Sunday, December 31, 2017

This year's gifts

A basket is a reminder
 either way
 Luminous and simple
 This is the start
We used to go to water

A challenging year, which yielded gorgeous fruit. The fortnight home in NY has whizzed by, along with a shoot by the ever reliable and wonderful Stefan (an open secret!). I'll post all of the books above soon on my site but for now, finishing up the final dinner of 2017 and praying that next year brings similarly fabulous gifts, with slightly less agony. Cheers!

Friday, December 15, 2017

And there it went

Of course my fantasy of making all kinds of new work in the last two weeks I had to do so this year (before I fly off to see family and friends) shattered when I spent 10x as much time making new duck stands. Big takeaways:
1. If you do the work yourself, you'll remember how to do it better than if a man swoops in and insists that he does it instead
2. If you don't remember how you did it but know what you're doing right now is NOT that, take a little more time to jog your memory before using the blowtorch
3. It's great to work in a shop where people are nice and helpful
4. Endless sanding and filing are not always the answer
5. Thank Prometheus for fire!!
This is the first book I bound in Albion, and though I got the first page started there, I never finished it. Until now!
When you are pressed for time, you make lots of different decisions.
This was the second book, where I made different decisions. Both of these books were a couple years in the making. Paper has to sit and age for a while before it can talk to you about what it would like to become.
This is the third of the book batch, but it was conceived differently, so it was able to talk to me very quickly. I made all of this paper in Albion and had it ready to bind but didn't have time to do the final sewing until I got home, before I headed to Kalamazoo.
I am indebted to Velma for writing a perfect poem about her cold right about when I was re-reading a David Whyte book about work that contains lots of wisdom from lots of different people (like Rilke, Joseph Campbell, and Iris Murdoch). Those two inspirations propelled me back into a less precious place and a way to simplify. Now I have more work done, with more ahead in the less than two days that remain before flying.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

This year's last show, teaching, and driving

My Kalamazoo show and opening went well, though I was of course so tired from all the prep that I found every chance I could to lean on tables instead of standing on the floor. It's the best not having to hang and take down shows. This one is up through the first week of January.
The workshops were also great, and wonderfully low-key. It's such a luxury to have good, calm, happy students. Shawn made the trip again all the way from Chicago to take my hanji making class! Friends are so nice and generous. 
On the way home, I spent one last night in Concord. I photographed more of Tim's tools. He had offered earlier to slide the insulated wood closed over the windows for better shots, but I love the view of the trees too much to do that. Though I was impressed by those extra 'doors' that slide right over the windows to keep out cold at night and in the winter. Everything is elegant and simple and made well here. An excellent goal for all of us!