Monday, May 19, 2008

Of Spider Webs and Altered Books

As promised I have some more art to share with you!! Last Saturday, Becca and I went into Fredericksburg for teh 5 year Anniversary openhouse for Liberty Town Arts Center and Gallery. This fabulous place is a collection of about 25 artists studios where the artists sell their work, create and teach. Currently I am taking a Watercolor Class with Ariel Freeman at Liberty town and I can tell you from experience that it is a wonderful place. Ariel had told us of this even t, so off we went!
The Fredericksburg Spinners and Weavers Guild also has a spot at Liberty Town and the folks there had created a wonderful string Spider Web Construction for anyone to add to. They provided baskets of wonderful fibers and asked any passersby to add their own spidery touches. They saw Becca coming and were excited to see that she would be quite capable on working on some high spots for them! She had a grand time!

We had to leave at about noon so we did not see the finished web but we had a promise that pictures would be taken so we could see the finished product. This was a wonderful activity for all ages! There were also stations were kids could felt a bar of soap and Kool Aid Dying of Wool was also being played with. Everyone was having a grand time. Who knew that Kool Ade would turn out to be such a wonderful source of chemical dye???!!!????

Now for some art. My Mom celebrated a birthday recently and now that she has recieved her gift I can begin to share it with you. I began this project in August of 07, thinking that it would be her Christmas present. Well, you all know how things go! Her birthdday was May 16 and I was a bit pressed to get it to a point were I was happy enough with it to send it to her. I found a book at a Used Book Sale titled The Common THread. As my Mom is a spinner and weaver and comes from a long heritage of needle women, and has shared so many of her talents with me and my daughter, I knew that this book would be the perfect canvas for an Altered Book. So it began!! i had long been collecting "stuff" for a "someday " project so I could get started pretty quickly. I decided to try to follow the techniques of one of my favorite artists Ro Bruhn. Ro is a phenomenal Book and Jewelry Artist from Australia who has inspired me to use lots of color and many layers in my work. You can take a magical journey to see so of her fabulous work here.

So, without further chatter, here is the cover of The Common Thread as Altered for Jean.

and the spine.

I have a difficult time creating art these days without including danglies!!

The little spoon is from a very old chidren's play set and the little sheep is a small plastic toy that I drilled a hole thru and made into a bead, of sorts.

Here is the opening spread.

The majority of the sheep images that I used came form a brochure for the Maryland Sheep and Wool Show. It was full of wonderful sheep art created by many different artists and I simply could not resist including all of the images in this book! I edged a pocket with beaded blanket stitch and would later create tags to include in the pockets.

As you can see I used lots of color, various papers, some of the bird heads that I create for my found object bird sculptures, stamping, candy wrappers, sheet music and book text.

Here is a double pocket spread including some of the tags.

This next spread is one of my favorites as it includes some of my favorite pictures of some of my favorite people, my kids!! That is my Mom holding Becca (aged 9 months) and huggind Matthew (aged 6 years). Below that shot, you see Matthew (aged11) and Becca (aged 6)- matthew's expression hasn't changed!!! Shh- don't tell him that I said that!! On the right hand page is a Vintage photo of me 'dancing" on our patio at about age 5!

This next layout was such fun to creat and I used scraps of papers and a photo of young moi with my wonderful Grandmother.

Along the bottom, I added some wonderful deep red velvet trim to finish off the spread.

Now, if I haven't bored you all to tears, I will share some more of my work in this book in a later post.!

Becca is looking forward to French Toast for breakfast as mandatory testing begins in school today. I had beter get cracking! I'll be back soon!


artisbliss said...

This is wonderful, Elizabeth. I'll bet your mother loves it. I'm with you on the danglies--they're habit forming.

:-D eirdre said...

This is a beautiful tribute! Thanks for sharing it - I'm sure it will be very well received!
:-D eirdre

Evidence of an Artistic Life said...

The book for your mom is gorgeous! Great work!!
hugs chris p

Marilyn Rock said...

Thanks for sharing all of this Elizabeth! Ro Bruhn's work is amazing; I agree. I try to keep up with her Blog as much as I can. Her earrings are lovely and your altered book is awesome!!!! Just amazing!

Dot said...

This is incredible Elizabeth! You do such beautiful work. I am very inspired to continue to work in my altered book after doing one of Ro's classes! And even more so after this post!


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