Friday, February 28, 2014

Whisked here and there

I landed in NYC last night and splurged on a cab home. So deeply tired after zero down time in between trips, but happy to get a sunny day to work (not that it makes much of a dent in entire workload grand scheme) before I cut down a bunch of hanji from Paper Connection into many 100s of pieces for tomorrow's big event: Experience Korea at the American Museum of Natural History!

I'll be doing a drop-in joomchi work station from 11am - 4pm and all of the activities, lectures, performances, etc., are free with museum admission. We're expecting a few thousand visitors, but we'll see if the cold keeps people at bay. See you there!

Also: help change the landscape of food deserts in Cleveland via this Case Farm project.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A brief warm respite

 Walked the river with Beck on my last evening in San Antonio.
Chuck and I had to wait a bit to order at the Luxury because all the table markers were gone. We finally got this one!
The lovely Reina with a washer at the Trinity studio that Jon set up. He is remarkably good at doing these things.
In his home, closet, office, studio, magnet strips everywhere for tools!
Half stuff waiting to be made into paper.
So many lovely presses. A darkroom behind, as well as a lighted spray out unit for screens, and a litho station. He built all the drying racks above as well.
Jon makes all of his own tools, and TONS of them. And his students get to, as well! How lucky are they?
Burnishers of bone, and some with bamboo handles attached to Jim Croft bone folders.
I got a tour of the art facilities, which were lovely (plus, they get to have things like kilns outdoors and make use of big glass garage doors because their climate allows it). This was a piece in a window. I got home late, did not sleep enough, and need to get to work for critique but all in all, it was a great trip to Texas.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

South and no snow

Right before I left Ohio, Seth brought over some wood ash that he had been collecting diligently for us. So we made some potion to cook our Morgan kozo, the scraped stuff from the harvest! We'll see how well that goes once it's processed fully for sheet formation. In the meantime, we're doing marvelously with threads, no pellons. It feels good to have trained my people well enough to leave them on their own for a bit.
Here is the Southwest School of Art paper studio entrance. I'm so pleased with this group of students, who all seemed to understand from the start that we were learning to manipulate paper, not make it! My hosts have been wonderfully generous, and I am eating and eating and eating. Well.
I'm exhausted from travel as usual, though happy to be away from the winter for a few days. However, when I teach my brand-new production-only hanji class, it will be HOT and HUMID in Cleveland. Sign up now, because it will be a smaller class than usual.
Did I say I was eating well? The best empanada of my life, easily. Plus horchata, my favorite beverage. Also, another class to look forward to is another brand-new one, team taught with my favorite North Country resident, Velma!

Monday, February 17, 2014

The week begins again

My water bottle of sorts is finally growing. I almost finished it last night but realized I should hold off because I am teaching soon and need to have a weaving sample; this will work just fine. As long as I get it done for a show in town by April, I'm golden. This happened yesterday, when I forced myself to take a real day off (and really, it felt like I was sitting on myself at times to keep myself from working, which included touching email). It was AMAZING. I took four naps. Four! I really really really needed them all.
Valentine's Day was the best ever, EVER! My sweetheart had already mailed a card to the Morgan the previous day, and then I got this amazing package on the actual day, from lovely Therese. She sends the most remarkable gifts...this is hanji she made in my Morgan class last summer, spun into thread, and crocheted into a tiny hat and scarf to keep me warm! I put it into my purse and showed everyone I saw that evening. Art openings, shopping, popping into a bar for war vets, and a little winter olympics during dinner.
The following day, I dragged myself to work to train both my apprentices, make some milkweed paper, and do a long photo shoot with Ricky for an article that I have to write very soon. He is fantastic to work with, and I hope to try him out for some artwork documentation. Then I helped cook dinner for seven to celebrate Adam Larsson's visit to Cleveland, and ate so much that it is a miracle I managed to drive home without lapsing into a days-long food coma.
Today, I wanted to make sure I got to the Morgan in time to do some quiet papermaking. Mason set Adam up with some western sheet formation while I worked outside on two kinds of eastern. This was using up old Morgan green/black bark from my Oberlin class.
The gampi (beaten in the Howard Clark beater) couched and parted beautifully, though it's still a little too delicate and sensitive in its wet strength for my preference.
Late afternoon, I finally set Adam up at the new Japanese vat donated by Tim Barrett, and he loved it. He made a ton of sheets, and then I ruined the whole post by allowing him to press too hard too fast. I thought that PSI on the gauge was safe, because Ivey had been successful with that pressure last week, but his post was bigger and she pressed more slowly. There are reasons to follow the rules! At the same time, this is exactly why I wanted to be in residence here, over time, so that we can work out ALL of the kinks.
I've been carrying boards to dry near the one set of heaters that stay on a warmer setting for Tom's plants. I tried to make up for losing Adam's sheets first by telling him that you are always supposed to throw your entire first batch back into the vat/beater, and then giving him various papers (milkweed, gampi, Thai kozo, Morgan kozo) and corded hanji. I hope he forgives me. At least I hope he enjoys my book as he travels to Chicago and D.C. before heading back to Sweden.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Material things

Mason was helping to level this baby yesterday as we found a new spot for it in the studio for wintertime papermaking (limited by where the overhead heater is located). I will never tire of how handsome this vat is.

And our knives! Such a good looking set, and highly functional.

Also, an excerpt from an excellent review about my book by Minah Song in Hand Papermaking Magazine is finally on my book page!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Monday, February 10, 2014

Heart song

This is what I managed on my half day off yesterday, which looks fine but is a bit of a mess. I may have to rip out several rows, but won't decide until later. My fingers are tender from all the sudden weaving but my hands have been so itchy from having made all this work last month for the show and they want to keep working. My head wants that, too, but there are other less fun obligations that are more pressing.

This, though, made me very happy. That's how I felt as an apprentice! So it's gratifying to be able to provide that experience to other people.

Saturday, February 08, 2014

Overlapping recovery with a new race

Dogbane from my Toronto student, stripped by Charity and myself during her apprentice time.
Milkweed from the parking lot of Shaker Lakes, stripped by Oberlin students during Winter Term.
Yellow-flag iris paper samples (unbeknownst to all, dipped in some onion dye) to be tipped into the free zine that is a takeaway for my show, the night before opening. And the show that has gotten me through much of my Cleveland workload, The West Wing.
Ivey and Charity during their first shared apprentice day, making practice sheets with threads only rather than interleaving pellons. We pressed very lightly in the baby hydraulic press and presto! Ready to part in the same day.
Practice brushing onto surfaces. Today, Ricky came by with a friend after having dropped by this week to visit the Morgan to check out lighting and such. He'll be doing a shoot with us next weekend for a feature article for a lovely UK publication. More details when I have them, but in the meantime, it was amazing that they located a photographer in town who happens to be blocks away from us. We're both excited about the assignment (though when I'm going to have time to write this article, I really wonder). Both our apprentices came (and one worked!) my opening last night, along with lots and lots of visitors. I was touched by the support of the people I've met since I arrived last summer, and excited to see them all in one place. My Oberlin students came in two carloads, and a colleague from my other teaching job walked over, and so very many came despite the COLD. A few pieces already sold by the time we closed, and I was too busy working and prepping the demo (papermaking, from milkweed/dogbane/Morgan kozo) to shoot a single photo. But I was grateful for early visitors and hugs (especially from one small child in particular), the fireplace, two floors of places to wander, and lots of interest in my videos on hanji and the Morgan.

After all the celebrating last night, I had to be up early to train my apprentices, and am not sure how I made it through the day, but a friend said it exactly: "You must be exhausted and relieved!" Tomorrow I catch up on work before the next wave of work comes, my last full week before heading to Texas and New York. Tonight, hoping for deep sleep!

Wednesday, February 05, 2014


It's funny how long it takes sometimes for me to figure out what a given sheet of paper is supposed to become. I think I made this one a long time ago at the Morgan in the big hanji vat, but it was a dye catcher sometime when I was in New York doing massive pomegranate dye tests, and then was coated in kon'nyaku. It was a fairly faithful wrapper for other papers until it finally served as a base for this piece. I let my second apprentice take a snow day today and I did, too, so I that I could head to the exhibit and make sure that my videos would play on a loop on the big flat screen TV (they do!) and to re-hang a few pieces that were problematic in terms of audience flow. So I removed two pieces from the show, which is fine, except for the dance of re-mapping and price listing. But I think everything is in place, and Charles was there to help with a very handy ladder. He had incredible stories about growing up in the projects, working in the steel mills for almost as long as I've been alive, and Vietnam. I get so caught up in my own very distracting drama that I forget how much we have to learn from each other, so I'm grateful for this snow day.

Much better than the frightening ice in Slovenia.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Real days

I can't believe I didn't think earlier to ask for a better schedule, which means I'm going from 6 days/week to 5 days/week at the Morgan. THANK GOODNESS. Ever since my first job job in Newark, for an orchestra, I've been a big fan of Mondays out of the office. Today was a wonderful luxury after Sunday to myself as well, unheard of in my Cleveland life. I knocked out one big article today, got the assignment for the next (which involves a photographer on site at the Morgan, yikes), and have been glued to my computer, wondering how I went from running around, teaching, and making art 24/7 to ass in chair all day. Last night, I felt crazy because I no longer had the show deadline to make art. My hands were all itchy from wanting to continue making. The challenge will to let them.

For North Carolina folks, Frank's studio is up and running! Here is the info.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

The next month, which is now

Seth delivered our kozo scraping knives yesterday! They are gorgeous and wonderful and Tom was around so we were able to pay him right away and talk about other things like naginata knives and wood ash (Seth heats with wood at his place, so he will start gathering ash instead of dumping it in his driveway so that we can start cooking Morgan kozo in wood ash lye instead of soda ash).
Final, prototype, Korean knives (L to R).
 Right- and left-handed knives!
This was my fortune during my Friday trip to Oberlin for five meetings plus hanging the student show. On the way back east, I stopped at the art store before I met Steph to hang the last two pieces for my show, and then took her home to relax before we went to SPACES to see Lauren's gorgeous new work. I wanted Steph to get a break from her current situation, so I let her stay at my place while I crashed for a night in Shaker with my Cleveland parents and dog and cat. Someday, I will be able to host people the way other people have for me. Someday!

Yesterday was Charity's first day as an EPS (Eastern Paper Studio) apprentice, and she was fantastic, as we knew she'd be. I caught up on a few things during her work day before a lovely dinner with Tony. I know that this is not the ideal living space for me, but I do absolutely love being in walking distance to the basics. I was raised in a place where you didn't need to get into a car to get eggs or drop off dry cleaning, so it's hard to ever be willing to live somewhere I can't get what I need on foot. Which makes me grateful that my first Cleveland solo show is just over a mile from home! I'll deliver the final map, inventory, and statement today and get some exercise as I hoof it. I will try not to panic about my heavy training and writing load this month (for three publications), plus two trips out of town, on my one day "off." I highly recommend looking at pictures of a new baby boy here on days like this.