Monday, October 2, 2017

first of october

an email exchange with jane ploughman
resulted in a wonderful visit.
she and john vincent visited the peace paper exhibition
just down the hall from zone 4.
jane and john know drew and jana of peace paper, 
and of course the combat papermakers,
 john's vermont based Revolutionary Press 
helps support social activism and justice endeavors 
in the paper and book arts world. 
jane and john met me at slu 
and they viewed the three galleries celebrating the  
work of drew matott with combat, peace, and st pauli  paper.
jane made the little piece of garlic paper with suminagashi above,
and john printed this small broadside
and the card below. three special gifts i really like!
jane brought two of her fine artists' books to show me as well.
i told jane and john to find me by following the sound of the beater
which i had switched off by the time they came looking.
but find me they did, and we had a lovely long talk
as paper and book people can!
they know hannah from her work at northeast harbor library.
the woven web.
our book arts students displayed their first books,
nine students, 
working in concertina, tunnel, origami structures
and following their concept of line.
learning where a line will meander
and how.

i emailed stephen dairing in australia
in order to get a few more skeins of this lovely stuff
bark with which i'm making vessels for shifu books.

 saturday we went to paul smith's college VIC
to enjoy harvest/homestead demos.
i love seeing young women competing equally with their male student peers.

this competition, 
where two woodcutters split the log they are standing on
always unsettles me.
they hoist the axe high overhead
and gouge out wedges of wood between their feet
with precision and accuracy 
(or else!)
and the first one done wins.
they are so vigorous that often the whole 'structure' moves 
backwards with the force of their swings.
at home
this is the outlet of our pond
yesterday morning 
after the frost surprised us.
the weather has turned and now it's fall.
and then this:
found on my garage door.
how long has it been


  1. Velma, Your students are so fortunate to be with you. I loved all of the books you displayed, and your friend's suminagashi on hand made paper. Wow!

    Do you know what the tree bark yarn is? I need to order some!

  2. donna, what a nice thing to say! the yarn is called tree bark. seriously.

  3. wonderful photos of your students work, had to look up suminagashi & the tree bark yarn looks beautiful, do you use the beautiful bark of silver birch in your work?

  4. mo, i'm so proud of my students! paper birch actually grows on my land, and i have used it in basketry to make vessels (it peels of in large sheets like paper). however, this bark thread is a bast, not sheet bark, and the basts here that are good for cordage, paper, or basketry include slippery elm, hickory, basswood, and many smaller shrubs like leatherwood and willow, red osier dogwood. i am no expert on any of these, but used a lot of osier in free form basketry many years back.

  5. I can't find the tree bark yarn on the Dairing website!

  6. Nice work by your students. I see a smiley face!

  7. sandy, working with college students and non-trads (over 50's) is a blast!

  8. love the there there. i remember my father's words, when you get there there is no there there.

  9. your students work is so imaginative and inspiring - they are so lucky to have you. I love that bark yarn, wondering how I can make something similar.

  10. jude, here, there, where?
    jean, this class is the highlight of my weeks!

  11. Hi V - what an amazing amount to fit in a blog post. But above all the pond outlet photo spoke of gentle and quiet times. B

  12. barry, can you tell it's harvest season? the little landscape at home is beautiful in its modesty/

  13. What a time you are having!!! And have had (I am working back thru the posts whoops)

  14. fiona, a harvest of activity, before the rest of winter.


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