15 September 2014

Caterpillar Stitch Binding

Fall workshops were off to a creeping and crawling start with the Caterpillar Stitch Binding taught by Rhiannon Alpers of Gazelle & Goat this past Saturday in Wishi Washi Studio.

Rhiannon's class samples

In the morning we learned the Hedi Kyle version of the Caterpillar Stitch binding:

my practice card and caterpillar book in progress

and, in the afternoon we made Caterpillar stitches in the Keith Smith style - it was a lot trickier:

my attempt at the Keith Smith version of the caterpillar stitch

Making practice cards was key to learning these stitches and the Japanese hole punch was a handy tool to have in this class.

don't look too close - I made a boo-boo towards the end

As usual, everyone's work was spectacular.

student work
Thanks to Rhiannon for teaching another great workshop in Wishi Washi Studio and we hope to have her back again in the Spring!

08 September 2014

Book in Painting: Stanford University - Cantor Center

I think I am in denial about this September thing. August was so nice with lots of studio time and a number of little adventures and day trips and we actually had nice, warm sunny weather here in Santa Cruz where we often have cold and foggy days in August.

One of my day trips was to Stanford University. I usually visit Stanford University's Cantor Center for the Visual Arts
a few times a year but I guess I haven't visited their European Paintings rooms lately because ... look what I found: books in paintings!

Lizards and skulls, too!

If you're new to my Book in Painting series see these previous post about visits to the Getty, the Huntington, the Legion of Honor and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The series continues!

Although I am in denial about September it brings some great events and workshops.

I'll be participating in the Art Party in San Jose. Check out the link if you aren't familiar with it and consider attending if you are in the Bay Area - it is a spectacular event. My installation Phinnea's World will be included.

Workshops start up this coming weekend in Wishi Washi Studio with guest instructor Rhiannon Alpers teaching the Caterpillar Stitch Binding. I am very much looking forward to playing along in this workshop and will report back next week! 

Happy September!

28 July 2014

it has been a surface design summer

Wishi Washi Studio had a short but sweet summer workshop schedule this year.
Because I had events and workshops outside of my studio I only scheduled two workshops (plus two kid's camp classes) in my studio this summer.

tubs of ink - picture taken at my studio neighbors' PATT - they were having a silkscreen day on the same day as Surface Design - busy day at the Tannery...

The first was Surface Design with Courtney Cerruti, and the second was a Suminagashi and Orizomegami workshop taught by me.

Courtney never fails to deliver a fun day. She taught Surface Design which included paste papers, printing with bubble wrap, wooden block printing and gelatin prints.

gelatin prints in the making

gelatin prints in a gorgeous palette

beautiful work by students in Courtney's class

And, she brought her new puppy Charlie (if you are on instagram check out the hashtag #pupcharlie)!

Charlie exploring my work bench while Courtney teaches

that tongue!

Charlie relaxing at the end of a long day at the Tannery

Hard to follow that act but the next weekend I taught a class focusing on Japanese paper decorating techniques that included Suminagashi and Orizomegami.

my class samples of suminagashi and orizomegami

students getting fancy with orizomegami

student suminagashi action shot

beautiful results

suminagashi on a print

Courtney and I met through Creativebug and we both have online workshops with them. So, if you missed our classes you can still play along with us. Courtney has many classes including paste papers and I have both Suminagashi and Orizomegami classes on Creativebug.

I also taught two kid's classes for Camp Tannery Arts (see previous post)concluding with the last one today. And, that means...I'm done for the summer and have the studio to myself until September. I love having people come into my studio to learn and breathe creative life into my space but I also love a good stretch of time when I can spread out, make a mess, and create! 

See you in September...


07 July 2014

summer bookmaking with kids: camp tannery arts

Wishi Washi Studio welcomed about 25 kids into the studio today for a little studio visit and some bookmaking.

Every summer Linda Cover, who runs an art making studio for kids at the Tannery, runs summer art camps called Camp Tannery Arts.

Linda arranges studio visits with Tannery artists and also has some of us conduct little workshops with the kids in the visual arts, poetry, dance and music.

turkish map fold books with letterpress printed cover
Once again, this year I collaborated with letterpress printer Sam Amico (see last year's project here). The camp kids visited him first where they saw his press, talked about the art of letterpress printing and each printed a sheet of paper.

Then the kids came to my studio where I showed them examples of books from different times and places in the world.

covers letterpress printed by sam amico
Sam passed the letterpress printed covers over to me and I led the kids in a Turkish map fold making class.

These wonderful little books will be filled with maps and poetry by the end of the week.

turkish map fold books

This reminded me of how much kids really like to make books. It is a great summer project and the result is a little book for them to write and draw in.

little hands making books

There are some online classes in bookmaking with kids over at Creativebug (Turkish map fold, the house book, orizomegami and 
 Japanese side sewn are all great projects for kids) and I also have a free tutorial on making the Bamboo Rubberband book with kids over on Tinkerlab blog.

No excuses. Go make a book!

21 June 2014

Shakerag: learning

It will be hard to say good-bye to Shakerag. What a magical place.

my morning walk at Shakerag

Just completed my week of learning and being in the roll of student at Shakerag taking Yoshiko Wada's Boro Transformed workshop.

It was interesting transitioning from a teacher to a student over the weekend. The volunteers and staff here were so kind making sure I was included in meals and field trips as they were preparing for the next week of students and faculty. I got to go to the Piggly Wiggly and a flea market - what else could I ask for?

I also got some nice front porch time with my stitching project and the dogs of Shakerag.

dog day at Shakerag

Yoshiko's workshop was wonderful. Packed full of information and new experiences. She brought some beautiful examples from her personal collection of old authentic boro pieces:

Boro piece from Yoshiko Wada's collection

as well as this contemporary piece created in a boro-like style - this is a shirt created in the Nui Project - a stitching and embroidery workshop for developmentally disabled adults in Japan:

stitched shirt from the Nui Project in Japan

A brand new experience for me was indigo dying - even though it is not a color I usually use in my artwork, or wear, it was interesting to learn the process and the language: waking up the vat, putting it to sleep, feeding it, was it tired or happy? I think the language may have been my favorite part.

this is a happy vat!

I started on a piece I had been thinking about for a while but couldn't quite get started on. Yoshiko gave me some inspiring advice to distress my piece with what I found around Shakerag. So I distressed it with rocks, stained it with Shakerag dirt and threw it in the lake at once point!

my stitched piece in "the res" with leaf...

Much of my week was spent stitching and examining boro for patching and mending ideas. 

my project in progress

detail - so much stitching!

I still have a lot of work to do on the piece but I made substantial progress on it.

I also finished the sample book I started last week, made a bag called a tsuno bukuro, and learned to make a sashiko thimble.

Another fantastic week all around. It is hard to leave but comforting to know that I will be back next year again as a student. Yes, I will!

See my previous two posts to see more about the place and my experience teaching there.

Thank you Shakerag...

15 June 2014

Shakerag: teaching

Tomorrow I begin my second week at Shakerag - and this time as a student! So I thought I should get this post out (that I wrote Saturday morning) reporting on my week as a teacher.

Last week I taught a workshop called The Stitcherly Book at Shakerag Workshops in Tennessee (see previous post about Shakerag: the place).

Student work in progress
I encouraged students to bring materials that they thought they might want to work with and that included photographs, fabric, thread, book pages, maps, letters and other paper ephemera, as well as low relief objects that could be incorporated into a book.

They arrived with bins and boxes and suitcases full of goodies!


We were in a room that is a biology classroom during the year and were in good company with the bones:


We only had simple hand tools and the school provided a sewing machine:


One of the students brought a typewriter that she kindly let all of us use:

And we had a small dying station for tea staining fabric and paper, and the same student also brought walnut ink that she, again, generously let us all use:


The generosity of the students with one another - with materials, tools and information - was extraordinary.

We began by all making samplers of embroidery stitches so that everyone was on the same page with their stitching skills

Then we progressed to making 2-d stitched collages, similar to the class that I teach in my studio. This was so that students could get a sense of how to combine paper, fabric and thread. Many realized at this point how long this process is - especially the hand stitching.

On day two we made some simple book and binding structures that I thought would work well with the bulky pages that we were going to be creating with these materials. After learning these skills, and seeing the copious images that I projected on the screen, they planned their books and got to work.

I also taught image transfers and block carving and printing as another way to get text and images onto paper and fabric. The resulting books were beautiful, funny, personal, thought provoking and poignant. Here are a few images (some in progress):

At the end of the week the school has a "walk about" where we all visit each others' studios. But before that we had our own share session in our class - it was so nice to hear the stories behind all the books as well as the challenges the students all faced in using these unusual materials to create books:

I encouraged the students to make little installations at their worktable to show their materials and process for the walkabout:

A fabulous end to a magical week. Everyone boarded the airport shuttle or got in their cars Saturday morning and the school is now preparing for the next wave of instructors and students to arrive.

another Shakerag dog