I decided it would be fun to use some of the blocks I had carved for Garden Reverie as cover imagery for blank pamphlet journals. I printed them on French paper and sewed them up with waxed linen thread. Here is a look at the process.
I decided to create a tunnel book for the Book and Print Collective show, which was exhibited at the Transylvania County Public Library in Brevard, North Carolina. I entitled the book Hope Among the Ruins. The focal point of the book is a dragonfly on a coneflower. I am attracted to dragonflies for many reasons; one being that they are a symbol for longevity. Here are some images showing how I approached this piece.
After all of the relief prints and text pages were printed; I began binding them into a Drum Leaf binding. I had printed all of these on Monawk Superfine paper; which I attached (using PVA) to Stonehenge paper. This caused the pages to be thicker when brought together into the binding. Here are some images of making the book,
I recently completed a new artist book entitled Garden Reverie. It is a Drum Leaf book housed in a hinged box. The book is composed of relief prints and a short poem written about the images. The prints and poem set in Garamond were letterpress printed. As with most projects; I learned a great deal. Here is a look at the process from start to finish.
It was a very involved project, but worth the many steps along the way to completion. I was so pleased with how all of the elements came together and hope to explore this idea in future prints and books - my Garden Reverie!
I recently completed a suite of cards which I entitled the Mindful Series. Working on these tiny prints was a way to consider and ponder the attributes I aspire to. I want to be kind, hopeful, a good listener, and believe that I can help to make the world a better place. I began by completing drawings of bits of nature (found on the 'inspiration tray' in my studio). I then completed a linocut from selected drawings, added bits of text and printed the cards on my Vandercook Sp 15. Take a look at the process - a very therapeutic way to deal with my concerns and hopes for the world.
I find designing and printing cards a rewarding process. I love that customers buy these 'messages of hope' to send to their friends and family. Just another way of making the 'world a better place'.
I often find bits of insects while gardening; and am attracted to their ephemeral beauty. I have collected numerous insects and their wings over the years; which I often use in my books and boxes. I recently completed a group of reliquaries inspired by these 'garden remnants'. I began by selecting a butterfly, cicada, dragonfly, and bee from my collection. I completed a group of small prints which I then used as the focus of the reliquaries.
I learned so much constructing these pieces bringing together my love for nature, letterpress printing, and book arts! Additionally, the Cicada Reliquary was juried into Pop-Up Now II at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon; and was purchased by Ohio University!
I completed a group of small relief prints based on 'happenings' in my gardens. I then used them in a group of small tunnel books with case bindings. It proved to be a beneficial way to bring image and book form together.
Designing and building boxes is another way that I use fabric I have backed with Kozo paper. I enjoy personalizing boxes in this way.
I sometimes back fabric and then use it to cover books or boxes. I recently completed a suite of Coptic books and hinged boxes covered with fabrics purchased while traveling in Paris.
I will focus on designing and sewing the Coptic books in this post.
I completed two small linocut prints during the Spring. Both were inspired by the birds that frequent my yard. I included two birds in each print perched on branches. I am most satisfied with the results and want to do additional prints using pairs of birds.
These two prints were most rewarding to draw, carve, and print. Indeed, more images with pairs of birds are in the works!
Spring's arrival prompted me to take a look at several drawings I had worked on during the Winter. I had completed a drawing of a Barred Owl; and decided it would work well as a reduction print. Here is a look at how I proceeded with Barred Nocturne.
I recently began experimenting with printing on fabric. It is fun and not nearly as difficult as I would have imagined. Additionally, the process and products allow me to explore my love for printing, fabric, and sewing. Here are some of the items I am currently producing.
I then decided to carve and print smaller birds. My plan was to design a small purse using printed cotton fabric and attach the smaller birds to these.
These items using printing, sewing, and fabric have been fun to design and make. I will continue working with these ideas and materials; exploring new ways to bring them together!
I love receiving letters, cards, postcards, or handwritten notes in the mail. I especially adore the handmade card! Consequently, when I set up my print shop a few years ago; I began designing and printing greeting cards. I have just completed a new 'Spring Line' of cards. It has been such fun designing, carving relief blocks, and printing these cards. Take a look.
I completed several additional cards using a colored and/or patterned mat, relief print, and handset type. I enjoy making greeting cards, as well as the customers who purchase them!
I recently completed a new artist book entitled The Garden. It is a tunnel book structure. I began the book by sketching images of my gardens. I then chose a sketch to transform into a relief print which I printed on my Vandercook SP 15. I printed multiple prints so that I could cut and layer the book's interior image. The viewer looks into these layers when experiencing the book. I added a bit of text which I also printed on my letterpress. The colors are shades of blue and the cover is adorned with painted papyrus. Here are some pictures of the book being made.
A good bit of work went into this book. It was worth it to create this tribute to my gardens. They are a source of inspiration - my daily destination!
I recently completed a suite of miniature wooden Coptic books. I am continually inspired by nature; particularly ephemeral objects such as leaves, pods, dried flowers, nests, shells, insect wings, feathers. Oh the list goes on! For these small books I focused on leaves. I carved simple leaves on the front covers. I then applied multiple layers of milk paint in shades of blue and green. When milk paint is sanded and polished; it has a distressed and aged quality. I used Mohawk Superfine and Ingres papers for the text blocks and sewed the books with waxed linen threads. I used leather and wood for the closures. Take a look at the process.
These books are so much fun to open and handle. Their interior pages can remain blank or hold text and imagery. The possibilities are endless!
I taught a book arts course at Guilford College during their January Term 2016. My students explored various types of book and print making. Take a look at their accomplishments. It is worth noting that they had never made books prior to this class; hard to believe!
As you can see, these students worked hard and produced exciting work. I am truly proud of their accomplishments! Truth be told; I learned as much as they did - isn't that one of the 'perks' of teaching?!?
I am excited to post my first blog on this new site! My blogs will mostly consist of news and information about my various studio and print shop projects. Occasionally, I will post info and images about inspirational sources. So, stay tuned!
After some thought, I will begin this blog by sharing my final letterpress project for 2015 - my annual Christmas card! I have been making a card since 1985. It is a tradition that brings me joy since I am such a lover of 'snail mail'!
I have been exploring bird imagery through drawing and print for a couple of years. Consequently, I decided to use a bird image on this year's card. Additionally, I am most disturbed by the violence occurring in our world. I combined a mourning dove reduction linocut print with a bit of handset metal type. Take a look at the end result!