Jan 232011
 
Nearing completion.

How ironic that I started this book/object before the situation I mentioned in my last post. Next time I get the urge to portray sharks circling something, I will take note.

Before I go further, I want to thank, from the bottom of my heart, my legitimate readers and friends for their support and encouragement. I’ve been deeply moved by the kind comments, messages and emails that I’ve received since I last posted. It’s been a bright spot during an otherwise dark time, and has meant a lot to me. Thank you.

Lovely washi.

On a happier note, I have a book project to share. I’ve finally been able to get back in the studio a bit, and have been on a Japanese paper binge. If you dip pieces of it into paste (in this case, rice starch paste) and remove the excess, you can form the  paper into almost anything. Leave it on waxed paper to dry, and you can have, for instance, miniature billowing drapes.

And what’s especially lovely is that it is non-toxic. I wouldn’t want to dip my bare hands in acrylic medium or PVA, but rice starch and distilled water? I feel like a kindergartner with something really cool and slimy.

Sticky slime! Dip into the paste, then run the paper
through fingers to remove the excess. Then shape.
After drying.
Curtains!
Arranging.
Be Careful What You Take to Bed With You.
Dec 302010
 

Lest I get more credit than I should, I wanted to mention that I looked at several books on miniatures before constructing the bed. For the frame, I wound up largely using a design from Jane Harrop’s Thirties and Forties Miniatures in 1:12 Scale. More or less, I divided hers in half lengthwise. I also fiddled some details to allow for the fact that I was using paper-covered book board, rather than stained Obechi wood in various thicknesses as she had, but I was quite pleased with the direction her examples took me in. This is an illustration from her book:

I also wanted to share this interesting book design I found recently. It is shaped like a dolls’ house, and opens in the front like one. Possibilities there…

Dec 212010
 

I’ve had an idea for a sculptural book running through my head. “Be careful what you take to bed with you” will be the only text it will contain.

I’ve also been looking at books about miniatures and dolls’ houses. So I built a miniature bed. Or rather, half a bed. It’s going to sit on the open book, looking as if it were sticking out of it. Or at least that’s the idea.

Here’s the bed frame, which is made from book board, paste and Washi:

Here’s the bed after a mattress, pillow and blanket molded from Washi, foam, quilt batting, thread and paste was added. It has a stiff, papier maché-like texture:

The book block has been sewn and is waiting to be cased in. The plan is to make a little paper sculpture monster or swimming sharks or something to put under the bed. I might also add walls or flooring from folded pieces of paper. I am allowing it to develop and let it suggest things to me.

Oct 112010
 

I’ve been away. I had to travel to a big University of California medical campus for what turned out to be some ok help from one department, and some patronizing and dispiriting non-help from another.

Alas, feeling down and wanting to console myself, I did a little shopping. Large universities, especially ones with big science programs, have bookstores with esoteric goodies. Coming all this way, at least I could pick up a few petri dishes, slide holder cases and watch glasses for later. I have some slides at home and was wondering what I could sandwich between them in the semi-translucent holders.

I think some of the petri dishes will become “cards” for friends. I’m trying to figure out what to use to write inside them that will suggest fuzzy and/or semi-translucent blobs of cultured bacterial matter. Suggestions are welcome.

The student checking me out at the bookstore asked if I was doing an experiment. “No, I’m an insane artist and I’m going to use these to make bacterial-looking birthday cards.” His face brightened considerably.

Aug 282010
 

The We Love Your Books “e-motive” exhibition of experimental and artists’ books is happening now in Milton Keynes. I’m pleased to have my small part in this (pictured below).

There’s more information and pictures of the entries at their website. Emma Powell, one of the organizers, has also put photos of the entries, as well as pictures of the show itself, on Flickr.

In addition, participants were asked to submit photos or scans from their sketchbooks as they worked through the process of creating their pieces for the show. These have also been posted as a set on Flickr.

Nice printed catalogues of both the exhibition and the sketchbook spreads are also available.

It makes me tired even contemplating the work that the organizers Emma Powell and Melanie Bush must put into arranging these shows each year. It truly does seem to be a labor of love. As I say, I’m pleased I can be a part of it in my small way (literally, since my laptop book is a miniature).

E-motives, my entry for e-motive
Aug 212010
 
My Daily Planner

I did a stupid thing last month. I discovered that if one takes life-sustaining meds, it’s a bad thing to forget a dose. A really bad thing. This little oversight, and then my trip south, put me out of commission worse than usual for a while. I guess I should’ve paid more attention to my own bookmark design from a few years ago. Alas.

I’d been planning to contribute something for an exhibition next month at Eureka Books that our local book arts guild is having. I was going to make something appropriately sellable and commercially pleasing, like my miniature cat ABC book. But it just wasn’t in me. So I finished My Daily Planner instead. It fit my mood better.

PS: I wrote earlier about how I waxed the papers to make the cover material for the little books.
Jun 042010
 

The cover has a little more wobble than I’d like, and there turned out to be problems with the Tyvek cover—it was wearing on the corners. So I did some touch-up and coated it in matte medium, which seems to have worked. It’s not the texture I would’ve preferred, but still, my little book about online depravity is done. 
(An earlier post about some of the inside pages is here.)
May 182010
 

The miniature laptop, my recreational amusement of the moment, is coming along. The basic form is assembled. The keyboard will be resized and added soon. For a while it wouldn’t close properly, but that problem was solved with the use of a smaller diameter hinging wire. And the pages for the book, which will be housed in the “screen” and are meant to look like parody web pages, are just waiting to be put together (the mock ups are shown here). 

“How to stalk someone” turns out to actually be a popular search item on Google. I was thinking in terms of parody, outrageousness (although you’d think I’d know better, seeing as I’ve been harassed myself). After typing only a little bit of it, the rest of the phrase quickly pops up, suggested by the search engine itself. This is presumably based upon this term’s 5,190,000 hits. Um…..interesting. I think.




Etc…

(Ok–perhaps it’ll make more sense once it’s finished…?)