Thursday, July 31, 2014

Real love, real support

Things have been very hard lately, but thank goodness for Velma! She has kept me afloat with her perspective and by being here for me. I need so much more sleep than I'm getting, but that's because I'm trying to teach and work at the same time. Yikes. Here's Velma with Diana as Velma pulls another contact print out of the pot, from her workshop last weekend.
Bill bundled a bunch of his prints together. Both Bill and Diana are back for more, taking the 4-day workshop that Velma and I started to teach today! It's SUCH a great group of students, very advanced, really dedicated, and the perfect crowd for what we are trying to create.
More and more bundles emerge (Charity used some of our ice flowers from the dye garden, and that was great). Velma did a great writeup of what's going on these days at the Morgan.
Over the weekend, I visited the Verne Gallery to see Katsunori Hamanishi's opening and then his mezzotint demo the following day.
Look at how wonderful and attentive our students are!!! They prepared raw fiber to cook for paper, pulled flax, abaca, and gampi sheets (and pressed and blotted and dried), learned two book structures, and cut down paper to start cording (some got a bunch of cords done as well!). Tomorrow is Day 2, and then in the evening we have our big exhibit opening, to celebrate the new studio. BEAUTIFUL catalog, complimentary to guests tomorrow. Plus demos of papermaking, special paper sales, book and magazine sales, and a gallery talk by artists at 6pm. I hope to see some of you there.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Naginata first run in Cleveland

Charity and Kirstin watch after I load four pounds of freshly-rinsed gampi into the naginata for it's first trial in Ohio. Took a while to figure out where and how to plug it in. 110 volt, so nothing special, but the cord is too short to reach both the ceiling and wall outlets.
Ivey and Charity stepped in after a while to pick out the parts that just don't cook down and shouldn't make it into the final sheet. I took the front quarter cover off for some reason but it should stay on because you can accidentally get your hand up into the blades from the edge of that lid. Charity did a great post about the whole thing, from the start.
I think I sprayed Mason a bunch while cleaning the beater. It's in a bit of an awkward space so it's a bit challenging to get around it the way I am used to being able to get around a Reina, and of course it brings me back to the days of spraying myself in the face while cleaning the inside of the lid, but no complaints! I'll pull some sheets tomorrow if I have the energy. It has been a long, arduous week. Lots of wrapping up and then the slow nagging nervousness about not having planned my Korea trip yet. It will all work out fine, but a lot has to happen before then—major and minor dental work, saying goodbye to my apprentices, ending my contract at the Morgan and sorting out the next steps, teaching two new workshops, maybe making some art?!, and catching up with friends.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Leaving, returning

Back to work in just a few minutes! Lauren at Paper Connection really saved my hide a couple of times last week by delivering paper more than a couple of times to me. I wish every town I taught in had such a well-stocked paper store!
I almost got this calendar just for this front image of the gourd! There's a horse coming out of the top (got cut off in the snapshot), to celebrate the year of the horse in 2014.
My book class was hard at work, though maybe in the future I should say I'm teaching "structures" rather than "bindings." The expectations would be different.
I loved watching the samples come to life. I survived all of the travel home, delayed flight and all, and was so glad that Amanda from Penland was on my flight so she could sit with me while I had a glass of wine and pizza at the airport before we got onto the plane with the screaming baby. Providence was wonderful, but I am glad to be back to work. I checked out the naginata placement yesterday in the beater room and today will be fullllll of meetings and catch up, but so many more things will be possible with this beautiful machine!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

All good on all fronts

The three-day jiseung class was a blast. My students got SO MUCH done, and were the quietest class ever, I think. Every visitor would exclaim how quiet it was as soon as they walked in the door. This is Emily, my brilliant assistant, twining ever so tightly.
Joan completed these two, with plenty more of things in the works. I hope to see her again near her home, in Hawaii!
Jane was so diligent and every time I saw her in the hallways, she always had cord or yarn in her hands. These ends will be trimmed at home.
Alex made a HUGE basket and also a flat twined piece that isn't pictured. I should have put something next to this for one gets this big in my classes so it was such a treat to watch it grow, and for him to do the finish this way.
Jackie made this sweet basket along with her gourd necklace from the prior day.
Pam was great with the rectangular base and it showed me a lot about how to teach this (I rarely do, because there's never time to get to this point!).
Pam was inspired by my unfinished book covers and made a pendant with three different kinds of hanji.
Judi also worked on the rectangular base on the final day after having done lots of other weaving, including weaving strips of the printed paper, leaving the text intact.
Charlotte's basket, still in progress. She said in my joomchi class today that her fingers are all worn out from the jiseung! What a trooper.
Emily figured out partway through the importance of twisting the weavers as you twine. It's such a joy to see students figure these things out on their own (I say it, but words don't have as much power as doing the thing yourself). I've never had a student twine this tightly; bravo!
Virginia had a lot of cords before and after coming here, and has a great play of new spokes on the backside of this piece. I loved having her again as a student, and we got to see the exhibits afterwards before she drove home.
She's arrived! [I don't know why, but like to think it's a she.]
From NYC to Cleveland in just a few days. Apparently the delivery guy thought it was strange that the Morganites were SO EXCITED for this baby.
Beautiful! The naginata is home. I taught a full-day joomchi class today, with fabulous students, and saw so many new ideas. But heart! Wish I was there, but know she's in good hands, and I'll be back in no time. The game changer.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

All jiseung

I started another duck. This bill is a lot smaller but still platypus-like. I need to study more duck pictures (though these are inspired more by the Korean wedding ducks carved of wood, not real ducks).
Virginia took my Morgan class two summers ago and also my private jiseung class immediately afterwards. She wasn't able to do my Penland class this summer, but surprised me by signing up the morning of the first class and driving from Boston to do this three-day! She has obviously been busy making cords since our last meeting in 2012, and now she has a good outlet for them.
Alex (our sole Canadian and sole man) has been cording and twining away, and came up with using Coca-cola to keep his hands sticky enough to help twist the cords in his palms.
This was my sample basket for today's demo. It's so fun to be able to weave while everyone else is weaving. I only wish these convention centers were not air conditioned like meat lockers. SO COLD!
Jackie was taken by my gourd necklaces (the first thing I ever learned to make in Korea), so she made her own today. Hooray!

Monday, July 14, 2014

East again

I was only in Cleveland a few days before I had to fly away again. And I had less time than that to work and prep because I got all weirdly sick and am still recovering. Here are the indigo seedlings (far) and tororo (close) in the new lot.
And here are the outskirts of Providence (the city is further off in the distance). It's so much nicer here when the weather is nice. I seemed to only be here in rain and cold and maybe some snow but now it's quite lovely. Except that I'm mostly inside in the icebox of contemporary A/C (Freeze Them Out seems to be the goal), teaching at Convergence. My flights were fairly smooth yesterday and Lauren greeted me at the airport. We had a lovely lunch before I got to check in, unpack, prep, and nap. Then she returned to fetch me for the most wonderful picnic dinner with May and Jan. It's amazing how sitting on the ground really grounds you. Wonderful company and delicious food, too.

My class is going great, with students so diligent with their cord making! It's a luxury to focus on jiseung and not have to worry about the rest of it, though the questions inevitably lead me back to all of the other things I usually teach (papermaking, joomchi, threadmaking, bark, etc.). I really don't see a way to be able to compartmentalize these things because they're so related and intertwined. I did a twining demo this afternoon and some students are going warp speed, which is SO fun to watch.

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Naginata videos, rough

I finally got my phone to connect to my computer so here is a quick shot of Thai kozo circulating in the naginata (Shannon is filling it with more water to increase circulation), and
a shot of what the blades are doing (David will build a guard so that we can't get our hands into this area, but I was dangling my phone above the trough because why not while you can?). When we get this beautiful machine to Cleveland, I'll be sure to make real videos.

Monday, July 07, 2014

Back in time

I'm still fighting with the new computer; compatibility issues and other quirks that make it less functional than I'd like. So this is back from my Peters Valley class, student work! Some of them got into making holey paper. Or holy, any way you like to see it.
Leslie is a weaver, so she set up her rigid heddle loom to test paper and bark threads.
Janet is a crocheter and eventually expanded this into a book of crocheted hanji with wildlife.
Dee and her "ass rope"—she really got good at making long continuous hanji cord, and thick stuff as well. I can't say there's always one who does the continuous cord in my classes, but this time I got at least two!
I believe a lot of people were inspired by Tatiana's work, especially her teacups, and they made the most of all of the objects inside and outside of the studio.
Mary was super diligent in her weaving: the first day, she worked on one and then tore it all out. Then she started over and finished a vessel that she is reinforcing with rice paste.
Dyeing, bark lace, making the best of the hot hot hot weather. Thankfully, the studio had A/C.
Catherine made this wee one out of hanji, stuffed it with toilet paper, and coated it with rice paste. Now it's mine!
Barb's rock wound with hanji thread in a custom paste paper box.
Sarah used this stump a lot for various purposes and made SO MUCH WORK. Loved having her in class, and coming over to peek made me realize there was a whole patch of mint in the area (as I trampled it and the scent wafted up).
Jaymie had these doll molds that reminded me of the dentist's office, which she used for casting and joomchi casting.
Jane's bark and paper cup, on top of Catherine's "big-ass tamale" (AKA creped hanji).
Katryna talking to Jaymie as she joomchies away. Katryna did some wonderful pieces but I didn't get to shoot them in time!
[My hands, foreground, Dave's hands, background.] Auntie duty has ended for this trip, now just time to pack and do last-minute work, and squeeze in a little more family time before I drive Wed back to Ohio. I'm glad I extended my stay; helps me feel a little more sane. I'm still over the moon about the naginata and hope I can ride that high for a while.

Thursday, July 03, 2014

N A G I N A T A ! ! ! ! !

Oh, friends. This was quite a day. Lisa and I went to visit the new naginata beater that Dave Reina built for us. A custom job, and the first stainless machine of its kind stateside (only the second one total).
He'll put a guard here so we aren't tempted to stick our hands in here when the blades are going.
It had its maiden voyage and did superbly! After all of that cooking and rinsing and beating and then dragging the kitty litter bucket all around the city full of kozo. The machine can take more than I brought but I really couldn't carry all that.
These blades were cut by water jets!
This was the first time we met in person for real and Dave is all that he is chalked up to be, and so super nice and easygoing. You can't see it here (and I was so hyper excited that I forgot to shoot it), but this is his first beater where he installed TWO drains, one on each end! Brilliant.
It was a hot day and he has no A/C in the shop, but we had plenty of water to stay cool and Lisa drained the beater and took home the pulp to make paper in Brooklyn! YAY. It's not in Cleveland yet but I'm over the moon that we've gotten this far. And it will definitely be installed by the time I teach my hanji class in August, making life So Much Easier. This beater makes life So Much Better.