Friday, December 31, 2010

Merry Christmas!

It really felt like not enough got done this Christmas, nor done at the right times,
but when you get right down to it, there was some decorating happening, and lights lit up . . .

there were some stockings hung . . .

and a bit of cheer spread around here and there . . .

and a couple or three little collections got out of their boxes . . .

and the Egyptian cat on top of the hall closet got her bell and ribbon.

Some of us made some cookies.

And we crafted some steampunkish crafts.

And we made our version of Christmas crackers.
We ate a lot and we sang a lot and we went to church
and we greatly enjoyed the company of friends and relations.
That seems like the right things accomplished then.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Christian Tagliavini

Amazed wonderment about these 1503 Series photographs by Christian Tagliavini (studiojudith). At first, I thought they were computer-manipulated photographs, but they are carefully crafted portraits of live models wearing die-cuts of what seems to be a combination of fabric and/or paper-backed or stiffened fabric (Correction here: I thought the very long necks on some of the models were post-photo computer manipulation, but Christian explains in the comment below that while Photoshop was utilized for certain atmospheric effects, the long necks are a result of an illusion).

More wonderment at these photographs, a 2008 series called Dame di Cartone (Cardboard Ladies). Kind of like real people paper dolls, yes?

There is a Casting Call on his site, where you can apply to be one of his models. FYI, he's looking for "great character" and perhaps an "element of surprise". I wonder if you might get a flight to Switzerland if you are chosen?

Christian Tagliavini:
"I start with the idea, then I search someone to impersonate it. I build up stories and dramatize them using photography and creativity as a skillful artifice being at the same time author, stage designer, costume designer, casting manager, director and photographer."

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


This work is part of a room-sized installation of 565 drawings of pen-and-ink flowers on paper napkins by artist Jim Hodges. Hodges explores universal themes, and in this piece, "A Diary of Flowers - Above the Clouds" a correlation is made between the ephemeral nature of the flowers and the material they are drawn on. The 100 napkins in this piece are pinned onto the wall. "A Diary of Flowers", completed in 1995, is now part of the collection of
The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles.

More drawing on napkins from "The Napkin Dad Daily" blog. He started drawing on napkins for his daughters' lunch bags and did these daily until his last daughter graduated from high school in 2005. That first year, he thought all the drawings were thrown out at the end of the lunch period, but for Father's Day his daughter presented him with all the napkins he had drawn for her as a gift. What a sweet story! And how dedicated is that?

I am more prone to obsessively twisting and folding napkins than drawing on them.
When I was younger and holiday meals were hosted by my mother and grandmother, I was the one in charge of setting the table. I often took great pleasure in lining up the plates and silverware, placing the goblets and stemware, selecting candles and making centerpieces, and rolling the napkins into holders or folding them in different configurations. My mother has a buffet with stacks of cloth napkins in different colors and fabrics to choose from, and a wide selection of tablecloths, all ironed and folded and organized just so. Nowadays I am either a guest at a gathering that uses paper plates and napkins, or I am elbow deep in meal preparation and the table gets a last minute frenzied setting as the potatoes are getting mashed or the turkey sliced. I'm thinking about napkins today, though.
I think I once had a tiny little paperback book with diagrams of napkin folds, but haven't seen it for years. There are, though, plenty of sites that have instructions for fancy napkin folds ... like the Water Lily/Rosebud, Bird of Paradise, and Bishop's Hat instructions at The Butler's Guild. (Really?) Martha's site has some simple and elegant napkin folds featured. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Eugene Andolsek

Eugene Andolsek (1921-2008) was an outsider artist who had a secret life creating complex drawings (American Primitive Gallery) ... using graph paper, a compass and a straight edge, and colored inks to create these pieces which never saw the light of day ... he made thousands of them, and they were hidden away and never displayed or shown to anyone until they were discovered by a caregiver when his health was failing. The drawings - highly patterned, kaleidoscopic creations - were a coping mechanism, and he never considered them to be art. An excerpt of an article by Tom Patterson at Raw Vision notes that the patterns his mother stitched into quilts and crocheted piecework were influences on the drawings he later made. They are rather like mandalas, and I can see how creating them would have been a meditative and calming process. And some of them make me want to play the most beautiful game of parcheesi ever.

Thursday, November 04, 2010

China Fashion Week

TLo had a couple of posts on Fashion Week in China post-Project Runway, and I have to say, all the talk on PR about "wearablility" and "on trend" is really boring when you could be looking at something like this. I vote for creatively campy, unwearable, costume-y and over-the-top when it comes to a runway show and Project Runway!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Rare Spider Silk on Exhibit at AMNH

Yep, I've posted about this before, pretty sure it was on FB. But I came across this video from the Museum of Natural History and one gets a better feel for what the whole process was like.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Eric Joisel, French Sculptor of Origami

Eric Joisel, French Sculptor of Origami -

Recent pieces include a series of musicians, each less than a foot high and each holding an instrument made of a separate piece of paper. This link shows some of the process ... from fold diagrams and collapsed forms, to the pieces after shaping. Incredible!
The NY Times article includes a link to the diagram for making the hedgehog (good luck!), and one to a great trailer for a documentary about ten artists and scientists working in paper/origami. I will be putting this movie, Between the Folds, on my Netflix list posthaste.

Update! I watched this and was a.mazed at the segments on postmodern origami (who knew?) and origami tesselations. I need a really big sheet of paper!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Lisa Hannigan - I Don't Know

Paper arts, of course, but also ... love the hat. And the combination of red and burgundy. Get a little caught up in thinking how long one would actually have to cut paper (with a much better pair of scissors), to fill this room.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Invitations to the Wedding of the Year

I was planning to save all letterpress posts, including the anguish of acquisition and all,
for a dedicated letterpress blog, and I still may do that. But I thought I'd post pictures
of the invitations I printed, designed with my daughter, for her wedding.
A nice tidy stack. 
There is another, untidy stack that didn't make the final cut.
(There is still major tweaking to be done in the cycle of the press, 
specifically having to do with the rollers and when and how they meet the form.) 

Invitation assembly. Almost done!

Printing the flower disks. I worked it out so I could slide 
the disks into a half-circle template, four at a time.

Sweet. They almost look edible.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Turn Around

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Rag and Bone

One of my favorite blogs for seeing a vast variety of art and artists in paper and book arts is Rag and Bone. Some things that caught my eye on this visit:
Folded "word" books by Veronica Salazar

The classic British red phone booth recycled into darling little libraries

"Corrugations" folded by Dutch artist Noud van den Boer

Paper Couture

A Zoe Bradley Paper Dress Installation

Through the Rag and Bone blog, a Cardboardia Paper Clothing Gathering

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Zoe Bradley

I know these pictures of the fantabulous paper stylings of Zoe Bradley have made the rounds long ago... these I found here ... but they're here now!
There's talk of weddings around here, and if I had more time, I would totally attempt some grand paper flower gesture at the reception.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Handmade Artist's Christmas Cards

Catching on on reading, and came across this article in the December issue of Smithsonian magazine about an exhibit of artist's handmade Christmas cards at the Smithsonian Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture. An interesting note in the article is that the cards were selected from a collection of artist's ephemera, an archive that includes journals, photographs, and sales receipts. (Be careful what you save!)

Blockprint sent by William Zorach, Lithuanian-American sculptor, and his wife, Margeurite, to artist Alfred J. Frueh.

Frederick Hammersley's screenprinted Christmas card design.