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January 14, 2013

staged reading: March

by gl. at 2:03 pm

i'm directing a staged reading for fertile ground! it's a play at the intersection of art and science, one of my favorite places. it's a complex script with a strong female protagonist created by a female playwright.


MARCH by Kate Belden
Sunday, January 27, 2013 • 1-3 p.m.
Hipbone Studio: 1847 E. Burnside Street #104

Margery Dawson is a neuroanatomist, a PhD in how the brain works. But hers isn't. Hers is having a stroke. And though she's too busy to have one, and certainly too busy for history, family, or a relationship, all of them are happening. Right here, right now.

Described as fugue for three voices, MARCH is a play that looks at an experience as the brain does. Seemingly disjointed, but perhaps the most accurate description of what truly happened.


and this is the video that inspired the play!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: other art

February 15, 2010

antimony valentine

by sven at 7:00 am

"antimony" necklace

For Valentine's Day this year I made Gretchin an "Antimony" necklace.

Gunnerkrigg Court

Our favorite online comic lately has been Gunnerkrigg Court. The main character's name is Antimony ("Annie"), and she wears a necklace like the one I made.

pieces of the necklace

The necklace is made from nine pieces of stainless steel. I cut, milled, bent, brazed, dremeled, and filed the thing into being… Including that ring at the top, which required building a special jig.

brazing it all together

I'm really excited by this project — it's the first time I've actually made a piece of metal jewelry from scratch… It brought together a lot of self-taught metal-working skills from the past few years.

posted by sven | permalink | categories: other art

November 16, 2009

jewelry cabinet

by sven at 7:00 am

I've been meaning to share photos of this jewelry cabinet I made for Gretchin's birthday back in August.

It's 2' wide by 2' tall and hangs on the wall like a painting. It has 78 regular hooks for necklaces, and 39 circular hooks for earrings.

The exterior is decorated with strips of moulding that I found at Home Depot. I wanted to create the impression of a something plain, almost architectural -- which when opened leads to a universe of magic and whimsy.

Clamping pieces while wood glue dries, the wire in back hidden by side panels, screws heads hidden in milled holes… This is the most sophisticated piece of carpentry I've attempted.

I've got mixed feelings. It's bulky, and the dimensions for hanging necklaces is a little off. But Gretchin's getting good use out of it -- that's a win.

posted by sven | permalink | categories: other art

June 26, 2009

wiping the slate clean

by gl. at 6:15 pm

it's been a very long time since i've posted, and it looks to me like if i wait for the perfect time to give each item the post it deserves, i will never post again.

during the holidays, at the masarie curry party, marta said i changed her life: she attended a collage night once and makes one every day now. it's not often you get to hear something so dramatic or sincere!

but it's been hard because a bunch of awkward things happened at once. my focus has shifted to include arts organizations. i've been spending a surprising amount of time & energy supporting medical causes. my own art has re-embraced theatre. a lot of people have died (including lane, my mom & sven's grandfather). my primary art support group collapsed. my photo routine is broken. the economy shook us. in short, things are in flux.

since sven & i are about to go on a long summer trip, i'd like to tie up some loose ends so when i return, i can start with a clean slate: i'm still searching for the next surge of momentum but i can't move forward if i'm still looking back. so here are some things that have happened over the last year i'm not going to write much about but that are worth mentioning & recording:

at the little things show, i picked up a prayer flag by jennifer mercedes because of its title: "a prayer for an inspiring future." yes, please. see you soon.

[gl. as The Lyon in A Midsommer Nights Dreame]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: administrivia, classes & workshops, exhibits & events, miscellany, other art, printing, trixie, writing

April 1, 2009


by sven at 7:00 am

micro-collage #1

I've developed a new collage form: micro-collages.

Here's how it works: Go online and use Google Images searches, Flickr, National Geographic's website, etc.… Collect lots and lots of images. Collect ones that appeal to you for whatever reason, based on gut instinct -- try to avoid searching for images based on preconception (e.g. "I need a picture of a tree here"). If you have a Mac, you can use "Preview" to print out 16 images per page, each the size of a postage stamp.

Most collage methods have you overlapping images… You could do that here, but because the pictures are so small, I found I wanted space between them so they remained legible. Even so, the juxtapositions created by putting images next to one another are plain.


Why this method?

a) to conserve space
When I took Sara Swink's Two Day Creative Process Workshop back in January, I decided to push my own limits and try making a "mega-collage." Rather than fill up the rectangle of a blank page, I just started in the middle and worked my way outward. The 6'x4' monstrosity that resulted is far richer with imagery than most collages I've done -- but there's no good way to store it. By using 1"x1" images to start with, I can put the same amount of visual information into a normal sketchbook spread.

micro-collage #2

b) to use the internet as an image resource
People who do collaging regularly tend to have stacks and stacks of magazines… But the good stuff starts getting thinned out over time. I figured there must be a way to make use of the internet to find new material. It's a little tricky to get truly random images via Google. I tried using random word generators to help with this; also just doing searches based on words that popped to mind. Flicker, I found, has better randomizing applications -- it's easy to surf from collection to collection.

A side benefit of doing image collection digitally: you get to keep your original image files and use them again in future collages if you find something you really like.

micro-collage #3

c) juxtapositions are the spark of creativity
It's hard to think of an original idea off the top of your head. Visual prompts really help get the juices flowing. What's more, when you you have a large selection of random materials to work with, you just can't help but make highly personal discoveries. It's like tarot cards: you start reading your own psyche into the unexpected juxtapositions.

Personally, I've found that this method is fantastic for helping me generate story ideas for playwriting and fiction. I wrote the play "The Astronaut & The Nude" based on micro-collage #1. Proof of concept. I'm eager to do more writing based on the other two pieces.

posted by sven | permalink | categories: other art, sketchbook

June 23, 2008

paintbrush holder

by sven at 9:42 pm

Two weeks ago I built this paintbrush holder. While I'm waiting for animation to render, sometimes I use the time to work on a "B project." This project was one of those.

The top is made of clear acrylic. There are divots in the base to help keep the brushes from sliding out of place.

And yes, I've put matching labels on the brushes and in front of their respective holes. Anal? Well...

Toward the end of Monster Month 2007, I decided that I wanted to invest in a bunch of decent brushes in different sizes, but all of the same brand (Winsor Newton). Prior to this, I'd been using a completely random array of brushes...

I want to move in the direction of understanding what distinguishes one brush from another. Making a holder that forces me to think about what brush I'm reaching for is part of this process.

posted by sven | permalink | categories: other art, painting

April 1, 2008

brain wrapping paper

by sven at 7:00 am

My brother and his partner just got married. It was zombie-themed wedding. ...I know it's April Fool's day -- but folks, I'm not making this up!

brain wrapping paper

What do zombies love most? BRAINS! It seemed a moral imperative to me that we do this right... So I hand-painted brain wrapping paper and brought it on the plane with me to Tucson.

"i love you more than zombies love brains"

Our wedding gift to Shield & Aiyana: A set of dishes that say "i love you more than zombies love brains."

Gretchin gets credit for the amazing find. What's more, Meredith, the maker of these dishes has quit making them because she's in grad school now -- Gretchin convinced her to make an exception for our special occasion! Better yet, Aiyana already knew about these things... She'd wanted to get the dishes herself -- but had been sorely disappointed to discover they weren't being sold anymore.

Things worked out great!

brain box

Here's the box of dishes, all wrapped up to look like a cubical brain.

cake toppers

And did Shield and Aiyana have the standard bride and groom atop their cake? HA! Of course they saw to that detail. :)

posted by sven | permalink | categories: other art

January 6, 2008


by gl. at 3:32 pm

last year one of my new year's resolutions was "learn how to make an origami box." origami appeals to me because it doesn't require cutting or measuring, a major downfall for other forms of papercraft. so i hopped on amazon, bought a book & some origami paper, couldn't make the pieces fit together and gave up. so on new year's eve i wanted to give it another try, and i am happy to say i made 6 of them!


in addition to the ones in the above photo, i also made one with all the colors for sven to celebrate the completion of "a word from professor ichbonnsen." we both finished our projects at approximately the same time, with 15 minutes to get dressed in warm clothing, find the umbrella straws for the mini bottles of champagne, and run to the top of the hill to watch portland shimmer with midnight fireworks.

this year one of my resolutions is "make a perfect-bound book." wish me luck!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: other art

September 20, 2007

what's next

by gl. at 11:53 am

in may i created this collage, but it was incomplete because i had wanted to add a jumble of letters in the space above "next." the transfer letters i bought at art media were a complete waste and i was frustrated because i couldn't get them to, you know, transfer.

["so goodnight" in may]

then i went to an art supply swap at 100th monkey and scored some old transfer letters, and i was thrilled & relieved that these slid off the page like satin. so i have been keeping them with this project on my art desk in the hopes i could return to it in spare moments between appointments or before events. i rarely return to old projects, but this time it finally worked!

["so goodnight" final]

this is much more like what i had in my head when i created this, especially when i realized i was influenced by nathan, whose mom died at the time i was first working on this. looking at them now i like them both: visually the first one is appealing, but the second one means more to me. i think it's interesting to see how much the bingo paper has aged between the first step and the second. this certainly isn't archival paper! ;)

btw, there's another art suply swap coming up oct07 and i encourage you to go see what interesting things find their way home to you. i wish i could go, but i'll be in england, seeing the completion of expedition 360, which i've been involved with for over 8 years!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: other art

July 16, 2007

stay awake

by gl. at 10:03 pm

way, way back in december, a former artist's way client asked if sven & i would sing a song for an album she was making, an album of lullabyes for her friend's young son. carol brought us a copy of the album when we hosted the edible book tea in march, and we were delighted and proud (and a little self-conscious) to listen to the CD.

we chose to sing "stay awake" from mary poppins, based on an acappella version by suzanne vega. though sven plays a spirited piano, neither of us are professional singers and it shows, but carol was a total sweetheart to work with. we sang it at least 4 or 5 times, even trying a version where sven tried to harmonize by listening to a recording of me singing alone.

and while i still find it a little embarrasing, i chose to sing and i offer it here for two reasons:

  1. i want to support people who want to make things. so if someone wants me to sing, who am i to refuse? i'm thrilled carol created this album; anything to help her make music is a gift i'm happy to provide.

  2. i think we should all do creative things from time to time that we feel we can't do: not in public, not where other people might see, not in front of an audience!

[unter anshel's vigele: click the image to hear "stay awake"!]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: artist's way, other art

June 30, 2007

muse talk art reception review

by gl. at 11:59 pm

the muse talk art reception last week went really well! there were about 50 people there, which i think is pretty respectable for a coffeehouse show. i was especially pleased (and surprised!) to see so many people i knew: special thanks to kristen & todd; jennifer, julie & evan; toni & matt; mary knight & her friend; and seamus & his family. in addition, sven & michaelmas were there, and leeann was visiting from california! i very much appreciated the support! (alas, kim was sick, serena was at the vet, and anna was at a bridal shower. but i appreciated your good thoughts, too.)

[part of the crowd]

one of the great things about this show is that we had an opportunity for perfomances in addition to visual art. so i read the "birthday poetry" series i began when i was 25 and still in colorado. i try to write a poem every year as the first thing i do when i wake up on the morning of my birthday. sometimes the date slips a little, but this ritual turned out to be very important when i was languishing in california, or i wouldn't have written anything at all.

i was afraid it might be too much: 9 poems over 8 years, 3 states and 2 countries: all in 15 minutes! i wrote the transitions out beforehand because i knew i didn't have time to ramble. but i was very pleased (and relieved!) with how well it went: i heard audience responses in all the right places and several people came to talk to me afterwards times to recall similar situations & emotions.

[reading 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32 & 33]

and then, as if that wasn't enough, i volunteered to be "water" in the "salmon dance"! who can resist the swirly scarves? i certainly couldn't. a tribute to the lifecycle of the salmon, alisa created the dance a few years ago with a much larger group, so this was a much smaller reprise. still, her handmade salmon sculptures are amazing, and the large windows were great to illuminate them (though they also produced terribly backlit pix, as you may have noticed).

[wandering water]

oh, and i also have a couple of pieces in the visual arts show. :) the art show will remain up until july 24, so stop by to see these two pieces, which are tucked in the back by the big comfy couch. and feel free to buy the work of one of the other artists! *nudge*

["advice" and "a grace it had, devouring"]

this was fat straw's first art show, and throughout the planning process we could tell the owner was pretty dubious and wasn't willing to help or answer many questions. his tune began to change when the newspapers we sent press releases to began to call, and on the day of the show fat straw was very busy serving drinks & snacks. he was very intently watching the performances and afterwards he said he was impressed with the all the arts & the work we did to set up the show. hooray!

[fat straw sign]

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: calligraphy, exhibits & events, other art, writing

June 15, 2007

wish upon a star

by gl. at 1:34 am

look what i made at the lov.li fair june 03!

[shown roughly actual size]

jennifer wells had a make-and-take art glass table: you made something, she'd take it to her studio and fuse it. i thought she was a very good teacher: all tools were provided, and she gave you a brief but thorough demonstration of how to cut glass and prepare the piece for fusing. she was also quite amenable to questions without seeming irritated or hovering. i've never worked in glass before but i was surprised to create something i liked so much! (i tried several different combinations before deciding i wanted to make a scarlet star.)

at the fair, i also picked up a couple of beautifully made books made with scraps from the artist's etchings. extra special decadent bonus cookies to diane for making it all happen!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: other art

April 30, 2007

wordwear at spring art sale sunday!

by gl. at 12:07 am

it will be a busy week! in addition to the emergence show on friday, i'll also be participating in the spring art sale at 100th monkey on sunday.

you haven't heard much about wordwear lately, but i'm still happily making them for clients. i am still delighted by how much they inspire people! the spring art sale is the week before mother's day, which allows you to choose something personal, inspirational & affordable for her this year while supporting local artists! i'd love to see you there, and if the weather is good, that just gives you that much more of an excuse. :)

i plan on making more wordwear this week & setting up a mini-station to create custom wordwear for customers that day, so they can browse my selection or bring something personally meaningful & truthful for me to make a piece they can take home that day! i worry about not having enough to sell: i'm going to ask if anyone in the sacred circle wants to have stuff on the table, too, but otherwise may try the "creativity encouragement" supplies again. wish i had more toby-like critters (though he may come along as a jewelry display :).

(i forgot to mention, that 100th monkey had wordwear on commission at their art store in january, which led to a custom commission. i also donated a necklace to their scholarship auction.)

since i've begun making wordwear i've learned to make the letters clearer (especially As), discovered you can salvage misturned letters simply by stamping over them again, and that the best technique to color the letters is by quickly rubbing off the initial rub'n'buff excess, then go in later for detail work (i was leaving a thick coat of rub'n'buff on till it all dried).

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: exhibits & events, other art

March 17, 2007

open studio second anniversary & edible book tea

by gl. at 9:17 pm

beware the ideas of march! the open studio second anniversary & edible book tea contained a wonderful range of "books": creative & tasty non-fiction, poetry, journals and reference materials. it's sort of an odd anniversary: we've actually had artist's way events for over 3 years, but the first open studio, where we branched out into regular events, was two years ago.

i printed excerpts of "eating poetry" by mark strand onto crepes using a gocco machine w/ chocolate sauce. i wanted to make an interactive piece so everyone could print their own crepe. gocco-ing with chocolate was one of those things i knew was theoretically possible, but i couldn't find anyone who had done it before. shu-ju mentions trying some tests for the iprc text ball, but it didn't work out.

in all i spent about 15 hours working out the details of the gocco chocolate-printing process, which i'll write about in another post. i was a little nervous, epecially when my first experiments earlier in the week were dubious. so when we printed the first crepe at the event, i was thrilled and relieved to discover it had worked!

["eating poetry" setup]

[gocco crepe print: click the image to see the other edible books!]

also, it's one thing to make a technically edible book, but to make a tasty edible book is even harder. crepes, homemade whipped cream & strawberries are delicious even without poetry. :)

our next guided intent event features dayna collins, a former artist's way creative cluster member! she's really doing great work in salem, and when i saw the matchbox shrines she made during the virtual open studio in january, i knew they would be perfect for the last theme in the guided intent series, which is faith:

"Faith is an essential component of our art. We should all have a holy reminder of our commitment to create, helping us pray for guidance & courage. So come create tiny matchbox shrines to celebrate & believe in our arts! "Faith" is the last of the Guided Intent series before we begin the cycle anew. So I am thrilled to announce our first guest facilitator for a Guided Intent: Dayna Collins, who is one of our own members!

"Dayna is a collage, assemblage, and mosaic artist and is the founder of Alley Art, an eclectic art style that incorporates collage with 3D mixed media on bowling pins! She facilitates Artist's Way groups in Salem. Dayna offers workshops on a variety of topics in Portland, Salem, and Sisters, and works part-time as a counselor at Serenity Lane. Her passion is helping others discover their own creativity and living a life filled with joy."

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: artist's way, other art

February 14, 2007


by sven at 11:59 pm

valentine's day "card"

For Valentine's Day, for Gretchin, I made this "card"...

The two sides sides of the card are 1/4" thick hardboard which I cut out with a small hobby saw, then filed and sanded. Gesso, midnight blue acrylic paint, then a transparent bright blue -- sponged on with an old kitchen sponge. The heart form is about 4" across.


The nails for the little brass hinge were too long, so I used the grinder to shorten and re-sharpen them. The pieces of red felt are glued down with matt gel medium. The dots around the red hearts are acrylic. The red paint is transparent -- so I made dots of white first, then painted over them.

The letters are plastic beads. They were too thick, so I used the grinder again to thin them down.

Yay! A fun little holiday project... Happy Valentine's Day everyone!

posted by sven | permalink | categories: other art

happy birthday, blog!

by gl. at 8:00 am

believe it or not, we've only had "the Scarlet Letters" for two years. can you feel the love? :) the studio's been around longer than that, of course. i was happy to get sven & i writing in the same space, even though we write about things so differently.

thanks to susan, i finally got to make valentines for locals this year! every year i say i'm going to but i never do. (maybe next year that means the 'moes will get one, too!). after the virtual open studio last month, susan offered to host a valentine-making party at her house. hooray! this is just one of the valentines i made: i got to experiment with a lot of different styles and materials.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: administrivia, other art

February 13, 2007

visual journaling

by gl. at 11:54 pm

on monday i went to a free visual journalling group at collage. i thought it would be a small, meditative group, but it turned out to be over 15 people packed into collage's back room making soul collage cards. that really threw me for a loop: i didn't sign up for soul collage! i was also a little miffed because i had asked if we should bring anything and they said "no," so i packed oil pastels and watercolor pencils just in case -- but scissors and glue were sort of necessary! it also turns out their version of visual journaling is more akin to art journals & altered books than the technique i'm more familiar with.

later they told me they do a different technique each week, and i ended up liking what i got, so i'll go back. i met some new people, made art i'm fond of, and it's conveniently located on my way home from ppcw. :)

[trapped between two worlds]

"i am the one who is trapped between two worlds. i am the one with the weight of the world on her hollow bird shoulders. i am the one who sees stars inside and out. i am the one who wonders what's out there."

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: other art, sketchbook

January 2, 2007

meet toby!

by gl. at 11:16 am

look who i met, i mean, made, monday. it's toby!

toby has a big mouth and wild gesticulating arms. he's forever shouting in a loud british accent, much like robin leach or gerard manley hopkins (or at least, that's how i pretend to hear gerard manley hopkins' voice in my head). toby comes from a species that has four arms, so he's a freak even among freaks. but he has a heart almost as big as his armspan and he just needs "a little help, please!" to stand upright.

someone in another meetup group invited me to create stupid sock creatures last night. there were a million reasons not to go (not the smallest of which is that i had to create and print 200 artist's way flyers for the next day). but i was curious because when i had saw the original stupid sock creatures site a year or two ago i began saving up my holey socks (which striped socks, especially, develop at an alarming rate). and i have a guided art night next month that will incorporate the fluffy faceless dolls from the art swap, so i wanted to see how someone else ran a fiber art event.

i've never made anything like toby before. i'm not generally good with 3d items and i've never really sewed before. i used an incredibly irregular whipstitch (?), embroidery floss and a blunt tapestry needle.

oh, look, now toby has a friend! toby's already made friends w/ arwen, too.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: other art, toby

November 20, 2006

holiday sale nov26

by gl. at 10:12 pm

so i decided to do another holiday sale to see if the first one, which i considered pretty successful, was a fluke. :)

the women's business showcase: holiday spirit! will be at mcmenamin's kennedy school, which is a lovely artful place to be. this sale is HUGE in comparison to the dinnergrrls event: it takes up the whole kennedy school "gym" and several smaller surrounding rooms (which is where i'll be with a half-sized table).

i'll be focusing on making more of the wordwear that was so popular at the last sale as well as calligraphic art and hand-made wrapping paper. in addition, i'll be offering creativity encouragement supplies and pocketfuls of wishes. as an extra special bonus, i am also happily featuring art boxes from the remarkable renata dolnick!

What: Women's Business Showcase: Holiday Spirit!

When: Sunday, November 26th, 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m.

Where: McMenamin's Kennedy School: 5736 NE 33rd

thanksgiving weekend is supposed to be the biggest holiday shopping date, but i encourage you to skip the crowds and support local women-owned businesses instead!

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: exhibits & events, other art

November 6, 2006

dinnergrrls holiday bazaar

by gl. at 1:30 am

the dinnergrrls event was much better than i expected. as usual, sven was a blessing: he helped make that cool banner, cut (& in some cases, ironed) large amounts of paper, mounted some small calligraphy pieces, attached business cards to bags and helped with the arrangement of the table.

it was a month's worth of shopping & diligent taskmastering to create collage packs, daily doodle journals, daily writing journals, inspiration packs, jewelry, wrapping paper, calligraphy tiles, flyers, instructions & packaging. i also hand-selected a couple of artists to display their work at the table too: the amazing alesia zorn & the creative anna magruder! i thought i would get some of my own cards printed, but alas, that was not to be this year.

but one of the highlights of this very long preparation process was discovering how much i love the metal letter punches to make jewelry! i mean, really, lovelovelove.

[3 necklaces: "those who wish to sing always find a song," "be the change you wish to see," "the stars shine even when we can't see them"]

some of these are general inspirational quotes and some of them are from my own poetry, which i find even more appealing.

[bracelet: "i am here to be heard"]

even better, all of the jewelry sold! to be fair, i loved the "stars" piece so much i'm wearing it myself, but someone asked me to make one for her this week, and someone else asked me to make the "song" piece for her after that. yay!

i wasn't surprised so little of my other stuff sold, even though sales for alesia & anna were pretty strong. it's less adaptable for holiday sales or gift-giving, but i had to try. my primary purpose was to encourage people to make & buy art, and in that sense i think i succeeded. but one of my available impulse purchases was very popular: i bought a bunch of "wish tokens" because they're the kind of thing i would be charmed by if i was a customer, and i almost sold out of them! wish tokens are small metal disks w/ stars punched out of them. they were easy to add to purchases people were already making, and even people who didn't buy anything else couldn't resist one, but often they were bought in two or more clusters. because who doesn't want a special wish for the new year? :D

my only disappointment was that the announcement of the sale on the events list caused three people to unsubscribe, including two people i would have liked to have stayed connected to. if you can't promote yourself on your own events list, where can you do it?

but all in all, this was a good introduction to november & i hope i made the holidays a little brighter for someone. now i just have some followup to do and to catch up on everything i pushed back in order to make this deadline....

i want to end with many extra special cookies & thanks to people who came to visit: michaelmas, grace, anna, ppcw colleen, kori, emma, sven, mph & bridget. sorry i didn't get to talk to you longer, but i very much appreciate your support! *blows kisses*

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: exhibits & events, other art

May 20, 2006

mhcc visual arts student show reception

by gl. at 10:03 am

the reception for the mhcc visual arts student show was thursday. we hadn't gotten in the door very far before marti saw us and took us to what i call the "calligraphy ghetto" for unmounted pieces. most of my pieces were there because she ask me to participate at the very last minute, so i hadn't managed to frame any of the pieces. but very few of any of the calligraphy pieces were framed this year, and so most of the submissions were in this glass case. fortunately, born was already framed thanks to sven's amazing foamcore & copper wire creation, which marti loved and was showing off to everyone. (ooo, and worth mentioning: i sold "born" even before the show began! yeah!)

[the "calligraphy ghetto" for unmounted pieces]

last year the calligraphy pieces were more integrated into the rest of the show, which is a mix of all the different arts mhcc has to offer: sculpture, design, pottery (the pottery studio has a ton of wood stacked in front of it for the wood-fired kiln this weekend), drawing, painting, metalworking & jewelry. marti has almost convinced sven to take a metal-working class, in fact, as she led us away from the reception and down to the studio to show its array of delicious tools & enamels. will he resist the temptation? kim graham's sculpting class is most important right now, but maybe next year... ;)

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: calligraphy, exhibits & events, other art

February 14, 2006

happy birthday, blog!

by gl. at 11:22 am

though the studio's been around for a while, we finally got the blog going one year ago today. can you feel the love? :)

iris-fold heart

this is part of an iris-fold card i made sven for valentine's day. (michaelmas got a cthulhu valentine card.) happy valentine's day, everyone! me, i'll be working on a piece for the 4x4 art show. and a few other art deadlines that have snuck up on me and caused me to carefully manage my time this week.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: administrivia, other art

November 22, 2005

mhcc calligraphy: class 8

by gl. at 10:07 pm

we did some versals in this session, but i was much more interested in seeing how the pastepaper we made in the last session turned out.

pastepaper is just acrylic paint mixed into cellulose-based art paste and applied to paper: in this case, arches text wove, which i find frustrating for calligraphy but excellent for pastepaper. pastepaper is often designed to be used in bits & pieces, but i find i am fondest of the ones that seem to be complete pieces in and of themselves.

it turns out i made 16 pieces. i can't scan three of the blue ones because i made the mistake of adding a copious amount of glitter to them, which makes them sparkle like a frosty winter twilight (the intended effect), but also gets on the other pieces and the scanner and the floor and the table and my clothes (the unintended effect). in fact, the pieces you see here all had some glitter shed on them, and since it was large salt-flake sized glitter, often it would pool, creating tiny dark rings and light spots where i wouldn't want them. and then they'd flake off and i would have to dust the scanner between each piece.

none of these were planned compositions; i just mixed colors and put them on the paper to see what happened.

  1. yellow wave (excerpt): this was the first piece i made and the paper is probably 4-8 times bigger than this. interesting note: all the pieces below were done with the same red, blue & yellow you see here.

  2. purple noodle (excerpt): this is another excerpt before i began tearing the paper into smaller pieces to be able to experiment faster. ("get through your first 50 failures as quickly as possible."). the pattern is just fingerpainting with some plastic fork happening in the lower left corner.

  3. greengold center: that's gold leaf in the middle. i was surprised to discover it stayed on remarkably well with just water & art paste.

  4. red flowers: i wasn't tearing the paper especially carefully. :) if i could make changes to this one i would remove the odd brown streak angling from the blue swirls, because otherwise i'm quite fond of the composition. another experiment in gold leaf at the bottom, though the red spots have gold paint centers.

  5. flag: i brought some silver ink and wanted to see what it would do.

  6. fish stamp: marti brought some stamps so i played with them. i used something called "colorblock" on top of the fish, hoping it would let me paint on top of it and later peel off like frisket. alas, that didn't work, and when we used the hot press to flatten the pieces, it melted and stuck to the press padding. so what's colorblock good for? i have no idea.

  7. secret: more playing w/ stamps, this time a letter block i used -after- put color down, trying to achieve a subtle tone-on-tone effect. then i tried writing a word in it, then i tried drawing a heart and adding gold leaf to it. none of these effects worked as planned, and it was especially embarassing to discover i had drawn the heart upside down.

  8. noise: undaunted, i tried laying the alphabet stamp block down first (using leftover paintpaste from "secret"). much better. there's a subtle gold wash in the center.

  9. abc: i wanted to try writing in the paste again. much better. this is bookhand, btw. i know the "b" is a little wide & the bowl is sloppy.

  10. soundwaves: i decided to try a traditional pastepaper tool: a notched comb with squared teeth. i don't usually like the texture it makes, but in this case i'm quite fond of the overlapping ripples.

  11. yellow weave: another "traditional" pastepaper approach, i was charmed by its sunny simplicity. somebody set their dark blue piece to dry too close to mine, so it has some bluegreen edges.

  12. yellow stripes: one last try with the comb. eh.

  13. raspberry swirl: nothing special here: i think i used a plastic fork for the swirls but it wasn't as pretty as i'd hoped.

of course, now i have to use all this somehow; i still have three pieces of pastepaper from when i first made pastepaper in san diego. i'm hoping that because i made much more this time, i won't feel each piece is as precious and i'll be able to find interesting ways to use it.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: calligraphy, classes & workshops, other art

March 11, 2005

red76: blow back

by gl. at 11:40 pm

reed had an ephemera exhibit from red76's ny public archive project. it was unfortunately spread between the kaul auditorium & the library (kaul had more of a "history & background" flavour while the library actually showcased some of the actual items gathered by the project). and alas, like most ephemera exhibits, it was hampered by the glass that separated you from it. but the actual project itself is very cool & is another nudge towards my idea for distributing a "thoughtful alphabet" about town.

posted by gl. | permalink | categories: exhibits & events, other art