Announcement cards BASIS 2013There’s one more post about the Book Arts Summer in Salem 2013 that I want to write, even though summer has now given way to autumn. I guess this post is more about making sure I have a record of the show, as seeing it was like going down a rabbit hole…the more I looked in certain directions, the more there was to see.

Broadsides Designed by Shawn Sheehy for Onerios Press

Broadsides Designed by Shawn Sheehy for Onerios Press

For instance, Shawn Sheehy exhibited a number of broadsides which featured the writing of various poets. I knew that there must be more to know about this project, so googled the press that printed the broadsides, Onerios Press,, which led me to the Vamp and Tramp website, which OMG has gathered in one place more presses, artists’ books, miniature books, and broadsides (not mention new arrivals) than I will ever have time to sift through….though I’ve been working at it!

Sheehy notebook

Sheehy Notebooks

Another sort of rabbit hole were these notebooks that Sheehy set out on a table. He invited the viewer to look through them…I wanted to take them home.

Sheehy notebook, open

Sheehy notebook, open

Each page was filled, and I mean filled with notes, drawings, and plans, It was such a treat to have a peek at the inner workings of Shawn’s process of working. One thought that I kept having as I viewed the show was , ‘I wonder how this guy’s mind works?’ and here I actually got the chance to read through what he was thinking and seeing as he worked through ideas.

Carrot or Tree, a turn upside-downable accordion by Cathy Daughton

Carrot or Tree, a turn upside-downable accordion by Cathy Daughton

There are a few more images I want to add in here before I get to the final part of this post. Cathy Daughton made these whimsical, accomplished drawings for an accordion book, which, for me, successfully blurred the distinction between carrots and trees.

BASIS 2013 Susan Bonthron Workshop at North Main Gallery

BASIS 2013 Susan Bonthron Workshop at North Main Gallery

Here’s North Main Gallery full to the brim of participants in Susan Bonthron’s Pesky Bug workshop.  Susan did as much prep for this one workshop than I usually do for a full week of workshops: she wrote and printed up a book about various garden pests, and she created a veritable treasure box of items which we used to  make prints of slimy creatures munching their way through the crops that we evidently plant for their enjoyment.

Images printed for The Pesky Bug Book

Images printed for The Pesky Bug Book

We we each able to print up ten of our gardens’ worst nightmares, ranging from the all too real asparagus beetle  to the tomato horn beetle (a particularly enthusiastic tenant in my husband’s garden) . Fortunately, the booklet that we tipped these pages into provided us with tips for eviction.  It’s not pictured in the photo above, but Susan also included an image of the Fracking Beetle, which has not taken up residence in my backyard, At least not yet.

Now here are the final stars of the show, which I’ve saved for last because I noticed them last. Their names appear just inside of this catalog for the show.

Book Arts Summer in Salem: Veggies, Bugs and Seeds Catalog

Book Arts Summer in Salem: Veggies, Bugs and Seeds Catalog

In little letters, inside of front page,  you can find this line:

???????????????????????????????

The catalog design is such a well done piece that I started looking for more info about  Joe Freedman and Ilisha Helfman. It was such fun looking into the work of this duo! If you want your socks knocked off, check out this blog post written by Nancy Ricciwho visited their studio in Portland Oregon. Links from Nancy’s  post will lead you to a plethora of highly diverse work done by Freedman and Helfman.  But it won’t lead you to Joe’s current (kickstart)   project, his GatorGraph which has nothing to do with alligators, but that’s all I will say about it because I wouldn’t want any understated description of mine deprive you of checking out this brainchild which surely inspires out-of-the box thinking. Oh, and if you are looking at the GatorGraph page and are feeling adventurous, click on the links to the projects that Joe has backed: he has a real eye for ingenious thinking.

Book Arts Summer In Salem 2013 catalog

Book Arts Summer In Salem 2013 catalog, inside

So, thank you Joe and Iiisha for a great catalog, and thank you Ruth Sauer and Ed Hutchins for putting together a memorable show. It’s been a journey. Now, one last look at my favorite piece in the show…

hawn Sheehy's pop-up featured in issue #3 of Vintage Magazine

Shawn Sheehy’s pop-up featured in issue #3 of Vintage Magazine

.

Swiss Army Knife Pop-up by Shawn Sheehy

Swiss Army Knife Pop-up by Shawn Sheehy

My plan was to go back to North Main Gallery in Salem< New York and take a photo of this exquisite pop-up Swiss Army Knife created by Shawn Sheehy.

Back-lit pop-up by Shawn Sheehy

Back-lit pop-up by Shawn Sheehy

Mission Accomplished. But there was a rub. When I started looking at the show again it was as if I hadn’t seen it at all the first time. A few pieces had caught my attention, and feeling quite satisfied with the work I had examined, somehow the rest faded away.

The fact is, this show is one of richest book arts exhibitions that I’ve seen. Consistent with the nature of books, the layers of the show keep revealing itself.

Display of the pages of Hen and Duck Books by Susan Bonthron

Display of the pages of Hen and Duck Books by Susan Bonthron

The artists were generous with what they brought to the show….like this display of pages Susan Bonthron mounted, which delightfully showed, all at once,  the pages of the exquisite little books…

Hen and Duck books by Susan Bonthron

Hen and Duck books by Susan Bonthron

…that were displayed (and which were sold out!) on the shelf below.

 

Models by Sheehy

These rather humble cardboard and tape books hid great surprises, as well as a peek into processes that I don’t usually see. Inside these books hid some fascinating creatures.

A maquette for Beyond the 6th Extinction: A Fifth Millennium Bestiary, Shawn Sheehy

Maquette for Beyond the 6th Extinction: A Fifth Millennium Bestiary, Shawn Sheehy

Each one of those pieces of folded cardboard contained the models of intricate pop-ups for Sheehy’s book Beyond the 6th Extinction: A Fifth Millennium Bestiary….

Details of page designed by Shawn Sheehy

Details of page designed by Shawn Sheehy

…and if the main star of the pop-up page isn’t enough all sorts of details are scattered about.  But this time, dear reader, you must know that I am completely smitten with this show. There’s more, but at this very moment I need to sign off this blog for tonight…you can look for yet another post on this show because I haven’t even mentioned the broadsides, the carrot/tree book , Susan’s Pesky Bug workshop and more.

However if you want to keep reading at this very moment…

…take a look at the write-up on the show in the local paper. Anon.

BASIS 2013  Daughton Plant Generousity_0117

Plant Generosity, Plant Patience, Nurture Joy, by Cathy Daughton

In the summer I miss seeing the outpouring of creativity that I get to see during the school year. Fortunately, North Main Gallery in Salem, New York has put on a book arts show rich in materials, ideas, structure and color.This has become an annual event, which I am grateful for!

BASIS 2013 poster with people

Keith, Beth and Ulrike viewing Shawn Sheehy’s Swiss Army Knife Pop-up

I attended the opening party on July 24, and took a few snap shots…I plan to go back today and get some more pictures (it’s a very photogenic show..) People came from near and far to see the show. On the top right there. in the chartruese sweater, is  Ulrike Grannis  a paper artist I met at the Center For Book  Arts in the late 1990, who came up from Chatham to see the show. Next to her is bookmaker, educator and advocate Beth Thielen

Anuimal ARchitecture detail, Shawn Sheehy

Animal Architecture detail, Shawn Sheehy

Here’s a pop up by Shawn Sheehy…I can’t even begin to imagine how one thinks up making a pop-up of a spider web. This piece one of many pages of a book in progress, which will be in full color, that will contain other examples of animal architecture, such as honeycombs and bird nests.

Shawn Sheehy

Shawn Sheehy

The opening included talks by each of the artists, so it we got to hear something about Shawn’s elaborate processes.

Forest, a tunnel book by Susan Bonthron

Forest, a tunnel book by Susan Bonthron

The theme of the show center around the natural world, and the variety of book structures shown here are varied: pop-ups, accordions, and tunnel books, like this one by Susan Bonthron, are just a few a the different kinds of bookmaking structures here. And what, you may ask is a tunnel book? Well, I took a snap shot of the set up, to show off the structure:

Tunnel books by Susan Bonthron

Tunnel books by Susan Bonthron

Tunnel books are horizontal accordions that create scenes with depth.  They close up flat but expand to reveal depth and detail.

Birds by Susan Bonthron

Birds by Susan Bonthron

This book, has a codex kind of binding but the pages are incised with bird silhouettes which show the landscape that they shadow upon.

Birds by Cathy Daughton

Birds by Cathy Daughton

More birds…Cathy spoke about this book during her talk, waxing poetically about taking one drawing and repeating it with variations.

Pop-up Flowers by Shawn Sheeny

Pop-up Flowers by Shawn Sheeny

I have been dissecting pop-ups for years, but I couldn’t even begin to fathom how Sheehy works out these designs. My favorite construction of his is a swiss army knife, which I hope to get back to photograph later today, and I will share this with you as soon as I get a good shot.

Pop uo Workshop with Shawn

Pop uo Workshop with Shawn

Much to my delight, the morning after the opening Shawn set up shop at the local gardening center Gardenworks, and walked us through how to put together  Sheehy vegetables. I made a pop-up tomato, string beans and swiss chard, and now I am even more confused…

Looking Inside a Swiss Chard pop-up, designed by Shawn Sheehy

Looking Inside a Swiss Chard pop-up, designed by Shawn Sheehy

…but it was delicious.

.

Drawing On Health

August 2, 2012

Italian Parsley

Every few days I wander into the North Main Gallery in Salem, where my hanging books are displayed until September 3.  Each time the exhibit looks different to me.  As Ed Hutchins and I were working together to hang the show it was hard to have any idea of what I was looking at since the pieces we were hanging were so freshly finished.  I imagine that this is true of anyone who creates something: that it isn’t until there’s some distance from the finished piece that it can be really seen by the person who made it.

Rosemary

I am relieved to say that I love the look of the show. The majority of the pieces are works that I think of as Drawing On Health, which refers a preoccupation pf mine, which is to stay healthy.  This is a joyful interest, one that celebrates living.  The attention that I lavish on to the herbs, fruits, greens, and veggies is meant to help me hold them more closely in my being. I hope this comes through and resonates, too, with the viewer.

I love Kale

Drawing these plants somehow makes me like them more.

After seeing the drawing above my friend Sarah told me that she thought that kale, which is quite nutritious, could save the planet because you can pick it and pick it and it keeps producing more and more: an interesting theory!

My favorite piece is nine panels long, dedicated entirely to blueberry season. Blueberries have a special nook in my heart, and I look forward to going to the local U-Pick places to load up for the winter.

Blueberry Season

Summertimes I would visit relatives near Scranton, Pennsylvania.  During blueberry season Uncle Lou would drop off me and Aunt Jane on a mountain top, where we would pick for hours. If the crop was plentiful my aunt would be overjoyed…I can still hear her repeating, over and over “Look at these berries! Look at these berries!” Then we would take those berries back to her lake house where she would make the most wonderful blueberry buckle on the planet.

Here’s a look at my wall of the gallery. The hinges between the panels are designed so that the they can spin. I used some different materials for the hinging, but most of them are cords which I dyed and knotted like this:

Knot In Color

Another wonderful facet to this show is an exquisite gem of a catalogue, designed by Ed Hutchins and Joe Freedman. Here’s a peek at the catalogue:

I have a number of copies of these that I am happy to share for the asking: leave me a comment here asking me for one and I will  get in touch with you, off-blog, you to ask for your address.

%d bloggers like this: