Years ago, my mother sent me some beautiful paper she had made. I wasn’t sure what to do with it at the time as it just wasn’t meant for letter writing, but when I rediscovered the paper about a month ago it was so obvious what I needed to do. It was time to make a book. I couldn’t use the pages for signatures, and the paper I had chosen for the covers was too thick for stab binding. After a bit of thinking, I decided to make an accordion-style book (but it’s also not quite an accordion book).
To begin, I measured and poked six holes along the tops and bottoms of the papers. (I took the photo at night, so apologies for the poor lighting.) Then I picked out some contrasting embroidery thread from my stash.
Then I stitched the pages together, leaving a bit of thread between the pages to allow room for folding. First along the top, then the bottom. I applied a tiny bit of super glue to the end knots for extra security.
Next, I made some wheatpaste (heating up one part flour, four parts water) and applied it to the inside of the covers, then affixed the first and last papers. I took two white sheets of paper (to protect the books) and then placed heavy books on top to keep things together and flat while the glue and paper dried.
Once the papers and covers were nicely stuck together, the covers weren’t quite as flat as I liked, so I put the book together and placed a heavy book on top again for several hours.
It’s been three months since I posted v1 of eyes and ears. And three months since any progress reports. But a lot has happened in that time — I definitely haven’t been lazy! First, I moved. Then I became very busy with (paid) work. Then I signed an employment contract (I’m still doing some freelance work, but considering I was only freelancing for over seven years, this is a BIG change). Then I spent a week in Vilnius with Jonas. Then I had the joy of dealing with a lice infestation. My first real holiday in many, many years started this evening, and my mother arrives for a visit on Tuesday (it’s been four years since she last visited me in Estonia and 1.5 years since we last saw each other at all). I’ve also completed a number of sketches and ceramic works (progress reports to come).
Well, anyway. Below is some inspiring art I discovered recently and keep going back to. It amazes me to gather these images and see what a coherent grouping they form together. I clearly have an interest in texture and in single/unified subjects.
From the Interstices textile series by Eleanor Anderson
Column of Akule (2006; photography) by Wayne Levin
Untitled (1977; black chalk on wove paper) by Martin Puryear
From the Abstraction series by Satsuki Shibuya
Symbol / manipulation (2009; mixed media painting) by Tomasa Martin
BALL/BOWL (1985; paper bowl with handmade string) by Kay Sekimachi
Study 133 (stainless steel wire and asphaltum) by Anne Mudge
Original Abstract. 7 (2010; watercolor, ink, pencil, string) by Stacey Rees
I didn’t really know what to call this post (which will be part of an ongoing series), so I just picked something rather than get hung up on it… This series is about what’s been inspiring me this week. It could be anything, but this time it’s music and some artwork I found via Pinterest…
I’m currently adoring this new album of Alfred Schnittke’s Complete Piano Music performed by Simon Smith. Q2 provides a nice overview of it, and they’re currently streaming it online.
I spend a lot of time on Pinterest, and I have to say it has been a wonderful source of inspiration and knowledge for me over the past year. I pin a number of images each week, but there are always a few that stay with me and I would like to highlight them here.
‘God’s Prototype: The Nature of Man: Lungs’ (2002; sticks, stones, graphite and gesso on wood) by Ian Crawley
Wire drawings of seeds by Steven Follen
‘Dancing with dots on thin lines’ (2013) by Leise Dich Abrahamsen
Self (1975-76) by Annegret Soltau
Folding by Eli Craven
What images or sounds have captured you lately?
The website isn’t fully up yet, but I don’t think that should keep me from blogging. Since the purpose of this blog is more or less to track my progress in life and art, I’ll give a little summary of what I’m working on. I hope to do this weekly.
A friend (hi Doris!) gave me a sweet gift when I saw her in Ghent a couple weeks ago. It’s called One Sketch A Day – A Visual Journal. I began using it on 1 April, and it’s been really nice. It’s a different kind of sketching than I’m used to (change is good!), since it has space for two sketches per page and there are size limitations and the paper is thin. So it is truly just for sketching and there’s no possibility of me using any of these as drawings for prints. Which is really freeing! I can try out different ideas without feeling pressure to produce anything amazing. One of the sketches I produced is possibly the worst thing I’ve ever drawn, but a few of the others work really well and will be redrawn. So far so good.
I’ve also been preparing for my next project, which will be embroidering a sketch I drew ages ago. I let Jonas pick it because I couldn’t decide, and since he has no idea about embroidery, he picked something rather challenging. Let’s just say that there will be lots of French knots. Blerg. Once I have progress photos to share, I will.
I will be opening a web shop in cooperation with my mother (who is my master printmaker). I have selected the initial drawings, and soon she’ll start printing. I’m guessing we’ll be open for business some time in the summer.
I’ve also finished two ceramic pieces, but I’m waiting for them to go to the kiln. I think I’ll pick them up in about two weeks. Once the results are in, I’ll do a full post about the pieces and the process.
On Saturday, I bought a beef tongue. It was over 1kg, so I’m still eating it. So far I’ve had it on a sandwich, sliced with beets and sauerkraut, and last night with rice and homemade salsa. There’s still enough left to feed two people. It’s been quite a project.
Draw the 5/4 sketch.
Buy a larger embroidery hoop.
Figure out what the hell to do with the rest of this tongue.
Use the stock made when boiling the tongue.