Friday, April 18, 2014

some books

 i finally got to putting together some of my samples
from my february trip
i made three books
and a few samples, too,
while (or in australian, whilst) teaching
 the bottom book
was completed at
my wee residency at beautiful silks
and provided enormous entertainment for me
one long night
 this stationers bound sample book
filled with silk and paper contact prints
and shifu and eucalyptus blooms,
in a fit of experimentation i dunked it into the wife.
the wife is a wise and enormous vat of indigo
and my book came up gasping for air
going from sludge to blue
but also starting to sag and would have torn itself to bits
from the wife's good juice.
so i supported the thing 
as she completed the color magic
then set up a drying system, which was no mean feat 
considering the dry book weighs only an ounce or two, 
but wet,
well she sagged under her own weight.
iowa flax case paper cover and various handmade and machine made papers,
and shifu
hold a lot of liquid.
so, once the color stabilized i began
the tedious blotting dry 
and using a fan and a drying rack and many towels
 all night long
she dried, stabilizing the spine and then the pages. 
yesterday i sewed in all the loose bits and have a finished book
thanks to beautiful silks and the wife
also as i sorted out the work table
 i unearthed a little book i made 
years ago from scraps
from the trash at pbi
 oh, and a feather and someone's measuring notes.
and took a picture
 i, like jude, have been thinking
~of weave~
 in motion
 and finally focused
spun paper, kami-ito,
and canada thistle paper
of course it is!
weave holds the universe together.


  1. Good thoughts, true thoughts.
    Noun or verb?
    Either way weave works.

  2. Love your works, Velma, and the reflections on weaving and the universe. Resonates deeply within my heart and soul. I LOVE this: "Some pre-Columbian Americans saw the universe as a reflection of the weave of a fine textile." Where -i.e. what book - is it from?

  3. alice, noun AND verb!
    bonnie, it came from a national geographic a few years back

  4. I could drink that indigo book today... or, maybe I am. Weaving, yes, always thing of it - fibers, paper, cloth... words, stories, songs... lives.

  5. valerie, i wish it was drinkable, or maybe it's good it's not. it does rather smell like the vat! anyway, that's a grand joke for us to laugh art while we weave!

  6. oh so lovely.... but I'm intrigued about the term 'wife' --- is that how I should address a vat of indigo? (and if so - where the heck did that come from? its all very curious!

  7. ronnie, i was calling her the mother, but i believe trace or naomi referred to her as the wife…that came from the indigo teacher who visited…aboubakar fofana

  8. These are just beautiful, Velma! And the photographs too. Love reading your blog! :)

  9. louise, thank you so much for checking in. books that hold my own meaning/place like these are special in a new way for me-

  10. reflection of a weave, very nice....

  11. you inspired me to make that quickie sample book for the morgan table! but now i want to make more and more. not as grand as yours, but a good way to organize my scraps.

  12. aimee, you inspire me to use up those scraps--love to see what the books are like linked!

  13. What a lovely range of snippets here - a great way to recall a time, a visit, a place…and all those wonderful ponderings about weave and life. Lovely for the Easter break.

  14. fiona, and you and barry were a wonderful part of my amazing oz trip--very fine memories!

  15. V - lovely and painstaking way to preserve memories. B


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