Thursday, September 17, 2015

Postcard Swap by Vast Arts Queensland

Help support Vast Arts, a  not-for-profit community organisation which supports regional Queensland artists.  Make 3 postcards, you receive two back from other artists.  One of your postcards will be acquired by Vast Arts for sale to raise funds.

More information here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015


My latest artist book project features NaturePrint Paper I bought in the USA on my recent rip. This specially prepared paper is coated with light-sensitive chemicals, creating a white on blue print of whatever object is placed on it, aka cyanotypes.

For my project, I selected a range of different fern fronds.  I'm obsessed about ferns, and use them a lot in my monoprints, so it seemed fitting to try them out with this sunprinting process.  Previously I have used ferns and the sun to do prints on t-shirts, see my blog post here.

I exposed the ferns onto the paper with my solar etching frame for about 2 minutes in the sun, then rinsed in water for a minute.

Exposing in the sun

After sun exposure, you can see where the fern was on
the paper.  Rinsing in water causes the colour to develop.

I then used a re-purposed box to house the book, which is in a simple concertina format on blue card. I also included a poem that I wrote in haiku style:

understorey light
pattern stippled into shade
twilight silhouettes

I've photographed the book insitu - a rainforest floor, complete with maidenhair fern, mossy logs and leaf litter.  Appropriate I thought, given the title of the book 'Understorey'.  
Creating the book allowed me to explore a variety of fern imagery, concentrating on shape and pattern, with a simple non-messy process.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Moving on....a new eco-dyed artist book

At my recent exhibition 'Insight + Onsite', I sold a couple of my artist books.  One of them, 'Fern Gully' was quite dear to my heart, so in order to cope with my 'loss' (a good loss!), I had to make another book to replace it.

Using the same concertina structure of sewn double sided pages, I needed to find some double sided prints in my collection.  I found a concertina book, in the form of a 'snake' book, of eco-dyed backgrounds with monoprinted leaves.  Perfect!

The Eco-dyed snake book being deconstructed with a stanley knife!

I cut up the book (gasp!) then sewed the pages into a concertina strip of card, and attached little wooden beads and hard covers.  As a decorative element for the outside of the spine, I attached a small piece of handmade paper featuring gelatine prints.

Sewing the pages onto the spine using pamphlet stitch
and waxed linen thread

The finished spine

View of the book with covers on.
The covers are box board covered in mulberry paper.
 And to finish, I made a band out of card and a monoprint to slip on when the book is closed.

The finished book, with slip on band.

Sigh... now I feel better!  I named this book 'Underfoot' - it gives me a feeling of dragging my feet through leaf litter in a rainforest.  The purple colour of the spine and the earthy orange colour of the covers remind me of colourful fungi on rotting mossy logs.  Those colours are also reflected in the eco-dyed prints.

I think this book will be a new favourite of mine....until I make the next one (which I'm working on at the moment!).