working with paper

I have work in a new exhibit which opens this Friday (Working with paper, Center Gallery in Olean, NY, 6-8pm). Regular readers have been sharing my struggle to get this work completed, so I thought I would share this moment of resolution with you too.

This is that monigami scroll which almost ended up in the bin

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And here are all those little tea bags I saved obsessively and then printed on

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It would be wonderful to see some of you at the opening, but I will also try to post some better pictures once the show is finished and properly lighted.

Thanks to everyone who encouraged me through the dark days and helped me reach this moment.

Snowflake

First time back in the studio really getting down to work. A while ago I started a series of snowflake inspired bindings. Yesterday I finally started another in the series.

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I start out drawing on graph paper. All the snowflakes are being adapted from some illustrations of black work borders.

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Next I copy that design onto a piece of graph paper mounted on some card stock.

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Then I start sewing. As I go I write out the steps. Once I have figured out how to sew the pattern I make a book block. Cutting, folding and punching the signatures always seems to take forever! This design has 21 signatures! I draw a scale pattern of the binding to help punch the right holes in the right signature.

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I bind the top and bottom to hold the tension even as I sew the design. Here I used a french link with a kettle on either side over a translucent ribbon with a little sparkle. Sometimes I use coloured thread for this stage, but I wanted to keep the focus on the snowflake for this one.

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Here’s the sewing finished.

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I have been trying to make bolder choices with my colours and patterns, to make things less “matchy”. The last step is glueing the covers and ribbons down.
About 8 hours later it is all done!
Feels good to add a new pattern to my repertoire. My goal is to draw them all up and publish them for others to use over summer break this year.

Keeping my head above water!

This semester I have a crazy teaching schedule, 5 classes at 3 different schools. It hasn’t left much studio time! I did finally wrap up the Berehinia book, I ended up hand dyeing some paper using tea and rust and making new covers.

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She shipped out this week, along with “maple” and “women’s work” for this exhibit. I am so excited to have work included in this exhibit again! Can’t wait for the opening.

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I am also working on a guest book commission, and a book for a DNA embroidery related exhibit. The binding was pretty easy to work out. But I had a crazy idea to hand stamp a human genome sequence inside. Where do these crazy ideas come from?  Why do they come to me?!

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Thankfully fall break is coming up this week at all 3 colleges, so I might get to play with some new ideas in the next few days.

Summer week 4

Most of this week was spent on production binding for the 4th annual Bookfest at Western NY Book Arts Center. I also experimented with a few more long stitch word bindings.

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Yesterday I spent a great day under my tent at Bookfest. I met some wonderful new people, saw some old friends and past professors from my time at UB, sold a few books and taught a mini workshop. If you are looking for the tutorial, it should be up later tonight.
Today I am exhausted! I did a few paste paper experiments for a workshop tomorrow and added some type to a few more brown paper lunch bag journals (another festival next weekend).

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Now I am laying on the couch in the air conditioning, and I think a nap may well be in my future!

Summer, week 3, part 2

Yesterday was a wash, another day of driving and hospitals and I spent most of today working on the next exhibit at the gallery. Then I headed out to an opening at the college where I teach. It’s a great show of art department alumni, so I got to see some artists I studied with as a student there, and some of my past students, as well as colleagues and friends. It really brightened up a grey rainy day.
I did squeeze in a little late night work in the studio. Like many of you this link came across my news feed several times this week. The image of the “love” binding stuck in my head, and then today I ran across some variegated rainbow crochet thread, so I had to try making one! I just used a paper cover while I worked it out, and I am pretty happy with it!!

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Summer Week 3

Week 2 was interrupted by camping. A couple of days in the woods with a good friend. And then a host of international counselors came to stay for the holidays. I did a little dabbling, but no serious work. On Sunday there was a lull, so I broke out a new Keith Smith book and decided to spice up making functional books for festivals by expanding my repertoire.

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Dot-dash

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Bow-tie
I got to use some handmade paper, some hand dyed paper and some paste papers, and lots of paper from my leftovers box. It was so much fun I am going to keep on trucking. I completed all the one section options with variations, so I am onto two section sewing.
Today I had to spend a few hours hanging out at the gallery waiting for artists to pick up and drop off work. I took along supplies to do some page meditations.

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Summer- week 2.

Yesterday I took a day off, I went for a walk in the rainy woods with a friend and spent time at home eating and chilling with my family.
Today was one of those days eaten up by the less creative side of being an artist, returning emails and phone calls, working on a poster and other publicity for the next show I am curating, arranging pick ups and drop offs for work, yeah, all those kinds of things. I also had a mind numbing headache that lingered all day. Gah!
After a trip to the library and dinner I did manage to finish a couple of little pamphlet scrap journals. I also made this recycled Coptic journal. The cover came from a box of things left on my porch this morning by one of my library fairies. As soon as I saw it I knew I wanted to use that variegated cotton crochet thread, its like they were made for each other.

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Now I am taking my headache to bed. Hope it is gone by morning!