Thursday, May 17, 2018

Digging out

I'm finally feeling a little more hopeful about being able to get good work done at home. I keep moving around my numerous sawhorses and door blanks and vat pieces to rearrange work surfaces as I learn the limitations and potential of each given space + how well I can work in each. I wish I could have concrete window well bits like Angela does at home. But I still haven't been able to deal with any of the landscaping (to solve water problems), so this is still far from reality.
The rhododendron has been unhappy since I arrived, but the Japanese maple leafed out to be the most beautiful thing on my property! This will be good motivation to get up early and work in the front room when the light is best.
Yesterday I released two of these from failed embedding in paper and made four more so I could include them in an edition that hopefully will be done in a couple of weeks. I realize I may only have physically started to put it together now, but it has been years in the making.
Rough sketch of one spread that will obviously be my favorite.
And another one later on. So many wheels finally turning! Just in time, as I have less than a month until I travel around the world.

Saturday, May 12, 2018


To spare us all the boredom of what is going on in my house-addled life, I thought I'd look back on past mid-Mays. Last May, I was working in NYC and visiting David Reina's shop to conduct interviews for my book research.
Two Mays ago, I was getting ready to go to PBI (where my dear friend Velma will soon be teaching, alongside so many other beloved colleagues). Before leaving, I was able to look at Shanna's knife prototypes (see? Even before I knew the second book would be happening, I was getting nerdy about tools).
Three Mays ago, I was dealing with large hanji vat repairs, watching a new hanji vat by Julie being born from a distance, and looking at the wood pieces meant to wedge into my large hanji bal teul.
Four Mays ago, I was getting ready to transplant hibiscus seedlings, hanging out with the mayor of Cleveland while demoing papermaking at an Asian festival, and getting ready to teach at Penland (this October, I return to teach a week-long papermaking class!).
Five Mays ago, I was still living in New York but happened to be in Cleveland for big vat training and teaching. It's a relief to look back and see how much I've been invested into the paper world all this time. Often I feel I work enough because I'm caught up in endless admin. Right now, I'm still working on my milkweed book. To be reasonable, I should probably not expect to have it ready for sale until I return from Tasmania/New Zealand next month, but who knows? Anything is possible.

Sunday, May 06, 2018

Way back

I forgot about my Oberlin lecture last month as it happened immediately after my move. Here I am with a couple of the students in the Book in East Asia class, the East Asian Studies librarian Runxiao (with the lovely brooch), and our wonderful Special Collections librarian Ed. A little bit of hanji in the foreground, and Professor Ann Sherif behind the camera.
Here is the newest plant (laying down) with the first two as my guides. The second two are in Australia for the "Beyond the Seam" exhibit that opens later this month. I also dropped off a new duck to Still Point Gallery, where I got to meet Grace Chin, a local jeweler. Such a lovely afternoon.
Though I am still consumed by the house, I am slightly calmer (emphasis on slightly!) and am trying to get back to doing a little work, my work. Fortunately, after my Oberlin lecture, I was able to see both the fabulous Rembrandt show at the art museum, as well as an amazing show of Japanese prints from the collection. The print above is Blue Jar (1965) by Mabuchi Toru (1920–1994).