Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Hit the bricks

This weekend I'll be participating in two events, and in an effort to make something very "provincial" I thought of the many quarries that are located within about a 50 mile radius of here. Some of the greatest limestone is within the region; I guess those deposits are remnants of the great glacial Lake Agassiz or some other geological wonder. Fred Flinstone would know more about that than moi so I won't continue on in that vein.

In preparing some of my 'art' items, I did, however, attempt to keep within the theme of one event. It is the St. Andrew's Harvest Fair, and the history of St. Andrews (in Manitoba) is one that I am fairly interested in. The area is around the Red River and is quite nearby. In actuality, Bunn's Creek, for which our street is named, flows right into the river less than a mile away.

During the last decade of my formal teaching career, I really concentrated on teaching about the social aspects of the Red River Settlers in the early 1800's. Lower Fort Garry is a national historic fort and is right in the midst of the St. Andrews region. I loved spending time discussing the location and business of the Forts in and around Red River, and the collaborative efforts of the aboriginals who supported the early settlements. About twenty years ago, I created a walking tour of the area of Winnipeg known as "The Forks" and took my classes on those field trips. One year, we wrote a play, complete with poetry and music, (with another artist in the school) and in another year, students from my class won prizes for their posters they made while participating in an event sponsored by the Hudson's Bay Company, when it was still entirely Canadian. I miss that kind of interaction now that I am not teaching full time, as the kid's participating in those kinds of events gave them a real connection to their subject fields. I hope it also helped the history to come alive for them.

This week, I created this artist journal, a little different from the kind I usually make. I used a ready-made journal and simply (well not really simply) covered the front and back in polymer clay. The coil binding was relatively easy to remove and put back, so that saved a little time from the normal Coptic binding I use. For the front cover, I attempted to make it look like some of the limestone or naturally occuring rock of the area, since when the original St. Andrews area was settled, most of the settlements used this stone for the larger edifices. Unfortunately, it looks a little like some bathroom tiles. (Maybe that was the influence of the renovations being done in one of our bathrooms this week, lol.) I didn't use a particular 'limestone' recipe for mixing the clay, and the blocks of stone are a little off, but I the next ones I make will be more like the real thing, fingers crossed.

Since St. Andrew's Harvest Fair will be located near the rectory of the historic church, I guess one could actually call this "an altared book", if you catch my drift.


Vanessa said...

I like the journal Pat very masculine looking. By the way I recently mad my first book cover. Hop on over and have a look.

Mixed Media Martyr said...

How does the clay stick to the premade cover, Pat? Or does clay just stick to whatever it is lying on?! Gee, wish there were some polymer clay classes around here I could go to! I never thought of making covers with clay. I just thought of beads and buttons, and little ornaments, I guess! Thanks for an entertaining blog!