Tuesday, September 21, 2021

International Day of Peace

 21 September - International Day of Peace.

I think Barry and I discovered that International Day of Peace existed back in 2004.  I recall us getting peace badges made and then sending them to all the politicians in Canberra in our federal parliament, and asking them to wear theirs on the day.  I don't think they did.

After that we did a few things intermittently - I recall folding origami peace cranes on planes and talking to my seating companions one year as I travelled for work-work.

But I think the big break came about in 2012 when our friend Mary Jane Dodd in NJ, USA started to make flags for peace. We joined a group of like-minded artists around the world and made and hung peace flags.  In our town, a bunch of local artists joined in, and we even published a book about the project!

If you pop 'flags for peace' in the search button on the side bar here, you will see the many and varied iterations over the years.

Every year since then, we have hung our peace flags - me oftentimes weather grams; and Barry has made and sent out peace offerings - metal birds, leaves, tokens.  This year we also made peace buttons based on some of our artwork; and images of it.

We send them out into the world: across the globe and within Australia, to encourage folk to share peace, to talk about peace, to dream of peace and to work in small ways for peace. It is such a joy to know they are out there quietly doing their thing.

This year we hung ours in the magnolia tree near our front door - it feels so right, and we think we have found our new 'peace tree'.

I took some others to the studio and hung them there...

A selection of peace badges are also available to purchase over on our decklededgepress website. A few of them look like this:

We wish for peace; we seek peace; and we try to move through the world with peace. Go gently.

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Workshop Time!

 Here I am on Sunday afternoon; having taught for two days, teaching two different workshops, but life has me catching up on last weekend's workshop!  Because of all things Covid; both sets of workshops have been postponed and they ended up one weekend after the other.  

So Buderim calligraphers - hopefully your workshops will get a run next weekend! Then I will be all caught up.

But back to last weekend with Calligraphers of South East Queensland.  Their focus for the year has been - tools we don't usually use; and I had suggested I could teach a workshop on pipettes/syringes; or one on on letter cutting, figuring knives were not really nibs.

With masks on all day, we all did really well.

We began getting familiar with cutting using a template that I had printed from the computer and a printer with lightweight paper.  Its always good to learn how your knife works and how it interacts with different papers; how much pressure you need to apply and the like.

I can't recall everybody's connection to the work shown; and I didn't get time to photograph everything, so this is really a snap shot. If you want to see a heap of pictures from the day, head to the FB post of CSEQ 

Maria lining things up.

Mike is underway.
Midway through the workshop my desk looked like this.

One of the show and tell moments - cut letters from a long time ago (2004). I love scattering them...

One of our next trials - cutting letters to connect to bars and the sides a circle. Barb.

Jennie - using the cross bars to connect tall thin letters. Some lovely crossovers here!

Donnie - using crossbars and letters to connect to an outside frame.

Susan - elegant curves and lovely letters connecting to the outside frame.

Christine stacked her letters, joined them with horizontal lines and mixed in upper case and lower case letters.

This work has a companion piece Dusk - I like that this has no frame. It just is. Helen.

Wendy's template for what will be a beautiful and intricate piece.

Apologies to those whose work I didn't capture - Jane and Kay I think. Their work can be seen on the FB page however.

Everybody learnt about their different knives and how they work; blades got changed as the cutting dulled them; and everybody experienced how different papers behave - some cut well; and others don't.

Once again, with thanks to CSEQ for inviting me and for being flexible around timing and for masking up and keeping our distance!

Until next time.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.” 

Henry David Thoreau

These words hold true for so many things in life; but in particular for me with art and artworks.

From some of the oddest looking materials to some incredibly put together pieces; from classics through to modern marvels, I think each and every person brings their own personal perceptions to seeing.

One person sees a pile of junk; one person sees a  achingly beautiful commentary on time and ageing.  One person sees a collection of plastic; another person sees non-violent protest about our polluted waterways.
One person sees a woman in a frock; another person sees a feminist icon.
One person sees some slogans. Another person sees victims taking control of the narrative with brave and painful personal disclosures.

And so on and so on it goes.  

I like contesting a viewing in a friendly way. I see what I see. It says to me what it says to me.  There is no real right or wrong. I like to hear what other people see; what it says to others; and then I like to re-imagine the work in my mind having heard their thoughts.

I think Thoreau makes the satisfying distinction between an object and its meaning.

And its meaning is personal.

The Kelpies, near Falkirk in Scotland.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

Abuse of Power

Australian of the Year Grace Tame often uses this phrase.  She reminds us all that child sexual abuse; sexual harassment; sexual violence; rape; coercive control and domestic abuse are all examples of abuse of power.

She nails it with this simple phrase and reminds the powers that be regularly that they too, indulge themselves in this abuse.

So as part of my feminist poster series, which now stands at 7, I printed this one up using a powerful deep green and vintage wood type.

Along with "Not Just a  Daughter", "I'm Speaking", "Believe Her", "Feminism back by popular demand", "Nevertheless she persisted", and "Enough is Enough", "Abuse of Power" is now in my online shop; and the Deckled Edge Press online shop (and all are of course available at the studio).

We just have to keep on saying it, even tho we are all so weary of it, we just have to keep on.

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Bookmarks for fun

Sometimes I get busy with preparations for workshops; planning exhibition work; planning work I want  enter into shows and so on. Big things, time-consuming things, schedules and deadlines type things.

Sometimes I just decide I want to go play and make something.

And so I did.

Barry and I have this sort of shorthand phrase "just add it to the list..."

Whenever we are baffled by things or think somebody has done something outrageous, or whenever we feel that generational gap widen, we will say "just add it to the list of things in this world I don't understand"

I thought it would make a fun bookmark so I printed it in orange, and then stamped what look like ransom note numbers on them.

The number 1 is weird - you can see it as an outline within the weirdly cut outline, just. It is not pleasing to my eye. 

I kept track of all the random numbers I stamped - that's funny really, recording the random.

Not sure why this photo is so fuzzy but after a few attempts to improve it I gave up.

And as ever, I loved the edges and the hinting.

Some days, it's good just to play...

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Thursday Thoughts...

“When you hold a (real) book in your hands, the molecules in your body rejoice.” 

Maira Kalman 

I oftentimes wonder exactly what is it about books? 

What is it that means so much? Why do they matter? Why do they carry companionship with them? What is it that makes them so important to me and to others? Why will I always buy books? What makes me want to protect and collect them? Why do I make books? What does it mean to use books as art? Why do people fear and burn books? What is it that makes them so valuable over time? Why in a digital age do they still feel so essential?

What is it about books I ask?

And hey - its because the molecules in my body are rejoicing.

Love it!

And in the absence of any photos my personal molecules vibrating; this complex ecosystem with sundews in the  bog at Forsinard Flow in Scotland is as close a representation as I could get.

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Peace and old words

 As you know International Day of Peace is 21 September, which means it is rolling around soon!  Given we now have a platform that makes selling easy, I thought I would get a couple of sets of peace pebbles up there for folk if they wanted their own little messages of peace around the place.

This photo of the pebble grid before writing just melted my heart. So calm. So serene. So gentle.

And then I wrote on them (a couple had to be replaced due to over enthusiastic ink-filling of my nib).

And as ever, I just love their simplicity.

You can find them here if you feel like you'd like a set for yourself or to share.

And then some lovely other shop news - one of my Library of Lost Words has been purchased and will be winging its way to its new owner soon.

Which meant I had to photograph the only other one left and here it is in all its old and rusty glory.

I love this word 'jobler'!

And 'stiricide' means icicles falling from a a roof! Or at least it did in 1656.

The original stories can be found here and here.

This actual Library can be found here.

I do love these wee works - and thank you to the reader who bought the most recent one. Another reader has bought one previously as well! We must like words and stuff.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Playing around with words and flowers

In those in between and random moments I have been pondering what it would be like to have some of the key words in the Women Friends poem printed on a large sheet of paper.

Using our beautiful century old Amalia wood type from Italy, I worked out how many I could get, given the limited number of letters in a fount.

Half way through I remembered we had lower case as well!

So I set them up in the large proofing press and inked them and rolled a few out.

One thing about century old type - it is all a bit variable in its height. As you can see, the lower case m on the left gets hit very early and a number of the other letters must be a lot lower and they barely get contacted at all (INE in shine, l in melting).

Before I invested a significant amount of time into properly proofing the words - checking heights, building them up, trying to get everything evenly inked and evenly heighted (a personal made up word), I thought I should just sit with the pages a while and se if they were going to be of any use anyway.

The second run was better from an inking perspective, but the height issue remains.

So today I cut them down a bit, to see if they might work as backgrounds, then I got distracted by needing to do some prep for next weekend's workshop, so I didn't photograph anything beyond this! Soon I hope.

On another note I finally pulled the threads out of the tibouchina dye pot.

Remember this splendid colour?

Hmmmmmmmmmmmm. I got nothin'.

Isn't it all an amazing experiment???

So as you do, I grabbed a few more heartsease flowers, added them to the original heartsease pot and threw these threads in there to see what might happen. Still waiting to see.