Monday, July 30, 2012


I've seen various versions of this quote throughout the years - the San Francisco Center for the Book has a particularly gorgeous version printed at Berkeley in the 1970ies. As a printmaker, this quote by Beatrice Warde never fails to give me chills.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

"Voyage," a suite of drawings

Allison Frost, curator of the exhibition I'm a part of at the Compound Gallery, decided to take a different approach to the catalog that accompanies the show. Instead of just reproducing the work from the show, each artist was given a few pages to make art specifically for them. She also contributed some comics based on each artist - which were AMAZING, and I'll have a post on that later.

Below are the drawings I did for the catalog. It's a visual narrative of some images that were running through my mind, incorporating some handmade papers I had lying around that seemed perfect for this series.

I'll note here, I was doing these drawings around the time Maurice Sendak died, and the dog in the laundry image is a nod to Jennie, the dog in Higglety Pigglety Pop. In her travels, she came for a brief visit to this narrative, though prior to these drawings that was never recorded.

The Compound Gallery still has copies of the catalog for sale. To purchase, please contact them.

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Artist As Storyteller - Exhibition Photos

This past Saturday was the opening for "The Artist As Storyteller," at Oakland's Compound Gallery, which included my work. Here are some shots of it I took before it got too crowded.

I want to publicly thank the exhibition's curator, Allison OK Frost, for all her hard work putting the artists for the show together, installing the work, designing the BEST CATALOG EVER, and for just generally being awesome.

Also, thanks to friends and especially Robert for coming out to support me!

On a related note - NYC Friends - I am also part of this exhibition at the Center for Book Arts! Hope some of you get a chance to check it out!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Fibershed Camp Papermaking Workshop

This week I was so happy and excited to teach a workshop for the Fibershed Camp! My workshop was the last day of their camp - before I came, they had been dying, felting, weaving, and generally learning the basics of how to grow and/or raise their own fiber, as well as the understanding of issues of locality and sustainability in relationship to the clothing industry.

And on the last day, they got to learn how, after their clothes wear out, they can be re-purposed into paper!

I wanted to give the kids the idea of how something like jeans become paper, so we began with the kids having a chance to cut up some jeans. I was a little nervous that the kids would instantly become bored with such a beginning, however this group was blessed with good attitudes. Other than the issue of lacking any left-handed scissors for one child, they all seemed excited to chop up some jeans.

However, I ddin't want to lose time beating (and moving my beater is a whole other issue), so, as Rhiannon likes to say, we did it cooking show style. As they were cutting, I explained how this fiber would need to be soaked and beaten, and then voila! brought out the pulp I had prepared in advance.

Once I pulled out the pulp, the kids couldn't get their hands out of the bucket. We almost had to physically pull them away so they could learn to actually make the paper.

But once we got started....

...things just took off! Some of the tables were a little tall for the kids, so some took to standing on chairs to reach the pulp.

Below, Rebecca and a camper pull sheets.

Finally, the paper was pressed and transferred to paper towels for the kids to take home.

My workshop was in the morning; my afternoon was just spend hanging out at the farm and getting to know the kids a little bit.

The garden has certainly grown since my last visit!

The coreopsis was blooming while I was there.

After lunch, I went with Julie, the kids, the dogs, and the goats on a short little hike to see the waterfall on her property.

Spending time on Julie's farm makes me dream of moving to rural Marin, planting flax and starting a full-on papermill. Heck, Lagunitas Creek was once known as Papermill Creek, so there's evidence of a precedent. If only....

Monday, July 16, 2012

Photos from Papermaking from Plants and Exotic Fibers

This past weekend was the second session in the four part papermaking series I'm doing with Rhiannon Alpers, focused on making paper directly from plants. Rhiannon and I both gathered a variety of fibers, and some students brought in plants from their gardens that we incorporated.

For larger images, please click on the photos.

We had samples of straight plant fiber and mixed with abaca, so students could explore the differences.

The class began with fiber preparation, focusing on some blender tricks for those that might not have a beater. One thing I learned from Rhiannon that day, when using a blender, to ensure that a large blender batch is evenly prepared, count the seconds, usually in units of ten. This way, all the pulp has been prepared the same, preventing lumps, clumps, and uneven sheet formation.

After the fiber was blended, we spent the rest of the afternoon making paper!

Our next workshop - Watermarks - is coming up in August - to register, visit here. Thought please note, due to unforeseen circumstances, the date has been changed to August 18. We will also be offering Sculptural Techniques in September. Finally, to see photos from our previous workshop, please visit here.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

July Papermaking Workshop

Happy Independence Day! In the spirit of DIY Independence, I'd like remind folks the second in the papermaking workshop series I'm doing with Rhiannon Alpers at Bryant Street Studios in San Francisco is coming up. Information below.

Papermaking Basics: Plants and Exotic Fibers
July 14th, 2012 from 10am - 5pm
Taught by Rhiannon Alpers
Materials fee: $10
Held at 1890 Bryant Street, #308 San Francisco

Learn the basics of creating your own handmade paper with exotic fibers from your garden, grocery and local florist. From the harvesting and collecting stage to finished sheets, we'll learn the process for making paper with unique fibers (such as grasses, vegetables, fresh herbs and flowers). Students will get a chance to learn the keys to cook, beat, and form sheets of paper in this one day intensive. Sheets will be air dried and some left to dry under pressure for several days and mailed to students.
Materials are included, and there is a short tool list which will be emailed for the class once you are enrolled.

Fibers for use in this class will be provided and resources given for local sources.

To register for this class, please visit here.

To check out some images from our previous workshop, please visit here.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fibershed and Community

Last Friday I headed across the water to Lagunitas to meet with some of the mavens of the Fibershed project. I'm going to be teaching a papermaking workshop for their day camp. We had a lovely conversation around the esoterics and logistics of fiber, plants, craft, and the possibilities of making.

And they have goats. Goats!

And baby goats!

The vegetable garden:

A sun shed with a small "greenhouse" for sprouting seedlings on the side. It was built from an existing structure that needed repair. All the windows were found on the property.

The farm where they host their camp is an old carmelo walnut orchard. The trees were planted by the former tenant of the property, and now are around forty years old. Lot of nuts to eat and dye with....

Before I left, they let me help myself to the broom plants - or rather, weeds - that are popping up on the property, to see if they have paper possibilities. I'm going to see what I can do with them.

So much paper to make! I wish I had more time.