Tunneling our Way Through…Making Tunnel Books

Tunneling our Way Through…Making Tunnel Books

For the last class of our recent children’s bookmaking class at LACMA, we made tunnel books…comprised of two spines or sides, a back “page” holding them together.

To prepare for our project, we visited the beautiful LACMA Directors Roundtable Garden, resplendent with its Alexander Calder sculptures: mobiles and stabiles.

We observed how perspective is created by distance, saw how things looked smaller the farther away we are from them, and did a group exercise where each student in turn stated what they saw behind what the previous student said they saw…learning to see in “distance layers” (my terminology), I.E. in perspective.  We also explored the idea of scale seeing how large or small objects are in relation to each other.

Finally, we repaired to the lovely glassed in Plaza Studio, to put our learnings and observations into action, and create our books, exploring color, character, story and setting/environment in the process.

The results are…well, you can see for yourself why I called this class our “Seven From Heaven”!

Students of their own volition devised a theme,

such as this figure hiking,

and followed it through, in this case in silhouette form.

This young artist found images from magazines,

and created a scene with them.

Some created land, city and seascapes through cutting and shaping paper and cardstock strips, and adhering them to the spines,

to beautiful effect.

Students” individual color choices are always interesting…

and often very consistent…also with their clothing color choices, and probably more.

This innovative and well-traveled maker added the words, “Paris, London, New York” on these strips. her travels and where she has lived with her creative family is an important part of her identity.

The red spines on either side create a theatrical effect in this piece, that this bookmaker worked on with meticulous attention to detail, and tender loving care, as she did with all her projects.

I am so going to miss this class. It truly was heavenly to work with such motivated, thoughtful and devoted young creatives in the nurturing, inspirational and magnificent setting of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. May the “Seven From Heaven” ride LACMA art-mobile again soon, and may it be with me!

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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!

Spring Suite: Red Green Blue

Spring Suite: Red Green Blue

A series of single and multiple signature books….bound with the pamphlet stitch, and wrapped with “Eco-fi“, a felt-feeling cloth made from recycled plastic bottles. Sewn with hemp cord. Pages made of acid-free drawing paper. Each made with a person or people in mind. Embellished with repurposed jewelry parts, charms, Eco-fi scrap,  and ribbon.

RED, Fire in the Belly (for Jane)

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WEBb  WEBe

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Green, The Right of Spring (For Mom)

WEBa

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WEBd   WEBg

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Blue, Thinking About You, (For D and V)

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WEBe

Pure Joy.

Artist Books and Old Lace

Artist Books and Old Lace

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There is a genre of artist books/bookmaking/handmade books that employs a sort of “shabby chic” look through the use of repurposed lace, ribbon and other fabrics…which emanate the feeling of rediscovered French textiles of a certain age, family heirlooms, and possibly, family secrets.

WEBa

 

 

 

“The word lace is from Middle English, from Old French las, noose, string, from Vulgar Latin *laceum, from Latin laqueus, noose; probably akin to lacere, to entice or ensnare.”


 

 

 

I felt a longing to create something like this, inspired by what I’d seen, but with my own twist on it. I knew the feeling I was after, but not exactly how to create it.  So, I did what you have to do under such circumstances, I dove in. Having procured all manner of lace for a “Bookmaking with lace” program I was leading at a local library, I felt that I had the appropriate arsenal and old lace, and was ready to begin.

WEBb

Inspired by the book-like form of a cardboard cheesecake box, I covered it with humble newsprint papers, from a little pad found at an incredible place in LA appropriately called Trash for Teaching.

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I then used scraps of muslin, also found at T4T to further cover the surface, piecing some together, and overlapping others, using the frayed edge as part of the design and feel.

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I added and embellished with strips and fragments of lace, and a zipper of similar hue, to  engage the handler and add a kinetic quality. I sewed four signatures, each composed solely of a single folded sheet of old paper passed to me by a fellow artist, directly into the spine with white linen thread.

WEBo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I created a flap next to the zipper on the front cover,

WEBpand a pocket on the back cover…for secret notes, talismans, messages and dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

Drawn by tactility, I contemplate my next textured textile plunge into this genre…there is a lot of room to feel one’s way around. I, like many others, an touched by the totality of the tactile experience.

Tactile: From French tactile, from Latin tactilis (that may be touched, tangible), from tangere (to touch). — http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tactile#Etymology

We Wrote The Book: Notes From the Field1

We Wrote The Book: Notes From the Field1

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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.

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

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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!

Winter Suite: Engaging the Warm Fuzzie, Again

 Winter Suite: Engaging the Warm Fuzzie, Again

Fascinated by the use of cloth, fabric, and textiles in the built environment, as well as a tactile material to use in bookmaking, I started using Eco-Fi “felt’, a fiber made out of recycled plastic “PET” bottles. In addition to reducing the amount of waste going into landfills, Eco-fi felt can be found in a range of colors, takes glue well, and can be a satisfying and even addictive material to work with.  The following comprise a series called “WinterSuite“, which to my mind, brings the “warm fuzzie” back to bookmaking. Did it ever leave? Books have always been our bedfellows, our constant companions, our friends. Now they can double as a security blanket, as well.

WEB3WEB5WinterSuite: Gray, multiple signature sewn book, recycled board, Eco-fi felt, hemp cord, pastel drawing paper, UHU glue. Diamonds made from corners cut from felt covers.

 WEB3WEB1WinterSuite: Blue, Single signature sewn book, recycled board, Eco-fi felt, hemp cord, pastel drawing paper, UHU glue. Diamonds made from corners cut from felt covers.

web1web4WinterSuite: Gold, multiple signature sewn book, recycled board, Eco-fi felt, hemp cord, pastel drawing paper, UHU glue. Diamonds made from corners cut from felt covers, blue appliqué made from repurposed felt scrap left over from WinterSuite: Blue.

WEB2WEB4WinterSuite:BlueBlack1, multiple signature sewn book, recycled board, Eco-fi felt, hemp cord, pastel drawing paper,  zipper, UHU glue. Diamonds made from corners cut from felt covers.

web1web3WinterSuite: BlueBlack2,  Single signature sewn book, recycled board, Eco-fi felt, hemp cord, pastel drawing paper, zippers,  UHU glue. Diamonds made from corners cut from felt covers.

WEB4WEB2WEB3WEB6WinterSuite: Pink,  Single signature sewn book, recycled board, Eco-fi felt, hemp cordUHU glue. Diamonds made from corners cut from felt covers. pages made from felt!

Comfort Object; “…an item used to provide psychological comfort, especially in unusual or unique situations, or at bedtime for small children.”  Let’s hear it for Linus!

Studio Poem: Material Girl Again

Studio Poem: Material Girl Again

WRB2Card and color

WRB4Ribbon Land

WRB3Pattern Power

WRB1Ribbon Flow