The Faces of France: The Cluny and around Paris

The Faces of France: The Cluny and Around Paris

Ferocious door handle holders…Devourers? Paris

On an earlier trip to Paris, my husband Mark (Marc Henri when we are in France…) said to me, “After awhile, I felt like I was just a giant eyeball, an eyeball on two legs, just trying to take everything in…

And Paris, or much of it, and la belle France, or much of it, is indeed as Hemingway so aptly said, “…a moveable feast.

A glorious feast for all the senses, but, especially “pour les yeux” …for the eyes  One of my favorite aspects of this are all the carved faces which are everywhere…adorning the interiors and exteriors of building, playing sentinel over doorways, emerging out of ceilings corners, festooning roofs,  animating churches, and gazing down upon us the viewer and the passerby as if to bless us with a Latin benediction or perhaps curse us with an ancient pagan epithet.

Upside down and all around. Faces and figures whether human, animal or fantastical, often come in pairs. Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge. (The Cluny Museum, National Museum of the Middle Ages),  Paris

“Here’s lookin’ at you, kid”. Carved wooden pew…decoration/embellishment…Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge. (The Cluny Museum, National Museum of the Middle Ages),  Paris

Gazing upon each other…with angels in the background. Musée de Cluny, musée national du Moyen Âge. (The Cluny Museum, National Museum of the Middle Ages),  Paris

Back on the Paris streets…carved faces gaze down upon windows, architectural supports, and doors.

In context…and glorious repetition of detail…filling space in a beautiful and visually arresting way.

King and Queen? Master and Mistress? Preside. Paris.

In context, gazing out solemnly, as if wearing a mantle of responsibility.  Paris.

Hard to leave this magnificent city…but glad it is guarded by so many watchful eyes.

Paris, you are forever. I think if you go, we go too.

Live on, for we love you, and will guard you as assiduously in our hearts as your  silent sentinels do on your walls, roofs, doors and ramparts.
















































Le Papier V

Le Papier V


Side-bound book, repurposed paper, cloth, paint chips, vellum (?) and cord.

“Maggie’s Book”
“Folded fan” flag book, repurposed brochure, vellum (?), photo corners, brochures and postcards.


Le Papier III

Le Papier III


A Flag Book


Opened, covers folded

Opened, covers unfolded


Le Papier I

Le Papier I

Side stab binding…repurposed materials…emptying the mind…instinctual movement

Faber’s Book, repurposed cardboard, repurposed paper, hemp cord, tissue, pencils, matchbook

Fixing Broken Hearts, repurposed cardboard, repurposed paper, hemp cord, tag, print media

Full“, repurposed cardboard, repurposed paper, hemp cord



Chromatic Interactions I

Chromatic Interactions I

CHAPTERS: Book Arts in Southern California” presented at the Craft and Folk Art Museum in LA.

I was commissioned to create an interactive book.

I created “Chromatic Interactions”

It was eye-opening for me to see what people wrote and drew, and how the piece changed over time.

I will be exploring this through a series of posts, now that the show is over, and CAFAM was kind enough to save and give to me many of the file cards added to the book by patrons/visitors/participants…interacting.

Flag book. Stitched flag pockets with windows cut into them.

Accordion spine.

A focus on file folders.

Flag pocket and cover windows align, allowing messages to show through, and creating a tunnel effect.

Color, line, word, image, added by the viewer, become participatory art making and collaborator.

Book board.

Found file folders crumpled to create surface texture.


Here is some of what Museum visitor participants wrote…


“…all slow…”

After the US election.

Did they mean “irrelevant” No???

“There once was…”

Packing it in.

Successful life…validation


I’m blinded by the light.”

“Mosaic” flower

Wilder tale


So glad, Inez!


And fuller.




CHAPTERS 7: SoCal Book Arts Explored IV

CHAPTERS 7: SoCal Book Arts Explored IV

The Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles currently has on viewChapters: Book Arts in Southern California curated by Holly Jerger through May 7, 2017.

“Chapters explores the significance of Southern California artists in establishing the field of book arts from the 1960s to present day. The exhibition highlights over 60 artists, presses, and organizations who explore ideas related to conceptualism, feminism, process, and community building through artists’ books, sculptural forms, small editions, and zines. “–CAFAM

Here are some of the book works shown….some provocative, fun and unusual bindings, structures and forms.

Charlene Matthews‘ James Joyce “Ulysses” pole piece. hand lettered.

Concentric cutouts…

The seeming simplicity of these ties…

Flag and accordion structures…looks like the addition of single signature as well onto the accordion.

Wallace BermanSemina Culture.

C.K. Wilde…cut-outs…

Nancy Jo Haselbacher…words on words…

 Turkish Map Fold…Nick Herman

The wondrous Kitty Maryatt…this wild, bridge-like structure…

All this an more at the Craft and Folk Art Museum‘s CHAPTERS exhibition…through May 7, 2017!  Don’t Miss It!

“Let’s Make Books” at LACMA

“Let’s Make Books” at LACMA

It has been wonderful to teach a family bookmaking class: “Let’s Make Books” for ages 5 and up at LACMA (The Los Angeles County Museum of Art).

Parents can attend with their children, and spend three hours visiting and drawing in LACMA’s galleries, grounds and gardens, walking through its architecture, and learning about its collection, before returning to one of the LACMA Art Studios to work together on art projects related to what has been visited and viewed.  A total experience of art immersion!

In this class thus far we have made accordion books with pop-ups, “folded fan” books with “windows and doors”, flag books, and tunnel books. A grand time has been had by all, including myself.  It is wonderful to work with families, see parents and siblings interacting, and the grown-ups getting a creative break which hopefully will refresh and rejuvenate them when they leave LACMA, and return to their daily lives.

Folded fan book with “windows” that open.

“Playing” with washi tape.


The tunnel book can fold up, stand up, and stretch.

Using LACMA exhibition announcements and postcards as part of the artwork.

Doors closed….

Doors open…

In process…

A colorful collection of magnificent tunnel books!

The creative endeavor of our kindly assistant…who played imaginatively with the tunnel book structure!

Kindness, creativity, imagination, play…these are the hallmarks of our program, and were in abundance during our class. Hurray for LACMA!

We have a bookmaking class for children aged 10-13 starting in early April…check it out!  We would love to have your children in our class…making art together.

Behind The Mask: Hand Building With Clay

Behind The Mask: Hand Building With Clay

I had the opportunity to teach “Hand Building With Clay” to students in grades K – 4 for the City of Santa Monica’s  CREST Enrichment program.

After learning the pinch pot, coil and slab techniques, students had the opportunity to use slabs (pancakes of gently flattened out clay) in a different way, by laying the slab of clay over a sort of armature of loosely balled up up newspaper, so that it would harden in a shallow bowl form, and create a mask.

As the forms dried, and the clay hardened, the newspaper was removed, and the clay became ready to paint, embellish and add to.

Some students chose to use the convex surface of their half spheres or hemispheres as a place to create symbolic forms and shapes such as stars and hearts, rather than a face or character.

Students played with using the paint pens by working on paper first.

The paint pens allowed them freedom from choosing and washing  brushes, adding water, and controlling “loose” acrylic paints. They could use the paint pens to create intricate patterns like a drawing tool.

Students learned to pounce or “stipple” with the paint pens, using their tips to apply paint to creases and crevices in the clay.

Students could then add feathers, beads, pipe cleaners and other embellishments to their masks, to further develop their characters, designs, forms and images.

Some chose to focus on color through painting, adding a carefully chosen addition to enhance their character.

This young artists has incised, or drawn into the clay to create they eyes, and added clay to build out the nose. The mouth uses both techniques.

Students used foam plates to mix new colors on, as well as for palettes.

Mixing all the colors together was a popular choice, and helped the students to understand some of the principles of color mixing.

Detail and focus ruled, even with the younger children.

This young artist has mixed the secondary colors of green and orange, from his palette of primary colors, red blue and yellow.

We used both grey and red air dry clay.

Here a young artist mixes green…after painting the outside of the pot blue, and the inside yellow.

These two kindergarteners had a wonderful time painting and creating together!

There is something about painting that seems to clear out irritability, and at least temporarily suspend human anxiety.

It is wonderful to see creative”flow” in action!

“Be My Valentine”

“Be My Valentine”

What was planned as a Valentine-making workshop, turned into a Valentine bookmaking experience instead…with the creative participants learning how to fold an accordion book with pockets, and adorning, embellishing and enhancing it with all manner of sumptuous materials!


Participants glued together prepared strips of high quality drawing paper, which had the pocket folds set up for them. The pocket folds were folded, then unfolded, so that the participants did not have to measure them out. Each paper strip was also folded in half, and organized in sets of two.


After choosing their strips, gluing them together, then re-folding the pocket folds and then the center fold, the participants went on to fold the rest of the accordion structure. They added the covers which were cut to be wider then the width of the accordion sections, and folded the edge of the covers into the book, creating flaps or vertical pockets, or trimmed them off.


Then the real fun began. Decoration! Adornment! Embellishment!  Ribbon, lace, stickers, washi and fabric tapes were used to create design, text and image.


Participants employed all of the materials in fresh and imaginative ways, combining, layering and playing with them to create complex, whimsical and elegant Valentines that became a delicious feast for the eye, while the pockets offered a place for secrets, and possibly poetry.


Glittery stickers, resembling crunchy sugary treats were a hit, transforming the books into sparkling sculptural reliefs,


personalizing their pieces.


Participants used tapes to create patterned borders, 


ribbons to hold their books closed,


and ruffled laces to add that “je ne sais quoi” and finishing touch to their creations.


And of course, there are a million ways to say, “I love You!”

A personalized handmade work of Valentine book art would do just that!

Here’s to Amore!

CHAPTERS 3: “We Write the Book”

CHAPTERS 3: “We Write the Book”

The wonderful Craft and Folk Art Museum of Los Angeles currently has on view the exhibition, “Chapters: Book Arts in Southern California” through May 7, 2017.

I had the opportunity of creating an interactive book for the show, one that potentially 8000 viewers/participants could become co-creators of by adding and subtracting color, pattern, graphics and text as they so chose.


web1aCards and pencils nearby encourage patrons to become participants.

web3“Windows” are uniform, to allow messages to show/shine through.

web7fSome wrote stories, employing the ancient “There Once Was…”

web7aSome, one word.

web7cSome expressed philosophy…

web7dOthers,  directives.

web7eSome messages came together to create new meanings and  inadvertent poetry.

web7gSome seemed to write a journal entry,

web7hSome declared their vision.

web7iSome drew,

web9Some shared experiences.

web10Some got creative with the grid,

web1 ALL created with the form.

The form of the book is a window to infinite possibilities. You can see many of them in the show.   On view through May 7, 2017.