Monday, June 27, 2016

Visions of Betsy McCall

 I've decided to spend time creating an entry for the JRAC (Jordan River Arts Council) fall Rare Threads exhibit. The theme of ancestral inspirations struck a cord. I have a stash of lovely handkerchiefs that belonged to the matriarchs of my family. The idea started as fabric trays of black linen that would have pieces of the textiles attached with french knots. In my usual fashion this has morphed into something completely different.

The fabric tray thing was much to boring, blah, unimaginative. I guess it was just a jumping off point for other ideas. A large paper doll with my mothers face began to emerge. I spent quite awhile yesterday finding the right facial image. Then I worked on the proportions for the doll. Had a little help from Pinterest as I have a board of all sorts of art dolls. The black linen will be the body of her dress. A mock up of the skirt will be next so I can figure out the layers and volume. There will probably be wire stitched into the skirt so it can be very 3D. Does anyone else remember cutting & playing with Betsy McCall paper dolls?

These fine ladies helped me come up with the body. It will be hand painted fabric sewn to pelon. I'll copy the face onto fabric as well after I alter it a bit in Photoshop. The joints will be hinged with small white pearl buttons. But don't hold me to that.

A plug for some of my current favorites in supplies. Rotary cutters weren't part of my arsenal until recently. Wow are they nice! The metal triangle was on the supply list for PBI & I love it! So flat, nice markings, just the right size for most jobs where a 90 degree angle is imperative. The protractor is an oldie but goodie. Angles are always tough to duplicate, but I've learned to use the right tool.

Today a parting shot from a little walk I took last week down the alley from work. Who doesn't love a tree house? This one caught my eye. It's a classic. It screams summer to me. I love the boards at different angles. Too bad it's an old stump & not a living tree it's attached to.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Tid Bits Abstractions & Summer

Good Summer Morning Everyone!  The weather & the vibes in & around Traverse City have been pretty good lately. Just a few little artsy things to share for a week end send off.

 I'll be on the Boardman River this week end with 12 work mates for a retirement party for a gal a couple months younger than myself. I may be next. I'm finding the retirement decision a tough one. Anyone else?

But on to artistic musings.

Latest ATC swap. Here was my offering I sent out before PBI. Little abstractions.

 Just finished another art journal cover. Ready to fill up with ideas sketches & mental meanderings.
Found a great tutorial on getting the cover off this very book I use. Made the painting of the cover MUCH easier. I love sewing fabric to the front & back covers. So that was lots easier with the covers off as well.

 Finishing up a couple more of the fabric "pods" I started awhile ago. I love them but need to move on to some book & fabric structure ideas that have been banging around in my head. Ouch.
Would love to hear how your summer is shaping up. What creative endeavors have caught your fancy? 

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Following the Paper Trail

A gals best friend in the paper studio is her water proof boots. You can get so many fun patterns & colors these days. Above are mine. Below a fellow class member's. I really like hers! 

But I'm getting off track here. 

My final 4 days of class at PBI was all about Asian paper. I had never pulled sheets in the Asian style before and it took a little getting  used to. There was a rhythm to how the mold is dipped and the fiber sloshed back and forth to create the lovely thin sheets. I gave you a preview of the paper making 2 posts ago. We beat the pulp we used to make Hanji, made lace bark, and our group was totally smitten with spinning paper thread &  making cord.

Aimee Lee was our wonderful instructor. Ever since I saw one of her sweet ducks online I've been a fan. When I saw she would be teaching at PBI I was thrilled. 

This is the little bobbin winder we used to spin the thread. I can see one of these off ebay in my future.
The thread can be used to knot & crochet as well as becoming part of woven pieces. 

Cutting the single sheet to begin creating the thread.

Aimee showing us how to rip the edges of our single sheet to separate the slices in order to get one long strand to spin.

Some of the piles of thread & weaving & knitting we created. 

 Below was my stash for the show & tell. The grey knitted piece was dyed with sumi ink, the rose colored woven piece was colored with fermented persimmon dye.

 Next post I will talk about the process to make the 300 + sheets of Hanji paper we "pulled" and dried. But to end today I'll introduce you to my new friend. When I saw Aimee was putting one of her ducks in the auction held at the end of PBI I decided he had to be mine.

 Aimee has a great Flickr page with loads of her ducks having adventures. So I had to take pictures of mine to share with her to show one of her creations was continuing the trend at my home & work. I think he's settling in quite well and making new friends.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Monoprinting with Georgia Deal at PBI

Already seems like ages ago PBI was my existence. Back to reality. But summer in Traverse City is proving to be a good one this year.

My other class during session one of PBI was a monoprinting class with Georgia Deal. I have admired her work since I saw an exhibit while at a Friends of Dard Hunter conference in Washington DC several years ago. In our class with Georgia we learned some great techniques using plexiglass "plates" as a base to run multiple color layers of ink through an etching press.


         Below is my first attempt with Queen Anne's Lace flowers, string, and some seed pods I brought.

           So much fodder out there to try as pressure prints. Plants, netting, bubble wrap, you name it.

We spent hours manipulated stencils, adding layers of color, doing reduction prints. 
 Later we learned how to do transfers from xerox (toner) copies. Gum arabic is used to get the toner to attach to the ink we rolled onto the copy. Lots of ink applications and wiping with water before it's ready to run through the press.The results were striking, especially in combination with other layers.

The gloves above wre the demo, the print below one of mine over top of a previous run with a pressure print.
I decided to use a sketch I had of a large fish.

Here he is after a few layers of color
& after about 8 layers. The colors in these pictures aren't great, but you get the idea. It definitely took quite a bit of time to create each layer.

Georgia was a delight as an instructor, and a classmate in the next session. I truly enjoyed her company.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Summer is On!

Taking a moment to breathe between Intensive Art gig, return to everyday work (fighting with insurance companies for patients & my doctors), and full on summer in Traverse City. So just a couple pictures of what paper makers do on a fine summer day, and a little nature. 

During the paper making workshop at PBI here we are beating the crap out of  Hanji fiber. Known as Kozo in Japanese. It's a long hard process to get the fibers to a fine feathery state for paper making.

We also made "bark lace". A beautiful way to use the bark of the plant after it's been cooked and the bast removed to make paper fiber.  More on what else we did later. Stay tuned!

 Loving my park down the block now that the weather has turned nice. 
                                              Lake Michigan is just over the hill to the right.