Thursday, February 28, 2013


this. Thank you to the thoughtful and dedicated women behind the Dead Feminists.

Last islands of melt

Not my finest moment in pdf to jpg conversion, but it's the one flyer that has the exact site of my talk in Berkeley next Wed. If you can't see it, it says the talk is on March 6 at 4pm in the IEAS Conference Room at 2223 Fulton Street on the 6th floor at UC Berkeley. I'm past one hump of packing, organizing, and shipping (17 pieces went west today). There's still a lot more to do, but I took a break only to find that my book at Codex was included in an artist's review. Thank you, Cari! It has already been purchased, which is kind of sad because I liked holding it and pretending it was a pillow.

I keep seeing the same girl outside the window jumping on top of one last low patch of snow. She loves getting up there and stomping on it. The rest of the ground around her is asphalt and halfway-green grass. I wish she (and all of us) could get some real snow, some real winter, but I'll have to be content with the dirty patch out there for this year.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Welcome messes

Yesterday was wonderful because I had finally slept a decent amount AND I cooked up onion skins for some "please let me stay sane" activity to simmer alongside the computer work.
Hanji necklaces, part of the whole host of gifts I am taking with me for my many generous and kind hosts. I am staying in about seven different beds / sofas / floors during the course of my six-city tour (though San Francisco is a seventh: no events, just seeing lots of friends and pretending to relax).
Before ironing, in too bright of a light to see anything interesting, but a satisfying new teaching sample. I started to build my boxes for my solo show* coming in Portland but I got tired and am examining the results of today's dye pot (very different, because it was onion until I threw in an old sheet of cochineal-dyed hanji so the whole thing got thrown in another direction). There is a lot brewing, for the coming fall and summer 2014, but for now I have to stay grounded and finish these boxes!

*The show is called On Foot. It makes me laugh and then it makes me sad I haven't finished weaving a paper shoe that I started last year.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Closing up shop

Yesterday was my last day of printmaking. I was too spent to be overly sad about it, but it seems clear with the lengthening days that the next season is coming, and fast. No more burrowing into the dark spaces of the winter. In fact, I fly to California in days for my book tour, which I think of as an extended performance. These bits above are woven paper, one unprinted (right) and one sent through the etching press, paper litho.
It's hard to see here, but some of this is chine collé and some is me wanting to print onto woven hanji (the green and the diagonal pink) but still wanting to catch the rest of the letters. Still drying under weights, so their fate, who knows!
This is hard to read, but there is a collagraph/monoprint and a second print over that with paper litho, and the weaving is chine collé on thin hanji.
Fumiko prepped this one for me on a day when I was really frustrated. The circles are blocked out by the foil of chocolate coins that a classmate brought for lunar new year a few weeks back. This was printed onto handmade paper that was already folded and cut for a book...
...that had been blank but is now a print sampler! The circles on the left are from packing bubbles, inked for other monotypes but then pressed onto paper later (no press, just hand pressure). The binding straps are more paper litho, copies of old cigar box labels from Steve.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The first hanji weekend of 2013

This is my favorite from Terttu's photos of my talk on Friday night. So many friends and new acquaintances and paper people all in one frame.
Crocheting hanji by Cecile, one of my calm and quiet like an expansive ocean students. She teaches art in public NYC schools, so that is no surprise.
Jeni is thigh spinning some hanji and later insisted on tacking a paper bead. BIG credit to her for taking the plunge!
Ronni's woven hanji cover in progress. She came to class less than 12 hours after returning from Puerto Rico. Amazing, considering how tired I am after a good vacation.
Melissa also thigh spinning. She is a furniture restorer and we had a good talk about lacquer.
Amanda's vessel pre-finish. She said it felt like weaving a spider in the process.
Then she bound it off and trimmed it all! Sweet. I learned sooooo much in this workshop, which reminded me of why I love teaching. I was also reminded of how much fuel I need, when I kept eating and eating and eating afterwards. This was a fantastic kick off of my book tour!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


[An early paper litho print of a photo of one of my hanji pieces.] My throat is shot but last night's talk went very well with a great, full, engaged crowd. I had been a bit nervous because people who knew a LOT more about paper, Korea, and so on were in the audience, but they had great questions and enjoyed themselves. Today's workshop went well with a lovely group of ladies who are also very sharp and fun. Looking forward to tomorrow, when we tackle twining. Meanwhile, across the pond, there is a LOT going on to celebrate paper and washi, coming in March!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Agh, everything has caught up to me and I'm not quite ready! Just cut the new shipment of hanji to prep for over ten workshops scheduled between this weekend and early August, and turned my place upside down digging out everything that needs to be packed for my talk tomorrow in NYC. It will be an extravaganza of show and tell: photos, videos, paper, art, books, hats, chamber pots, and more books! I will have for sale not only the regular books, but the limited edition with hanji endsheets, and the one-of-a-kind shifu handbound one. See you there! I will be breathless.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The speed of time

It goes much more quickly as big events approach, so I am sad that I only get one more day in the printshop before flying west for my book tour. I'll finish the one panel before that, though it's possible I don't end up printing on all of them. One of my classmates exclaimed at their size and then asked to see how small my fingers were in comparison to hers (which justified to her the kind of work that I make). Though I am still awash in app land, I am also slowly preparing for my artist talk this Friday at the Center for Book Arts and my workshop there this weekend. Looking forward to getting back in the saddle as teaching/tour season begins in earnest, I think.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

I'd rather

I stayed up late, very late, after catching up with Cobi in Omaha, to finish twining the green one. I also pulled out the rest of my copper plates to plan my final two printing weeks. Throwing more paper thread into my bag as I head out into the world, though I suspect I will want to sleep more than twine on the train.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

One of those (good-ish) days

L: printed and smushed twined hanji. R: new bit of twined hanji to test in the press, aka What I Did While Watching The State Of The Union Address.
When I realized this past weekend that I have to prioritize seeing my friends in the flesh to keep me sane and healthy, I put my big apps on the front burner. I burned them yesterday (meaning they're not very good, but done) and then finished up the rest today. I was so high from getting lots of admin done that I even filed my taxes. Or, tried to. They won't take via e-filing because of the identity theft last year, but the math part is over. That means I get to spend the rest of the week catching up with friends because I finished my deadlines early. YAY. Back to twining.

Monday, February 11, 2013

A billboard in Harlem, still recognizable on a dreary day

Fumbling along

[Laying on a layer of methylcellulose.] First: my publisher has already gotten her next book out! Impressive, since it's a volume by multiple authors. The title is great: Suave Mechanicals. In case you are stumped as to the topic, it's about BOOKS.
[Dried prints from last week, untrimmed. See the twined bit? That was fun, but I should have wiped that plate more before the press ate it.] Today's class was a challenge because I was using a technique that tests all of the things that 1. I am not good at and 2. I don't like to do. But there were a few nice surprises, thanks to bubble wrap and the foil from gold coins that a student brought to celebrate the lunar new year that just passed over the weekend. My sign has finally come up: the snake! The predictions say I need to lay low and that it's not going to be a particularly good year, but I'm going to defy them and do exactly what I'm told I should avoid: BIG changes.

Sunday, February 10, 2013


Test #1: before filling in the blanks one by one while listening to radio interviews with movie stars. Finger woven while warped around a board.
Test #2: finger woven with a free warp, one end just taped down, while watching TV dramas. Both done with fingers only, no needles, no tools, just tape and board. If all goes well, both will get cranked through the press tomorrow.

The snow makes everything blinding white! I've been attempting to work through the weekend because I didn't reach enough goals during the week. Can't say I've made much headway, but I insist now on a walk into the whiteness.

Thursday, February 07, 2013

Ring, ring: calls!

 One coat of methylcellulose on plexi, waiting to dry.
Scraps of paper waiting to be attached to the plexi once the second coat of methylcellulose goes down. Today, I feel itchy from apps. So many bits of paper and digital files to send out into the world (along with money!) in just the right configurations. Makes me want to crawl out of my skin, but that's the way I make my future. Someday, I want a different way of making my future, but this is it for now.

So, for those who do the same: Do you want to do an artist residency in Bangor, Northern Ireland? Then check out Project 24.

Also, do you want to be part of a panel talking about social practice in performance art this fall in Greensboro? Ellen has a call out for a conference panel now.

Wednesday, February 06, 2013


I'm hesitant to believe that all the good things that have been dangling in front of my inbox will come to happen, but the ideas of them are all very nice to contemplate. I'll announce if they happen. In the meantime, just slowly chipping away at apps. I was delighted last week to get a message from a friend with an image of a collage that her daughter made that included some of the paper that I mailed expressly for her toddler to play with. Most of the elements in this collage are not from me but it may be easy to guess one.

Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Trying to keep up

I keep forgetting to blog; the workload has gained and now I'm behind. Yikes! These are tests from last week, worked additionally after dry, all proofs. The red background comes from tarlatan (a kind of starched cheesecloth-type material used in printmaking) glued to a piece of plexi. The blue form in the middle was cut out of an aluminum tray and lines impressed with a ballpoint pen. I obviously did a sloppy inking job, both by hand and brayer.
But THIS is the real excitement!! I wanted to try more than nori paste and glue sticks for chine collé (and make a mess with powder, otherwise I'd do that, which is also quite traditional). So I found a very good description of how to do it with methylcellulose. It requires more prep time, but I like it because there isn't any panicked scrambling involved. I cooked up a bit of methylcellulose (I get mine from Carriage House, but you can get it at any decent art supply place) during the Super Bowl, using the Carriage House recipe: 2 Tbs in 1/2 cup boiling water, then add 1 cup of cold water. Sets up quick! Then I coated a piece of plexi and let it dry. I forgot to do the second coat with brushstrokes going perpendicular to the first set, so I let THAT dry and did a third coat in the right direction. When the last coat is still wet, apply the papers you want to prepare for chine collé and make sure they stick well, no air bubbles. By the time I was done, the game was still on. In the morning, everything was dry and flat.
Then just peel each piece off and remove the bits of methylcellulose still left on the edges, which you can see here. This process is very satisfying.
You can see how shiny the backside of the paper (marked with an X) is compared with the front. Remember that the shiny side will be glued down! Actually, remember that in the step when you are gluing, because if you mess up then, it's too late.
This super thin sheet (used as stuffing in balls of Habu yarns) got very, very glossy. Fumiko said it reminded her of those rice candies w/the "rice paper" coating them. We loved those as children and how the film melted in our mouths. She said in Japan that the film was used to wrap and ingest medicine. I tested a bunch of these slips of paper yesterday and they seemed to work; we'll know for sure next week when they emerge from the blotters. The best part of this method is that it's very obvious which is the glued side (the other pastes, when dry, can disappear and then you're up a creek because you don't know which way to place it on the plate and if you do it wrong, now you have paper stuck to the plate and not to your print).

If I had my way, I'd only do work like this, but I have to get back to admin. Yuck.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Carry on

I sent this to a licensed professional last year and she laughed aloud. Now she is ill, so please send thoughts and well wishes for a speedy and complete recovery to Toronto. Though the scans are poor, here are some more images of prints. But really all I wanted to say is that Susan Tweit did a beautiful write-up of one of my books, and I am ever so grateful. Touched and honored and mostly speechless because she said it best.

Friday, February 01, 2013

New month

I woke up today and it was February and I am still intact. Maybe the implosion will happen later in the month. Yesterday, I spun and twined this little patch (you can see how I started too tight and then loosened up; that explains the waist). Now I just have to figure out what to print onto it!