I have been creating patterns on fabric with rust. I mostly used steel wool in a half and half solution of apple cider vinegar and water. Before the steel wool fully rusted I dipped the linen into the solution and got the lovely soft gray color. Then I lay a piece of the steel wool on it to create the subtle color change. After the steel wool rusted I took out pieces of it and lay it on the wet muslin after a few hours the patterns shown are the result! I’m using the rusted pieces of muslin and linen for the pages of a handmade book. Gluing them down to folded heavy watercolor paper to create signatures for a handmade book. I intend to incorporate the rust patterns into the pages, although that didn’t happen below.
This is one of the pages I’ve created for my book, I’m calling it “The Sacred Life of Trees.” Using watercolor, oil pastel, pen and ink for 12 original drawings depicting the spirit that humans have given to trees through folklore, religion, and daily life. The letter “A” is painted in bright gold paint. I like the kind of medieval look of the gold paint – kind of like an illustrated manuscript. This is my first page so I may discard and have a “do-over.” haha
I’m creating the book for the book arts exhibit at the Illahe Gallery in Ashland, Oregon in April for their Fifth Annual Artist Books Invitational and Printmakers; Also, the “Community Press” work by community members. First Friday Art Walk April 4, 5:00 to 8:00 PM
Moths bumping against the screen on a summer night. Seeking the light from indoors. What does it look like to them? Is it a bright star they are mysteriously drawn to?
I’ve been working on another handmade book – a smaller project than the last one. Was thinking about the little moments in-between the spaces of our lives. The small transitory and easily forgotten things we see in a blink and file away to be remembered or forgotten, but none-the-less, recorded by our brains.
This book is made mostly of recycled materials. I used recycled paper from cardboard boxes that I soaked in water until I could strip the paper from the corrugated box sides. Its a really nice heavy brown paper, that takes a lot of water and rubbing and sewing into without buckling or tearing. I’ve had these small pieces saved in a box for the longest time – but I knew I would find a way to use them eventually!
Found objects , leaves, stones, twigs, old pieces of darning…whatever seems right at the moment. I’m sewing the pages together and binding it with cardboard backing. For the backgrounds I’m using mostly watercolors and oil pastels – my two favorite mediums. I’ve only completed a few pages which I’m sharing with you today. I drew the moths on some scrap papers leftover from the last project. I bought the bunny at a flea market – I think its from an old cuckoo clock. He has a nice little red bead for an eye.
The mountains were made from the paint over edges when I made paste papers. They were the papers laying on the work surface to protect the surface from the paint. I’d torn a piece from the edge and folded it down so it was the white torn side against the paste paper over brushing and I thought it looked like mountains. I glued it over the scraps of over brushing, and painted it in blue, purple, and gray. I think it does look like mountains in the background, and strata in the foreground. I outlined the torn edges a little so they would show up more.
I’ve still got more to do – more to color and layer over the brown base.
Here are some of the little creatures I’ve been sewing for my daughter, Cait’s, new shop; Coyote Hill Garden and Design in Multnomah Village in Portland. We have a lot of urban coyotes in this area of Portland, so the name seemed fitting! These are made from wool felt, up-cycled clothing and sweaters, and felt made from recycled plastic bottles. I did all the designs myself by looking at photographs of animals and trying to create a few simple lines to suggest the animal. This is a fox, not a coyote!
The little red doll is from a design I created years ago from a teddy bear pattern, sans ears! The squirrels hold a vintage green glass acorn bead.
The owls are made from a thrift store sweater and a wool blazer with vintage buttons for eyes.
A little flatsy elf I sent to my grandson.
Gotta have some Christmas mice!
More snow suit babies to hang on the tree.
Owls and squirrels, foxes and racoons! Oh my!
A couple of snow boys and their sister, and a baby!
Here’s my first visit to Santa – do I look a little unsure about this large man with a fake beard who asked me to sit on his lap?
Leaving you with the wish for the happiest of holidays to each and every one. I’m off to Denver in a couple of days to spend some time with my grandson, his new puppy, and Christmas!