What does it take to make a difference? Small and simple things. This past week, I took a skill that I learned and paid it forward by making something that will be up for sale to benefit Autism Speaks. Tomorrow my friends are hosting a community event that will feature many items ranging from quilts, to dolls, to beaded jewelry, to baked goods, all made with the hands of talented and thoughtful people who wanted to make a difference.
I thought I would share the fruit of my labors before they find good homes. Each of these notebooks is 3.5×5″ and features a Van Dyke print of one of my images. For the binding I used my preferred Japanese bookbinding technique and book’s signatures have some mixed patterned paper sprinkled in for interest. Hope that these little babies do their magic and put a little money toward a great cause.
Everyone has a gift. Make sure you make time to give a little bit of that gift back to the world. I guarantee you’ll have just as much fun as I did!
I’m working on my Van Dyke prints and while giving them a final wash I had a an awesome song pop into my head. Please, enjoy! I especially love the ratchet at the end. Totally reminds me of the fun days discovering instruments in the percussion section. The ratchet was one of my favorite auxiliary instruments!
Anyway, while you are listening, here is a sneak peak into some work in progress Van Dyke prints for my fundraiser contribution in support of Autism Speaks!
I shared several months ago some of the cyanotype prints I was working into a book and I think it’s long time you all saw the finished look! I did a more traditional looking spine, using handy dandy walk through bookbinding instructions posted online.
I layered in pages of fabric. The prints are still visible through each of the layers and the fabric changes the feel of the cold and stark cyanotype prints.
This book was selected for a student show called “Soft” held on campus at the end of November. I didn’t include my artist statement earlier, so thought I might here.
Princess in the Well is a handmade book featuring cyanotype prints illustrating beautiful young woman in lovely formal gowns, many of them suspended in water. The pages of cyanotypes are separated by layers of soft fabric and lace, playing on the gentle quality of the young women. The prints can be viewed through the layers of fabric softening the look of each image and providing additional warmth and interest. Each woman carries a grace and confidence that is uniquely her own but each woman is discovered to be a princess in the well.
Life is like a landscape.
You live in the midst of it but can describe it only from the
vantage point of distance.
- Charles Lindbergh
Gum Bichromate is an alternative photographic process that, for me, requires a great deal more patience than I currently have. These prints have high maintenance requirements to turn out a decent print and messing up a step means hours of wasted effort. So, if you are like me at all, you spend a lot of time making sure you do every step exactly right and quit while your ahead. *wink*
You’ve seen these images before, but I used the gum bichromate process to make them “special”. If they aren’t special, I can certainly fall back on that “one of a kind” line. haha
This is probably one of my favorite books, mostly because I chose to make a dedication (not featured here) and a title page. I think the vellum title page takes it up a few notches in cool factor.
I decided to embrace the “clean” style I’ve been developing. To be honest, a lot of the time I found myself envious of other classmates that seemed to be able to be more free, artsy fartsy, shabby chic, and out of the box than me. Oh well! Clean and simple is me. Might as well do a darn good job at being as precise as possible. That key on the cover is as out of the box as it gets for me. =)
For the curious, this is the Japanese bookbinding technique I’ve used before. I like how clean and expeicially how fast and easy it is. (It gets bonus points for not requiring glue!)
For my “School Daze” Van Dyke Handmade book, I needed a visually interesting title. I don’t know where it came from, but I remembered I had some old school papers from when I was a kid and I thought maybe I might find something there that I could work with.
I found a story that I wrote probably when I was 6 or 7 about a baby bear (which was a little painful to read actually. Going back to read old writing always does that to me.) I sampled letters from the story and I came up with this.
I was able to print all my images last night too and here are the pages that will be included in the book. The are printed though Van Dyke processing on Roobee stone paper (which is awesome by the way).
I am thrilled that I get to share with you a more successful round of cyanotypes! I know that I still have some work to do in order to get them perfect, but these are light years better than my other attempts. Such a relief to stop getting messed up prints and blank pages and get these gorgeous beauties instead!
Share in my joy!!!
Aren’t they so much better? I am so excited and it looks like they’ll work great for my Alternative Processes class. =) These are going to get bound into a book with about four other prints I’ve yet to do, but I have a feeling its going to all come together now that I’m in the swing of things. Yay! =)
Today I’ve spent most of the day prepping for and trying out my very first cyanotype prints. For those of you who are not familiar with cyanotype, it’s a process that was one of the first ways of making photographic prints using paper. The name comes from the blue color of the prints (which is super beautiful and dramatic).
These days we can use the same process, but we can update it using new technology in negatives. I’m using negatives printed from digital files. Alas, it’s the printing portion I’m finding challenging! Who knew it would be so difficult to stick some chemical on some paper and lay it in the sun for a while? I’m taking the rest of the day off and trying again tomorrow. Hopefully they’ll turn out better than these!
See that big line across the top? That’s not supposed to be there…
This needs a little (read a lot) more exposure.
Wish me luck! I need to perfect this process ASAP! Haha!