Thursday, May 31, 2018

home and small things

using home as studio as livelihood is such a different concept 
than decor.
when i was teaching one secretary ran everything in the front office, 
from kids to announcements to parents to basketball questions
with grace and patience and no-nonsense when necessary,
she educated me in what that was.
i guess i didn't really know.
i live in a house (part time in two, actually) 
that gets things done in it.
i'm reminded of a quote dorothy sayers quoted: births and death and bridal nights
referring to beds and bedding.
for me it's the house, tables and kitchen stove...
i use it for making stuff. 
right now there's old black walnut dye being cooked down thicker 
for ink/mark making.
in the kitchen. 
in designated dyepots.
yesterday i found this:
well, almost this, 
it was full and the mold pudding thing on the top, about a half inch thick.
up close it smelled like, er, black walnut and mold. 

 i took it off carefully and 
placed it on a piece of paper to make a print
 printing process.
(i posted this on instagram and folks thought it was a muffin, 
which tickles me)
 the resulting print and the books i'm working with right now.
 here's the black walnut cooking down 
and some flax sheets, 
painted with pigment and me overdyeing first with walnut
(not very strong)
and with whatever else I make. we'll see.
i'll make them richer and deeper and stronger and then size them.
 it's the aftermath of bringing home new learning and integrating it into practice 
and knowledge that is fascinating.
my summer paper and book arts class at SLU didn't fill, 
so I have an almost free month.
except for a toronto trip and dog minding on a long weekend.
flax is on the way and here I go.
and i, 
who have eschewed "on-line learning" for all time
am *thinking* about this one with sarah.
there are some things i need to learn.
probably MANY things.
PBIers in my classes will recognize my aversion to *fucking fringe*.
I only want fringe once in a while.
mostly not, 
especially when shifu is being a page or a page spread.
so i may do this to learn better methodology. 
wishing it started tomorrow!


  1. Dear Martien wrote this, and I'm copying it here from Facebook: Martien van Zuilen Thank you dear Velma for yet another thoughtful post - I can so relate to the home/studio/office merging of space and purpose, doing and bring.
    I wrote: Thank you for this, Martien. Doing and being are becoming more of a piece as I rest in authenticity.

  2. Hi V - we artists are slightly crazy - doing the print with the mould seems quite the logical thing - and it did work well. B

  3. I went and took a look at the four selvedge warping/weaving technique ... fascinating

  4. I am also thinking about Sarah's warping workshop. In case you haven't seen it she has a good explanation on her blog dated 1/5/2016 but I think the extra workshop would be helpful. Not sure I can fit it on my tiny loom.

  5. I think it is our life being integrated isn't it V - as we move from desk to kitchen to garage to outside...our work and it's places overlap.

  6. saw your Hannelore Baron book - a classic! love you xo

  7. barry, you are absolutely right, and we're comfortable with it, it's only when we're around muggles that we see how weird we are.
    liz, it is but not worth it unless you hate fucking fringe
    jean, i have her instructions printed out and i get them, but am a bit dense if there is no human teaching me.
    fiona, yes, indeed. abd getting the people you share living space with on the same page can be challenging.
    judy, a gift from Mary--so wonderful. i really love the work, new to me.


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