Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy dance!

OK, the screens are finished!

And per request by Dr. Russ, here's my happy dance video:

I really am's true. (It's from my phone.) The CD is Naser Musa's Khaliji album (with Souhail Kaspar on drums); this piece is called Laylah.

Here's a still photo of 3 of the 6 panels:

And those extra 100 brass screws that I drove all over town to get? I needed exactly 2 of them!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Ack! Oil spots!

I noticed today that, despite having washed and washed and cleaned the used gocco screens, and cleaned again with windex before I sandwiched them in between the plexi, some of the screens are forming oil spots! Argh.

So I've washed the remaining screens again, and here they are, drying in the pretty:

Of the ones already installed in the room divider, I'll let them be until after I bring the room dividers home and clean them again then.

Otherwise, the day was action packed. Had back to back interviews about the Relay Replay exhibit in the afternoon; then after dinner, went over to Laura's to pick out the pieces for Intersect/Parallel.

I hope I'm not getting sick; all evening, I've had stomach cramps, the kind you get when you're really hungry. Except this started after I had a rather satisfying dinner. And now I'm feeling kind of sick to my stomach too. Yuck.

Pack Rat Tuesday

Objet d'rat #3, those pesky credit card offers that include a fake credit card for 'YOUR NAME HERE':

I figure that they'll make good covers for some miniature books someday.

But how about those room divider screens?

Exhibit A, here's a screen being cut loose from its frame.

Exhibit B, the pile after a whole bunch of screens have been cut loose from their frames, and plus the backings from the plexi sheets:

Exhibit C, here the screens have been mounted on, eh, the screen:

I am, obviously, not anywhere near finished; I'm just 2/3 way through the first screen. It still needs 30 more holes filled. Then I do the exact same thing with the other screen, only with different, eh, gocco screens.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Find the mistake in this picture

So do you see the problem?

This was the picture I showed for my Hey hey hey! Yay yay yay! entry, and the books in the front stack were the ones I delivered to Sheila and her son today.

As I proudly unwrapped the books and was showing them off, I suddenly saw that I made a mistake! And holy cow, the next book had the same mistake, although at a different location.

It's the binding...see it now?

Anyhow, Sheila and Bill decided they didn't want them rebound, so the edition will just be a 'varied edition.' I need to go check to see if there are more of these in the other pile...

Friday, November 21, 2008

The grand tour of Portland's hardware stores!

Phew! This was an action packed day. Started at 8:30am by heading out to my critique/collaboration group's working meeting. We were just going to each work on our own pieces (a place setting), so I brought some sculpey to see if I could make some blueberry game pieces. (My place setting is going to be a game board, although I haven't figured out the game yet.) It worked out well, but it was obvious that I needed some different colors than the ones I got.

From there, it was onto lunch with Horatio, an well established artist who's always been so encouraging and helpful with my work.

Then came the Grand Tour!

Subtitle: Wow, there are sure a lot of hardware stores in Portland...someone could start a blog reviewing them all!

I needed 720 itty bitty tiny screws, preferably brass, for the room divider screens. Naturally, I started at Winks Hardware. And yes, they had what I needed! But only 622 of them. I cleaned them out. They sent me onto Division Hardware. I got there just after 2pm, and sadly, the store was closed from 2 to 5pm for a memorial service...the owner had passed away.

As it happened, a cabinet maker arrived at the same time, and we struck up a conversation. He was very helpful, and sent me to NBH (or was that NHB?), back very close to where Winks is, and said, "they sell to the trade, but I bet if you told them you're an artist needing to do this project, they'd help you out."

Terrific. So I headed back towards the river. Nope, they didn't have what I needed, but they sent me 10 blocks south to General Threads. Don't bother looking them up, it's not the type of place that would have a website. In other words, it's just about the coolest place in town! Floor to ceiling of little tiny boxes, drawers, and trays. Many of them sitting precariously in mounds on the floor. The whole shebang is covered in dust, and there's the guy sitting right by the front door. You tell him what you want, and he gets it for you. And yup, they did have what I wanted. And there was a collection of ancient typewriters too. They still have brand new unopened boxes of screws from back when phillips heads were brand new. He proudly showed one to me, "see, here it says, introducing phillips screws..."

I just looked up phillips screws, and there's a Portland connection! And the patent dates to 1936.

One thing does make you wonder though—his glasses were missing a leg...didn't he have just the right screw to fix that?

The rest of the evening was a bit more uneventful. Stopped by at the house/studio of one of the artists in the Intersect/Parallel show to pick out the pieces for the show.

It was 7pm by the time I got home.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hey hey hey! Yay yay yay!

Notice something? There are 7 books in the front stack, 10 books in the back stack, 3 books up at the JWSC already...and that makes 20 books! Which means, I'm done with editioning the books from this year!

Jubilation comes when I'm finished with the screens as well.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


OK, this exhibit, Intersect/Parallel, must feel like the little orphan, I've hardly talked about it at all, having spent all my time working on Relay/Replay. (Hmmm, do I have a thing for 2 word composite exhibition titles?)

But, I picked up the postcards today:

I thought they did a nice job with the design. This is a show I put together last year and proposed to the G&V Walters Cultural Arts Center, and was accepted. It's the five of us, all engineers by training but also work as artist. There's a photographer, a sculptor, 1 painter, 1 book artist, and 1 painter/book artist (that'd be me). We hang the show on Dec 1. I would've liked it if it was earlier in the fall so I don't have the collision with the 2 exhibits in December, but well, this is what always happens I suppose.

If this exhibit goes well, I'm thinking that we can do an open call for Intersect/Parallel II for next year!

And here are the screens for Relay/Replay. On the left side, I've oiled and buffed it with Danish oil; on the right, it's just the plain unfinished cherry.

Here you can see the size of the thing a little better, but it really feels much bigger in real life than what it looks like here. They'll get heavier too, way heavier, once I put all the images in the holes. The images will be sandwiched between sheets of plexi.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

RACC featured artist

Well, I thought I was going to show pictures of the room divider screens, but blogger is refusing to upload them again. So instead, how about a link to the featured artist highlight on RACC's page? It's currently listed on RACC's homepage as well, which is really nice, but I'm not sure how long it will be on the homepage.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Pack Rat Tuesday

Objet d'rat #2, big sticks and...

...little sticks.

I consider the garden an extension of my studio, so yeah, these count! For years, I've been thinking that I could make something with these (in addition to the trellises and such). Most are from my yard, but some I have dragged back from other places too. Most notably, in the big sticks photo, the curved branch right at the front—I dragged that one back from Tektronix campus a few years back when they chopped down a bunch of trees between Building 50 and 58 (where I spent my mis-spent youth) and built a Starbucks! They had the area all cordoned off, but when I came back from lunch, there was an opening. So I figured, hey, that must meant I could go in there.

So naturally, I went in there poking around. Then a couple of big guys in hard hats came out from behind some big tractors and started yelling at me and Giao, my accomplice. But then they asked what we were doing there (that was their mistake), so of course I said I was looking for a big branch.

"Ah, well, do you know which one you want?"

"Umm, how about that one?" I pointed to a big curved branch still attached to a tree.

"Well, ok." Then they took out a chainsaw and cut it right off for me. They even offered to load it in my car for me! But it really wasn't so big that we needed help.

So that's my souvenir branch from Tektronix. I had thought I'd use it to top the 2 big posts to make a little gate of sorts, but when I tried it, it didn't look quite right, so I did this instead, and the branch is still waiting for just the right project to come along.

Tragedy in the garden.

Not sure when this happened, but I noticed yesterday that half of the persimmon tree was lying on the ground!

The fallen half had ripped itself right off the trunk...this looks pretty serious.

I had been meaning to prune the tree for a couple of years and just never got around to it, so now it's gone and done it itself, although it didn't do a very good job. I've rescued the persimmons, 3 with spouts, but I doubt that they'll ripen.

After I cleaned it up, it doesn't look too bad. I'll have to see if there's something I'm supposed to put on the wound. The upside is that the vegetable bed will now get more sun.

The camellia that's blooming now. It's one of my favorite plants in the garden.

Relay/Replay at the library.

So here they are, at the John Wilson Special Collections, with lots of reflections from the overhead light and the window.

But what did I do today?

I did finish the 2nd room divider screen, and took photos. I'll upload those tomorrow. By 'finish,' I just mean that I put Danish oil on the wood and buffed it. I still need to insert the prints and gocco screens into the openings. These past 2 days have been really nice, so I wanted to take advantage of good weather and do the stuff that I have to do outside.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Relay/Replay, part I installed, part II...feverishly trying to finish

I actually have photos from the show installed at the John Wilson Special Collections today, but blogger is being a butt and won't upload them very quickly. And I just haven't got all night, you know! So maybe tomorrow.

Anyhow, Friday—installed the show. Saturday—labels went in, plus I saw the fine press show at Collins Gallery, and the Shiva Ahmadi show at PNCA (another person was showing too, but I went for Shiva Ahmadi's work). Today—oiled and buffed one of the room divider screens, I should be able to do the other tomorrow.

And also on Saturday night, saw Fidelio...can't say that it's going to be one of my favorite operas, but must mention that the lovely gl from the scarlet letters was a 'townsfolk' in the production! (And I didn't make any faces at you!)

And I just realized today that I'm on a collision course as far as installation goes. On Nov 30/Dec 1, I'm supposed to be installing 3 different shows!

Friday, November 14, 2008

And I thought this day would never arrive!

I installed the Relay/Replay show today!

I still need to do the labels, which I'll do tomorrow. I still have 8 'Sheilas' left to bind (haha, dr. russ..) I also hope to get a photo tomorrow. It's a hard space to photograph though. It's a glass covered case with overhead lights. I'll see what it looks like. Then I took the rest of the afternoon off and went on a gallery walk. I haven't done that in a LONG time. Most notable was the Manufactured exhibit at Contemporary Craft, definitely worth seeing. I ordered the catalog too (even though it was kind of pricey). Pack Rats should especially take note of this exhibit!

In the mean time, I finished one leg warmer. Exhibit A:

Aren't the buttons cute?! In real life, it's less blue and more gray-purply.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

MiT book, Sheila!

OK, I've been working away at binding Sheila for the last couple of days. With 12 books completed, total Needle Death Toll stands at 5. I go in and install the show tomorrow.

Anyhoo, here are some photos of the book in progress. I chose the gray-blue liner, and here's a print that's been tipped in on the page, and I'm lining it:

After all the prints are mounted and lined, the text block is clipped together, weighed down with a brick, and I'm about to drill holes for binding. I have a guide in position with hole locations marked:

And here's the finished book.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Introducing...Packrat Tuesdays!

The Pearl has First Thursdays; SE Art District has First Fridays; Multnomah Village has Last Fridays; Dr. Russ has Paper Fridays. And then there's Michael5000, who got Quizzes Mondays and Thursdays AND Classical Music Wednesdays. I think he's got something going on Tuesdays too, but lets ignore that for a second.

Anyhow, before all the days of the week are all taken, I'm staking my claim on Pack Rat Tuesdays.

Objet d'rat #1:

A jar full of fortune cookie fortunes.

I actually used quite a few of these fortunes for an edition of gocco printed greeting cards. It was a 3 color gocco print of a drawing of fortune cookies, with a fortune attached. It was one of my best selling cards, and I always intended to print more; but, the screen was accidentally destroyed.

So, what are Pack Rat Tuesdays?

Well, originally, this was going to be Tchotzke Tuesdays, but objet d'tchotzke didn't sound quite right, so Pack Rat Tuesday it is. And on these Tuesdays, I shall introduce priceless items that evidently have accumulated in my studio. Some of these took years to gather, like the fortune cookie fortunes, for example; others were acquired simply because I had the good fortune to be at the right place at the right time.

And I always think, "oh hey, yeah, of course I'll be able to make something with THIS!"

Monday, November 10, 2008

Broke 3 more needles today!

So if breaking 1 needle is good luck, should I run out and buy a lottery ticket or something?

After the 3rd needle, I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to drill much bigger holes for sewing. Anyhow, I have 5 books completed, 15 more to go. And yes, I went with the gray-blue liner. And Dr. Russ, it's not so bad, I do it sitting down at the table. And with the radio on, it's actually pretty relaxing.

When I told the Good Prince that I broke 3 needles today, he looked at my bag of knitting and said, "just what kind of knitting are you doing?"

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Winter is here

And I know this because all day, all I wanted to do was to go back to bed. Unfortunately, the Good Prince had already ripped the sheets off the bed and started the laundry, and I just couldn't get myself to make the bed. Finally, at 2:30pm, it was time to go to the weight room. That did help a little bit, but it wasn't until after dinner that I really woke up...just in time, huh?

I also know it's winter because I get the urge to knit! And I really can use more leg warmers. In addition to keeping me warm, they also keep my pant legs from getting soaked when I walk, which is a nice feature.

I think I've finally made a decision on the final book—a fine line border around each print. Although the heavier, darker borders really set off the prints nicely, they just felt too intrusive; but some of the prints really do need something otherwise they disappear into the background paper, which is so close in color. Although, the Nepal Light has quite a bit of variation in colors, so sometimes no border works and sometimes not.

So anyhow, I'll be hand-lining the prints in a fine liner pen. I can't decide on silver, sepia, or the gray-blue (I bought one of each of liner pens). I've done 1 book in the silver already, and will probably do 1 in each of the colors before I choose.

Off to knit myself some leg warmers!

Losing a favorite possession

Well, didn't get much done with the book today, although I did get everything trimmed down. Instead, most of the afternoon was spent looking for a favorite pendent of mine.

It's a little Persian miniature painted on mother of pearl that my American dad brought back for me from Iran back before the Shah was ousted. I had taken it off its normal beaded chain to wear with a simpler chain, two years ago, as part of my My Name Is Red costume for the IPRC Text Ball. And tonight was again the annual event, and I suddenly realized that I have no idea where the pendent is any more. It's normal beaded chain (the one I took the pendent off from) is exactly where it's supposed to be, but I spent the afternoon looking everywhere and didn't find the pendent. Although I'm sure I brought it home that night (don't remember any panic attacks then), I have no recollection of seeing it or doing anything with it again after that.

I know, I know, everyone's saying once I stop looking, it will turn up. But what I'm afraid of is that it fell on the floor and got sucked up by the vacuum, a long time ago.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

MiT book, decisions, decisions...

...and I'm so bad at making them.

Instead of deciding on one of the two options I was considering yesterday, I've, of course, decided on a 3rd option instead. All day, I was pretty confident that that was THE way to go, and in fact had mocked up my proof copy already. Unlike photoshopping the mockup, this is an irreversible, actual mockup.

But now, at midnight 30, I'm not so sure again. I guess more sleeping is necessary.

However, I did rebind the proof copy with a thicker, gray-blue thread, and I'm very happy with that. As luck would have it, I already had this spool of gray-blue linen thread which I had never used and had forgotten about. I tried it out, and both the color and the weight were perfect.

I broke a needle while I was binding it. I wonder what that means?

Thursday, November 06, 2008

MiT I really finished with printing?

I've sewn up a proof copy of Sheila:

I see that I'll need to do a modified version of this binding so that the corners are a little better protected; I'll also need to use a thicker 'gauge' thread, if that's the term for threads. I'll also dye the thread to match the title color.

Here's the first print (that's a chunk of wax holding down the pages):

And the page where the text changes from the Drizzle alphabet to Savoye LET, which I chose because it's easy to read, fairly simple so it doesn't compete with anything else, and the slight lean to the right helps to 'speed up' the reading. The text was printed in the wrong location on this copy; the rest of them were fine.

And one of the later prints:

I think I'll need one more blank page after the last print and before the colophon. I'm waffling on whether I need some kind of a border around the prints or not. I like the photograph of her in the studio without the border, but the others seem to be floating somewhat. While I think that works for Black Snow, I'm not sure that it works for all of them...for example, I don't know that it works for Sunshine.

So, maybe I'm not finished with printing after all?

15 minutes later...

Yeah, I guess I'll need to print a border. Here are some mockups, using a rough border and the color's not quite right. I'd probably create the actual border by drizzling as well:

But of course I'm going to sleep on it.

Yet another 15 mintues later...

I don't know, having stared at them for another 15 minutes, now I'm thinking no border...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

MiT book, finished printing Sheila's book! Yay!

And you know what that means! I'm finished printing for my RACC project! There's still plenty to do—binding 20 copies of this book and finishing the two room divider screens, but I'm happy for this milestone.

So here are 2 pages of the book. These are not going to face each other, I just randomly grabbed 2 pages. The spine edge (in the middle) will get trimmed down so the book will be not quite as wide as this. And since it will be a Japanese stab binding, it will loose another inch or so from each side along the spine edge. So the text and graphics will not be so far apart as you see here. The little graphic on the right is the pressmark for her Imprimery Graphics Studio, which I reproduced using a not very good picture I took with my cellphone.

And after much talking about, here are a couple of pictures of the pine shelves I put into the closet. Much more vertical storage space. Unfortunately, the legs of the shelves make them not quite big enough to store all the pillow books in there, so I'll have to figure something else out. Right now, I still have 2 of the pillows stored on the bed...but where else would pillows go anyhow? The pillow books will be out at the G&V Art Center for a couple of months Dec/Jan, so I'll take the opportunity then to get rid of the bed.

There's still some empty space on the shelves because I'm not quite finished cleaning/reorganizing yet. I'm doing that in between printing, while things dry. The shelves will be stuffed full before I'm finished.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

9pm, we got home from dinner. I walked over to the radio, clicked it on, and heard Neal Conan's voice say "...Barack Obama, the next president of the United States..." (or something like that).


Do I know when to turn on the radio or what?!

Book, studio

Printed the titles for 7 of the 12 prints today; cleaned and reorganized the studio some more. And late in the evening, suddenly realized that I need to cut paper for one more page...because the way the titles and the prints are laid out facing each other, I need 13 pages for 12 print, not 12 page for 12 prints. Well, duh!

"I do too read your blog," was all that the Good Prince had to say on the subject of studio renovations.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

More about that one-thing-leads-to-another style of studio renovation

Ha! Since the Good Prince hasn't been keeping up with my blog, I think I'll just let the renovation be a surprise! Besides, like everything else I do, it will take so long and the changes will be so gradual, he may not even notice. And if he does notice, well, I'll just say that it gives both rooms better air circulation (which is true). He always goes for that.

Will it be my dream studio? Well, my dream studio is that ultra modern addition that we will add on the top of the house in my next life. So this will just be the knock-down-the-wall studio; it will definitely be better than what I've got now and it will be terrific, if not quite dreamy.

In the honesty-has-its-own-rewards department

Remember that I decided belatedly last night that I needed more shelves? So I went back to the store first thing in the morning and got another bundle. The cashier rang it up and it was $34.99.

I said, "I think it's supposed to be $44.99."

The cashier checked and, "nope, it's $34.99."

"Really? I paid $44.99 last night."

"Oh, it went on sale this morning."

"Hmmm, well, that's a bummer, I just bought it last night."

"Take your receipt to customer service, you'll probably get your $10 back."

And as luck would have it, I did have the receipt, and they did give me my $10 back!

In the it-always-takes-longer-than-you-think-department

But of course I'm still not finished cleaning and reorganizing everything. The shelves are in. After much struggle. Those pre-drilled holes are convenient, but not always the most accurately aligned. The room is looking much nicer already.

And I found a bundle of old greeting cards from the 90's, some gocco printed, a few woodblock printed, and some color-copied. IPRC is having their auction and they said they'd be happy to take them off my hands; they might be able to auction off the whole lot and make a few dollars; better than them sitting in my closet and taking up space.

Fried brains, anyone?

I AM getting old. I was totally cooked after the 4 hour gocco class today. And it wasn't even full; I had just 4 people. It's true that I did not sleep very well last night, and the students arrived early so I didn't get a chance to have my coffee, but boy, I was definitely not up to my usual teaching standards and I was exhausted afterwards.

Just couldn't bring myself to gocco more after that, so didn't work on my senior's book. Instead, I decided to organize the studio! Didn't I just do that, you say? Well, yes, that was the other part. I actually occupy two small bedrooms, one of them was the guest-bedroom until I set up the upstairs spare room as the guest-bedroom earlier this year. So the downstairs ex-guest-bedroom then became the full time gocco room, but it still has the old bed in the middle of it. I'm storing all kinds of things on the bed. I'd like to get rid of the bed so that I can actually use the room to teach a painting class that I'm trying to set up, but first, I have to find somewhere else to store all the stuff that's on the bed.

So at 8pm tonight, I decided to build some shelves for the closet. Of course I got half way through and decided that I need more shelves, and now the store is closed. I guess I'll have to finish tomorrow.

But hah! After that, all the stuff on the bed and on the floor will be stowed away in the closet. Then I'll get rid of the bed. And after much thinking about the pros and cons, I think I am going to open up the wall between the 2 rooms.

While it's nice to have the one room to gocco so I can keep the smells out of the other room, both rooms just feel really cramped. And also, both rooms would get more natural light if I open up the wall. And if I'm going to teach painting in that room, I'll have to deal with the gocco smell somehow, like installing a vent and a fan.

So, shelves in the closet leads to getting rid of the bed, which leads to opening up the wall, which I'm sure will lead to ripping up the carpet, and god knows what else!