Wednesday, April 13, 2011

I am a Part of all that I have met

I remember that line from a poem that I had to study so long ago...I was thinking about it when I was making this composition.  Sometimes inspiration comes in little wee bits and not as an entire concept.  That is the story behind this little book. 

It's about 3" by 3", so rather small as far as journals go, but I have found that the larger ones are a bit cumbersome to make. I am afraid the clay might not withstand the larger flat size without some sort of wire interior, so I tend to make the books smaller these days.  Lately, most of my books do not exceed 5 inches in any one dimension.   I realize that is not ideal for their intended eventual use, but sometimes we have to deal with the 'dictates of the medium'.  (Or that is what my friend who believes in crystal ball reading tells me, lol)

This book may appear rather bland, but it does have a lot of 'background' to it.  The central focal part is an impression made from a block I carved with a v-gouge.  My v-gouge is not the normal type, but rather an ancient nib pen holder that I salvaged from my calligraphy supplies.  It feels so comfortable in my hand because I have used it for so many years. (It takes direction better than the holder they sell!!) The crevices in the carving contain a bit of powdered gold material.....not the usual Pearl Ex or even Fimo Pulver...this powder has a history that goes back farther than that.  When my Dad was alive, he did a lot of painting and when I had to clear out all the items from my parents' house several years ago, I found three vials of gold pulver he must have used in mixing his paints.  Of course I knew exactly what to do with that material.  Those three vials will probably last my lifetime and beyond.  I don't think I've used more than a few drachms (do they still use that measuring unit???) in my clay work.  A little certainly does go a long way. I am wondering if it is actually gold pulver or mica.  Ah well, I am not going to have it assayed, lol.  On the inner linings of the book, I used a neat texture from what I figure is a type of sanding tool.  It is made of metal (rusted because it's so old) and it produces little irregularly-shaped holes when it is impressed in the clay.  Hard to imagine, but a truly lovely earthy texture!  I picked that tool up at a Patio Sale for 25 cents...It has proven to be one of my most treasured texture-making materials.  The back cover, (not visible here, lol) is of a setting Arizona sun...the sunsets there are so beautiful.  And the patience it took to make the book?  Well, thankfully I inherited that from my Mother, who was extremely gifted in making so many things. 

I suppose all my creations could use the same title; they're all a little snippet of this, a fragment of that, a smidge of something else and thankfully, it all comes out in the end, even with no preconceived idea of the direction I am headed in.  Sometimes ya just gotta go with your intuition!!!
I just went and reread the poem Ulysses, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson, who originally penned it.                      

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

You can judge a book by its cover

Having travelled some 2000 miles and finally getting settled after a winter hiatus, I located this book that I recently finished among my 'things to save' box. 

This book is one of my faves, with its rich metallic shades which look woven together.  The scan is a bit darker than the actual, but I think the textures are pretty visible.  This one is filled with watercolor paper and the beads on the side are primarily polymer in a lot of different configurations.

I made a lino-cut carving in a piece of baked clay for the insert.  Then I impressed some black clay into it to get the impression and highlighted it with some bronze Pearl-Ex.  I used a sealer on the entire book so as to preserve the metallic, the bronzing, and the little brass pieces I included.  I don't really know what they are, some sort of snaps I think.  They're a very versatile inclusion as I can use either side or fill the center hole with clay.  I also use them as spacers to create a mixed media style. 

I tried to vary the checkerboard and didn't make it so regular, using three colors on a background of darker clay.  The back actually shows the checked effect more clearly. Perhaps it shows up a little better in this scan, or maybe not since it's a little darker. 

I will never do well in optics, scans, picture programs and camera adjustments.   I will leave those things to the photographic wizards out there.