Happy new year! As you might have noticed, there have been some changes around here. A new website, new blog, and a new shop design as well! Subscribers will need to update their RSS feeds to continue receiving posts, and there is now an option at right to receive blog posts by email if you prefer. Please bear with me as I continue to tweak things around here (links to previous content will be wonky), but do contact me if you have any trouble with the new site or shop.
I've also updated the shop with some spools of colorfully marbled ribbon; more to come in the next month!
For one special evening in December I'll be leading a Stationery Marbling Workshop at the beautiful studio of textile artist Maryanne Moodie. Join us in creating your own palette and patterns to bedeck a suite of notecards and gift tags!
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
6:30 - 9:00 pm
hosted by the Maryanne Moodie Studio in Brooklyn
The Mendocino Art Center will be holding a reception for their Natural Dye Showcase this Saturday, August 8, featuring a discussion with the artist and juror Yoshiko I. Wada. I am honored to have work included in the exhibition, and wish I could be there myself!
Natural Dye Showcase
August 3 - 28, 2015
Mendocino Art Center, Main Gallery
45200 Little Lake Street, Mendocino CA
Gallery Talk: Saturday, August 8th, 4:00
Opening Reception: Saturday, August 8th, 5:00-8:00
A number of new suminagashi marbled scarves are now available in the shop! Many of these received experimental techniques in their creation, resulting in an unusual array of form and line quality. The scarves are printed on a diaphanous silk/cotton blend, and some have been naturally dyed in subtle base tones. Each is a unique, permanent monoprint created by hand. Find them all here.
I found this second edition of the Rev. Henry N. Ellacombe'sThe Plant-Lore and Garden-Craft of Shakespeare, published in 1884, fallen to pieces at Mercer Street Books & Records. I took it home with me, immediately determined to design a new binding for it. Something to save it from further damage and do justice to this wonderful tome.
Admirers of Shakespeare may already be familiar with the Reverend Ellacombe's work, as well as the many other books on Shakespeare's use of gardens and wildflowers in his writing. The text can be read in its entirety here, and the beautifully illustrated third edition can be viewed here - as well as Ellacombe's argument for Shakespeare as an Angler.
The book was in lousy but not terrible shape when I acquired it. I purchased a french edition of Madame Bovary along with it, which is also destined for rebinding but turned out to be in somewhat poorer condition and is still awaiting my attention. I simply disassembled and re-sewed Ellacombe's work, and replaced the tattered pasted-on headbands with hand sewn silk ones. The very vast majority of my work went into the embroidered cover.
I laid out the cover in formal symmetry as a nod to the embroidered books gaining popularity during Shakespeare's time, as well as Elizabethan era garden design with its symmetric 'thick-pleached alleys.' Each quadrant depicts a plant prominent in Shakespeare's writing (and thus Ellacombe's) of particular symbolic meaning: honeysuckle, calendula, burdock, and rose, as well as a pansy on the spine.
The linen book cloth as well as embroidery threads and headbanding silk were each naturally dyed with plants foraged in upstate New York. These include oak and birch leaves, apple and cherry barks, and willow fronds.
A labor of love - especially the needle weaving.
Erin Fletcher of Herringbone Bindery was kind enough to interview me as April's Book Artist of the Month on her blog, Flash of the Hand. You can read the interview series here to learn more about the process behind my work, and check out the other artists and bookbinders featured in her wonderful ongoing series. Thanks Erin!
Join me on May 2-3 at the Center for Book Arts for an Introduction to Natural Dyes, a weekend-long workshop for book artists and crafters to learn the fundamentals of botanical dyeing. Bring the beautiful and subtle colors of the natural world into your work with techniques for mark- and pattern-making on both paper and fabric. The questions of materials choice, mordants, and permanence will the addressed. This workshop runs just once a year, so register now!
Continuing my exploratory suminagashi series, I have some new prints on paper. Like the recent fabric pieces (and don't worry, there are more of those to come - I know some of you have been waiting), these are an experimental melding of traditional technique with some heterodox contemporary additives. The process is very unpredictable, but also freeing. It's just what I need after a 4-month stint of intense freelancing. I am so happy to get back in my studio, with renewed focus and an ambitious list of projects.
Some of these suminagashi prints will be on view at the upcoming CBA exhibition Then & Now: Ten Years of Residencies at the Center for Book Arts, opening April 17. The show includes an impressive roster of past residents exhibiting contemporary work alongside pieces from the CBA archive created during their time in residence. It's going to be a jam-packed show and quite the reunion!
Center for Book Arts, 28 West 27th Street, 3rd floor
Opening Reception Friday, April 17th, 6-8pm
Roundtable discussions with the artists will follow on May 1, June 5, and June 19
The long list of spring workshops is now posted and open for registration! In addition, the Sewing Seeds program at TAC is now accepting applications to its summer residency. The residency is a fantastic 6-week opportunity to access local natural dyes, use the studio, and engage the community by creating site-specific work in the natural dye garden in Bushwick. What could be better?
image courtesy of Sewing Seeds