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March 21, 2014

Odds and Ends

I decided to end my Studying Under the Masters Class after 8 weeks.  It was WONDERFUL and I learned so much more about using my watercolors and my palette - much more because I learned it on my own through trial and error.  The 9th apprentice and artist didn't interest me at all, so now I'm back to other projects.

I needed another new watercolor sketchbook and finally had time to make it.  I overdyed a monoprint I didn't like and then added a screen print of one of my figure drawings that I made into a thermofax screen.  This is a drawing of a pregnant model that I used before for other projects.  This is a 48 page, 140 lb cased-in watercolor sketchbook, made using my standard method.

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I haven't talked much about my Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) spring semester class.  I am taking silk dye painting and we are learning many techniques on one 36 X 36 inch piece of silk.  In our second class we mixed a full range of dye colors from our 3 primaries plus black and now we refer to it as a general guide for all of our subsequent painting.  Here is the grid created with gutta and then "painted" with the dye colors we mixed. 

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The second vertical row has our 3 primary and 3 secondary dye hues.  Row one has tints of those (diluent added to lighten).  Rows 3 and 4 are classic complementaries of the primaries and secondaries and their tints, and Rows 5 and 6 are their shades (black added to darken) and their tints. 

We've used many types of resists to make butterflies and flowers (gutta, wax and water soluble),  and played with salt and alcohol effects.  They are all on the left side of the silk.

We are now working on "grounds" of wax or gutta/turpenoid and painting leaves.  These are above and below the color grid - and this picture was taken before class this week before I finished my leaves.  At the bottom is a textile design I made using Tjantings, stamps, and several layers of wax and dyes.

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The right side of the silk now has a self-portrait I "painted" on the top and will have a stamped textile design using thickened dyes on the bottom section to finish this piece next week.  Then the dyes will be steamed and the wax removed.   In two weeks we will start another project for the second half of the semester. 

Although I have experience with many of these techniques, I am still learning so much - and love being in a surface design studio for 4 hours each week! 

 

December 28, 2013

End of Year Potpourri

January 4th is the 8th anniversary of my blog.  I had no idea that I would enjoy connecting with a creative world as much as I do.  I've met wonderful artists online, and then in person, and shared so many experiences.  And the blogs that I follow are a continual source of inspiration and information.

I want to wrap up a few projects now before I write a Happy New Year blog post and my yearly "Progress and Goals".

Bookbinding: I made another watercolor sketchbook using hand dyed fabric for the book cloth.  This is the 21st cased-in book I made using my dyed fabric and the 48th watercolor sketchbook for daily drawing and painting.  My earliest books were spiral Aquabee and Moleskine watercolor books.  The rest of my handmade books are travel sketchbooks and figure drawing books.

By making my own books I can control the size and the paper - and that keeps me happy.

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 2.  Paper:  This is a page in a watercolor pamphlet stitched book that I started several years ago to draw and paint the tree ornaments that I made since 1976.  While the tree is up I try to identify all of the ones that weren't painted yet and this year I found two hearts from wildly different times.

Here is a link to this project and previous pages (although 6 pages have never been posted):  http://www.paperandthreads.com/2012/12/paintings_of_christmas_ornamen.php

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3.  Threads:  Here are the final products from my Santa's Workshop 2013 - a cotton velveteen quilt and photo pillow for my 2 year old grandson William.  We are going to visit him right after New Year's, so these were the last gifts completed. 

This quilt design was developed when Henry was 2 (now 10) and every grandchild loves the texture of the velvet on one side and cotton on the other.  I machine quilt them in a crosshatch design and they are completely washable.

The photo was taken this Fall and I printed it on EQ fabric sheets.

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October 28, 2013

And Then We Rested

Kathy and I spent Saturday out in the City - the Metropolitan Museum of Art for Interglobal Textiles, the Fashion District annual Open Studios, and an opening at ACA Gallery for Aminah Brenda Lynn Robinson, one of my all-time favorite contemporary artists.  So we decided to spend Sunday, her last vacation day, playing in the apartment.

I taught Kathy how to make the File Folder Journal that I previously posted (from Cloth Paper Scissors).  Here you can see her assembling her journal.  When we finished them, she taught me how to make a bracelet with the beautiful beads on the right of the photo.

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Here is my second File Folder Journal - and I'm planning to use it to keep track of my most important current projects.  The paper used to cover the folder and the pockets is color copies of a collage book on alphabets and text that I made at the MoMA Print Studio in 2012.  The cards are gray-toned Strathmore paper that I laminated to 246lb Strathmore acrylic paint paper.

I rotate index card lists in and out of the pockets in front of the cards when I'm using these journals.

 

Front Cover

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Pages 2 and 3:

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Pages 4 and 5:

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Back Cover:

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August 17, 2013

Bookbinding for August

I selected the "Two Sewn As One", or Double Pamphlet, book for August.  It can be found under both names.  Two signatures are created, and then opened with one sig valley fold down and the other valley fold up.  The 3 (or 5) holes are punched together, through both folds at the same time, and then sewn using a standard pamphlet stitch.  There are two folds visible on the spine, but essentially no thread. 

If you want a cover, the paper is folded in half, and placed between the signatures, with 1/2-1" of the cover mountain fold to the right of the sigs center folds, and the rest of the cover to the left.  It can also be punched at the same time as the signatures and sewn with all 3 layers together.

Here is my book, made with a cover and center mountain fold between the sigs.  It was so plain that I stitched on a print of a collage I did that was inspired by Venice.

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You can see the placement of the cover fold, and the flaps I added, in this photo.  Imagine that you were going to open both signatures and the cover - moving them all the way to the left at the same time, and you will see how they are layered for stitching.

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I then wondered if there was another way to attach a cover, and made the following small samples. In the book on the left, I added the cover after the two sigs were sewn together by going through the holes from the back sig to make another 3 hole pamphlet stitch.

In the book on the right, I stitched a decorative paper in, wrong sides together, as I did with the orange cover in the first book.  I then attached the book to the cover by gluing on the decorative paper on as end papers.

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These are very easy books to make and can be bigger than the usual pamphlet stitched book. Does anyone have a source for large sheets of sturdy, cover weight, decorative papers? 

This month I also made another fabric book cover.  The idea and the measurements came from a Quilting Daily Webinar presented last week by Christina Lane and Diane Gilleland.  I used some of my New York City fabric, and red lining fabric, for this cover which fits a Moleskine Cahier notebook.  I really like it and can see it as a perfect small gift.

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July 29, 2013

I Can't Stop Making Books

 Making a Coptic Book from a Thrift Store Book: 

I bought this 8 X 11" book for $2 at a New York City thrift shop so I could try converting it into a Coptic book with watercolor paper.

I removed the page block and the book board inside the book cloth in the spine.  I cut the spine book cloth down the middle, folded it to the inside, and glued it in place.  Seven holes were punched in the front and back covers and I sewed in 4 signatures of 140 lb watercolor paper.  I plan to use this book for more watercolor painted figures.

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A Quilted Book Cover for a 6 X 8" Notebook:  Quilting Arts Gifts Magazine from Holiday 2011-12

This is another book idea that I liked, and I finally made it this past weekend.  It is a quilted cover with front and back cover pockets for pens, index cards, and extra papers. The taxi fabric is the pocket.  Here is the front.

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Here is the back:

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Here is the inside of the front cover:

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