Lifelong Art!

In preparation for the collage class I'll be teaching for the lifelong learners on Feb. 6, I'm playing around with 2- and 3-dimensional objects that could incorporate serendipity collage as surface decoration.  The squash book (also called an explosion book) in the foreground and the little standing sculptures are made using the same folding techniques.  They look complicated but are very easy and great fun to make.  For information on the lifelong learning program in Oak Ridge, visit ORICL's web site by clicking here.
In preparation for the collage class I’ll be teaching for the lifelong learners on Feb. 6, I’m playing around with 2- and 3-dimensional objects that could incorporate serendipity collage as surface decoration. The squash book (also called an explosion book) in the foreground and the little standing sculptures are made using the same folding techniques. They look complicated but are very easy and great fun to make. For information on the Oak Ridge Institute for Continued Learning, visit ORICL’s web site by clicking here.

Small Things Matter

These small books are variations on the book structure I'll be teaching to a group of lifelong learners  in March.
These small books are variations on the book structure I’ll be teaching to a group of lifelong learners in March.
Trying to use up some of my marbled papers--the ones that didn't turn out so well--I made a couple dozen of these 2" x 3" books.  I learned the structure in a Bob Meadows workshop at Jerry's Artarama in Knoxville.
Trying to use up some of my marbled papers–the ones that didn’t turn out so well–I made a couple dozen of these 2″ x 3″ books. I learned the structure in a Bob Meadows workshop at Jerry’s Artarama in Knoxville.
I rarely use preprinted papers anymore, since I've learned various techniques to make my own.  but I liked this succulent print so well, I thought, what the heck!  Sorry the color is so poor in this photo.  Maybe an orange background wasn't such a good idea.
I rarely use preprinted papers anymore, since I’ve learned various techniques to make my own. but I liked this succulent print so well, I thought, what the heck! Sorry the color is so poor in this photo. Maybe an orange background wasn’t such a good idea.
Months ago I posted these serendipity collage strips, and (finally) I've incorporated them into a book cover.
Months ago I posted these serendipity collage strips, and (finally) I’ve incorporated them into a book cover.

Playing with Marbles

Before I left home for Oak Ridge, I was fortunate enough to participate in a marbled paper workshop taught by the multi-talented Kelley Walker.  Check out her web site here.  When I took the class I thought I would probably never get all the tools and supplies together to try it on my own, but eventually I did, and now I’m fully appreciating how very difficult it is to get marbled prints as good as the ones Kelley does.  Nearly every one of my prints has a blob or some other funky little goober of paint right in the middle, but they’re mine, and I love them anyway. Here are some books I’ve made with my very amateurish prints, and if you scroll way down, you can see some of the prints that turned out to be not-so-bad, all things considered.

This is an accordion book with a cigar band closure. Bob Meadows gave a workshop at Jerry's Artarama in October and this is one of the types of books we made.
This is an accordion book with a cigar band closure. Bob Meadows gave a workshop at Jerry’s Artarama in October and this is one of the types of books we made.
Inside the book are 4 little pamphlet stitch books.
Inside the book are 4 little pamphlet stitch books.
Pick a print--any print--and make a book. How to choose, though. This one had various faults that advertise the fact that I don't know what I'm doing, but I liked the contrast, so I decided to use it for a book cover.
Pick a print–any print–and make a book. How to choose, though. This one had various faults that advertise the fact that I don’t know what I’m doing, but I liked the contrast, so I decided to use it for a book cover.
Here's the cover and the signatures ready for binding.
Here’s the cover and the signatures ready for binding.
This is my favorite of all the prints. It's a page from a discarded atlas with marbling over the top.
This is my favorite of all the prints. It’s a page from a discarded atlas with marbling over the top.
Here's a page from an outdated dictionary.
Here’s a page from an outdated dictionary.

Scroll down for more marbled papers.

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Sometimes I Get Lucky

Lest you think I’ve been doing nothing but exploring thrift stores, eating chocolate and gazing out the window (and you would be right), I’ve also been experimenting with French link binding, finished off the marbled book and started the planning for 3 lifelong learning classes for next March.

French link detail.
French link detail.
A long view of the cover.
A long view of the cover.
I once tried to bind a book in a hurry using the French link stitch. It didn't turn out very well. That was 6 years ago. This time I wasn't rushed, and I decided not to worry about how it looked in the end. I had better luck this time.
I once tried to bind a book in a hurry using the French link stitch. It didn’t turn out very well. That was 6 years ago. This time I wasn’t rushed, and I decided not to worry about how it looked in the end. I had better luck this time.
Cover detail. The little bit of glare is from the clear embossing powder I used to plasticize the decorative thingy.
Cover detail. The little bit of glare is from the clear embossing powder I used to plasticize the decorative thingy.
I finally got around to finishing the last detail on the marbled book. A twig and some silk yarn are all it needed.
I finally got around to finishing the last detail on the marbled book. A twig and some silk yarn are all it needed.
Prepping for teaching classes in the spring starts with coming up with course descriptions and a photo for the course catalog.
Prepping for teaching classes in the spring starts with coming up with course descriptions and a photo for the course catalog.
The artist is Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840) Oillets et Eglantiers, No. 60. Lith. par Pointel du Portail. Paris, chez Schroth, Editeur, rue Traversiere S'H_ No. 25, Lith. de Villain.
The artist is Pierre-Joseph Redoute (1759-1840).  Oillets et Eglantiers, No. 60., Lith. par Pointel du Portail. Paris, chez Schroth, Editeur, rue Traversiere S’H_ No. 25, Lith. de Villain.

I found this gorgeous lithograph print at a thrift store.  The colors are richer and deeper than they appear in this photo.  At first glance it was the quality of the colors that caught my attention, and I thought it would make a fine decorative paper for a book cover.  On further inspection and a bit of research, I decided that I didn’t want a $200 or possibly $600 (or more) book cover, even if I only paid $7 for it.  If I can believe what I see online, this lovely old print is a rare beauty, but even if I ended up paying too much for it, I’ll treasure it well.

The artist has a background rich in history.  Marie Antoinette commissioned him to paint her roses.  He gave art lessons to Napoleon’s first wife and is said to have invented a method of lithography in which the colors were applied directly to the plate rather than added after the print was made.  He’s an interesting guy, and I hope you’ll look him up.

As I said, sometimes I get lucky.

Recent Projects

I decided to use the Serendipity collage technique on fibers, so after rooting round in my bag of tail ends (string, yarn, lace, etc.) I chose a monoprint, smeared a mess of glue on it and stuck everything down.  The next day I added some sparkle in the form of microbeads (and then spilled the rest of the contain of beads on the floor!).  Then I cut the thing into 1" strips.    Interesting, yes?
I decided to use the Serendipity collage technique on fibers, so after rooting round in my bag of tail ends (string, yarn, lace, etc.) I chose a monoprint, smeared a mess of glue on it and stuck everything down. The next day I added some sparkle in the form of microbeads (and then spilled the rest of the contain of beads on the floor!). Then I cut the thing into 1″ strips. Interesting, yes?