Sunday, July 28, 2019

Moving Day

Good news everyone... I just launched a new website and I am moving this blog over there. Older posts can be read on the website or here, but from now on new posts will be at

Thank you for hanging out with me here on Blogger and I hope you will take a moment to look around the new digs. Let me know what you think and I hope to see you at the new site soon.


Monday, February 18, 2019

30 Paper Weavings in 30 Days

I recently completed a 30 day online class run by Helen Hiebert called Weaving Through Winter. The class had a very open structure, Helen did a 30 minute video introduction each week on a theme and workshop participants could take the concept and run with it. We posted pictures of what we made and offered comments and suggestions to each other. It was a wonderful daily practice and meditation. If you want to see all 30 of my pieces check out my Instagram posts at @gina_pisello. I will show you my favorites below and tell you a bit about what inspired them.


This is one of the last pieces I made in class. I was inspired by weaver Kay Sekimachi and light streaming onto the red paper before sunset.

This weaving went through several stages before becoming the piece at the bottom. I tried folding an origami bowl with it, but the shape and size of the weave was wrong for this particular origami piece. I would like to try again with a different weaving pattern.

I wove abaca paper strips together then folded it into a Tomoko Fuse spiral. I love the way this turned out.

A simple weave around a silhouette.

I didn't know what to weave on this day but found inspiration in torn paper torsos I made years ago that sit framed on my desk. This one was hard to weave, but I really like the results.

This is a Danish heart basket, commonly made at Christmas time. I used folded paper and wove a love letter with a Japanese paper bag for this simple weaving. There are many more designs for this if you search Pinterest.

One week of the course was about weaving shapes. I wanted to do a simple circle and the tension of the weaving caused this to curve nicely off the page.

I experimented with hexagonal weaving trying to work out the formula for doing so. Turns out quilters have a way of doing this called triaxial weaving. I liked building this out from the center, but want to try doing it the "right" way sometime soon.

The completed hexagon weaving.

Another hexagon weaving.

I remembered that Claire Van Vliet and Hedi Kyle invented ways to weave books together in the excellent book Woven and Interlocking Book Structures. This one is my favorite with its crossing shapes and locking structures. I created the pages with eco-dyed paper.

This was an early weaving from the class. I wanted to explore strips that were angled. I like the optical illusion of it.

This is one of the later weavings. I cut warp strips around the leaves on the eco-dyed paper. Then I cut weft strips one at a time to bend around the leaves. I wanted to enhance this central image. 

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Art of the Fold in Denver

I am pleased to announce that one of my artist's books, Small Migrations was juried into the Abecedarian "Art of the Fold" show. The online catalog is here. The books were all inspired by Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol's book The Art of the Fold which I have blogged about before. I hope you check out the catalog or if you are in the Denver area before September you can see the show in person.


Small Migrations is just 3 inches high by 5 inches wide when open.

This is a slightly different version of the same kind of structure. I call it Subverting Expectations because the cranes fly opposite the direction of the flaps. It is slightly larger, but still small. I have made larger versions of the book in the past, but I like to work small so I can make the whole book from one piece of paper ( an atlas double page spread in this case).

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Nesting Blizzard Boxes

Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol have written a wonderful book called The Art of the Fold.  My last blog post was about samples I made from the book. Today, I want to present a modified version of one book that I have come up with. I will introduce other works I have made using Hedi's structures as a jumping off point in a later post. I am including a diagram of measurements, divisions and how I folded this new work. You will need lightweight, but sturdy paper that measures 6 x 18 3/8 inches. You will also need to score many of the divisions between sections. Do so accurately and you can fold this project. I used Hedi's directions for folding the boxes and added the extra "bridge" section between boxed so that they can fold inside each other. Each box gets slightly wider to accommodate the precious one.

I hope you try it and let me know in the comments what you think.


Diagram showing how to divide the paper before folding. Each 3 square division represents 1 inch. The first 8 divisions are exactly 1 inch each. The next 2 are 1 1/16 each followed by three 1 inch sections ( labeled side, bridge, side). Finally there are two 1 1/8 sections followed by three 1 inch sections. I made a model of this on graph paper to make it easier to score the lines. Then I moved on to decorative paper.

Here is the structure folded and ready to pop into boxes with bridges between them.

Here are the boxes from the back showing the extra section between them. This extra paper is necessary to act as a hinge to allow each box to fold inside the next one.

The boxes beginning to be nested.

All the boxed are nested inside the largest one. You can make this with more box sections by increasing the width of each box by 1/8 inch. Good luck.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Art of the Fold

Hedi Kyle was my favorite book artist before I even knew her name. I learned several of her structures early on in my book making career and loved them for their versatility. You can imagine how excited I was when I heard she was writing a book with her daughter Ulla Warchol that I could peruse at my leisure. I was also hoping there would be new structures to try. The book arrived on October 2 and I got busy making samples and experimenting with structures right away. I was enthralled by the easy to follow diagrams and the paper suggestions as well as information on changing dimensions. Below are pictures of samples I made using my stash of papers and book cloth.


My samples so far from this amazing book!

My variation on the tree fold introduces a long leaf followed by a short one and then a long one. That way half of the leaves (pages) are hidden from view. The possibilities for a book are endless.

The same book open.

The Blizzard Box invented by Bill Hanscom and Hedi Kyle. I also make a square version (in blue).

The Blizzard boxes nested and holding some of my sea glass.

The Star Box is very satisfying to make as Hedi's dimensions give you a perfectly nested box and cover all in one.

Three variations of the School Book Wrapper, 2 with pleats and one without. I used book cloth to make these as it is sturdy and folds nicely around journal inserts.

This structure was new to me and I loved playing with the pop-up. I ended up creating a shape that I could fold into cranes.

I love the simplicity and creativity of this book. The triangle structure is unusual, but it fits so nicely into the covers. I can't wait to use it for an actual artist's book.

Another simple, but effective book structure is this Pocket Accordion with Separate Cover. I had fun coming up with the cat closure.

The Crown Greeting Card is lovely and easy to make.

I have made many Blizzard Books over the years; it was one of the first Hedi Kyle structures I learned. I never thought to create this kind of structure though. Thank goodness for Hedi and this book!

The Telescoping Ziggurat was a new structure to me and I enjoyed folding it and creating two pieces from one structure by cutting the very long strip of paper on the diagonal so that it rises up like a tower.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Paper + Embroidery

I am trying out a new (to me) art form; embroidery. But since it is me I am embroidering on paper, photographs and maybe money. I was inspired by a picture of an embroidered envelope I saw on a video. I like using paper as it is stiff and doesn't require a hoop to hold it in place, but care must be taken when making holes as too many will cause the paper to tear. Here are my results so far.



My first attempt at embroidery on paper. 

Practicing French knot and leaf shapes on scrap paper before trying them on the envelope.

What about embroidering on a photograph?

It's a bit messy, but it works.

The long stitches in the background are my attempt at the Japanese Sashiko technique. More practice is needed, but I like the results so far. What do you think?

Saturday, July 14, 2018

TInception: or Binding a Tin into a Book

I ordered some beautiful eco-dyed silk noil from Tierney Barden last week and she sent some extra goodies along in the package. One of them was a little yellow tea tin and when I saw it I knew that I wanted to try binding it into a book. I got the idea from Andrea Matus DeMeng in her Propsero's Books class last month. When she was teaching us the coptic stitch she said she had bound a mint tin into a book. I was intrigued and wanted to try it myself.

My daughter Lila saw the first book and joked that I should bind a tin book that fits inside another larger tin and so on, hence the title of this blog and the title of the book she inspired: TInception.

I hope you like the pictures.


Mica and Tintype photo cover for my first tea tin bound book.

Coptic stitch is used to sew the signatures and tin together.

Book parts ready to be sewn.

The finished book. I actually resewed this book (not shown) as I made some adjustments on the second one that I wanted to incorporate in this one as well.

Signature on left and tin on right.

Back of the tin and the next signature.

The tin contains some bits Tierney sent me and 3 pamphlet stitched booklets.

Tin contents.

Another signature in the book. I like using vintage papers and photos to give books a sense of time and place.

More book pages/signatures.

TInception; for each book level you descend it becomes an order of magnitude harder to bind! The top level book measures 4 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches.

The bound tin (right).

Book two inside book one. This book measures 2 3/8 x 1 5/8 x 3/4 inches.

The tin bound in book two (right).

Tin book three measures 1 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1/2 inches. I could only put on a front and back cover before running out of room in the larger tin. It was still the hardest one to bind.

All three books showing their relative sizes.

The 3 little books bound and nestled inside the final tin.

All 3 books showing the photos and mica covers.

The binding of each book.

I used mica and antique writing from autograph books or inscriptions from old books as the back covers. I love the way the natural mica has inclusions that look like ink spots.