the last day I really wanted to break loose and make something at least a little sculptural and so...........

I created this little book of a book reading a book.

The signatures (that's what you call the bundles of paper that you stitch between the covers) are composed of some of my painted paper with leaves from a telephone book in between.  Somewhere in my little book is my own name and telephone number.  The hands and arms were difficult to make as the paint paper is very stiff.  Hence their rather rudimentary form.  Despite this I think they are playfully expressive, if not perfectly formed!

At the end of the day we all put our work on a table so that we could admire each others work.

Here's a flag book done properly.

The books on the left were made by the uber talented Mahdi Chandler.  A good friend and my bench buddy for the workshop.

Closer view of Mahdi's books.  Mahdi had a wonderful selection of papers to work with which she combined in her own beautiful style.  The book on the right is covered with a Japanese Fabric.

Mahdi's celtic binding looks fabulous with her paint paper cover.

Top view shows the beautiful hand torn signatures.

Ros Grant's lovely "W" bound book with toad skin decal on the cover.

Ros also made this fabulous flag book featuring her own night time photography of coloured lights. Ros glued the photos back to back so that the book has a stunning set of images regardless of which way it is view.  Brilliant.

Don't know Sandra's surname, but for me her piano hinge book was the winner.

Beautiful marbled paper on Jenny's two needle coptic bound book.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

From the Wonderful Maurice Sendak

Once a little boy sent me a charming card with a little drawing on it. I loved it. I answer all my children’s letters — sometimes very hastily — but this one I lingered over. I sent him a card and I drew a picture of a Wild Thing on it. I wrote, “Dear Jim: I loved your card.” Then I got a letter back from his mother and she said, “Jim loved your card so much he ate it.” That to me was one of the highest compliments I’ve ever received. He didn’t care that it was an original Maurice Sendak drawing or anything. He saw it, he loved it, he ate it.

Maurice Sendak  (via bbbrad)
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Monday, November 14, 2011

Ooh, look what I found in my shed.

Actually, my husband found it on a shelf sitting behind a small tool box.  What is it?  It is a European Wasp nest. An amazing and somewhat creepy bit of entomological architecture.  The compartments down the left hand side of the next contain the empty shells of the wasp grub, while the compartments down the right side contain that spiders that were dragged there to feed the developing grubs.

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Come and Meet Me in the Middle of the Air

This is my latest work.  It is the second in my Heaven and Earth Series and is titled "Come and Meet Me in the Middle of the Air".   It is my rendering of a nebula.  Worked in my usual hand dyed silk thread, I have added some bronze wing pigeon feathers for texture.

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I had my work for my up coming solo show (April 27, 2012 at the Goulburn Street Gallery) professionally photographed last week.  Once I have taken delivery of the photos I can start building my website.  Exciting!  I'll also be able to start promotional work.  I intend to send promo material to all the major art magazines.  I don't know if any of them will cover the show, but if you don't put yourself out there you will never know.

I went to the opening of a show by my friends Diana Eaton and Sonja Cook at the Goulburn.  Seeing their lovely work hanging in the gallery made me feel that, yes, I am going to have a solo show and yes, it is real!

I'll have a new work finished and up on my blog in the next week or so.
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