Saturday, January 19, 2019

many books

in the making
while winter deepens.
out back
i make artists' books, 
but i'm most certainly not an edition binder, 
i don't have anything like the skills or the dedication. 
but i do like putting my work into a book. 
or my work being a book. 
or whatever.
a stack of indigo hemp papers sandwiched by shifu
which binding style suits best?
i'm prepping for Codex,
and happily my daughter hannah's generous boss jane gave her leave
to accompany me to san francisco.
a happy lively and springy wee book, flax and hemp
so there is paper everywhere, 
even some pva and a huge piece of african bark cloth
as well as a couple of yards of black wool to sew into a tablecloth.
huge bark cloth sheet
covering cloth cut
 boards glued, covered, weighted, drying
bags have been ordered and arrived, and a receipt book still to be procured.
but this is what i've learned:
the more i make, the more i dive in,
the more ideas come and the bolder i become.
paper everywhere.
ideas everywhere.
books everywhere.
shifu, too.
 the silk slot and tab book came together, 
after years of gestation there's an edition of three
you can't rush some things.
almost 9K stitches.
 i was given a little miracle found growing on the woodpile.
colored like the bark cloth
 meanwhile outdoors the deep freeze has set in
and a snowstorm predicted today
 on the stove the pot of dye gets intermittent use
 and the left "ink spots" 
from the spoon resting on the stove
are nifty.

Friday, January 11, 2019

squeaky up the road, there*

mysterious canine prints going up my driveway
probably coyote
looking out the early morning kitchen window
seeing four new boulders

yep, later on i found evidence:
bed and there were other things...
using shanna weights to hold down the silk for my book
thousands of stitches
see the bottom leather, that turquoise?
colors on the back-of-the-house-fix.
hemlock board.
great soft color
the dummy 
and two more books in the works
have you ever tried to get colors to behave with a stupid camera?
the hemstitched borders are all taupe/grey. 
not lavender.
no matter how much i tweaked the color, hue, brightness, tone, value... 
i couldn't come close.
but this book is coming along.
there should and edition of three when I'm all done.
this is the original triple woven silk.
you can see where the three layers are snagged together.
see the pattern dimples?
keeping it all straight:
dye on the back burner,
'soupper' on the front. 
bookish came to my house.
 these little stitched images are judith's iconography

and todd brought me his wild grape (fox grape) ink in the world's best bottle.
since these photos we have had real winter settle in.
a foot of snow and deep cold, under zero, but not below minus 10.
it is pretty 'sharp', 
and breathing outside hurt this morning.
* a friend quoted, referring to one of my neighbors.

Saturday, December 29, 2018


it's time for the reckoning, or in modern americanese: inventory.
i've taken a totally arbitrary approach here, 
picking photos from my desktop:

1. copper pipe marked by goldenrod leaves from a workshop years ago 
with india flint at long ridge farm.
it's resting on one of the stump looms.
the right kind of alchemy.
 2. linda marshall of washi arts is an amazing advocate for japanese paper
a fine friend 
and host who took care of me in vancouver last fall. 
she's a terrific guide for me, 
and provides all kinds of 
help for artists wanting to use 
really good papers.
 3. this book, 
Indigo Patterns 
was purchased this year by Owen D Young Library at St Lawrence University. 
it's a book i loved making, 
the cover is "shifu" with dyed pattern paper, 
linen paper, 
and slippery elm bark weft, linen paper warp. 
pages are indigo dyed pattern papers,
tacketed binding.
 4. my little Flax Notion edition sold out!
i loved making this one.
all flax.
 5. fern dust: 
i'm in a conversation with mari newell who also works with it.
and yes, it IS a thing.
 6. rocks. 
i love rocks, 
these are from jasper beach
and i love how shanna wraps lake michigan rocks. 
 7. milkweed. 
as ever my favorite ever paper that i've made, 
my fist edition done so long ago that my children 
(now 33 and 36) were in grade school while i made it. 
it's a generous and strong plant.
 8. we lost gwen this year, 
shown here in the foreground.
 unusually behind her pack 
 9. raw flax paper. 
absolutely nothing like it.
 10. i think this book, 
12 Moons, 
sold this year to Baylor University by Alicia Bailey 
(but maybe it was last year, sigh) 
shifu cover, silk endpapers, pages all botanical contact printed.
double pamphlet stitch binding.
 11. still contact printing mostly on paper, 
occasionally on shifu 
(which IS paper). 
 12. my papermaking class. 
only one student in the bunch was an art major. 
the four adult students and i meet every so often to talk 
and make books. 
it's nifty. 
this group was such a blessing to me, 
keeping me thinking about papermaking. 
all autumn.
i started a post today and meant to go way elsewhere, 
but here we are instead. 
you all who read are blessings, too.
thank you, you are a joy.
please feel free to contact me through the website, 
blogger seems to be ignoring me here and out on others' sites, too.
as for from now until february 2 when hannah and i get on planes for california, 
i will be working on 
for CODEX .

Friday, December 21, 2018

eagle solstice

there have been bald eagles this winter
four so far, 
two last trip into the forest preserve.
there were many years without eagles altogether,
so this is good.

 there was some snow left on the setback near newton falls last weekend.
 a real wilderness sense
despite being near old industrial sites
(newton falls paper mill, benson mines)
 and someone left an apple.
 now it's warm and the snow is gone and they're predicting rain and floods and wind
but it's
 i began the day early
finishing up the leftover pulp from the semester.
indigo pigmented abaca
may this solstice sustain your heart.

Friday, December 14, 2018

winding down

another class has ended, 
the moulds cleaned and felts washed and stacked neatly.
and i am happy with my class, 
so many beautiful (in the richest sense) young people, 
and my four mature students, also beautiful.
there was some leftover pulp 
so after giving away all that was wanted
 i brought the rest home for some kitchen papermaking,
aka making little papers.
 the studio is equipped with lee mcdonald miniature laid and wove moulds
business card size: purchased during handpapermaking's auction one year.
 and a 5 square inch mould from the paperwright, britt quinlin
on loan from slu.
 aimee sent me a little stack of kozo papers.
this was my favorite, 
 it's now a nifty ball of kami-ito

 turkey trot: 
arrows going somewhere, 
pointing or not to 
they were atop one of the rises on my walk
disappeared into the woods
leaving behind evidence. 

 and a spruce near the highbush cranberry 
seems to be the place where whomever eats the berries

 spruce and cranberry
and partially eaten

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