Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What We Made

Tracy Moore Doing a Demo

In this post I will show you some of the books made by the participants in a Small Studio Productions Workshop July 16, 17 and 18.

Shaun Sheehan was a model of skill, productivity and experimentation, making highly accomplished pieces in our 3 days.

The wheel on this fabulous journal spins. She engineered the attachments that allow it to do so.

She brought this soft, sewn and embellished journal cover with her to class. It was inspired by a post/tutorial Tracy's wife Teesha put up on her blog.

Shaun's book ring.

Mike Meador is the proprietor of Coffee Break designs and an aficionado of Micro-Mark miniature power tools. To build his journal he utilized a mini drill press to create multiple holes. An antique camera lens is incorporated into the cover of this "I Spy" journal.

For us lucky workshop participants, Mike had daily Coffee Break Design giveaways, including the tiny 1 inch metal ruler Shaun made into a ring. He was our official go to guy, if we needed some arcane or specialist tool. Mike has a quirky and slightly naughty sense of humor that is evident in class and his line of stencils.

Books ranged from mid-size (generally 5 x 7 inches) to fairly tiny in class. My fingers are in this photograph of two of Nancy Fuimera's small books to give an idea of scale. Yes, in case you were wondering, the pointer arrow does spin.

PJ Dutton made this sweet small book complete with a small side closure.

Lisa Gendron played with the MAPP ( MethylAcetylene-Propadiene Propane) gas torch to achieve the lovely colors on the cover of this bird journal.

John Smallenburg also used the MAPP gas torch to get a finish that looked a lot like abalone on his copper cover. He made a lot of hole and did a lot of sewing to attach his leather. The holes, I learned from experience are time consuming as each hole needs to be deburred by hand so as to not cut into the waxed polyester cord you are using to hand sew.

I think the circular piece seen on this cover is a beautifully re-purposed antique brass doorbell.

Lastly we come to the two books I finished in class. This larger one uses the disassembled leaves of a vegetable steamer basket to hide.....

the license plate number one. John Smallenburg gifted me with the license plate number. This project evolved significantly from inception to completion. My guess is that Passages one will eventually be followed by a book two.... eventually.

The back side of book one incorporated a leather coat pocket to house the small book in which I took class notes.

Somehow, several of the class members got to talking about 4-H experiences growing up. Tracy Moore raised hogs as part of 4-H, going as far as to exhibit at State Fair. That discussion and having a small 4-H chicken pin in my stash of assorted oddments brought along for inspiration spurred me to produce my small 4-H Chick book.

From the pure skill level I became much more comfortable with making and using rivets as fasteners and learned a different bookbinding technique. I got to spend a long weekend in the company of some pretty amazingly creative people and witness some really fine problem solving.

Tracy noted how pleased he was with the class. He remarked on how different each and every finished product was and how much they reflected the distinct personality of the individual artist.

Small Studio Productions will be hosting a workshop a month through November, with a different artist each month. It makes me wish Avon Lake, Ohio wasn't so far away.


Sunday, July 25, 2010

Bookbinding seems to have found me- at least this year

There seem to be different themes and threads that run through my art involvement. Last year, I kept bumping into the concept of translucency, items and images obscured and not quite. Bookbinding has a longer history with me, and it seems to have found me, weaving its way in and out of my experiences. Perhaps my muse is doing a lot of work behind the scenes.

Art Journals by many different artists

Artfest, a 5-day mixed media workshop and extravaganza that takes place at Fort Worden State Park near the Victorian era fishing village of Port Townsend, Washington has been mentioned in previous posts. Above you see a display of art journals laid out on a table there.

Teehsa and Tracy Moore host Artfest each spring and this is where I first encountered Tracy's journals.

His journals have a very distinctive style and I recall thinking some day these will be in a museum. I was jazzed to be able to hold, touch and examine the journals at my leisure. Turning the pages and examining content was delightful.

Made of metal and leather, Tracy's journals have substantial heft and evoke an earlier era. When I found he was teaching a class on constructing journals in Cleveland, I jumped at the opportunity.

Tracy does not teach at Artfest, being too busy with the logistics of coordinating an event bustling with 550 high energy participants.

Tracy's blog, Sustained Confusion, has a story with photos of the Cleveland workshop. He beat me to the blogosphere with the story.

Here is a photo of Tracy with Daughter Trista. His blog photo would not aid in locating him in a crowded room.

Tracy is an avid Lomo photographer and houses some of his intriguing photos in this album. You would love to be able to look inside like I did.

Tracy's journals range widely in size from quite large to itty bitty.

Book of Small Wonders pictured above is one of those small ones.

Now you know what enticed me to make a 466 mile trip to Cleveland. The next post should show what the class made although Tracy's blog does give you a sneak peek at that.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Stolen from my FaceBook page

My daughter attended John S. Battle High School in Bristol, Virginia, graduating in 2005.

Mark Collins - Band Director

She was a member of the high school band all four years.
She played French horn. One of her friends, Kansas also played French horn. Kansas is a 2007 graduate of John S. Battle High School.

Prom 2007 - Kansas

Kansas came to visit at our house now and again and worked for a while in the transport department at the hospital where I also work.

The young people you know grow up and get married.

They have babies.

And that would bring us to the punch line found on my facebook page today.

To Quote Kansas:
"Only the greatest onesie my child will EVER wear! And the only time this line will be funny."


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Ohio - Just Outside Cleveland

I've been away, 465 miles away, in the western burbs of Cleveland, Thursday through Monday. Thursday and Monday were travel days spent on the interstate highway system, but Friday, Saturday and Sunday were classroom days, fabulous art classroom days spent making odd and wonderful stuff.

Once a month, May through November Ginny Carter Smallenburg and John Smallenburg are hosting weekend workshops with top teachers in the field of mixed media. If you've been following the mixed media scene for a while you may know Ginny as the proprietor of the store Creative Block in Westlake, Ohio and one of the forces behind Art Continuum, an annual workshop event from 1998 to 2004. She continues to provide supplies for altered art, ATCs, book binding, collage, assemblage, card making and other artful pursuits through an on-line store.


Teaching this weekend were the husband and wife team Teesha and Tracy Moore. Teesha's class made an 8x8 hardbound journal. She taught bookbinding technique, collage and paint techniques, and instructed extensively in how to create art journal pages.


Tracy taught a class in metal book and jewelry making. I have admired his books from afar for several years now and was very pleased to be in this class.

As my photographs get uploaded, pictures of the wonderful pieces made in class will be posted to this blog, so stay tuned......


Sunday, July 11, 2010

B is for Bob

After asking parental permission, I snapped this picture of a young Bob Marley fan at a travel rest stop.


Friday, July 9, 2010

Art Adventures with Yahoo Groups

Yahoo Groups is one of the world's largest of online discussion boards. It is an Internet communication tool which is a hybrid between an electronic mailing list and a threaded Internet forum.

I am a member of several Yahoo Groups. Most of my chosen groups center around arts and crafts and several involve mail-based trades.

In this set of photos I will tour you, dear reader, through one of those groups and one of their trades.

The group featured here is Fiber_Inchies_Swap. It is a 90 member sewing group started the summer of 2007 and we swap 1 inch squares organized around a particular theme.

The latest runs like this:

THE THEME; Cabinet/ Chamber of Wonders, was inspired by an article in Make magazine
(issue #17) about "WunderKammer" These were cabinets, rooms, and occasionally whole
buildings that were devoted to the eclectic collections gathered by the wealthier and
"scientifically" inclined, starting in the 1600's.

Let your mind wander over natural items and curiosities. Rock crystals and gems, bones and
branches, feathers and fur… Drawings of the human form, and other flora and fauna, maybe even
architectural details, …
Since this group started as Fiber Inchies, fiber would of course be fabulous (isn’t it always?)
but not required. I was thinking whatever media tickled your fancy with this idea….well…, so
long as we can get it mailed and such.

So let'er rip on oddments and treasures! Use that idea that hasn’t fit into other swaps…
Thanks for being part of my first hosting of a swap, I am looking forward to seeing how this

My inspiration was an inexpensive necklace of shells. Once, when travel was rare and more difficult and decorative consumer goods limited, a particularly lovely shell was a proud and prized possession. My daughter has such a shell handed down from my great grandmother through my mother to her.

While the necklace shells were threaded on plastic line similar to fishing line, an ordinary needle could not be used to attach them to the beaded 1 inch squares I had prepared.

This is reflective of how intuitive my work often is. A concept arises from the damp creative ooze and begins to take form. I do not make one item to completion to check for feasibility and to detect the design pitfalls. No, that would be much to organized and clever.

Instead, I find myself part way through a project, often with the completion deadline looming and asking "what now?" In this case the rather clever solution was to push a relatively stiff bit of wire past the curves a needle could not negotiate and to wind wire eyes in place that allowed for a sewn attachment. Whew! Glad there turned out to be a fairly simple remedy.

Twelve of us are taking part in this trade, so each of us makes 12 items. They are then mailed to the swap hostess, who sorts them. She them mails back to us one each of everyone's work, often displayed in some special way.

My completed inchies are now with the hostess. Seeing what the other participants have created is delicious anticipation.