art retreats, book arts, Focus on Book Arts, Nature printing, Oregon

Focus on Book Arts – Surface Design on Metal and Paper

I have so much fun with Leighanna Light’s techniques that I decided to take both of her classes at FOBA this year. I took a break on Friday because I have finally learned that I cannot go full charge for five days at an art retreat without falling apart before the end. Kathy went home. So that was the day I roamed around town by myself and took photos. Susanne and I sent three boxes full of stuff that we bought or no longer needed for classes back home by Priority Mail. I repacked everything and left the suitcase with one wheel in the garbage can.

On Saturday, Judy joined my class, so it was nice to reconnect with her. She gave me an accordion flag style book she made with her handmade paper and photos she took of the textures at Yellowstone National Park. Such a nice memento of our time together there. I’ll post a photo later. Also sitting at our table was Virginia Sumner, attending her first art retreat. She was kind enough to give us a ride back to the MAX line station so that we didn’t have to lug bags too far. You can check out Virginia’s artwork here. I love making new friends at art retreats, even though I didn’t try very hard at this one.

^^^On Saturday morning we concentrated on the techniques that would have to dry for a while. The first thing we did was make gesso photo transfers on metal. It’s a very simple technique but I always have problems with any kind of photo transfer. I think that I will try to rub a little more paper off.

^^^I had some extra tin so I played with gesso and stencils again.

^^^We went out and picked leaves to do leaf prints on copper and brass. This is a technique that Leighanna developed. The brass turned the copper a bluish color where they were stacked – or was it the copper turned the brass blue – aw heck, I’m mixed up, but it was cool. I think that the brass is the bigger piece.

^^^We spent the afternoon painting and stenciling and stamping watercolor paper with gesso, let them dry, then painted over them with dyes and chalk paint. I could do this for weeks and I don’t know why I don’t do it more when I am at home. I am resistant to getting paint on my hands and I hate gloves so I guess that is it, but if I am somewhere else in a workshop I am happy slapping wet stuff on paper and getting it all over me. I kept going back and adding more color here and there.

^^^The following day we tore our papers into signatures and bound them into a book with a canvas cover with a longstitch binding. I can make three more books with the extra signatures I made.

^^^Then came the tough decision – what metal plate to use on the cover? I would have been fine with several of these. It helped to cut down the leaf prints into smaller sections. Once I did that, one stood out and I went with it.

We attached the metal with a metal punch and little nuts and bolts. I originally bound the book with red thread to give it a pop, but after I attached the plate I rebound it with black thread. Part of the look was to hang ribbons and yarns and odd bits to the threads hanging off the spine. I like that kind of thing, but I didn’t go for it with either of my books. I preferred the simple look of the plain black thread on the spine, so I brought the ends of the threads to the inside as in a pamphlet binding.

I still need to glue the back and front papers to the cover, but I’m very happy with the results I had in both workshops. I don’t expect to come home with something that I am so satisfied with, because the idea is that I am learning and playing, so this was great.

Susanne and I flew back on the redeye from Portland to Greensboro late that night. PDX is a great airport, with good shops and restaurants at normal prices. I end this series with the amazing banh mi from Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen, which I washed down with a “Made Marion” marionberry cider from 2 Towns Ciderhouse. I will miss the food and drinks in Oregon.

art retreats, book arts, Focus on Book Arts, Forest Grove, Oregon

Focus on Book Arts – The Construction of an Art Book

My first class at Focus on Book Arts was with Leighanna Light, titled “The Construction of an Art Book.” Susanne and Kathy joined me for this one. For two days we collaged, painted, and stenciled a strip of canvas that was folded and glued into a book. We also stenciled onto metal pieces and applied chemicals for a “faux etching” effect.

^The process

^Painted canvas strips drying

^Photo by Leighanna Light

^^^My book and each page spread

^Faux etching with stencils on copper and tin

^photo by Leighanna Light

^Leighanna with the students’ books

Forest Grove, Oregon

Forest Grove Eats

We ate well in Forest Grove, but mostly from two places: the downtown farmers’ market where we shopped on Wednesday evening, and Kama’aina, an award winning Hawaiian restaurant that we could not stay away from. We went there three times: on our first night in town, where I had the limu ahi poke bowl that I have dreamed about since the last time we ate there in 2017. We went back after our first class finished on Thursday night and ate garlic furitake fries and edamame appetizers and then Susanne and I went BACK on Saturday afternoon and did it all over again. They also had the best porter I found in town on tap – D’Visionary from Pono Brewing Company in Portland. I wish I could find it here!

^^^Kama’aina

^^^On the same corner with Kama’aina was Slow Rise Bakehouse. Susanne bought a loaf of seeded bread that I ate with almond butter and sliced pears three times – oh yum. The last morning I stuck my head in just for the smells. I had bought this bread two years ago at the farmers market and swooned over it then too.

^^^FG Sushi, very popular, very small, very good. The salad had a particularly wonderful citrus dressing.

^^^Downtown

^^^Valley Arts

^^^off 19th St.

^^^garden gate

^^^Bathroom sign in Ridgewalker Brewing, where I enjoyed a couple of beers at the bar on Friday, my introvert recharge day.

^^^Great posters in the bathroom at Waltz Brewing, where we dodged a hail storm walking home from the farmers’ market. I had hoped to buy a growler of the delicious coffee porter like last time, but they didn’t have any dark beers on tap.

Hey, I hear you, where are the photos of this amazing farmers’ market you carry on about every time you go to Forest Grove? Well, sometimes an event fills up your senses and you don’t remember to take photos. Also, a bad storm was cooking in the sky and we loaded up and left in a hurry. We bought strawberries, blueberries, two kinds of raspberries, two kinds of cherries, another loaf of rye bread from a different baker, lemon hummus, tabouli, tzatziki sauce, pita chips, and a jar of almond butter made with coconut oil. Behind the Farmers’ Market we picked up two delicious cheeses from the Urban Decanter. We munched on these goodies until we left Oregon.

I would like to continue eating this way.

Final note: We were very sorry to see that Maggie’s Buns, another of our favorite places to eat, had closed. We weren’t the only ones who were sad about it.

Okay, the rest of the posts will be about the FOBA classes.

Forest Grove, Oregon

Forest Grove, Oregon

On Tuesday morning, we hit Powell’s one more time, then packed up our stuff and walked to the nearest MAX stop. I lost a wheel on my luggage with the heavy art supplies, but between the two of us we managed. We took the MAX all the way to Hillsboro, where we caught a bus to Forest Grove. Had it not been for the broken wheel, it would have been easy. I won’t mind taking public transport again to this conference, but I will buy a heavy duty wheeled carry-on bag before my next trip.

We both are in love with Forest Grove, Oregon. I long to live there. The weather was almost perfect, temperature wise, anyway. That was a relief since the last two visits were during awful heat waves.

^^^Front of our AirBNB

^^^Angel and daisies

^^^Yummy black raspberries for free munching

^^^Chickens and guineas

^^^View of our apartment and balcony from the trail

^^^Sign that convinced me to not walk on the trail

^^^I like the color scheme of this historic house

^^^Gorgeous flowers and gardens on our walks from our B&B to Pacific University.

Oregon, Portland

Portland, Japanese Gardens, Day 3

Monday was a day for exploring. I had been to the Portland Japanese Garden before, but Susanne had not, and I sure did not mind revisiting that wonderful place. However, I decided that I could no longer stand my hair so first we got that taken care of. After the Japanese Garden we went to Oblation Papers and Press and Dick Blick’s, and of course another trip to Powell’s. I took advantage of not having to pay sales tax or shipping for a few items at Blick’s, but I was good only because I did not have much room in my luggage.

^^^View from the room

^^Haircut

^^^Roses at the International Rose Test Garden

View of downtown Portland and Mount Hood in the distance from the Japanese Gardens

^^^”Forest of Dreams: Ainu and Native American Woodcarving” exhibition. This “Statue of Fusa Sugimura,” by Takeki Fujito, was carved from one piece of wood including the base.

^^^Susanne

^^^iris

^^^koi

^^^So much here is about shadows and light

^^^A bite to eat and tea at the Umami Cafe

Oregon, Portland

Portland, June 2019, Days 1 & 2

My friend Susanne and I headed out to Oregon on June 22 to attend the Focus on Book Arts conference at Pacific University in Forest Grove. We decided to spend a few days in Portland first. We got out there early and took the MAX light rail line and walked the rest of the way to a sweet AirBNB in northeast Portland on the edge of the Mississippi Arts District, something I will not do with heavy luggage again, although I would stay there again. The neighborhood was full of Craftsman houses and creative gardens and the historic Peninsula Park Rose Garden was only a block or two away.

We had heard of an awesome store named Cargo, so we called a Lyft and went shopping on Saturday afternoon. While we were there, we bought snacks and take-out dinner from the Japanese deli within, called Giraffe, and then drank a smoked marzen and pear cider at the brewpub next door, Hair of the Dog.

^^^Entrance to Cargo

^^^Happy Susanne in front of Cargo

The next morning we walked to a coffee shop for bagels and caffeine, then strolled around this historic park:

^^^Peninsula Park Rose Garden

My friend Cat picked us up from our AirBNB at 11 and we ate brunch at Gravy, then walked around on Mississippi Avenue.

^^^Lovely dying tree in front of our AirBNB

^^^Mississippi Avenue sidewalk

^^^Cat and I at Gravy


^^^Cat, Susanne and I somewhere on Mississippi Ave.

^^^Susanne, Donut Bitch, in front of Blue Star Donuts.

Cat dropped us off at McMenamin’s Crystal Hotel, where we dumped our luggage and immediately went to Powell’s City of Books, our happy place.

^^^The Crystal Hotel

^^^The Gillian Welch “Revelator” room

It’s kind of funny that we got the Gillian Welch room since the one concert that I attended with my friend Cat was a Gillian Welch/Dave Rawlings show.


^^^”TriPPPy” Cider at Al’s Den in the basement of the Crystal Hotel, and the last photo with long hair.

We ate take-out from the Whole Foods deli across the street the rest of the time we were in Portland. I don’t usually shop at Whole Foods, but this time I was thankful that it was next door. Plus we had all those damned doughnuts to eat. It was just terrible, forcing me to eat doughnuts like that. I got a chocolate donut with CBD and the server seemed really concerned that I might not know what CBD is. Uh, I feel like I am pummeled with information with CBD constantly, so I am not that out of touch, thanks anyway, now for your own safety, remove your body from between me and that doughnut.

bloggy stuff

Changes

As I am in a life transition of sorts, I think that I’m going to change this blog, drop the domain name, and add a gallery. Most people are on Instagram or Facebook these days anyway. Plus, there is a truly repugnant blog out there now called slowly she turned dot com where this man mocks his unfortunate wife’s journey through menopause. He seems to think he is funny. There’s nothing I can do about it. I should have bought that domain name too, but who knew that would happen? I didn’t want a dot com domain name because I wasn’t selling anything. I liked using dot net because of my connection to fiber arts and my focus on the web of the world around us.

So, beginning September 1, 2019, my URL will likely become slowturnstudio.wordpress.com and I will develop more pages. I’ll still blog, but there might be ads. I’m currently paying $30 per year to keep ads off this blog. I am cutting my budget in many ways and the expense of this blog is one small cut, but it all adds up. I truly hate the ads, especially since I have no control over the content, so we’ll see if or how long I can stand it.

We will all need to transition to the new world, so I know I am not alone. We will all need to find what it is important and let go of what is not. I plan to retire at 62 and travel as much as possible and live frugally as I can. Hopefully there will be plenty of art and gardening and front porch sitting. Who knows what might be ahead? It doesn’t look pretty from here, but I’m going to grab as much beauty from it as I can.

I may begin selling books and fiber art again, but it will probably be through here or Facebook. This will be how I will raise money for travel. Lots of ideas are percolating. Stay tuned.

critters, weaving

Two additions to the family and two additions to the studio

Meet Bernie and Liz.

Bernie is a scrappy little thing and he bit the shit out of Sandy twice when he moved them from their very small cage to the new one we bought for them on Saturday. He hung on like a snapping turtle too. Maybe we should have named him Snapper.

We love birds but we have never wanted pet birds. This spring and summer Sandy bought bird feeders and we have enjoyed watching them and learning to identify them from the front porch. To me, a bird in a cage is a tragedy. However, these birds needed rescuing from a sick relative who had them both crammed into a 13x13x10 inch cage and they had been neglected. We didn’t know about them until he called from the hospital to ask us to feed them. When Sandy went over there, he brought them home.

They are very stressed out and I was half convinced that they would die. Sandy was working a late shift late week and I have had a phobia of being attacked by birds since I was little, so I had a major panic attack before I settled into accepting it. Their cage was nasty and we don’t know a thing about caring for birds. But we are learning. Friends have been giving us advice on Facebook. I hope that we won’t need to take either of them to a vet for a while, because they understandably hate us.

Anyway, here is their new abode, on a sturdy shelf in Sandy’s man cave, where we can shut the door when we aren’t home to keep the cats away. The cats don’t seem interested at all, though. I hope that they become happy. We will try.

The week before, I snagged a Mirrix Little Sister loom at a local thrift/reuse store for only $8.00! It would have been a bargain at $80.00. It appears to have never been used. At the same time, I picked up an old Beka rigid heddle loom for $6.50. I’m looking forward to playing with these this summer.

On Saturday, Susanne and I will go to Focus on Book Arts in Forest Grove, Oregon for the fourth time! We love Forest Grove. I keep checking the real estate prices there, but compared to Greensboro, everywhere seems more expensive. We will spend a couple of days in Portland first. So there will be more travel and book art blogging in late June or July.

I am almost to the end of that long twill gamp that I will use for curtains. Then the plan was to tie the other half of the warp on and weave another set. Whew, that does not sound very appealing right now. I had planned for it to be double weave rugs, you see. Then when I started warping I realized that I had misjudged this warp. It stuck together in the reed so badly that I put half of it aside and switched gears completely. We need curtains. Of course, Diego and Pablocito will destroy them, but that’s life with cats.