The Garden Book is finished and there will be two more made just in case I want to exhibit one. Six blocks were carved to get the images I wanted, larger ones for the backdrop and ones to cut out for the foreground. This took days to make and the best part for me was the carving of the wood and the engineering of how it would all fit together and still be a book, still maintain the idea of being in a three dimensional garden scene.
All of it done to represent the essentials of how our front yard was re-landscaped to have this feeling of stone paths meandering through Japanese maples and boulders and shrubs and coming to an end at the front door where the water garden is.
We have the large gong but we have yet to see the gate-like structure for it. This will take more time but is coming and be the first thing seen coming up the drive, so it had to be the feature of the first page.
Lately I have been thinking of how those of us who are “makers” just keep making whether we have a place for the work or not. I don’t really have a commercial gallery for artist books. They take so much time to do that pricing seems too hard to figure out and out of proportion to what the buyer would consider spending. It is the same with sculptural pieces that tell a story of their own. There is no way to let it go to a gallery for fifty percent of the retail value. But what else can we do with all these things we make.
I am getting ready to make some new pieces for a shop, The HomeWork Series. The frames cost me $12 each (they are 11″ x 14″). I will paint them next in a color I needed to buy by the case to make sure that there would be enough of this graphite grey when I needed it to keep the pieces consistent. I ordered paper that cost $5 a sheet to get perhaps two mat boards worth cut from each sheet as I cover and create inset shelves for small found objects that go with each piece. Next I will hand stitch a small boro like textile that will suspend from a branch from the garden and hang over a graphite drawing. There will be additional stitching and a small collection of little things related to the image. I will need to purchase glass for the frames and finish the backs where there will also be a small envelope containing a list of materials and techniques used in the completion of each work.
The finished work will maybe sell for $300 maximum in the shop. I will be paid $150. And from that $150 I have spent at least $30 in materials and many hours in the careful planning and execution. At least when I finish these pieces they will have a place to go.
The ones that come back from exhibition are here, waiting for me to make a decision on what to do with them. There are getting to be too many of them. Too many things are coming from my head and hands.
I am talking myself into being a writer. Just pen and paper and most of that ending up in a bin. Seems like a good solution when I finish tackling the problem of too many things on shelves and walls and boxes and corners that I don’t even want to go into.