March 9, 2017
Miriam Schaer has flown of to the Republic of Georgia, taking with her something even more precious than the good wishes of her book arts community: she has taken their books!
Just over a year ago I sat with Miriam at the Grolier Club in NYC as we waited for our friend Mindell Dubansky to take the stage to talk about the exhibition she curated of blooks (objects that look like books). At the time, Miriam was pondering over making some changes in her life, though she did not yet have a handle on what that would look like. Today she’s in Eastern Europe/ Western Asia, having been awarded a Fulbright Fellowship to teach artist books at Telavi State University.
Before leaving, Miriam invited the book arts community to send her their books with the idea of building what she called a “teaching collection,” recognizing that the act of holding a handmade book in one’s own hands has a way imparting inspiration.
The book arts community reacted quickly and generously.
As the books rolled in, Miriam posted photos of the book on a Facebook page. All of the book images that I am posting here have been culled from her FB wall, which I will include, along with her other in links, in the bottom of this post.
It been an adventure just to check in to see how her collection has been growing over the past couple of months.
I suspect these books by Susan Joy Share have seen the most air miles: they started with Susan in Alaska, were flown to Miriam in Brooklyn, then were packed up to meet Miriam in a country flanked by Turkey, Russian and the Black Sea.
Miriam will be writing about her book arts teaching at the University. She already begun her writing. Looks like she is starting with making felted books.
I absolutely wanted to contribute to Miriam’s collection. It took me way too long to come up with something to send. I started on something, had trouble working it out, then missed Miriam’s deadline. A friend encouraged me to just keep at it and send the book when it was done. This gave me the space to realize that, hey, if need be, I could just send it to Republic of Georgia directly.
But, phew! was able to get a book to Miriam just three days before she left town. She received one from an edition of books, which are housed in these green boxes, and which I will write about in my next post. Until then, to see what’s within, you’ll have to visit Miriam FB page. Here are links to that page, as well as her blog, and her teaching blog.
January 17, 2017
This continues my posts about assembling different structures based on the Chinese Thread Book, using different papers. I had thought I was going to be doing the same thing over and over again, with no variations other than using papers with different colors and patterns, but it hasn’t worked out that way.
Here’s where I started using the Stardream Metallic for the cover of the pamphlet on the left. More and more I’m liking how the Stardream paper matches the Chiyogami printed papers. Notice the style of the little box inside of the pamphlet. After trying out many variations I absolutely loved this little twist box with the pinwheel top.
I think it’s something about the pattern of the Chiyogami paper that made other style box I’ve been making look, well, not so good. Am so pleased to have stumbled upon this way of making the twist box.
Here’s the pinwheel-top box, twisted open.
The second layer rectangular tray is made from a soft handmade paper from India. Underneath the tray is a sleeve made of Stardream paper, which matches the pamphlet.
Big box layer is another handmade paper, but not sure where it was made. I have a stash of this from a place that Elisa Campbell wrote about, Creative Papers, which, sadly, is no longer is business.
The biggest surprise for me was the choice I ended making for the cover of this Thread Book. I tried matching the book with other Chirogami papers, with handmade papers from Dieu Donne and elsewhere. I tried my (faux!) elephant hide paper, and tried matching it with all sorts of cloth. Then I tried it out with this piece of suede, and it just snapped together. I never thought I use this suede for anything, but it seemed perfect for this project.
I just love how I get to use all these odds and ends of materials!
What’s different, besides the suede, about this particular piece is that it doesn’t suggest a use to me. The first one of this group that I wrote about seems like a valentine waiting to happen, the one after that feels like a gardener’s journal, and the next one I will be writing about feels like a holiday journal. But this one isn’t telling me what it needs to be. Hope someone else can figure it out.
January 9, 2017
I’ve been cutting up my stashes of beautiful papers to design/make structures that borrow liberally from what I’ve learned about the Chinese Thread Book structure that I’ve been posting about over the last few months.
Rather than strictly mimicking traditional Chinese structures, of which there are countless variations, I’ve been making variations of my own. Basically, I’ve been repeating one design with different combinations of paper, but mostly featuring Chiyogami papers. So far I’ve made five distinct compositions of papers. This one, with the indigo cover, and the red/gold paper inside, is the most romantic looking of them all.
Inside, instead of going the traditional route and placing collapsible boxes on the verso and recto sides, I’ve chosen to place pamphlet on the left, and rectangular trays on the right.
Still, inside the pamphlet there is a traditionally made, collapsed origami box.
Here it is, that little box (a 2″ square), opened.
Next layer down is a machine-made paper, which contains real flower petals, a paper that is one of just a few pieces of paper I have left from the now extinct Kate’s Paperie.
Finally, here’s the big interior box, made from handmade paper from India, containing leave skeletons. Also, you can see there’s a copper Stardream Metallic on the right, which is a slim pocket.
All closed up.