I am still moving furniture and trying to fit everything in my new (to me ) home. Moving is really hard work, and I’m not talking about the physical part of moving. I am overwhelmed with decisions like what to keep, what to get rid of and how to get rid of it.
Max (that’s the plant) really likes his new home. He’s added a bunch of new shoots and leaves. In front of him is one of my friend Hannah Brehmer’s horse hair raku pots.
I’ve taken a lot of photos of my new home, but with all the lovely windows, the photos don’t show things the way they look in real life. It’s sort of frustrating because my house is really becoming a home and I’d like to share how it looks. Here are a few of the photos that don’t look too washed out by all the window light.
The copper red glaze ceramic pot was also made by Hannah Brehmer (I love her work!).
This is a bookshelf that is just outside my bedroom. The paintings were all done by my friend Elaine Frenett. She is a great watercolorist and journal artist.
But there are benefits to moving too. One good thing is that while I have been unpacking and seeing things that have been out of my sight for a while. This has given me so many new ideas for new ways to play with paper.
I need to get the moving finished before I start any new projects. I love my new studio space. It’s going to be such fun creating in this space.
During the month of August, I will be the Featured Artist at the Ashland Art Center. My show will focus on different kinds of art that I have created with paste paper. These are all new pieces that I’ve worked on over the past 5 months. Here is your sneak peek at what I will be showing.
If you’ve been following my blog, you’ve probably seen my Earth Spirit Vessels. Many of the parts of this one are pieces of my hand painted paste papers, which are painted and ironed flat before being folded. The vessel is titled, Tumbleweeds.
This is one of a series of eight calligraphy pieces with a paste paper background. I scanned all the images separately, worked with the scans in several graphics programs, and had the finished digital pieces printed on aluminum.
The show will run for the month of August. During the First Friday Art Walk on August 1, there will be a paste paper making demonstration in my studio, Studio 12. If you are in Ashland on Friday, August 1, be sure to stop by.
For more information about Paste Paper, you might enjoy these past blog posts:
Making Paste Papers: Part One
Making Paste Papers: Part Two
Children Making Paste Paper
I took an illuminated paper sculptures class from Helen Hiebert in her Portland, Oregon studio a couple of years ago, before she moved to Colorado. It was a wonderful experience, and I’ve been following her progress ever since. She’s an amazing artist.
Helen Hiebert standing under a giant dandelion sculpture called The Wish
Helen claims to be an introvert, but her installation work often engages large communities. She loves connecting with people from all walks of life, and says that she learns much from their diverse points of view. She collects data that she disseminates through her artwork. Often, it is invisible. Her projects begin with common themes—like making a wish. Everyone has hopes, dreams, prayers, aspirations…
Helen collected more than 200 wishes from around the world for THE WISH project, her most recent installation, which is, at the time of this blog post, at Anythink Huron Street. I sent her a wish of my own as part of the project, and it was included in the sculpture. With each wish, she received a little something from the giver—a glimpse into their view of the world. As you walk into the room and see THE WISH—a giant dandelion sculpture suspended from the ceiling—and hear the wishes of people from the community of the motion-activated sound track, her wish is that you will take the time to listen and to hear what others are saying. And then she hopes that you will make your own wish too.
(Anythink Huron Street is a 25,000-square-foot library located at the intersection of Conifer and Huron streets in Thornton, Colorado. I really want to get there to see Helen’s latest paper sculpture.)
I’ve been receiving a whole lot of positive comments and pats on the back recently. And, while it really feels good, I feel like I need to remind everyone that not everything works out.
It took me 2 weeks of trying and failing before I got a successful lotus flower.
I have had to overcome a lot of failures in order to get to the successes.
I feel it’s important to embrace your failures and learn from them. It’s through failure that I learn the most. Not from failure itself, but from the experience of creating and experimenting and learning why it didn’t work and what parts of it did work. My successes don’t help me nearly as much as my failures do. And sometimes those failures end up turning into a success somewhere down the line.
My first attempts at calligraphy were dismal. I practiced for years before I felt I was any good at all.
For those of you trying to make art for the first time, please don’t stop trying just because the first thing you try doesn’t turn out looking like a professional piece of art.
When I started playing around with making my paper lotus flowers, it took me two whole weeks to get to where I made one that I felt was good enough to show to anyone. Persistence can sometimes trump natural ability.
I love the way my Lotus Flowers come out now. But I did have to learn that not all papers will work well to make Lotus Flowers. I always found a new use for the papers that didn’t work well for Lotus Flowers.
I thought this paper would be my answer to making paste paper to use for my vessels. Once in water, however, the this paper disintegrated.
So here is my failure for the day. I wanted to use this Japanese sumi paper to make paste paper out of. Well, as soon as I wet it, it started disintegrating. I had my heart set on using this paper for a specific project for my Paste Paper Show. Obviously that’s not going to happen. Back to square one.
I have no idea what project I can use that I will want disintegrating paper for, but if I ever do, this is the paper I will try first.
I finally found a paper that I could make paste papers with that didn’t fall apart when wet and didn’t crack when folded. It took nearly a year of trial and error to find just the right paper. Here is my latest Earth Spirit Vessel in progress.
These Fortune Cookies are made from Tyvek that I thought would work well for book covers. Well, the Tyvek could be used for book covers, but it was hard to glue without getting bubbles. I found Tyvek works great for making Fortune Cookies.
In closing, keep the positive comments coming, just don’t get discouraged about things not coming together the first time you try them.
Keep creating, Candy
This miniature accordion book with a piano hinge closure is one of my favorite little books to make. I made this one for two friends of mine who celebrated their birthdays on Saturday.
Miniature Happy Birthday accordion book has a piano hinge with toothpick closure
The cover is a scanned image of one of my watercolor paintings. I made the twisted cord to go with the colors of the cover. The cord is attached to a toothpick which is inserted into a piano hinge to close the book.
Miniature Happy Birthday accordion book open
Here is a link to the blog post of my Courage Inspiration Book.
As far as I am concerned, a trip to Portland, Oregon is not complete without visiting 23 Sandy Gallery, a fine art gallery that features local, national and international artists working in book and paper arts. The gallery, owned by Laura Russell, book artist and photographer, is located in Portland’s central east side arts district, and just happens to be close to the friend’s house I usually stay at when I’m in Portland. Yay!
Their current show, Book Power Redux, had just been hung when I was there. It is outstanding! It’s an international juried exhibition of book art addressing social and political issues. Artist books can be a powerful vehicle for social change and activism.
Artist books from Book Power Redux at 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon
This show shines a light on some of the most vital issues of our day: race, diversity, equality, justice, bullying, poverty, civil rights, war and more. Book Power Redux will be at 23 Sandy Gallery until July 26, 2014.
Cycle of Censorship by Dina Sebeel from Book Power Redux at 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon
The show will then travel to Collins Memorial Library at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington and show there from August 5 through October 15, 2014. It will be a featured event during a national conference focused on Race and Pedagogy taking place at the university in September.
Artist books from Book Power Redux at 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Artists books from Book Power Redux at 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon
Artist book Are Women Human? by Cynthia Schubert – one of my favorite pieces
Click here for more information about Book Power Redux
Click here for more information about 23 Sandy Gallery
23 Sandy Gallery, Portland Oregon
My favorite piece of art from 23 Sandy Gallery, was by Erin Mickleson from the Inked! Contemporary Northwest Letterpress, which I saw in September of 2012. Unfortunately, it was not for sale, or I may have purchased it.
Specimen by Erin Mickelson
Specimen was an ink and paper insect collection which consisted of movable beetles that were printed from hand-processed photopolymer plates. The beetles were hand-cut and hand-inked. They were made to represent the general features of several species, not a specific species of beetle.. Each beetle consisted of three moveable layers: body, wings and wing case. They were wonderful!
I have been super busy this week getting ready for a show this weekend. Actually I’ve been working on this for months and months. This will be the first time I will be showing my Earth Spirit Vessels outside of the Hilltop Gallery & I’m super excited. Here are some of the vessels I will be showing.
Earth Spirit Vessel, Old Faithful, contains 363 pieces of hand-folded paper.
Earth Spirit Vessel, Autumn Slumber, is made from 462 pieces of hand-folded paper.
Earth Spirit Vessel, Night Lights, is made from 708 pieces of hand-folded paper.
Earth Spirit Vessel, Blowing In The Wind, is made from 372 pieces of hand-folded paper.
Earth Spirit Vessel, Forest Meadow, is made from 480 pieces of hand-folded paper.
Earth Spirit Vessel, Ocean Currents, is made from 544 pieces of hand-folded paper.
Each Earth Spirit Vessel is made from hundreds of pieces of hand-folded paper. Within 25 of each of the papers are hand calligraphed quotes, inspirations and prayers relating to the Mother Earth and Nature. Once folded and made a part of the vessel, these are not meant to be seen or read, but to be embodied into the spirit of the vessel itself. Included with each vessel is a photograph of the quotes that are included within the vessel. The bottom, or base, of each vessel is made from burl wood.
You can see more of my Earth Spirit Vessels here.
Last year I shared some of my Father’s Day Tie Gift Bags. They were very popular, so I made some more for this year. In addition, I have included my templates to make it super easy for you to make some of your own.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – What father wouldn’t love a peacock feather tie?
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – My son suggested this paper for a traditional looking tie.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – For those non-traditional fathers, I like this tie made from one of my paste papers.
Start with a white 9″ x 12″ envelope with the flap at the top, the kind you get at office supply stores. Cut off the flap and make slits in the sides about 2″ below the envelope opening and then fold down these new flaps to make the “collar.” I have included a diagram with the downloadable tie and knot template.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – This butterfly paper is a scrapbook paper.
Next comes the fun part—finding a paper that would look good as a tie. With all the closets full of papers I have, deciding on just a few papers is really hard. Is there such a thing as having too much paper?
To make things simpler for myself, I’ve made cardboard templates for the tie and the knot. I even added a half inch on the sides so that I have extra paper that I can fold in. I think it looks a little more “tie-like” with the sides folded. The tie template includes the half inch sides. If you want to make yours super simple, you can just cut your template so there are no sides to fold in (just cut on the fold lines instead of the cut lines).
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – This paper is actually embroidered with flowers.
I suggest printing the template out on thick card stock. Or, if you’re handy with a hobby knife, gluing the printout to some posterboard and cutting it out for a sturdy template to use again and again.
Next lay your template on your chosen paper, and move it around till you find just the right spot for that particular paper. You can see that I positioned the embroidered flowers at the center of the bottom of the tie (see photo above). This was actually planned (at least this time it was).
After cutting and folding, the knot needs to be glued to the tie. I know that my knot isn’t technically the correct shape, but I decided I liked the way it looked graphically. So I went with visually appealing graphic rather than trying for realism. If you wish realism, you can paste the knot upside down from the way I have done here. I use PVA glue as my adhesive, but if you are making your own you can use pretty much any craft glue.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – For father’s going to a black tie event, try this tie (or the one below).
Father’s Day Gift Bag – Another tie perfect for a black tie affair.
I decided the ties should be removable, so I attach them to the envelopes with small pieces of adhesive Velcro under the knot.
The paper collars tuck nicely behind the knot of the tie, which also holds the bag closed. They are not glued. And, yes, I know that in real life the collar goes in front of the tie, but I like how this folds closed so easily. No tape needed, just a small piece of adhesive Velcro to hold the tie in place.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – Another somewhat traditional paper for a tie.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – This is a blue paste paper I made. Blue is traditionally a favorite color for ties. This one has a bit of gold too.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – This is a hand marbled paper. I could so see this as an actual tie.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – This paper reminds me of art deco. I even made a paper lotus flower from this paper.
Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag – Another of my hand made paste papers for those fathers who prefer a darker blue (also with gold).
I hope you enjoy this project. Even though I originally thought of this because of Father’s Day, this gift bag could be used for birthdays and many other gift-giving occasions.
For more photos of my Father’s Day Tie Gift Bags from last year, click here.
Download: Father’s Day Tie Gift Bag template