Messing About

I did get a walk to the river in a few days ago.

I went off to take my mind off what might have been over thinking a new project. You know how you get inspired by a friend’s work and think, “Ooh, that book binding looks interesting.”? It was that Chinese Dragon Scale Book. The more I thought of it and then researched it….and then dutifully watched a you tube video carefully taking you through the the steps….Well thinking about it some more (unsupervised) I decided it could be done easier by eliminating a few steps.  I proudly measured and folded an entire roll of Sumi paper. See?

Don’t do this! Each folio requires the careful, very careful placement of spacer folios that hold the larger folio in place and lets the pages flip easily from side to side. But now, since my mind has gone unchecked, I have thought of another way to make this thirty folded folios roll work out for me. More later when it works….or there will be no more said about it.

In the meantime I decided to watch the video again and take notes…what in the world will happen when we stop cursive writing to take notes? It all made sense the second time through. So I decided to make a tiny version to test it out. And even then, I got carried away. You can’t just leave those pages with nothing happening!

I had an old rami kimono that I cut apart to use in different works. The blue went nicely with this long strip of paper from Blue Heron suppliers that had jagged blue lines spaced along it. They are vertical here to get the length I wanted.

Then after pasting them in a landscape look across all the exposed spaces of the folios heading off to the right, I looked over my small collection of Asian books written on kozo-like paper that I bought to do shifu threads with. I found these tiny line drawings of warriors. I thought they should be placed along the landscape and show some action by being cut to fit onto different folios’ edges. This book is less than one and one half inches tall.

And all rolled up on the attached chop stick piece, it fits nicely into a very small walnut bowl that Lee turned.

Now the reverse of each folio could also have imagery but the scroll once rolled in this direction and with the addition of cloth bits has no intention of cooperating in flowing off to the left. So it is what it is. I like it and will give it to Patrick to add to the other artist books I have made for him over the years.

And now I totally understand the possibilities of the Chinese Dragon Scale book and it’s limitations if one gets too carried away.

Also a bit more work in the Sticks and Stones Book.

I also decided to start a couple of small projects for book-like structures to work along with my friends in Australia. I am also influenced by my friend, Marla, being over there and sending pictures home. So far Melbourne and Alice Springs. Now on to Cairns and Sydney before coming home a week from today.

So I took out one box loaded with my Australian watercolors from the soils there and colored a long strip of kozo papers attached together. Here is the start..

It is cut to fit around this spool. Once several yards were colored, I used a shoe polish wax (tan) to seal them in and make a better surface for stitching into. It is set aside until I prepare more pages to fit onto another old antique spool.

I am determined to work with only what I have in the way of materials…no more purchasing! There is a hole through the middle of the spool above and I have stuck a curved bone folder that my old art group friend brought to me last week when he and his wife came to dinner. I like the way it sticks out of that hole and I will ask someone to make an eye in it the size of the strip (about an inch) and thread the end of the strip of stitched paper through as an invitation to unwind the spool and then rewind to stick the “needle” back in  place. My mind seems to be traveling faster than the necessary steps that really have to come first…so we will see how that all ends up.

And then a picture of last night’s dinner. Cooking for one is a pain but this was especially delicious. My savoury scones with two farm fresh eggs poached and sitting on top.

Til later…..