The Sheltering Book Chapter 1

The Sheltering Book Chapter 1

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I am honored to have been one of 17 artists who received an inaugural ‘Word Grant 2016: The Bruce Geller Memorial Prize” from the Institute for Jewish Creativity, a project of American Jewish University.

The WORD Grant, a project of American Jewish University’s Institute for Jewish Creativity, supports artists creating projects that explore Jewish ideas, themes, tradition, history, and identity. We believe in supporting a contemporary, vibrant, Jewish cultural landscape in Los Angeles.”  —The Institute for Jewish Creativity

For my project, “The Sheltering Book“, I am constructing a “life-sized” book, to become the backdrop and inspiration point for bookmaking workshops! The book also draws parallels to the “Sukkah”, a small temporary  shelter used in ancient times for those harvesting to eat and sleep in during harvest season (part of the Jewish holiday of Sukkot which falls in October).

Here is The Sheltering Book in process in the studio:

web3The book is made of corrugated cardboard, primed, base-painted and layered with paint washed, a paint effect, or decorative painting technique. Here boards are waiting to be painted, while the accordion spine

web2is readied to receive its wash treatment on the work table.

web4The base colors are Fine Paints of Europe primary colors, the paint version of the Pantone Color System.

web6Accordion spine made in two parts, with overlapped center.  Extra pieces added to the top to add height.

web24Because the spine was made of moving boxes, there were slits cut on either end. The end that became the bottom of the book was folded over and glued to create extra strength. (Not pictured here.)

web26 The slits and resulting gaps in the top were covered with board prepared in the same manner as the primed, painted and treated surface. The diamonds cover the last bit of gap, and became a design element.

web5Cover board before border added.

web9Cover boards with borders, glued and stitched to accordion spine.

web10Stitching cover board to spine. Interior view.

web8Cover board attached to inside of spine. Left side exterior  view.

web23Cover board stitching. Right side exterior view.

web14Left side pages glued to spine.

web20 Ready to glue left side pages.

web19Harvest colors: red-russet  covers, golden-yellow pages (complimentary purple on reverse- not pictured.)

web28The process: holes punched with awl, spaced with handmade cardboard template. Sewn with 48lb / 21.7kg natural hemp cord.

Please join us for one of the public bookmaking workshops!
  • Sunday October 16th 10 AM – 12:30 PM   The Braid Theater Gallery, Home of the Jewish Women’s Theater / 2912 Colorado Ave #102 Santa Monica, CA 90404
  • Thursday October 20th 7 – 9 PM, 430 Pico Boulevard, Santa Monica, CA 90405, A  Community Corporation of Santa Monica (CCSM) Affordable Housing Bldg. (This one is just for building residents and CCSM Staff).
  • Saturday October 22nd 10 AM – 1 PM  The Montana Branch Library/Santa Monica Public Library  1704 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403 I will also be there with The Sheltering Book from 2 – 5 PM that afternoon!                                        

 
                                      
                                        
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A Taste For Texture IV: HAPTIC

A Taste For Texture IV: HAPTIC

I have a passion for texture…don’t you?  Ideally texture you can actually touch and feel, but visual texture too. Texture, the quality of the tactile, “HAPTIC“…these inspired this body of work.

Working with the “HAPTIC“…hungry for texture, and working in layers, in Book Form.

This post is the companion piece to this one…and focuses completely on the use, meaning and essence of the term “HAPTIC“.

So enraptured by “HAPTIC“…that I was compelled to stitch it over and over, creating more HAPTIC on the pages of these conTEXTual Flag Books.

HAPTIC 1

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HAPTIC 2

WEBb1WEBd

HAPTIC 3

WEBf WEBg

Do we ever have enough HAPTIC in our lives?

The feeling of feeling. We so need to feel, I think.

I mean, I feel.

A Taste For Texture III

A Taste For Texture III

I have a passion for texture…don’t you?  Ideally texture you can actually touch and feel, but visual texture too. Texture, the quality of the tactile, “HAPTIC“…these inspired this body of work.

Working with the “Haptic“…hungry for texture, and working in layers, in Book Form.

The messaging, or text on these Flag Books was added later, and will be featured in another post.

WEB1In this flag book, the covers surfaced with soft, crumpled paper (rice paper? Don’t know- the paper was given to me-) and adhesive. Hemp cord was sewn through awl-prepared holes, then knotted to create another layer of texture over the initial resurfacing. The back  and inside covers are stitched with no knotting, creating a flatter layer of texture over the surface.

WEB4The flags are textile remnants glued onto the accordion spine embellished with raffia,  a bead, a tiny ribbon and stitching with linen thread and hemp cord. The spine is an accordion-folded piece of heavy drawing paper designed for pastels.

WEBaCrumpled tissue paper fragments were adhered to these covers, which then painted and varnished. Sewing thread was used to create the stitching through holes punched with an awl, creating the pattern and texture layered over the surface. The single strip of cloth and button were sewn on with the same thread.

WEBcThe accordion spine, made from folded tagboard, was textures with tissue and adhesive like the covers, and the fabric remnant flags were adhered with adhesive.

WEBbThese cover boards were textured with crumpled brown paper, and adhesive, then primed, painted and varnished to achieve a sense of solidity. The repurposed envelopes were added before the painting process, their flaps punctured with a sewing needle, with hemp cord tied through each flap. Stitched and tied bands of texture were created through stitching and  knotting hemp cord through holes prepared with an awl.

WEBeThe reverse side of the knotted stitching, and an a pieces of ribbon add layers of texture to the inside covers. Flags are textile fragments that look like sample swatches, and are stitched to the accordion spine with linen thread and hemp cord at stress points.

These books become “standing” sculptures. Small in scale, but emanating meaning, feeling, and the “Haptic“…I hope. The feeling of feeling. We so need to feel, I think.

I mean, I feel.

A Taste for Texture II

A Taste for Texture II

I have a passion for texture…don’t you?  Ideally texture you can actually touch and feel, but visual texture too. Texture, the quality of the tactile, “HAPTIC“…these inspired this body of work.

 Inspired to create a series of textural, textual, and textured Flag Books, I used a series of simple techniques to get the “haptic” feel I craved.

i think texture is like that. We crave it. The sense of touch is elemental. Primal. it is not enough to see or hear something we are drawn to.  We are compelled to feel it…one way or another.

web5I used torn scraps of tissue paper applied with no other then Mod Podge, to create the texture on repurposed cardboard.

web1The collaged strip of patterned paper is stitched with jute cord, which also holds a piece of repurposed bead necklace which is strung onto it.

web6The flags are cut from a stiff window shade-like material, and they are attached to an accordion folded spine, repurposed from a brochure about Richard Neutra‘s VDL House. The spine is covered with transparent fabric ribbon. The text: “A STITCH IN TIME SAVES 9“, is, yes, stitched on to the flags with hemp cord.  It is also the name of this piece.

WEBaaFor the piece, “Narrow Bridge“, a similar process was used, with collaged images on the front, punctured by slightly uneven stitches that add another layer of both visual and tactile texture to the surface of the front and back covers.

WEBdThe repurposed cover boards were were textured with torn tissue paper, and adhered with Mod Podge, and a thinner tissue was used to add solidity, strength and presence to the tagboard accordion spine.

WEBfThe same window shade-like material was used for the flags, which are stitched (embroidered?) in linen thread with the text, “”The whole world is A narrow bridge The important thing is not to Fear“–the essence of which was penned by the great Reb Nachman of Breslov  The inside covers are collaged with fabric scrap.

WEBb“Thin Ice” wears its title on its back cover. The repurposed cover boards are textured with crumpled scraps of brown paper bags, adhered, once again, by the inimitable Mod Podge. The accordion spine was textured and strengthened with torn tissue fragments, and the entire surface was painted in shimmering washes of silvery metallic paint.

WEBaThe front cover is stitched with a sort of maze, all stitching done with the thread pulled from the detailing on a decorative pillow that had seen better days. (Saved the pillow, repurposed the edging…)

WEBeThe text, or, messaging, “if you are going to skate on thin ice, you had better be able to walk on water”, is stitched to the flag pages (made from the same type of window shade-like material) with metallic thread, or cord.

Good advice, I think, for any of us…

Happy Birthday SMPL

Happy Birthday SMPL

December 2015 marked the 125th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Public Library. The Library celebrated from November 2015 through January 2016 with programs and special events that “honor the library’s position as a connecting point – bridging the past to the future, bringing community members together, and plugging library patrons into the resources they need to read, connect, relax and learn.”

I was honored to lead a bookmaking program for families and folks of all ages on Saturday, January 12th.

Sat,
Jan 9

 125th - fanbook

Make a Fan-Style Memory Book

Saturday, January 9, 2016 at 11:00 am
Main Library, Youth Activity Room, 601 Santa Monica Boulevard

For families with children and adults. Commemorate the library’s anniversary with a memory book in this craft workshop.

 

Let the fun begin!

WEBi.After folding their accordion spines, participants added covers and pages to create their books.

WEBb.Our first hour was spent learning how to create the book structure and doing so, then…

WEBn.we got to the fun part (well, it is ALL fun…)…what to add to our books.

WEBc.Colorful, glittery stickers were in abundance.

WEBm.The folded “fan” book (which has some similarities to the  “Flag Book“) can stand up on a surface in a star-like shape…

WEBl.so that the pages can be seen from different vantage points, and used to great effect for display. Great for a centerpiece, and to display photos on.

WEBd.Participants enjoyed a multitude of foam sticker letters.  Has spelling ever been so fun?

WEBe.Here’s our line-up of stellar assistants, two library pages (yes, they are still called “pages”,) and a volunteer.  It would not have been the same with out them!  THANK YOU Perla, Keisha and Cassandra!

WEBh.More letter stickers, and a layering of color, texture and shapes creates an elegant cover.

WEBk.This one’s for Mom…(George’s Mom…)

WEBj.The books become sculptural when three-dimensional elements are added.

     WEBo.Proud BOOKMAKERS share their completed masterworks…

WEBa.Displaying an  impressive creativity, use of materials, and sense of design.

WEBg.One appreciative patron took off on the idea of creating a book to commemorate  “her” library…

WEBf.This one may be archived by the SMPL…it’s a keeper.

A keeper of memory, celebration, and possibility.

Like the Library!

Happy Birthday, SMPL!

Family Booking

Family Booking

It is wonderful to work with families, sharing with them a project through which they can experience the creative process. I had such an opportunity, leading a flag bookmaking workshop for residents of a building in Santa Monica owned and operated by the CCSM: The Community Corporation of Santa Monica. CCSM “Creates Housing and Strengthens Community.”

One of the ways it does that is to provide programming for building residents, which includes arts/crafts workshops. I have been gifted with the opportunity to lead several workshops, and this one was a blast. Both adults and children were able to complete a unique Flag Book, and had fun doing so while learning skills and techniques in the process, end expressing themselves creatively. What could be better?!

WEB3The black cover makes the letter’s in Mario’s name pop!

WEBeThis young Angel artist is adding all sorts of adornment to her Flag book creation.

WEBcMichael, recently turned five, who started out drawing, added layers of color, texture and mixed media to his book!

WEB9Michael’s book just vibrates with movement, action and vitality!

WEBdHis  Mom, Lynn, said, “I think I may be enjoying it more than he is. When you do projects with your children, it’s just fun!”  We agreed that adults, especially Moms, certainly deserve to have fun too!

WEBaBlue and orange, complimentary colors (opposite each other on the color wheel), contrast with pink and purple, which have red in common! Flag book color schemes are infinite!

WEBfSomeone loves pink!

WEB9cWEB9dSamantha’s Mom embellished both the powerful red and black front and back covers of her book using a variety of materials,  and tied it all together with silver cord!

This is the kind of experience that a teaching artist lives for. Here’s to more and more of them!

Book eSCAPE

Book eSCAPE

Traveling between the covers…

Long stitch multi-signature book…with button…learned from the great Jeannine Stein.

WEB1Signatures are gatherings of folded pages that nest inside each other.

WEB2Here you can see the six signatures clearly!

WEB3A bit of unexpected “paging” …vintage recipes…

WEB4sheet music…

WEB5and upside-down maps provide moments of surprise and pause.

Flag Book with Found Writing,  designed as an inspirational sample for teen students.

WEB1Vision Book…

WEB2“Take action…Like Nothing Else”

WEB3The movement of the book  makes malleable meaning of its words.

WEB4Type faces and fonts work with color

WEB5to underline the meaning…or create new meaning.

“Double Fan Book”,  a model for a life-sized “Big Book” that could be used as an presentation space.

WEB1Covers and pages fan out from an accordion spine,

WEB2creating spaces between them.

WEB3“Windows and doors” are cut into the planes of the corrugated cardboard surface, creating more moment and views.

web4The parts are stitched / lashed together with hemp chord.

WEB5The piece is designed to draw attention to the parallels between books and architectural spaces, and explore the connections between them.

I hope you enjoyed this  Book eSCAPE, and  join me again to travel between the covers and through the sheets…of cardboard and paper of course.

In the Pink: A Flag Birthday Book

In the Pink:

WEBaRecently,  I had the opportunity to create a mostly pink book for a very special soon to be seven year old.

WEBdI used tagboard, a rubbery, easy to cut material, ribbon, stickers, and fun little cards contained in a gift from a friend. Fun stuff!

WEBbI made a “flag book” structure, and embellished it. Step by step.

WEBfThe book can be opened “traditionally”, moving from left to right by turning the flag pages attached to its accordion-folded spine.

WEBgThe flag book can also be opened by pulling the front and back covers away from each other, to reveal

WEBhthe pattern created by how the flag pages are placed.

WEBiWords, letters, numbers, images, colors, and textures,

WEBjcombine to create a magical message of love, and

WEBkcelebration.

WEBeBook backs can be as important as their fronts. Both front and back book covers are attached to the folded accordion spine.

When we reach the end…it is time to go back to the beginning…and find something new.