24 November 2015

I've Found the Light - Eventually

Gosh the year is racing towards its end... already paperwork for 2016 event has arrived, I will mark it in red in the diary, but what's the betting I will still submit only days before hand.  Also just noting the diary of a new exhibition and what do I find, I have the potential to need to be in two places on the same day, about 40 miles apart.  My diary really isn't packed with events, its just so incredible that whatever always seems to clash.

Now well and truly into the dark days, the endless grey outside, I have yet again explored the sewing machine light issue.  You may well recall past comments.

I do have a daylight bulb as the main bulb in the room

 This light I hung behind the machine - no real use

 This bottom one is my sewing machine light
the top was sold as a Pygmy daylight bulb - yeah right
And there was the saga of Phillips telling me they didn't make little bulbs
- errrr what's this then with your name on it

I love my battery/mains Ottlite
but no room to use, get right angles on the sewing machine

There was another LED light which I variously tied to me or the machine
-  limited success.

Then came a swivel head, tap to work, stick anywhere LED light
couldn't find a good place to stick it!

That's it, give up, nothing for it, stop mucking about.
Finally, bought the made for purpose light
Guess what?  Its brilliant, in every sense!
Choose this one with round head, as it has a longer stalk and
two fittings to enable location move.  Electric.

Moral of the story
Buy the tool for the job in the first place

Also why constantly fight bobbin tails everywhere?
So I bought a new bobbin holder which supposedly keeps
everything in check.
Yet to be tested
Job for today seems like as its dullsville here.

I suspect, some problems really can be solved by throwing money at it
.... as opposed to throwing money away in the trying.

16 November 2015

Art of the Book - a Fair assessment!!

The box has been ticked.... my first ever artist book fair has taken place.

I enjoyed myself, lots of talking!  Met up with people not seen in a while - Hi again - met up with others I've only spoken with before from across the table, and saw some friends.  Lots of nice things said about my books, which was heartening.

This is my table display.

I decided to display a mix of types of books - so I have 3 very long books, 4 which involve stitching on plastic/acetate, and display in various ways with folds and extensions, 2 pieces of wall art and some of my postcards and I made brooches for sale.

Do look at the Facebook page here of Artbookart.  Scroll down and you can see an image from everyone who participated.  You don't need to belong to Facebook to see.
Such a huge variety in what represents the book arts, from the tiny only an inch or so handbound book, to those A3+ size.  Various materials, and formats, inspiration - can you tell its a wonderful mix of creativity, and I loved it all.  Had lots of lovely chats with fellow artists, there was an awful lot of 'wow' and other terms from me, so if you call that chatting!!!

The book in a matchbox was absolutely unbelievably in the inventiveness of people.  It was another of these "can you just" moments which come through so often after you sign up for an event.

Again, look at the Artbookart site for more images.

I was almost paralysed into not being able to do this project - purely because I ended up with so many ideas buzzing in my head, I could do this, and this, or that, there was a real danger of not doing anything.  So I decided to settle on book forms, and I chose the smallest matchbox size to work with - making my own matchboxes. So here are my pieces.

Closed matchbox - has book cover surround and gold leaf edges
Tiny book inside with same binding

Closed matchbox - beach hut shapes
A string of bunting of Japanese Stab Binding books

A folded book - not extended to full length here as it ends up about 2m long
Made from Rice paper - I liked the white box so added a clear sparkle finish to it

Again you need to go to the Artbookart site to see the viewer's winner.  Its Sally Chinea - with a divine little fire engine inside a book cover and narrative book.

Sally has had a busy week - as earlier on, she met with myself and other members of The Material Girls, and became our newest Member.  We are looking forward to sharing our skills together.

So, I asked him indoors, do you think I should do this Art Book Fair again then - and he said Yes, he had been reluctant in the first instance.  So looks like I need to keep my eyes open for the next one.

Do please look at the ArtbookArt Facebook page, and from there seek out the book artists - its such a pleasure to have this kind of display of art, almost on my doorstep.

12 November 2015

Artist Book Fair - Sat 14th Nov 2015

Well its almost upon me - my first ever Artist Book Fair.

Let's step back for a moment...
I've been making books for years... not sure if I made creative books as a child, I know I filled exercise books with 'writing'.
I've been making stitched bindings since 1979... over 35 years, goodness.  Working in the legal profession documents were stitched together using a Japanese Stab Binding.  Must have made hundreds.

Forward in time to studying City & Guilds Creative Embroidery, Part 1 (links to the story of which can be found via the Qualifications tab above)
For one of the assessment items I wanted to make a book, but alas my tutor would not allow it, so I didn't get to progress in book arts.  The exception being that each of the 10 Preparing Working Designs had to be presented in different ways, so some book construction skills came in handy for that.
Finally for Part 2 studies, I got to make my book.   It was a bit 007ish with a compartment behind handmade pages.   Plus a whole host of books to hold research and samples.
Over the years I've been on many workshops, books are an ideal way for creative stitchers to show their skills.  A tutor may well have one of her own amongst the wealth of goodies to look at, let alone the sketchbooks where you might find the addition of pockets, windows, fold outs etc.
Such bookbinding workshops I have been on tend to fall into two categories - the creative content/decorative covers based on a skill set or theme where the binding method has minimum complexity - or the construction, looking at a means of holding pages together, the latter is a rarer occurrence in my experience.

So far, for me, its the construction which has appealed.  I like the technical challenges, yes even the mathematics!  I have boxes of examples.

I have shown off my books, making as part of exhibitions, but books tend to need a table/plinth for display, and not every venue has that.

There you have it, how I have arrived at the Artists Book Fair - joining in from the other side of the table, having been a keen viewer of many wonderful creations, which stretch the conventional idea of what is a book.
In addition to each Artist's display they have been invited to make books in a Matchbox - voted on by the viewers.  There's a chance for you to win a prize as a voter, and the winning artist also wins a prize.  Yes I have entries, but no, not showing you them, vote for your favourite and just may be, it might be mine!
I'm looking forward to indulging myself in all things booky on  Saturday... not to mention artisan cupcakes!!

To find out more, you can visit the ArtbookArt website or their Facebook page - lots of enticing images appearing.

Come and say hello.

02 November 2015

Refreshing and Playing

Wow can you believe it, here we are in November.  I am an expert at losing days - past month I've managed to take two lots of meds on one day and not notice, then a day or so later realise I merged couple of days.  Last week did the opposite forgot to take the meds, obviously still thinking it was yesterday!

The Material Girls have their work (but not all which has been made for the project) in Rainham Hall, which is now open Friday, Saturday and Sunday until 20th December.

I have updated my website by adding a few more images, rewording some bits and pieces and generally trying to give it a little refresh.  I always change the date on the front page when I've updated things so both you, and I know when last it had a tweak!  Please go visit, and if you see any errors, let me know - everything merges after a while.

I am busy prepping for Saturday 14th November, Artists Book Art Fair  I find myself still in that mix of excitement and terror at this new, to me, venture.

I decided a while back that in amongst the making and doing for projects, which bring about challenges in their own right, I've forgotten how to play... as in make something and nothing, just because.  So out came a sketchbook, which will become an Art Journal.  Fancy phrase and I'm still really no wiser as to what it means - except its agreed its a place to enjoy yourself.  I'm not sure I'm ready for the deep and meaningful phrases seen in others journals.  So here we have some pretties.
This is a Gelli® print
Its at least 5 layers of design, the black goes on last

It didn't pull off cleanly in one pull
so added some pink paint and tried again
I really like the textures etc from this one

Oh, I have given in, and bought myself an Adult Colouring Book - noooooo, not that sort of adult.  As its all the rage, and I will likely have missed the moment and something else becomes the trend, let's give it a go.  Not tried it out yet, but I have also reverted to childhood, and sent for some adult (again that word) sparkly ink pens. Do you remember Christmas when all
you craved for was the pack of felt tip pens, gazillion colours in a really really loooong pack!  I know, C word - last night 1st Nov, Christmas ads on tv.  I really must become a professional bah humbug, qualified for it!