Saturday, April 28, 2012

World Book Day continues

It's amazing how this book has filled my thoughts and my time in the past few days.  I am enjoying the process so much, learning so much and recognising things about myself that are helpful as a maker. I am making notes about the book and the practicalities of its process; but also about the things I am discovering about myself, and the things I am learning about a collaborative and shared experience like this.

Susan left me with some lovely pages and I began to work out how to make the book mine again, how I wanted the words to read, how many pages I needed for words and how to make the shape of the imagery on the pages work with the words.  I have loved the many conscious decisions in this book - it hasn't led me totally, we have been in conversation the whole time I have been directing traffic as much as it has been telling me where to next.

That last sentence makes sense to other arty folk I think - for others, it sounds like its time I talked to my doctor.

Here are some of the calligraphic pen marks I began to make. They are large letters and I always love the bleed-out look.  They are swirly where my first marks were straight. They are on rough paper - the first paper (Hannemuhle bamboo) is beautifully smooth.

The pages as I begin to add to them and layer things. Not all of these items remain in the final pages that is for sure. I also wrote out the words I wanted to include and had them alongside the pages - marked for words that were quiet; and words that had movement. I wanted to match the sense of the words to the stillness or movement Susan had created on the page. I also wondered about some of my Habu threads - evidence by two bundles sitting there patiently.

Here are some stitches I made to attach some of the tracing paper to two of the pages. I didn't choose these stitches lightly - I tested a cross stitch in each corner corner; I tested french knots to anchor the tracing paper, but ended up applying these simple marks. Probably influenced by Alice.

Having spent so much time machine stitching pages and tracing paper for my BAO edition I am still in the groove, and went on to machine stitch the tracing paper that Susan had introduced and a few pieces I had added into place. I stitched once, then took the pages back today and stitched even more.

Here are the remains of my hand-stitched corners stitching when I realised after machine stitching the rest of the pages that I couldn't explain these lovely little hand stitches.  The joys of the process (I had even glued them in place so that they would lie still on the back!).

I played with pebbles and pebbles cut-outs, after Susan saw the pages on Friday with a pebble weighing down a corner of tracing paper and we talked about how it echoed some rock shapes she had introduced in the drawings. It was doing a job - of course I only had pebbles to hand, but it could also become a design element... how someone else's eyes can see beyond the mundane and functional!

I am edging closer and hope to meet the Monday deadline despite lots of other family things to do today and tomorrow. Susan and I plan to catch up on Monday afternoon (after I go to another town for work-work; how dare it intrude?!?) and bring the two books together for a photo shoot!  I think we are both already planning "what Susan and Fiona do next" which I hope will be half as much fun.


  1. I am counting on it being twice as much fun .... If that is possible :-)

  2. Smitten with this book!!

    "it has been telling me where to next." - something I'm am constantly trying to get my beginning students to understand... it does take a while, to understand that process of making decisions step by step based on the unexpected things that arise or the thoughts that pop in because you are working and wouldn't come if you sat and planned. I think this is the hardest thing for beginners - the, it doesn;t look at all how I pictured it in my head...

  3. O, how great!! Thanks for letting me look over your shoulder.

  4. Such a process!... and obviously worth it. Well done you two.

  5. I'm having a moment of studio envy - your workspace looks so lovely - I can't concentrate on your delightful work!

  6. wow - such a joy to discover new combinations and possibilities xoxoxo

  7. I've been wanting to write something intelligent re: this post all day, but everytime I scroll down and look at the photos, all my brain seems capable of uttering is "Oh!" and "Yes!"

    Just gorgeous.

  8. Jennifer make's perfect sense with "Oh!" and "Yes!", as do you about "directing traffic". The last 2 images are particularly swoon-worthy. You must be so pleased with how this is turning out.

  9. Twice as much fun would be great Susan! looking forward to it...

    Thanks you Jane - I often think the photos of details are so beautiful.

    Ahhh Valerianna, we are speaking the same language aren't we? It's almost a revelation the way the work suggests things to you, and then you head off somewhere else. To have planned it with military precision would be to miss so much I think. Perhaps why I'm not a real calligrapher!

    Glad you enjoyed the peak Annie - I think I could write a week's worth of posts on the process and all I have learned...

    Yes Jo it has been a process, inane out, on off, yes, no, but a wonderful experience.

    Hi Ronnie _ I included that photo for folk who like studio sticky-beaks; it shows a bit of the space. I am lucky to have the bottom of the shed almost to myself - Barry exhibits in there alongside me.

    Hi N - yes, so many possibilities emerge when you work like this, gentle and supported...I keep pushing myself to think about other elements, not just stop where I usually do.

    Thank you Jennifer - I'll take your "Oh" and "yes" with gratitude. So glad you are enjoying it, it is a real pleasure.

    Hi Robyn - thanks for the support, I am pleased with how its turning out. Directing traffic versus being led is a fun place to find yourself - the conversations I have with myself and the book! Good that no -one is listening...

  10. yes - swoon worthy indeed!
    such spaciousness
    in your wanderings...

    xox - eb.

  11. ooooh, the cut out pebbles are a dream! this collaboration teems with quiet joy.

  12. Love the pebbles....thanks for letting us into your "Artist's Mind Thoughts". Although l too am an artist it is great to see how others work..thank youxxlynda

  13. Thank you eb - there is a lot of space and room to breathe in amongst it all, I agree.

    Thanks Anca! The pebble was inspired I think, and the quietness of them both is just lovely.

    Thanks Lynda - it's always fascinating to see how or what artists think as they go along isn't it? We all have such different approaches and ideas..


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