I try to make holiday cards each year for friends and family, but I must be a dying breed as I seem to get fewer and fewer cards each year. I thought I would share some pictures of past cards and this year's as well. Enjoy.
It's December and I have been so busy that this is the first time I am sitting down to blog in a month. I have been a member ofSan Diego Book Arts for 14 years and next year is our 20th anniversary as an art organization. To commemorate this achievement a group of 40 members got together several times this year to create a collaborative art project (CAP). Each person created a piece based on member Diane Gage's moon haiku. The art was photographed and reproduced on 9 x 12 paper to be bound into books for an exhibit celebrating the anniversary. I did not create an art work for the book, but was asked to bind a book as a fundraiser for the project. Below are images of my book in progress. I based the structure on Elizabeth Steiner's Moeraki Boulders, which is bound through the middle of the pages. I created binding strips from a second set of prints of the book so that there is interplay between the works and their companions. I hope you like the results as much as I do.
Last week I shared my paper adventures in Kyoto. This week I want to introduce you to Tokyo's Origami Kaikan (Origami Center) which is a six floor building dedicated to all things origami. After perusing the lobby showroom of classes offered, I climbed the stairs to the second floor gallery where there was a wonderful display of armored cavalrymen. Then it was up to the third floor to soak up all of the papers. There were packaged origami squares in all colors and sizes as well as racks and flat files of large sheets of chiyogami paper. I spent quite a bit of time looking through them and only seeing one or two that I can get here in the States. As I was paying for my purchases the clerk informed me that the director, Kazuo Kobayashi would be down to do some demonstrations soon and would I like to stay. Of course I stayed and was entertained (despite not knowing any Japanese) for the better part of an hour while Sensei Kobayashi folded and cut many samples for the Year of the Monkey. He was a revelation to me as he didn't fold anything precisely nor did he look at what he was folding often. It was astonishing to see him create such beautiful results in such an imprecise manner. He kindly gave me the rose and leaf pictured below which took him about a minute to make, all the while chatting to the gathered crowd.
I eventually tore myself away from the demonstration and wandered up to the fourth floor where you can watch them paint paper and hang it to dry. The fifth and sixth floors are reserved for classes and as I wasn't signed up for any I skipped them. I left full of ideas and a renewed passion for origami.
I hope you enjoy the images below from this lovely paper destination in Tokyo.
First floor display.
Displays on the way up to the gallery. The above "plant" is made entirely of folded cranes.
Calvary of folded paper in the second floor gallery.
Men dying paper mustard yellow and red on the fourth floor.
I recently took a trip to Japan, a paper lover's paradise. My husband and I spent a week in Kyoto visiting gardens, temples, shrines and other local sites. We also took a shinkansen or bullet train to Hiroshima to visit the Atomic Dome and Peace Park. I left one of my crane books, shown below at the Sadako memorial. Visiting Hiroshima was an incredibly moving experience.
Of course, the trip included visiting lots of paper shops. I went to Morita as well as Kira Karacho. Both are institutions in the Kyoto area where paper making has a very long history. Kira Karacho is a store founded by the a family of karakami makers that began in 1624. They produce traditional fusuma sliding doors and wallpaper, but Kira began this stationary store in 2004 as a way to reach new audiences. Antique wood blocks are used to print on washi paper.
It was while we were visiting the store for the second time that we noticed the small shopping arcade has a gallery on the third floor. It showcases artwork by students at Kyoto Seika University. We stopped in and noticed some handmade books in a side area. At first, I thought they were for sale, but as I looked around I realized it was a book arts exhibit. My husband quipped that only I could stumble upon a book arts exhibit 6000 miles from home. It was small, but lovely with a good
variety of books. Please enjoy the images and this brief description of an indescribably wonderful trip to Japan.
Crane book I made and left at the Peace Park memorial.
Sadako statue at the Hiroshima Peace Park.
The eternal flame with the Atomic Dome in the background, Hiroshima Peace Park.
I got to spend last Sunday afternoon with five talented women in my Cube Book Workshop. It was offered through San Diego Book Arts. We played a word game called The Exquisite Corpse to generate content for our books, colored our paper using Distress Inks and folded our way to finished cube shaped books. The books have 4 pages that are folded inserts and everyone used different colors and techniques to make their books unique. I hope seeing these pictures will inspire you to try this structure.
The red triangular book was made by my mom, Faye after I taught her the cube book structure. I am including the pictures so you get an idea of one of the many variations you can do with this folded work.
Faye's 3 tiered triangle book.
Nancy K's colored pages.
Linnea, Janis, and Jade use dye inks to color their paper.
Nancy K. and Nancy W. are hard at work coloring their paper.
I love eclipses, especially lunar ones as you can watch them without any special equipment. The eclipse on Sunday was one of the best. The moon rose almost fully eclipsed and I was able to take a few pictures before it got too dark and my basic camera reached the limits of its capabilities.
Not sure what happened in this one, but I kind of like it.
Seth Apter came to town this week to teach two workshops for San Diego Book Arts. I had the pleasure of taking "Cover to Cover" in which we used old book covers as pages for a mixed media book. I haven't done much mixed media in my art life, although I adore it. Seth made it both accessible and fun by breaking down the process into its component parts. We made many layers of color and texture that managed to form a cohesive whole when we were finished. Seth kept reminding us that an ugly page was just one layer away from beauty and if we didn't like something keep adding to it until we did. Good advice and a good mantra for life as well. Thanks Seth for a wonderful experience!