Learning new things is interesting, exciting and invigorating and tossing all the ideas up in the air and combining them in new ways that only my odd mind could do is so satisfying to me.
I'm signed up for three classes with Kelly Kilmer at my friend Maria Moesch's big and beautiful studio in Niles from July 8-10. If you want to go, click on the date there and it will lead you to the sign up page. Maria's studio is such a great place to go to recharge and have some fun.
Last time my son went with me and he had a great time. Can you believe it? He made a journal and collaged in it and he still has it.
He made a house of pages before he bound his book:
I like the idea of driving off to someone's house an hour away and then being able to get back to my comfortable bed at night. 3 days is a luxury. I always wanted to have an art group here at home but for some reason it hasn't happened so I'm all for getting on someone else's bandwagon, Maria's and Kelly's. I have a lot of fun with them and the group is getting to be a regular crowd.
Kelly always shows us how to make some style of journal/book and I just made 4 books of the last style she taught us. I am loving making books.
Two large 8 x 12 inch books and two smaller ones 7.5 x 6 and 7 x 8 inches,
something on the cover:
and this one has a pocket
And then last month or so I went over to Maria's and we started another journal and I finally finished all the parts and am ready to bind them together.
The ribbon that will be inside the binding is beautiful. It was Maria's idea.
I have another ribbon piece I made of contrasting colors for the outside but it's in a big pile and I can't locate it at the moment. It will go on the outside of the spine.
So now I've got 5 new books almost completed. When I carry them around together it's a heavy pile, about 6 pounds because I stuffed them full of pages. I used Fabriano Artistico cold press watercolor paper for some and Wausau bright white card stock for others and then I also used some big old cereal boxes for the fold-out factor they afford and because I like to recycle too. I'm binding them with waxed linen thread and I got a few new colors so I'm all set. Tomorrow will be binding day I think.
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Grace is going off to college in a month and a half and I get to take her to Seattle. We're going to stay with some good friends there, before I hand my daughter off for the next few months to the University of Puget Sound. I'm so proud of her and she's truly excited.
This is a photo of the kids when they were tiny:
and this is what they look like now:
My buddies are going to help me adjust on the day we drop her off. They have a son who's out of school now so they've been through this. Actually, I'm looking forward to the whole thing because as soon as she's on with her new perspective and not living at home, I guess we'll be back to getting along great again and tensions we've experienced over the last year will lessen . . .
or, that's what I've heard could happen.
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Fred Ball Experimental Enameling Tech 5 week class wrap up:
We each made a construction in the third week of class with copper tooling foil. I folded and unfolded, folded and hammered and unfolded and then made this box. I had to paint liquid enamel inside and let it dry for structural strength and then I airbrushed the outside with the same enamel. I used white but you wouldn't know it.
and if you want to look inside you'll have to come over and see it because my photography skills are not that good.
I loved doing this and am making other shapes folded and wrinkled for enameling just this way. We fired it with a torch and it shows the irregularities you get in only this way of firing. I'm also going to try firing some of these wrinkled pieces in my kiln and see what the varying thicknesses of enamel without the reduction atmosphere will show me. I enjoyed the experimentation over all. I want to see what "Hyacinth Lavender" will do.
On the last day of class we were set the task of enameling nine 2 inch tiles using as many of the techniques - that the teacher explained during these 5 weeks - as we could. We had to make a cohesive pattern and details had to line up. The firing times of each piece had to be consistent so the surface was reasonably identical throughout. I got to take home the tiles before the last class and counter enamel them (enameled with one color on the back) and start the process. So this is what I had done by the time I went back to class:
I drew myself a diagram of the steps I took and also wrote myself a script for what had to follow IN CLASS because 4 of us had 3 hours to complete this project. Woo!
My tile pieces from the last day of class mounted on wood:
The teacher Judy Stone was great at explaining the processes and I learned so much! To top it all off she organized a bus tour of many of Fred Ball's installations in Sacramento, California about a week later. Here are some photos from that tour:
Section of "Valley Fields" - Raley's Headquarters, Sacramento
a close-up detail of "Valley Fields"
detail from "Chase the Clouds Away" - Sacramento Community Center Theater
a section detail of a much larger scene we saw at UC Davis Medical Center (I think that's where it was, but I'm not sure yet I had to show this because it glows and is sublime to say the least!)
another beauty I saw at Davis that was so huge you had to look up!
Oh and I got a little video of a mural of his. I wish I could say what it was and exactly where but I can't. Forgive me.