Sep 282011
 

I finished this piece a while back. Then I got this idea in my head to “improve” it, alas. I proceeded to fill in too much of the bottom area. I didn’t like what I’d done after it was too late and I’d done it.

While preparing pieces for Saturday’s opening, I decided to restore Be Careful What You Take to Bed With You to its original, more balanced state. I’m glad I did.

Aug 082011
 

I think this is the longest I’ve ever disappeared from the blog. I’m still around. I’ve even been mildly productive, I am happy to report.

The Handbook of Model-making for Set Designers, a recent discovery, is filled with all kinds of fun tips and suggestions for making small stuff with card stock and paper. I’d originally been making a staircase out of book board (something I’m still working on), but wound up suddenly deciding to fashion a tree out of wire and cover it in lokta paper, giving rise to this little book object. I also had some tiny polymer clay eggs sitting around from some previous thing, and so added a nest.

The text in back is, more or less, a stream-of-conscious bit of nonsense that mentions, among other things, a cat climbing a tree. It ends with “And the cat will climb down by the tips of his claws.”

This was inspired by seeing my cat Dominic climb a redwood the other day. He’d spied a bird way high up (redwoods, you might remember, are tall), and decided to go up after it. He made it to the first limb–still impressively high off the ground–which creaked precariously under him as the bird watched safely from above. I don’t know what the cat was thinking–that the bird would hop down onto the branch with him?

At any rate, I had fun putting together this little book object. Nothing like a little productivity to lift one’s mood!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can one not like a book that has pages on scalpels and knives? It even has a sidebar (not shown) outlining the history of X-Actos in the U.S. and scalpels in the U.K. (it’s a British book).

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…

Sep 082010
 
From the National Archives…Via sfgate.com

An interesting map story appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle the other day.

A giant museum-quality three-dimensional relief map of San Francisco as it appeared 70 years ago has turned up in a UC Berkeley warehouse, stored in 17 wooden cases…If assembled, the relief map would be 41 feet long by 37 feet wide and would show the whole city from the bay to the ocean, the Golden Gate to the San Mateo County line. It’s an exact-scale model of San Francisco as it looked in 1940.The model is carefully detailed, showing every street, and every building, all of them hand-painted. There are even tiny trees in the backyards and the parks…