Hand-i-Work: Making Books

Hand-i-Work: Making Books

Picturing Bookmaking…the work of our hands.

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Saying goodbye to summer 2016 “Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio. Cherish the memories!

Until next year…walk in peace, and make books…read them too!

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Bookmaking: A Handy Form of Expression

Bookmaking: A Handy Form of Expression

A Picture Poem giving new meaning to hand work…handiwork…the work (play?) of our hands!

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These students HANDle the form well!

Bravo!

A Visit to Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio

A Visit to Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio  

Five weeks of bookmaking with students aged 5-10. An incredible opportunity to witness and nurture creativity in action!

WEBaTaking an existing book and altering it.

WEBdSome students had no problem cutting right into the book…(a paperback)…and others were more hesitant.

WEBeSome students think of books primarily as a space for their many writing ideas….

WEBfand others are focused on the visual, enchanted my the material possibilities.

WEBaGiving new meaning to the term “Getting Your Ducks in a Row”…

WEBbAnd the story idea…: “A Bunny With Fairy Wings”


WEBd  Re-purposing tags as flags in the flag book.

WEBe - CopyThe purple tee-shirted bookmaking sistahs!

WEBg - CopyConcentration. Beginning to write after creating a glittering border.

WEBh - CopyBook End (table end) inspiration.

WEBaHandmade Portfolios using hanging file folders and shoelaces.

WEBi - CopyPortfolio, and the joy of glittery stickers.

WEBjCreating dimension with “pom-poms”.

WEBkBead embellishment

WEBmTreasure hunting.

WEBnOur piece of heaven: the supplies table.

WEBbSketch book…

WEBcWorking in a single signature book. Why use one pencil when you can use three?!

WEBaCreating scrolls…an ancient book form. We added wooden dowels later.

Thank you for visiting our summer wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio. You can always create your won…with whatever you have on hand to create with!

 

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!

Some Kind of Wonderful

Some Kind of Wonderful

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It is wonderful fun to create these “Artissima Lumens

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These (plastic!)  light switch plates become tiny canvasses, ready for adornment (including the tiny metal screws).

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Each one is carefully sanded, primed and base painted with waterborne paint.

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The surface is then ‘textured” with semi-transparent, waterborne glaze.

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The glaze is manipulated over the dry,  base painted surface with tools such as sponges, rags and specialty brushes.

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Because the glaze is semi-sheer, the base paint shows through, but as an altered hue, with added depth and complexity.

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When dry, the glaze treatment provides an evocative  surface to paint, stencil, stamp and further embellish on.

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Next, pattern, imagery more texture and color are added, often with stencils artfully arranged.

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Finally, the whole surface is varnished, sealed with a clear coat of acrylic (again, waterborne), to add sheen and durability.

Some kind of wonderful experience…this process, and the satisfaction in creating “Artissima Lumens“!

Contemplating Work – Three Year Round Up

Contemplating Work – Three Year Round Up

In the spirit of the process of the necessity of the…well…updating, overhauling, revamping, refurbishing, and just re-ing the online presence of ArtiFactory Studio, and Artissima ventures….and, about to add/subtract/move around work from my site, I thought I would share some of the work completed since my last site update (yikes, was it really three years ago?), and look at some of the media, processes, forms and approaches that are part of the wide world of decorative painting.

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I created a line of hand-painted light switch plates which I call, “Artissima Lumens“, which though small, do take a lot of work and focus to complete! Sanding the plastic or wooden surface, as well as screws/hardware, priming it, base painting it, and then…the embellishment, adornment, decoration (hmm…not a good word in art school!), whatever you want to call it. This can include hand painting images, gradating color, stenciling  a design, pattern, image or scene, adding layers of semi-transparent glaze, and most often, a combination of some, many, or even all of these!

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Mid-Century design, style, decor and imagery can be rich fodder for decorative painting on the wall, as evidenced by these bedroom accent walls. The dawn of the atomic age, coupled with star-bursts, floral imagery, and geometric shapes and patterns can be inspirational. These treatments, based on a sketch (above with mirror), made by, and a re-imagined image, (immediately above), found by the Client constitute a creative collaboration that bore Mid-C fruit in both a guest and master bedroom.

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There is nothing quite like custom,  hand painted imagery on a wall, or ceiling.  Above, the Fightin’Irish and Michigan State logos find a home in the room of a young boy, with an avid avian interest. Custom-designed stenciled and hand-painted birds fly across his ceiling and desk wall, and perch above the entrance to his bath.

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Stenciling, and the art of repeated pattern is an effective and beautiful way to create a border. Especially effective in a room, such as this bath, with no crown molding.  The bright color ties the room together with the strong artwork displayed there, and connects to the vibrant colors seen throughout the rest of the house.

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Exterior  decorative painting on the wall, any wall, can go a long way towards brightening up an area that is often dark, and shrouded in fog, as many decks, patios, yards and porches are in the vast and often overcast Sunset District neighborhood of San Francisco. The painting of a colorful wall mural on the rough textured shingled siding of this deck not only brightened the area, and extended the adjoining living space to the outdoors, it also gave the inhabitants a colorful “garden” to look at through their kitchen window.  Doing dishes is going to be a lot more fun now in that house!

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“MINDS HEARTS HANDS VOICES” is the motto for  Cathedral School for Boys in San Francisco. The painting of the motto so that is can be seen through the front windows communicated the basic approach and philosophy of the school. Samples of blue hues, and font styles were presented to the Headmaster and Development Director, who chose which to use. The intent was to keep the image and the message clean, clear and simple, albeit elegant, and let the words do the talking!

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House numbers  for HGTV Curb Appeal, “It’s All in the Details” episode were created with customized, hand-cut stencils, based on a font chosen by the host, John Gidding. Gradated shading using highlight and shadow was added to give the illusion of depth.

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The Flying Cranes project at The Briggs Residence (a historic residence in the West Adams District of Los Angeles) was the brainchild of architect Kaitlin Drisko, of Drisko Studio Architects, who wanted to transform the living room TV cabinet into a work of art . In conjunction with the Owner, and Owner’s rep Paul Davidson, designs and imagery for both the interior and exterior were developed collaboratively.  The exterior sides of the cabinet doors are gilded with composition gold leaf, or schlag metal, then painted with the cranes composition.

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The interior of the doors are stippled with  layers of gold, blue and red paint hues, then stenciled with a custom motif adapted especially for the project. When open, the articulated doors frame the TV screen.  The piece is designed to be a focal point in the room whether the doors are open or closed, the television on or off.

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It is fascinating to look back over a three year span of work, and contemplate all the uses of decorative painting.  It is a form that marries function and beauty, usefulness and aesthetics, craft, visual art, architecture and design.  Playing at once subtly and powerfully through our visual landscape, decorative painting makes its mark!

Decorative Painting: A Life in Review

Decorative Painting; A Life in Review

Having spent many years, and still spending them in this broad arena we call, “Decorative Painting”, I wanted to take a moment to step back, and look into what comprises this multifaceted field…which could be described as the enhancement of the built environment.

Decorative painting can involve the coating, texturing and stenciling of small, utilitarian objects.

It can be the embellishment on an “industrial” scale with latex paint and big brushes, of a commercial establishment….a kind of  “branding”.

Exterior, …

         or interior, with graphic design and lettering

Decorative painting is

wall glazing…

ceiling stippling and custom stenciling…

and layering of color.

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It is pattern…

and marble

,                  and gold

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It is pure joy.

It can be pure love.

It will transform.

Surface-ing in Santa Monica

Surface-ing in Santa Monica

Right here in Santa Monica there is a house completely covered in mosaic…every surface touched.

The patio table top allows for dining on mosaic, while gazing upon mosaic.

A tree of life is flanked by trees of nature.

Aquatic life swims across the wall…

allowing a close-up view.

A doorway to the surely magical intrigues.

The wind is in the details

Not too far away, also in Santa Monica, is different sort of embellishment: a wall encrusted with crushed cans.

In the display case on that wall, folded paper cranes fly.

Around the corner is

an  entire wall of apartments surfaced with crushed cans.

People live here.

With all the accoutrements.

They barbeque here.

Lite transformed into art.

What other surface music is played visually here in Santa Monica?

One must stroll without a goal…play the flâneur...

Expect the unexpected….

And reap the delight.

Behold the Glitterati

Behold the Glitterati

All that glitters isn’t gold…or is it?  Well, it might be “schlag, or combination metal leaf, it might be 22 karat gold leaf, or it might be copper, silver, bronze or a combination of all of the above. Materials that contain or give the look of  precious metals can add instant warmth and light to a room, which can be a welcome addition at any time, but perhaps especially during this the darkest time of the year.  Use of metallic leaf, waxes, paints and glazes can be instrumental in transforming a time of darkness  into a season of light. In a space that is.  Which may just affect our state of mind, and lift our spirits.

We speak of radiance, iridescence,  incandescence and luminescence.   We crave shine, sparkle, glitter and glamor.  We love sheen and shimmer, glow and glimmer.  We are attracted to the translucent, which lets the light through, and the reflective, which bounces it back to us.  In other words, we long for light,  our source, our fuel, without which we cannot live.

So, its only natural that we should adorn our  objects, furniture, architecture and accessories with materials which play with and celebrate light, and expand our experience and enjoyment of its qualities.

So, whether it is the enhancement of  a craftperson’s  decorative detail,

a ceiling treated in tones of gold,

or the embellishment of a chair…

let us celebrate the spark of our spirits, and illuminate our state of mind with the pure enjoyment of things shiny and bright.  Let’s revel in radiance, especially during the dark time of the year.  Let’s lavish ourselves and our loved ones with light, shine and shimmer, and spread a sphere of good cheer around us wherever we go, during this Season of Light.

Who knows? It may make us whole.

What is your favorite ritual of light?  Do you have a special way of embellishing the Holidays with glow and glitter, sheen and shimmer?   If you feel so inspired, please share your unique light with us.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all  in this thing called Life, together.

Happy Holidays, and Best Wishes for the New Year!