Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The last bit of Tasmania

This is a paper sculpture by Ruth Rees and Pam Thorne from 2006 called "A Man & His Dog" that is at the whisky distillery in Burnie where I had lunch overlooking amazing landscapes that included seeing snow in the distance and a pair of eagles flying overhead.
This is obviously a terrible shot because the sun is RIGHT THERE but in the distance you can see Table Cape. This was during Lynne's grand tour that she gave me of the area that is all so beautiful. I was learning about house prices and property tax rates! If there was reliable work, it seems like a nice place to live.
Penguin is ALSO a place that seems like a wonderful place to live, right on the water with a very cute downtown.
Pam is admiring a project in progress that we walked by on the beach. Lyndal insisted that we come down to shore before getting me to the airport. It's so nice here the way domestic flights work out of the tiny airport: you just have to arrive about half an hour, maybe even less, and there's ZERO security. I was shocked.
More water and sky and sun.
When we got back from the beach, we of course had to go see the penguin! Two seagulls were perched on top.
Somehow we had time to stop at Pam's and Neil's house on the way to the airport, where she showed me this beautiful tapa from Papua New Guinea, in exquisite shape, and explained how the pattern was made in one section, then folded over, and then approximated from that point, and so on.
Before loading back into the car, Pam showed us the remnants of her tests of native Tasmanian plants for papermaking, which included a native help that stripped beautifully (the woody core in her hand). The leaves to the side she said were split in half to scrape by the indigenous people and that makes SO much sense when I think of how hard it is to scrape things like yucca leaves from the outside. Donna had also mentioned Maori traditions of scraping similar plants with mussel shells.
Pam is a remarkable sculptor, and these are small paper figures. Apparently, her large figures that she made with Ruth are all over town in various places that I didn't have time to visit.
Pam also made all of this string by hand with dress pattern paper. She then makes beautiful pieces from that, including the costume and hat that Lyndal wore on the Friday night event, and her own beautiful collar that night.
To cap it all off, I raced down to Neil's shop. I didn't know until I got to town that Neil also makes paper moulds!
I was being called off to get in the car so as not to miss my flight so I wasn't able to shoot the very first mould he made but it was using what looked like plastic crating as a support. I love that these toolmakers keep their early efforts.
He showed me their little critter by Mark Lander. In several days, I'll be in New Zealand to finally meet the maker himself.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Post-workshop, still sunny in Burnie

Burnie has a long paper history, and you can see the image up top of those huge paper rolls that still remain in this town.
This was my first group of intrepid beaters. Not sure you can see, but it was COLD and WINDY throughout. They were real troopers!
This was the papermaking area and we had six vats going in these built-in sinks. So much stainless, so fancy!
Boarding was on these lovely glass walls that encase more walls inside for their regular production drying.
Here are Jan Marinos and Pam Thorne, talking about their experiments with native Tasmanian fibers to see if any could substitute paper mulberry in our process. No luck, but LOTS of learning.
I was really impressed by all of their attempts and how hard they worked to see what was possible. They learned a lot about one particular native hemp that looks promising in other ways.
Darren ran the press for us and did so much other work that made our lives much easier. Very luxurious options for a paper studio!
This was day 2, with almost all of the sheets made on student sugetas that Neil Thorne had made—and then gave away at the end of class! The generosity of the hosts here has been incredible.
Of course, also lots and lots of dry work with hanji manipulation that everyone got into.
Stephanie was so focused throughout and later I found out that she had done an internship years ago at Dieu Donné! And her parents are from Ohio, though she grew up in Australia. It was fabulous to have such a big range of students and experience, with those who had made paper before to those who hadn't. Donna came all the way from New Zealand and shared beautiful Maori knowledge with me, including how they spin their native fibers to make 2-ply string, on their thighs. I even got to the studio yesterday to collect dry paper and find students telling me I was on the front page of the local paper. Yesterday was my free day and Lynne, president of Burnie Arts Council, took me on a magnificent tour of the coast, all the way to visit Jan in her home studio. I could do this forever. Alas, my flight leaves today for Melbourne! It has been a nearly perfect visit, and I hope the good juju will continue throughout.

Friday, June 15, 2018

Beautiful Burnie

Have to run over to the studio to start class prep but here I am in Tasmania! The tide went out so I was able to walk a bit on the sand this morning.
Birds do that all the time.
Can you believe this paper studio?? Creative Paper Burnie in the Makers Workshop (I don't know where the apostrophe goes in Makers...).
That glass area is for drying paper.
That little cube is where I'm staying. To the right is the paper studio! Wonderfully convenient. The ocean is just beyond, where the boardwalk is, and town is a short walk from there.
The regional airline is so nice to remind its workers to bend their knees.
The sinks will be vats for us. A little worried that they are too deep but better that than too shallow.
The vat room, again...
Burnie has a long history of papermaking, resulting in all of these huge rolls.
It looks smaller here due to my angle but it's really big. There's Lyndal, showing me the roll in the gallery after she picked us up from the airport.
Time to start class! We will have a view of the water. The sun has come out after a bunch of rain and storm when I first arrived. So happy to be here.

Saturday, June 09, 2018

From here to China

My books are in China for a traveling show that opens on June 17 at 3pm at Qindao Tiantai Art Center in Qingdao. This show runs through August 10, and you can visit at No. 28 MiddleHeilongjiang Road, Chengyang District, Qingdao). Some of my best and very favorite books are over there.
This is my last work day to attempt a final good copy of this new book. AAAGGGHHH!!!
This is not even the final, it's the dummy that will help me get to the final (fingers crossed). Though I may need to nap first.
Still sorting final details out but it's feeling a lot better than yesterday.
Yesterday, I was really really worried. I'm pretty sure some of that hanji on the right side is still lodged in my printer somewhere. If I get this done, I can breathe easy for a second before the final packing / cleaning / travel prep. It would be a miracle, most especially given how much work has been done on my property in the last week+!! Time for the rejuvenating nap.