Sunday, September 24, 2017

One more teaching gig

The end of the year is rapidly approaching, and I have one last teaching gig.  I will be teaching what was a 5 day workshop - Quietly and Gently - in a single day!

Sounds like fun  doesn't it?

There will be lots of modifications made, but the theme will be the same - exploring the beauty and subtlety of working white on white.

In the 5 day workshop I teach a coptic binding sample book; and then another book and slip case.  With this one I still want lots of samples, but am looking for solution that is quicker than a coptic binding.

Over the weekend I spent time making samples of various techniques and using various papers.

Every time I needed to include words, the only one I could think of was peace. And words about peace.
Metals stamped words. These are de-bossed into the paper; but look embossed in the photos.

 Tracing paper, piercing, tracing wheels and gel pens.

Typewriter without ribbons

The last word...

Embossing. It is a shame we won't have access to a press; but you can still do some good embossing by hand.

Cut out letters attached above the paper.

And so to the 'book' which will hold all the samples. I had made a concertina book with pouches into which the samples could be placed.  It worked pretty well - you could pop several samples into each pouch, but I just wondered if there was another solution.

I picked up apiece of paper that had been given to me recently. and folded it into one envelope type pouch. Then I slipped all the samples inside.

I think it looks inviting. It is also elegant and simple which I like. the aper is the softest baby blue, which while it isn't white still looks lovely.

So I think we might have two options at least, and a third could still present itself to me in the meantime I guess!

We had gusty winds and driving rain (yay for the rain) over the weekend so I have a few repairs to make to the weather grams...but they shall return to fly and flutter another day.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

"Books are a better investment in our future than bullets. Books, not bullets, will pave the path towards peace and prosperity".

Malala Yousafzai

On International Day of Peace, I love that Malala says what she says. Books and education are key to peace; to helping us understand each other; to helping us see our place in the world as part of a bigger picture; by enabling us to empathise with others; and allowing us to know that war brings many terrors and many victims for generations.

We need to find our own path towards peace, as we struggle to make peace with those close to us; with folk at work; or with our own attitudes to politicians and those who govern us.  Reading books, getting educated, learning more about the world and others is surely a fabulous way to pave the path towards peace on global scale as well. I really believe that funding education and exchange; learning and knowledge sharing must be a key part of all our diplomatic efforts towards peace.

But more broadly, today I have been heartened by the networks of folk around the world doing their small bit for peace - committing to peace and peaceful ways; encouraging each other; and quietly making sure that peace is heard, across the world...

And let it begin with me...

Thich Nhat Hanh's calligraphy.

The peace bell being gonged across the valley this morning...

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

International Day of Peace

This Thursday, 21 September, is International Day of Peace.

Each year, Barry and I create flags for peace and hang them in the tree at the top of our driveway.  We use the term 'flag' loosely and I create weather grams, and Barry hangs his copper peace doves.

We have hung all sorts of flags on the the trees and around the house over the years; but seem to have settled on these two forms for now.

This year, I decided to do letterpress on my brown paper bags. I had pretty much run out of time; but I also thought the uniform look of a single message and the bold wooden type would look good.

And I think I was right.

I love the rawness of the strings as well.

And on Sunday they flew.

There was quite the breeze for a bit, but they flutter and jingle and jangle. Living where we do, we had a bit of traffic go by on Sunday and I liked that the movement catches people's eyes and makes them wonder what its about.

Hopefully a few walkers and cyclists will also slow down to look and receive the messages.

So perfect...

On Thursday we will put our sandwich board reminding folk it is International Day of Peace. We will gong our peace bell for peace throughout the world; in big far away places; and in small, nearby places...

For peace.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Carriage works - the space

In so many ways the Sydney Contemporary at Carriageworks was HUGE. It was bustling, buzzing and so full of people.  But we were fortunate in the quiet moments before setting up and before opening each day, to wander through this magnificent space and enjoy its history and its vastness; its age and its beauty.

The tracks where the railway carriages used to pass are an ongoing reminder of its past.

Little half doors and shafts of light.

Walls of beauty.

More tracks and lines.

Industrial strength beams and posts.

A quiet moment, coffee with Barry before the day began...

After packing up, and as we walked out for the last time;  I let this forklift go by. It shows the scale of the place well I think.

A magnificent building, a fabulous showing space; a wonderful retention of our past, used for our present and our future.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

“The words you speak become the house you live in.” 


I sat and thought about this one for a bit - and it got me thinking about folk who are right here and right now speaking words of peace throughout the world. People who are reaching out, connecting and speaking peace to others. Barry has sent his peace leaves out int to he world; Liz has continued to make and create peace through her peace pins and sharing.

What a delight to think the more we speak of peace, the more we speak for peace, the more we speak peacefully - the more we build a house and a home that is peaceful.

The power of words to influence in so many ways; to affect us all and to create calm and serene places.

As we head towards next Thursday 21 September, International Day of Peace, I hope to head to the studio and make some weather grams to hang in the tree at the top of our driveway - to remind others and ourselves of the constant need to imagine, believe and seek peace.

Especially when the sky is dark...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Back from the Sydney Contemporary

It is so odd, so strange in a way that after focussing for almost 6 months on preparing for this show, that here I am, home again and it has been and gone!

It was a full week - busy and buzzy. Loads of people and lots of connections made. Quite challenging in its own way dealing with the hoards of folk who visit - trying to work out who might be interested in printmaking; who  is simply meandering; and then who might actually be interested in your own work.

It was a great week as well - the four us who travelled and presented under Good to Print Studio all sold work which was great validation.  My work is never the kind of work that folk necessarily want to have hanging on their dining room wall given its tough social messages, but a few folk worked their way through that and took it home which is very much appreciated.

Our set up after we set up - looking quite minimal and professional.

Slightly less minimal on the way through!  Love that we had to wear hi vis.

The further we went through the Show - the more we added to the table.  Observing the hesitancy of some folk to walk around and look at the wall; we brought some works closer to them.

One of the real highlights for me was catching up with friends and family and meeting friends for the first time in real life!

Here I am meeting Mo Orkiswewski from Its Crow Time for the first time. Another one of those lovely blogging connections - where you know you are kindred spirits before you actually meet because you have shared and understood and learned from each other in the world of blog for quite some time beforehand. 

And with my dear friend Karen who took some great photos for me and we talked about feminisism and women and art...

We were fortunate to have Kate Evans from Radio National come along and interview all four of us as well as Akky, the Curator of the Sydney Paper Contemporary.  Once again, talking with my hands, even for radio!

I will let folk know when the story goes to air...

 My book What?Why?What?What? on display.

My four letterpress works and my four calligraphic works on the wall. They worked well in their grouping I thought.

I sold a full suite of letterpress works and one calligraphic work. I do love a red dot - not just for me but for everyone. Always makes me smile when I see a red dot. People are buying art they love; and artists are having their work bought and recognised.

 And Tory caught this moment when I first met Mo, and got to show her I was wearing the dress I had recently made!

All in all an amazing week - surrounded by fabulous art which I shall share in the next couple of posts - and in the company of wonderful artists and printmakers and friends.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Thursday Thoughts...

There is no need of any competition with anybody. You are yourself, and as you are, you are perfectly good. Accept yourself. 


This week's thoughts are about art - and at first glance this quote might seem to be more about life than art; but this week in particular I think it resonates about art.

I wrote this post in advance of Thursday, not knowing if I would have time to blog whilst in Sydney amongst the amazingness of the Sydney Contemporary.

Perhaps I selected it to be a gentle reminder to myself; that whilst I am in Sydney I need to not compare; to not measure my work against others; to not believe I am less when amongst such wonder.

To hold onto what I do and why I do it, and to know that there is no one else making my work. My work is unique, it is me and nobody but me could have brought it forth. And in the end I could have brought forth nothing else - it needed to be this.


Such a hard thing for us all - trying to improve and be better, yet accepting who we are, where we are and what we do.

Our well-worn bowl of words. For over a decade, we have had a morning ritual of selecting a word each which we use to think bout or focus on for the day. Always an interesting exercise...

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Exciting times and what will be waiting...

I am almost packed for Sydney - a few extra bits to collect,then we're all good to go.

After such lot of work and what feels like such a lot of time, it will be grand to get there and get into it. The event looks astonishing and I am excited about being part of it and being able to attend events and view amazing art.

On Thursday night last week, we travelled down to Brisbane for bit of a 'do'. The Mohawk Paper Show was in town and I was most excited when I got there to discover I was a national finalist with my poster "Justice".


Pretty much entirely unexpected, it was an honour to be in there with some amazing work, and to see that traditional, hand-set letterpress was still valued in amongst all the contemporary gorgeousness which the big companies had made.

A few pics of the event.

And me looking a wee bit chuffed!

So the weekend was spent doing a variety of things - the Maleny Printmakers' collectables show is on for two weeks and there is some great work there. We bought a few pieces which made us very happy.

We did Father's Day things with my dad including orchid-purchasing; and I got organised and packed a fair bit.

And I stuck my head into the studio to just have a sense of what would be waiting for me when I return from Sydney - hmmmmm.

 Lots of tidying, cleaning and sorting I think!

It's been a ridiculously busy time so I forgive myself; and despite not loving the large job that awaits me; I know I will love having a clean and bright studio space again soon.