Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Final bits

I've been getting lots of pressure from my PT (and my body!) to exercise more. With the break in the bitter cold, I took a brief walk before going back home to greet a new teenage raker (he raked those leaves so fast! I forget how much more energy a young teenage boy has than I do—all I managed this morning was to rake about a third of my front lawn before calling it quits). I was so happy during my walk to be greeted by milkweed. About a mile from home is a park that is slowly being changed from a golf course back to forest, wetlands, and so on. Which is good, because across the street where there used to be woods from a wealthy estate is now a huge outdoor mall. All the deer that used to live there now are regular guests at my house.
Last week my students presented their final projects for class: an edition of five, with several prompts that led to some grumbling (like having to use their handmade paper in some way, even if it's as small as a title dropped into a well on the cover). The theme was gifting. Maddy did this one about reciprocity and had been inspired by Robbin's book in the library collection. She was also taken by the process of making paper thread, which I taught them about a month ago. Robbin was my inspiration for starting to make paper thread, and had shown me shifu by Asao about 12 years ago, so it's always great to see others inspired by the path that I took.
50 books by 10 students, now scattered out into the world with a little more awareness of books than when I met them on the last day of August. This is a preview of gifts that some people will be getting over the holidays, which is always a good direction for early editions.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Start stop start stop

For months and months, I had wanted to get this wee book done. All papers except for the endsheets are by Velma, who so generously supplied the stash for my last edition tip-ins. I managed to squeeze two editions out of the papers I had left.
I was not thrilled about the paper thread I ended up bridling the book with, but now I know better, and am aware that I should keep silk thread in inventory (rather than trying to always find ways to use it because it's so lovely to use).
That's the tape graveyard for the next book I worked on once the little ones were done.
I had made the book at Penland but wanted to add text. I work super low-tech and do a lot of literal cutting & pasting. I never did that well in advanced math because I did trial & error for everything.
In the end, it turned out not as well as I wanted, sadly! But now I know better (even though I knew better before I tipped in all the text: not a great idea to mix typefaces, and it has to be heavy enough to compete with the milkweed and kozo bits all over the pages.
Also, always test the prints on the actual paper before committing. This was a case of done over perfect. I wanted to have at least one more piece done before I left for the East Coast but I don't think it will happen, because of life (laundry, packing, etc.). I wish I could keep working but work and family responsibilities are crowing loudly. Boston on Wed, New York after that. The quiet end of year days are over!

Friday, December 07, 2018

Underground hanji making

I'm suspect about what is in my basement because it makes my eyes water and it better not be radon. I'm not convinced that this is the solution to my temporary problem of the slowest hanji studio to get off the ground, but it's something! Now I know I can do it. And I probably hold a world record for number of temporary hanji studios built.
Devie came all the way from Texas to spend nearly the whole week in snowy Ohio, after winning a Hand Papermaking auction this year to have a home studio experience with me. I had a sketch of the days that she would be here and checked everything off the list! We cooked two pounds of paper mulberry bark on Day 1 + thread making and a visit from museum folks. Day 2 was rinsing and beating fiber, setting up the vat and couching station, making hanji, pressing, parting, and boarding. Day 3 I had to run to my final jewelry class in the morning.
When I got back, Devie had already pulled, pressed, parted, and boarded her FIRST batch of hanji, and had started a new post by herself! We broke for lunch and then did more drop spindle work with paper thread and brought some boards upstairs to dry faster before she left. I finished up the vat as best I could (I was barely standing by then), pressed, and brought the post upstairs with more boards to part and board in a warmer and cozier setting. This morning, I woke up like xmas morning and rushed downstairs to peel away sheets. Instead of having her brave the annoying traffic to my place, I met her at the Verne Gallery to deliver her dry hanji and show her Yuko's beautiful work.

I underestimated how much this would take out of me, so I did a lot of crawling into bed early and laying there for a long time even if I didn't sleep. I'm glad I did it and my basement looks much nicer, but I don't want to spend long hours down there! I can't help it; my animal self recoils from underground time. This afternoon we had SUN and I napped. This weekend I'll rest so that I can get back to studio work before I fly to Boston in a week+.

Sunday, December 02, 2018

Final steps

This was my relaxing piece that I made out of hanji during my Chicago trip when I was too wound up to nap but had some quiet time to myself.
I don't have a good picture of it, but also made a trash can out of hanji and then used the bits leftover to weave (and then paste the ends of) these weird hanji balls.
Also practiced a bunch of the structures from Hedi's and Ulla's new wonderful book.
The huge undertaking for the past almost two weeks has been preparing my neglected basement for a hanji student arriving on Tuesday. Eeee!! This was my paint job and then there was a lot of cleaning, carrying things from place to place, getting help from Bill to move my heavy press from one building to here, and shopping for new basement items to make it functional as a studio. I still need to replace the stair covers but it's not the end of the world if it doesn't happen tomorrow, I hope!