Sunday, October 31, 2010

Rusted metal books

I really enjoyed making these books and binding single 'pages' of metal for the first time in such a way that they operate as books; rather than simply as book-sculptures.

The worn and used look and feel of the books, is reflected in the words engraved on their covers and stamped on the pages. Despite their sense of wear and weariness; they seem beautiful to me and made new again.

Barry suggested the extra bar on the cover for strength and to differentiate the covers from the pages and I have to agree it works well - it looks strong and defining. I used waxed linen thread and a single page binding to hold them together; and created my own little variation of the finishing stages which I was really happy with.

You can find them for sale here.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Delivery Day

Well today we finished our deliveries to Main Street Gallery in Montville.  Barry's "Light Catcher' series are there; along with some of his foldformed metal bowls and leaf forms. I have some journals, some VW/star books, some metal books and some dreamboats on display. Barry and Noela's "Bazola' range of art to wear is also being exhibited there. Barry prepares folded and beaten metal forms and Noela adds found and worn object and designs the final pieces.

It is with a great degree of satisfaction that we visited today and saw the works on display. It is a lovely, light gallery and the pieces work well and appear at home. If you click here(Fiona) and here(Barry) and here(Bazola) you will see all of the pieces! We are fortunate that they are on display there until January 2011. There is a lovely coffee shop above the gallery as well so it's a pleasant little trip.

Here are some photos of the pieces in the gallery:
A few of my books; Bazola on display; some of Barry's pieces.

Another little milestone achieved.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Thursday Thoughts...

To create one's own world in any of the arts takes courage
Georgia O'Keeffe

I don't know much about Georgia O'Keeffe but my brief investigations indicate she was a talented and bold artist, with a beautiful sense of style, colour and lines.

This quote seems very real to me. The more I do, the more I realise that I need to be sure that I am doing my work, telling my story and reflecting my view of the world.

It is sometimes hard not to look around and be in awe of somebody else's work and think 'I wish I could do that' or 'I might try that'. Whilst it is wonderful to be inspired by someone, or relate to their work; in the end, I am responding to their work; not creating my own.

I have come to accept that the folk who really 'get' my work are a niche within a niche and that feels fine. I still need to do what I need to do to create my own world; I can't go creating anybody else's simply because it might have broader appeal.

It's a good place to have arrived at; and does take a  modicum of courage to accept this is who I am and what I do!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Timber Journals

We are fortunate to have in town a fabulous wood and timber artisan - David Linton. I worked with David on a post outside his shop last year; and both Barry and I have a few pieces of work in his gallery.

Whilst semi-reclining I have been able to stitch and finally got around to doing three more journals for his shop.  Very satisfying and meditative just sitting and stitching.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

A Letter a Week 40 & 41

I am slowly working out how to do some stuff whilst being indisposed - little bits of stitching whilst lying on the couch seem to be possible.

So I got to do my letters - I seem to have forgotten which week I am supposed to be up to but have made up for last weekend and this weekend so that seems about right.

With N I just circled some of the braille dots in the background

With O I didn't want to detract from the gorgeous rusty bleed too much; so made tiny silver dots along the outlines of other 'tide-marks' in the paper.

Once again - my small challenge of doing something creative each week has come to the rescue and been a manageable thing to attempt this week

Friday, October 22, 2010

Friday windfall

I have been out of action for a week or so sadly there is no Friday art to show.

Instead, as a minor deviation from artistic and bookish themes, I thought this shot of our avocado windfall was worth a post!  This is how many avocados have fallen from the tree in the last two days - and we gave this many again away earlier in the week.

Fruit and vegetables are like this tho aren't they - they teach you all about abundance; and living in the moment; and just enjoying the miracle of nature and its bounty.

We have been enjoying avocado on toast, crackers, corn thins, you name it for lunch for weeks now and are yet to tire of it.  Guacamole features before dinner and they appear in bakes and salads and cannelloni fillings with ricotta.

Abundance. Plenty. Gifts.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thursday Thoughts...

One of the greatest gifts adults can give - to their offspring and to their society - is to read to children.
Carl Sagan

My childhood was the place where my love of books began; I remember reading together; practising; and getting scared by the stories. But most of all I remember being told when older, to turn the light out and always replying "at the end of the chapter" and continuing to read through to the next one and the next if I could.

Reading as a child gave me confidence, showed me so many worlds; allowed me to identify with all the boisterous athletic girls in novels and feel as if not being girly was OK. So many things I learned from reading as a child.

I think I am known as the aunt or friend or godmother who nearly always gives books as gifts - they offer children the chance to discover worlds beyond their walls; to fire up their imaginations; to dream dreams and to know that you are never alone when you have a book.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Giveaway winner

Apologies up front for not doing this on Wednesday as promised. I have been indisposed for a few days and am only just crawling back out. Some things I could manage; others like actually writing and drawing and photographing the winner's name and posting were a wee bit beyond me. (I had pre-posted Thursday's Thoughts...)

Anyway, the feather and flight print will be winging its way across the oceans to the US as the winner is:

Two Tigers.

Thanks to all for participating and Two Tigers if you can send me your postal address it shall be heading your way soon.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Thursday Thoughts...

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
Scott Adams

I went and double-checked and yes this is the Scott Adams who created the Dilbert cartoon, but I'm not sure if that changed how I thought about this quote in any way.

I really respond to the idea of being open to making mistakes.  Whenever I teach I always take along my first attempts or my first fumbles - the ones that show the mistakes I made.  I think its very important for us to make those mistakes and learn from them, and to show folk who think they can never do what you have done, that actually you started out with mistakes and fumbles too.

I also think I am a concrete learner. Do. Stuff up. Don't do again. Kind of thing.

I think the subtlety for me in this one is that you then need to develop the sophistication to know when things are good. You need to work out which mistakes are magic; and which mistakes produce not-good-art. This culling process is important to me as I strive to not let things that are second-rate out into the world. I try to make the right decisions about which pieces are good enough to be shown and in this way, I hope I am developing from being creative to producing art.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Rusty books

I really love the look and feel of rust. I love its discarded beauty; the way it proudly wears its history and I love the sense of rediscovery that happens when I begin to work with rusted materials.

It feels as if the old, the worn, the forgotten, the discarded and the weary have been found; their beauty recognised and valued, and new life given to them.

I have been working on some more rusted books. Their names 'surrender', 'succumb' and 'submit' suggest their past - that they have been surrendered, have succumbed to their environment and submitted to the weather.

Here are the beginnings...

Monday, October 11, 2010

VW multiples

I have previously mentioned how enamoured I became of the "VW" book that Carol du Bosch shared in Bound and Lettered journal.  Combine this with a wet weekend and a stock room exhibition coming up and what was I to do?

So I had a lot of fun!  I have made 6 books - 3 small and 3 medium - all using my handmade 'itajime' or paste papers and with nice thoughts, ideas, and statements handwritten within. I cheated a bit by using Fabriano Medioevalis papers - which start small and are ready to fold without having to measure, cut and fold.

It was such a delightful time - meditative and fun and oh so much fun to play with them when they were finished.

They really are one of the nicest feeling books in the hand that I know of.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Letter a Week 39

What to do on a weekend when you have been covered in rain and mist and caught somehow in a sort of tropical low-pressure depression where the rain goes around and around and comes back? Head to the studio and don't come up until its dark.

So here's the weather; and here's my letter for the week.

My 'm' is outlined this time, and I just popped a couple of french knots into the background

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday Thoughts...

Let every man, if possible, gather some good books under his roof, and obtain access for himself and family to some social library. Almost any luxury should be sacrificed to this.
William Ellery Channing

This quote seems entirely appropriate for a couple of reasons (and I apply it equally to women!). In Melbourne recently we visited one of our favourite haunts - the State Library and its ongoing Mirror of the World exhibition. The Library is a bustling and modern place - people and laptops everywhere; filled with learning and researching and investigating.  But it also has this magnificent Victorian era domed reading room. We were there early and able to photograph it before it filled.  It suggests majesty and a certain reverence for books to me.

Secondly, I was honoured to be approached by Patti Roberts-Pizzuto who each week explores a pathway in her art and learning life; who asked if she could showcase some of my works on her blog as they resonated with her.  We had some wonderful email exchanges and I discovered that she worked for many years in a library.

Libraries are the true heart of democracy to me - their role in sharing information and making otherwise hard to find resources accessible to all and their commitment to retaining the written word for sometimes hundreds of years is a true wonder for which I am grateful.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

200th post and a wee giveaway!

Once again - who'd have thought I'd ever be a person who wrote 200 blog posts?  The world is a wonderful place and I can get quite absorbed once I begin thinking about how connections are made through the internet; how blogs allow us to 'meet' with people who share our thoughts, ideas and approaches; how conversations begin, ideas spark and collaborations can occur across the globe.  It's a wonderful time to be alive.

I spent time last Friday making some unique monoprint-collagraph kind of prints.  I have become a little bit intrigued by birds and images of birds; and as a result feathers are also beginning to play in my thoughts and my work.

I made these with some handmade paper we made during a play day with Noela. I inked the plate, placed the feathers on and then dropped a piece of string on top and printed.  I threw that print away, gently lifted the string and the feathers and then printed onto the handmade paper.  Ahh.

I will happily pop one of these into the post for the winner of the giveaway.  All you have to do is to leave a comment with your favourite thought or quote about birds and/or flight.

I'll randomly select a winner next Wednesday 13 October.

Many thanks for sharing the journey so far.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A new identity

Life and work have many layers, and linked to our developing art worlds, Barry and I have been conscious that we need to build identities and arts-associated presences greater than our blogs (which we do enjoy greatly!).

So we spoke to our hero designer Holly Webber and asked her to design logos for our art identities, a splash page each for our websites and some business cards and stickers.  In the fashion to which we have become accustomed, she delivered with pizazz and zing - and created an identity for each of us which is so true and so beautiful.

I'm pleased to show you my new business cards. They are 5.5cm square and feel lovely to touch and handle.  Our websites are works in progess (code for Fiona has to learn how to do this) and our stickers are on their way. We are happy folk.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Journals continuing

The journals are nearly all done and soon they will be ready to head out into the world. They are headed for  a stock room exhibition called "Small Treasures and Pleasures" at Main Street Gallery in Montville.

These last two are black and white again and quite stunning in their own way.

The first one I used three sets of 'modified Celtic weave' and the stitching is quite dense this time, less open than the teal book. The cover is some of my paste paper - I like the way the lines aren't perfectly straight so you sometimes get these optical illusion feelings when you look at it.

The second is a medium sized journal again with paste paper covers. I sewed on tapes this time and took two over the boards and onto the inside cover; and kept the middle as a loop around tie.