Tuesday, August 23, 2016

new book

reading wolseley's words
heron present
 the book is taking shape 
yesterday and today
a summer's work
this great blue heron,
a gift from my love, 
rests on one of the three long fold outs.
august day.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

time opens

august thinking:
this summer has been about time 
and even healing,
relationships,
some work


but mostly time.
for the first time in 30 40 50 years i have time to schedule in
 my own way
 i have purchased a few things that delight me 
 i have made some things that delight me
 i have worked out new ways of thinking
new processes
 used up old papers 
and 
prepped pulp for some new papers
i have observed how strong the moon is
when you really pay attention
and let her do her magic.
 i have been delighted by small things
like a peep through a barn
and i have rested.
i have eschewed all appointments 
and seen my doctor
and dentist
and learned to work with this aging but still vital body.
but mostly i have had
mornings when i wake with joy.
and evenings that promise
rest.

Friday, August 12, 2016

week of hot/humid

 nigel peake sent me a book
with a very good wish
 today it's been very hot and humid
and i have not felt kind.
i'm glad i found his note so i'm paying attention and passing it on.
the power went out for 2 hours or so and i wonder
about the folks who are in much need.
i hope they are ok.
already the wind has picked up and it's a wee bit refreshing.
these bits are part of a book or two i'm making
i am printmaking in a way
a very odd way.
(holding on to some secrets until they're done)
 but i am
 incredibly excited.
~~~
two evenings ago
two great blue herons
landed in the recently mown meadow.
they may have been frogging
but it seemed like they were just there
walking and hunching their necks down
turing into their old mans selves
walking with backwards knees and big steps
until they moved
over to the edge of the pond. 
they did seem to like the company they kept.
we watch that big window like a tv screen,
waiting for events.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

an invitation and shifu help


an invitation to all of my shifu students:

i've begun work on an article for Hand Papermaking journal about shifu and healing. i would like to invite you to contribute any thoughts you might have had about just that; if the shifu-making process has in any way facilitated healing in/for you. mina takahashi, the editor of HandPapermaking asked me to write about this after my observation that spinning paper and weaving a textile, especially when the paper has color or words that are deeply rich for the maker, allows an opening for a sort of healing. i made a shifu covered handmade paper book for wendy golden levitt who works with textiles and healing (especially with children) which has become the grief book. i'm curious about why that book and why shifu making has deeply affected and helped people move into healing.

if any of this resonates with your experience of shifu making, i invite you to send me a few sentences about your thoughts, and even a photo of work you’ve made. i would like to incorporate some of these into the article. please email me at vdbolyard at gmail dot com with any words/pictures, and i thank you, now twice over, for being my student and for thinking about this.

Friday, August 5, 2016

can't hardly think

a couple days ago
i was harvesting canada thistledown
at 6 AM
before it got hot.
 one time harvesting thistledown there were spiders
everywhere
and i had to avoid them with my thanks
and respect
this day there were
 snails. 
it was very dewey
(no decimals)
with many lovely snails.
 at home my yard is drying up. 
parched. 
not australia dry, but the soil is light tan and dusty.
the grass bristly brown
here, under the spruce and basswood
i witnessed a kestrel take a robin fledgling.
i was trying to photograph the mayhem 
(parents yelling, siblings upset)
and almost missed the whole thing.
but there was evidence, too.
 see the branch shadows and dead leaves.
this maple is dead, shed its leaves.
 there was a light show last night 
a reward for suffering through this heat!
 i saw the amazing corals 
 and a slip of a moon, below.
 this morning i walked early
and was struck by the neighbor's barn-
that perfect blue square.
 around another corner is hill road, 
it's where i've walked
 almost daily
for 30 years.
 the business of making:
work on the shiny book-needs sewing
work on botanical pressure printing- little edition (4) with bird prints coming along
work on botanical pressure printing- paper samples for HandPapermaking edition
work on prepping thistledown/make thistledown paper
day lily prints and drawings
cicadas are wailing away in the back yard
coyotes waited almost till dawn before they sang last night
or this morning
twice.
high HOT of course parched summer.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

natural disasters and thank you

the beeswax book was in this shape,
more or less,
yesterday morning.
 the mail came
and with it paperwork pertaining to retirement
so i had forms to fill out and
financial people to speak to on the phone.
the iphone works best,
when it does work, that is,
on my screen porch.
where trace willan's xanthorrhoea resin in solution lives.
in a jar with a not very tight lid.
it must have eased over
by preoccupied me
all 12 ounces of it.
and i didn't notice until i saw evidence
 after i used up all the spillage
to decorate the book
there was a huge clean-up,
using the only solvent i had that worked
nail polish remover. 

 they went out into the sun to air.
 and as the book cover dried
it morphed into something else altogether
 inside pages got a bit of mark making
thanks to 
the bolyard xanthorrhoea spirits spill

 aromatic is too nice a word.
 this morning
 i will try to sew the signatures to tapes
and lace in the tapes.
 it has a wonderful surface now
and it's 
 no longer sticky!
(sorry about the darkness, 
i was too excited to go noodle around in iphoto)
i don't recommend bookmaking 
by chance
but i do recommend
making hay while the sun shines.
thank you trace!

Friday, July 29, 2016

ink and beeswax

black raspberry sludge
 i cooked and cooked those raspberries
low heat, many hours, added vinegar
and now there's a pint of ink
fun work!
 there are little black raspberry marks around the place
and outside
 only a few juicy ones left.
many dried ones on the canes
since it was such a generous year,
the birds had plenty.
and the coyotes,
who leave their scat in insulting spots
(for fun, they are coyotes)
are lush with seeds.
 i had a huge amount of "dirty" beeswax to deal with
after the cupboard, 
honeycomb 
and ant 
disaster.
so in the spirit of making hay
 i decided to stack the cloth that was covered in "dirty wax"
maybe you can see how thick it was
(there were thick "drips" as well)
to make a sandwich and transfer wax 
and "dirt"
 to a piece of case paper
i'd readied for a book
the stack included three pieces of abaca 
i'd made long ago
that had pigment issues.
 ok, so it was like this:
brown paper, white cotton pillowcase
abaca
case paper
beeswaxed cotton cloth-the straining cloth 
(the other half of the pillowcase)
 cotton cloth
 brown paper...
anyway a BIG sandwich
got ironed.
 a lot.
 as the thick wax dispersed into the various layers
as did the "dirt".
 i reduced the sandwich
 to this
 and this
and this and
 refolded the case
 used the various parts for signatures
 and folded it back.
  there was way too much bulk.
i cut much of the stationer's binding away
 and was left
 with a rather neat little cover
 i will sew it up today
 and make the final
rather sticky
beeswax and ant 
book.

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