A Taste For Texture I

A Taste For Texture I

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.

Why do we have a craving for the tactile? It must be primal…the sense of touch that nurtured, warned, indicated and comforted as we evolved through our lives, and the eons.

WEBa“Singed Pages”, Front cover. Repurposed journal, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, transformed with layers of paint and varnish, metal fleur-de-lis, gold thread for binding.

WEBd“Burnt Edges”, Interior / text block. Paper pages singed, bound as a single signature with gold thread.

WEB1“Mariposa Series 1”, Front cover,  Found board, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, transformed with layers of paint and varnish,gold string, metal butterfly sewn with gold thread.

WEB2“Mariposa Series 1”, Interior / text block. Butterfly punched shapes, pastel paper pages bound as multiple, connected signatures with gold thread.

WEB1“Mariposa Series 2”, Front cover. Repurposed board, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, ribbon, transformed with layers of paint and varnish, metal butterfly sewn with gold thread.

WEB2“Mariposa Series 2”, Interior / text block. Unfolding pages created from gold leaf packing, butterfly punched shapes, open spine, multiple signature binding, hemp cord.

WEBb“Mariposa Series 3”, Back cover. Repurposed journal, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, transformed with layers of paint and varnish, metal butterfly sewn with gold thread, multiple signature binding sewn with gold thread.

WEBc“Mariposa Series 3”, Interior/ text block. Butterfly punched shapes, rice-style paper pages cut into repeated butterfly shapes,  bound in  multiple signatures with gold thread.

WEBh“Mariposa Series 3”, “Spinal view” with front and back covers. Multiple signatures with gold thread.

WEB2“RedJewel”, Front cover.  Repurposed journal, tissue paper and adhesive used to create the texture, transformed with layers of paint and varnish, Antique button and multiple signatures sewn with gold thread.

WEB4“RedJewel”. Interior / text block.  Rice-style paper pages cut into repeated heart shapes, bound in  multiple signatures with gold thread.

WEB1Prepping repurposed journals, using torn, crumpled tissue paper adhered with layers of adhesive to create texture.

WEB2Slowly re-purposing gutted journals, adhering pieces of torn tissue paper over the surfaces of the inside covers, revealing fragments of writing beneath.

This work, with all of its patient processes, is a labor of love.

It has to be!

 

Advertisements

MemoryMaking Books

MemoryMaking Books

In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Public Library, I had the opportunity to lead a bookmaking program at the  Montana Avenue Library, my home branch of the SMPL

“Making Memory Books” was requested… a single signature style book, embellished with fabric.

WEBaLeather, denim, beads, as well as decorative papers and fabric scrap were some of the goodies laid out for participants to use.

WEBcThe signatures were already prepared, with holes punched. Once bound with the three-hole pamphlet stitch, the first and last pages were glued to the inside of the front and back covers, and the book was formed.

WEBiThen, the fun could really begin!  let the embellishment commence!

WEBkPaper, “eco-fi” felt, cloth, lace and leather transformed the book structures into unique works of art.

WEBdUpon request, a square shape was used, instead of the more common vertical  rectangle.

WEBeA mother daughter duo enjoyed adorning their book covers with butterflies.

WEBm

WEBfIs this a pink planet, surrounded by butteries?

WEBl

WEB2The inspiration for the project was a series of fabric covered sewn book models,

WEB8with cloth pieces applied patchwork style.

WEB1The colors, patterns, shapes and tactile quality of cloth and textiles can evoke powerful memories.

WEB2The effect can be pleasing visually, as well as tracing remnants of life stories barely remembered but held in the body, memory and emotions through the sense of touch.

These books, that may hold memories barely discernible to the maker, can now become the repository of new memories, as scrapbooks, photo albums, journals, or sketchbooks.

What a beautiful gift.

Happy Holidays, and peace and blessings for the New Year.

That Ribbon of…3

That Ribbon of…3

It is fascinating to explore ways of integrating ribbon and tying mechanisms into book structures. An integrated tie mechanism encourages the user to engage with the object…opening and closing, tying and untying.

WEB4In an ongoing process of attempting to meld bookmaking, decorative painting, conceptual, and “fine” art into the mysterious form of the “artist’s book“, I am exploring the use of tissue paper and the like combined with adhesives to create a textured, tactile surface, and incorporating the ribbon or tie as an integral part of the piece.

WEBaSimple cardboard is covered with crinkled tissue once used to separate sheets of metallic leaf. This tissue, for lack of a better term, is thin, fine, ultra flexible, crushable, porous, adherable and absorbent. Perfect for texturing, and when combined with adhesive, becomes almost like a glue itself. The textured surface can create a compelling, intriguing, and in some instances, incredibly satisfying object to gaze upon, to touch, to hold, and to use.

WEB1Here the actual packing of the metallic leaf become folded book pages, each one unfolded, then refolded into a signature, (technically a “section”).  These signatures are then sewn together with hemp cord using  the pamphlet stitch  to create a “multi-signature” binding.  Half of the first and last pages are then glued to the inside of the front and back covers so that the pages unfold.

WEB2Thus each folded page opens up into four two-sided sections. many possibilities here…both for developing the book by adding content to the pages, and for user engagement with the pages…unfolding and folding them.

WEB3The pages can become sculptural and create different shapes. One of the magical things about the form of “the book”, is that it can be nearly flat or two-dimensional, or three-dimensional. Books are transformational…in many ways.

WEB5The exposed points of contact where the signatures are sewn together become the spine of the book.

WEB6Eventually, I integrated this brilliant orange ribbon into the design of the book. it adds a bit of shimmer, dimension, and contrasting texture, and a tone-on-tone quality that I find irresistible.

I will have to get some images of the finished piece. It is fun to play with, opening and closing the book,  folding and unfolding the pages, seeing how many shapes can be created. The user has to engage with this book, if they don’t want to miss out!

 

 

 

 

That Ribbon of…2

That Ribbon of…2WEB1It is fascinating to explore ways of integrating ribbon and tying mechanisms into book structures. An integrated tie mechanism encourages the user to engage with the object…opening and closing, tying and untying.

WEB4In an ongoing process of attempting to meld bookmaking, decorative painting, conceptual, and “fine” art into the mysterious form of the “artist’s book“, I am exploring the use of tissue paper and the like combined with adhesives to create a textured, tactile surface, and incorporating the ribbon or tie as an integral part of the piece. Simple cardboard is covered with crinkled tissue once used to separate sheets of metallic leaf.

WEBa This tissue, for lack of a better term, is thin, fine, ultra flexible, crushable, porous, adherable and absorbent. Perfect for texturing, and when combined with adhesive, becomes almost like a glue itself.

WEB5The textured surface combined with the ribbon or tie, can create a compelling, intriguing, and in some instances, incredibly satisfying object to gaze upon, to touch, to hold, and to use. Here the brown gauze ribbon and found object sewn to the front cover complete the piece.

WEB6The ribbon is slipped under the signature stitches, and one of a line of stitches keeping the strip of cloth (in this case brown felt) to which the signatures are sewn, in place.

WEB7 The polka-dotted ribbon adds an element of pattern and lightness and creates a striped effect when laid down next to the brown felt.

WEB9WEB8WEB90Oranges and browns are set off by the brilliant, saturated colors of the pages.

WEB2  The ribbon add sensuality and languidness, and has a life of its own. Depending on how it lays, the completed book can look demure, like an attentive, obedient student,

WEB3  or, even like a Buddha.

 We have to turn each page…in turn…if we don’t want to miss the in-between. Which might be the most interesting part of the story…

T.B.C.

That Ribbon of…1

That Ribbon of…1

WEBa

It is fascinating to explore ways of integrating ribbon and tying mechanisms into book structures. An integrated tie mechanism encourages the user to engage with the object…opening and closing, tying and untying.

WEBb

In an ongoing process of attempting to meld bookmaking, decorative painting, conceptual, and “fine” art into the mysterious form known as the “artist’s book“, I am exploring the use of tissue paper and the like combined with adhesives to create a tactile, textured surface, and incorporating the ribbon or tie as an integral part of the piece.

WEBc

The textured surface combined with the ribbon or tie, can create a compelling, intriguing, and , incredibly satisfying object to gaze upon, to touch, to hold, and to use.

WEBdHere simple cardboard is covered with crinkled tissue once used to separate sheets of metallic leaf.

WEBaThis tissue, for lack of a better term, is thin, fine, ultra flexible, crushable, porous, adherable and absorbent. Perfect for texturing, which, when combined with adhesive, becomes almost like a glue itself.

WEBeHere, one ribbon defines the spine of the structure, while another is embedded between layers of tissue and glue, with tieable ends emerging.

WEBfHere gold cord is sandwiched between layers of adhesive-saturated tissue, connecting the two covers and creating a built-in tying mechanism.

WEBgThe thin tissue takes on the shape of the cord underneath it, creating a sculptural relief  or raised effect.

WEBjjpgA similar technique was used for this piece, with the ribbon is adhered to the surface, creating a strong graphic element.

WEBijpgEnds are left loose to tie the book closed.

WEBhWhat will go inside?

One step at a time.  We have to turn each page…in turn…if we don’t want to miss the in-between.

Which might be the most interesting part of the story…

T.B.C.

 

 

 

 

Artist Books and Old Lace

Artist Books and Old Lace

WEBd

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.

WEBh

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.

WEBf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

Synesthesia: Sense and Sensibility Part Two

Synesthesia: Sense and Sensibility Part Two

Our February 13th “Color Muze” segment on Artistically Speaking Talk Show, focused on the fascinating concept and phenomenon of “Synesthesia”, or “Unity of the Senses. I learned about Synesthesia through my color seminars at the IACC-NA (The International Association of Colour Consultants and Designers North America) from Mr. Frank Mahnke, President of the  IACC-NA and the Director of the IACC Education/Accreditation Programs conducted worldwide. Mr. Mahnke lectures on the  psycho-physiological effects of color, light and the human reaction to the built environment, as well as the role of color as information and communication in the field of marketing.  In other words… Color Rocks the Big One…our Perception.

In my first Seminar with the IACC-NA, I learned about how colors (the visual) can provoke associations with our other senses, (smell, touch/the tactile, hearing and taste), as well as affect our perception of weight, volume, size and texture.  In the words of Mr. Mahnke , “It seems that the centers for processing sensory information are linked with each other, leading to crosstalk between the senses.” If this is true, and it would seem from the evidence of our senses that it is, then the concept of Synesthesia is an important consideration in any and every color decision we make, with potentially profound consequences emotionally, physically, aesthetically, and even spiritually.   How does our perception of Color make us Feel?

We tend to talk about color in terms of the visual; “Oh, that red bedroom is so bright!”, or “That’s a very pale shade of lilac.” But, if we tune into our own phraseology, we may just as often hear ourselves speaking about color in terms of our other four senses, the auditory, (hearing), olfactory, (smell),  gustatory, (taste), and the tactile (touch).  “Oh, that red is just so loud!” “What a sour green!”, “Such a sweet pink room!“, “I love that soft blue.”

Let’s awaken all our senses by taking a closer look, and tuning into what we feel, and how we respond to color.

What do colors sound like?

Warm colors such as yellows and oranges tend to feel loud to us, and can potentially make a space feel “noisy”.  According toHeinrich Frieling, Director of the Institute of Color Psychology, we associate gold-yellow with major keys, and orange with loudness and major keys. Cooler colors such as blue on the other hand, tend to feel quieter and more distant, with darker-hued spaces seeming to  further muffle sounds.

What do colors feel like?

What texture does a particular color “feel” like it has?  It’s not surprising that yellow tends to “feel” smooth. When we consider yellow’s associations, this makes sense.  Have we ever felt a ray of rough or scratchy sunlight?  Looking at yellow’s opposite or complement, purple, we can get a sense of velvet.  Would this have anything to do with our association of purple with royalty, and the images of purple velvet which we may associate with royal robes?

What do colors smell like?

The  chroma, saturation, lightness, and brightness of a particular color  can affect its sensory associations. Under Frieling, the Institute of Color Psychology has asserted that the color brown is associated with a musky, or roast taste.  We may even use the word “browning” in lieu of the word “roasting”, or to describe part of the roasting process.  However, green-blue may elicit fresh to salty associations, while the hue “blue” is essentially odorless. Add to this the nature associations we have to brown in all its aspects (think “earthy”), green-blue (sea) and just “blue” (sky), and the sensory meanings can become clear. Different blue and brown combinations will give different effects, making us think with our noses, as well as our eyes.

What do colors Taste like?

Taste and smell are closely related, and tend to hold the same or similar color associations. Red is sweet and strong, as long as it contains no yellow, and doesn’t cross over into the realm of orange, which may not be so sweet, despite our associations with the fruit.  Perhaps the holiday of Valentine’s Day has played upon this “red as sweet” association, with its emphasis on red-wrapped boxes of chocolate, and other sweets.  I would add the term “rich” into the mix, my association with Valentine’s Day chocolate, if its worth its salt- er, sugar.  Green, and yellow-green by contrast (red and green being complementary colors, and opposite each other on the color wheel) associate with sour, with yellow-green veering to the tangy, and green, to the juicy.  Consider green apples, kiwis, limes, fried green tomatoes (well, maybe not fried…tomatoes ARE fruits though!)  Green to yellow-green hues can make our mouths water and our lips pucker just by thinking about them!

Thinking about it.  In a way, that is the point.. isn’t it?  Because, as we know, as scientists, colorists, designers and artists know, however subliminally, that color IS a matter of perception.  Color exists in our brains. As Frank Mahnke says, “There is no doubt that a unity exists from one sense to another.  Perception is not just a mosaic of separate sense stimulations.  In certain aspects of psychology…the entire organism is looked upon as a whole.”

All of our senses play into the impressions we receive, the internal images we carry, and the ideas we form. resulting in how we feel.  How we feel affects how we behave, and vice versa. When we understand, or perceive of color that way, we realize how amazingly,  incredibly important and powerful  it is.  Color really does Rocks the Big One…our Perception. And as some would say, “perception is reality”.  What do You think?

If you feel so inspired, share YOUR sense and sensibility with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all experiencing this thing called Life, together.

Newsflash: for another yummy look at the phenomenon of Synesthesia, please check out Elizabeth Brown’s Colorific blog post on the same subject.


Synesthesia: Sense and Sensibility Part One

Synesthesia: Sense and Sensibility Part One

Our February 13th “Color Muze” segment on Artistically Speaking Talk Show, focused on the fascinating concept and phenomenon of “Synesthesia”, or “Unity of the Senses. I learned about Synesthesia through my color seminars at the IACC-NA (The International Association of Colour Consultants and Designers North America) from Mr. Frank Mahnke, President of the  IACC-NA and the Director of the IACC Education/Accreditation Programs conducted worldwide. Mr. Mahnke lectures on the  psycho-physiological effects of color, light and the human reaction to the built environment, as well as the role of color as information and communication in the field of marketing.

In my first Seminar with the IACC-NA, I learned about how colors (the visual) can provoke associations with our other senses, (smell, touch/the tactile, hearing and taste), as well as affect our perception of weight, volume, size and texture.  In the words of Mr. Mahnke , “It seems that the centers for processing sensory information are linked with each other, leading to crosstalk between the senses.” If this is true, and it would seem from the evidence of our senses that it is, then the concept of Synesthesia is an important consideration in any and every color decision we make, with potentially profound consequences emotionally, physically, aesthetically, and even spiritually!

Let’s look at some examples.

Considering Temperature: Painter, designer, teacher, writer and theorist Johannes Itten wrote about experiments that supported the thesis that we can feel a 5-7 degree difference in temperature in rooms painted blue-green, and red-orange.  When we consider the associations with blue-green (water, coolness), and red-orange (fire, heat) this would seem to make sense!  What experiences have YOU had temperature-wise, being surrounded by architectural color?  Does blue/green always feel cooler, and red/orange warmer to you?  Does it depend on the value, saturation, intensity, tone and context of the color?  And what about the color of that color- its hue?

What about Volume? We can see through experience, that lighter, cooler  colors seem to recede, thus making a room feel larger,  (giving it more “room”) while warmer, more saturated, and darker colors seem to advance, and take up more space in a room, thus making it appear smaller.  Have YOU had this experience? As a color designer, have you used these principles?

Can color affect our perception of weight and size? Darker, warmer and more saturated colors tend to seem heavier, and the areas they cover seem to be larger, while paler, cooler and more pastel colors seem lighter, and the areas they cover, smaller.  Thus a darker, warmer, and more saturated color will seem to bring a ceiling “down”, and the opposite for  a paler, cooler and more pastel color.  Can YOU see this effect in these two ceiling areas?  The effect may be complicated by the fact that the area surrounding both is in the hue range of cream to white!


The above are just a few of the infinite examples of “sensory crosstalk”, or Synesthesia, which I suspect pervades our daily lives far more than we are conscious of.

In a subsequent post, I will explore Synesthesia in terms of our five senses: the visual effect of color as regards to our sense of hearing, touch, taste and smell.  In other words, What scent does the color lime green conjure up?  What flavor would rosebud pink be? Does cobalt blue “feel” rough or smooth?  These are illuminating exercises to try for ourselves, and I am going to discuss just how to do that.

As an example, during her interview,  I queried special guest Rebecca E. Parsons (co-host and creator of Artistically Speaking Talk Show) about her chosen Word for 2011: SOAR.

“What color would you assign to this word, and the meaning it has for you at this time?” I asked her.

“Aqua” she replied, without missing a beat.  This only makes sense.  Rebecca lives in Florida, on island, near the water, and walks on the beach nearly every early morning.  The Aqua color of sea-blue water  which reflects the sky, with its associations of both airiness / expansion, and sublimity / depth would make it the perfect expression of Rebecca’s intention to  dive into her dreams, and Soar with them, making her cre8tive life vision a reality.

You can hear my Muze with Rebecca, as well as her complete extraordinary and  inspirational  interview with co-host Lyna Farkas on Artistically Speaking Talk Show on your computer anytime you wish.  I hope you will tune in to it, as well to Artissima, Blog of ArtiFactory Studio, for Synesthesia: Sense and Sensibility Part Two, and join our Color Full exploration.

What a luscious, luminous world we have as finishers, decorative painters, muralists, artists, artisans and humans, to explore! Please join our Color Muze on Artistically Speaking Talk Show, and Cre8tive Compass Magazine, “where we honor your passion, and your vision, in this community we are co-creating”

Have YOU had an experience with Synesthesia lately?

If you feel so inspired, share YOUR sense and sensibility with us here.  We love to hear from you.  Remember, we are all experiencing this thing called Life, together.