“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.

HeARTfelt…

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.

Advertisements

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 3

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 3

Last summer I had the opportunity to do a collaborative book project with students aged 5-10. We called it “The Big Book“.

I created the structure out of repurposed corrugated cardboard. The students then added to, developed, embellished and played with the structure.

The students had access to all of the drawing, painting and collage materials we were using in class on our bookmaking projects to use in any way they wished (within time and space constraints, and reason) on the The Big Book.

Here is some of their play…..

webc1Images of students working on their book projects…on The Big Book


webiDesign and line…

webjWe used beads, paint pens, ribbon, paper, and much more…

The Big Book…Lives!

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 2

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 2

Last summer I had the opportunity to do a collaborative book project with students aged 5-10. We called it “The Big Book“.

weba1I created the structure out of repurposed corrugated cardboard. The students then added to, developed, embellished and played with the structure.

weba2I primed all of the surfaces, and painted the outside of the covers and spine black and the inside white.  I framed the outside of the covers with  extra strips of cardboard for stability.

weba3The students had access to all of the drawing, painting and collage materials we were using in class on our bookmaking projects to use in any way they wished (within time and space constraints, and reason) on the The Big Book.

weba4They went to town using pipe cleaners, cloth, washi and glittery tapes, feathers, and their own drawings

weba5to create designs, borders, text, textures, color and artworks on the collaborative piece.

webb2Because the students were a range of ages, there were a range of effects,

webb1which melded together to become a singular Book Work of charm, energy, and personality!

We worked together. We created together. We laughed together. We respected each other.

A Lesson for Living.

“The Big Book”: Collaboration



“The Big Book”: Collaboration 1

“The Big Book”: Collaboration 1

Last summer I had the opportunity to do a collaborative book project with students aged 5-10….we called it “The Big Book“.

webaFront cover of “The Big Book

I constructed a “folded fan” style flag book…out of corrugated cardboard. I folded an accordion spine, attached a front and a back cover, and two pages inside, going in the same direction, which fanned out when the book was opened.

webbBack cover of “The Big Book“.

I used tacky glue to put the pieces together, then sewed therm in place with hemp cord, and finally, trimmed the whole piece off with patterned duck tape. I then primed all of the surfaces, and painted the outside (front and back covers and spine) black, and the inside white, with acrylics. I added extra strips of re-purposed corrugated cardboard for stability.

webdStudents embellished the cardboard borders which also added structural support to the book.

webcA student’s expression of gratitude!

webkWonderful advice!

weblSo happy to see this….

webqStudents embellished just about every inch of the book…playing with words, colors, textures, designs and materials.

webrI created the structure…but the young artists left their mark/s….and made the piece come alive.

Much fun was had in the process. Students learned not only about using materials on a scale larger than their other book projects, but also about working together, collaboration, communication and cooperation.  Skills needed now perhaps more than ever.

Good lessons for our times. For any times. For all the times of our lives.

Process

PROCESS

In process: an interactive book commissioned by a local museum, to engage viewers of an upcoming book arts exhibition!

The book is a flag book, investigating color interactions, with text potentially added by the viewer/participants/co-creators.

The covers are made of book board, resurfaced with torn and crumpled pieces of unique “brown paper bag” colored folders, of  limited quantity, using neutral pH Lineco adhesive .

                      Corresponding stacked windows were cut into the front and back covers,
process5

through which file cards (the piece is partially composed of file folders, after all) of different colors, process1

or white…can be seen. The cover colors and composition will change, depending on which cards are used.process2

Within, untorn and uncrumpled pieces of the same file folders are folded into pockets, edges glued together with a  UHU acid free glue stick, one edge stitched with linen thread, and the other side glued to the book’s concertina spine.process3

The accordion spine is made of watercolor paper, resurfaced on the back with pieces of torn and singed rice paper. The edge of each fold is covered with the same folder material as the covers, and the inside of the spine. process4

The flag page pockets will have the same size and shape windows cut out of them, all aligning with the front and back cover windows, so that anyone can add and subtract file cards, changing the color balance and composition of the cover and contents.process6

In this way, the viewers can become true creative participants and co-creators of the piece, creating chromatic interactions and meditations through their own actions…interactions with it! 

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

WEBaWEBc

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…

We Wrote The Book: Notes From the Field1

We Wrote The Book: Notes From the Field1

WEB1a

I am always amazed at the hunger people of all ages seem to have for not only making a book, but filling it. Often immediately. What they, You, fill it with, is called content. If you engage in this process,  you may find that the content of your book begins to resemble, uncannily, the content of your life. Or, it may just start out that way.

Whatever they, you,  fill it with, whether it be words, images, text, poetry, collage, drawings, painting, stitching, lace (!), the content created and the method, media and materials they, you, choose to use, inevitably expresses, and becomes part of, their, your, story.

WEB1b

I encourage a method of “Found Writing“, which may be similar to “Found Poetry”, as the process often yields up poetic self-awareness.

WEB1c

Makers simply respond to words, phrases and text they are drawn to, adding it to their book without self censure or judgment. The results are nothing short of remarkable: expressive, moving, and often a signpost as to the direction the maker is moving, or wants to move in their lives.

WEB1The “Flag Book” structure, invented by book artist Hedi Kyle, provides the perfect place for poetic text…

WEB2and images…cut up and reassembled in a new way through the book’s flag pages. Some content seems to be a message in a bottle, yielding up meaning as it is created and  contemplates, while some

WEB3 speaks for itself, in a very direct way. No second guessing  the message here, it would seem!

WEB2Above, students busily create envelope books, which will contain an invitation to their parents to attend our end of class bookmaking event…

WEB1Some brave souls share theirs.

WEB3Sticker letters are a hit,

WEB1and translate into the family activity, which employs the humble (OK- this is a fancy one I lucked upon in our local 99 cents store) file folder. You can use the manilla ones.

WEB2I usually insist on no tape,wanting the students to learn how to glue (UHU Glue Stics are a favorite- acid-free too) and sew, but do make an exception for the joys of washi tape!

In bookmaking, as in life, you can use just about anything to tell your story. It is all grist for the storymaking mill, whether you are conscious of it or not, so, why not get started???!!! You ARE the StoryMaker!

Material World (4)

Material World (4)

One of the pleasures and deep satisfactions of bookmaking is delving into the visual, visceral, and tactile pleasures of materials.  Though many artists do not make the kind of money that allows for indulgence in what might be termed, “material pleasures”, we may be seen as materialistic…for materials are the very warp and weft of our trade.  We can find our way to the ineffable through immersion in the materials and techniques we choose to create with. Here I share some of my own investigation into the qualities inherent in materials that create texture. Though I am a visual artist, I find the sense of touch as powerful as that of sight, and am fascinated with how the two work together.


web1“A Stitch in Time Saves 9”, Flag Book, Title stitched onto flags, covers textured with crumpled tissue paper and adhesive, collage and repurposed beads stitched onto cover.

WEBaTextured Fan, covers covered with textured, painted and glazed paper, accordion spine made of repurposed Neutra VDL House brochure

WEB4“Brown Paper Bag”, Covers textured with crushed plain brown paper and brown paper bags, bound with hemp cord.

WEB4PaperPaintPlant, single signature binding, using paper containing plant material.

WEBcTeapot Book, Japanese Side Stab binding using thick highly textured handmade paper for covers, and drawing paper for pages, teapot rubber-stamped.

Synesthesia” isa rare neurological condition in which two or more of the senses entwine.”

The sense of sight and the sense of touch. How can we separate the two?  Does something feel like what it looks like, or does it look like what it feels like? Powerful questions for anyone working in the visual, or any realm of communication and expression.  Powerful stuff.