Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Bird & Pumpkin go to Boot Camp

My arms feel like limp spaghetti noodles. I do an exercise boot camp at 5:30 in the morning. It's really hard to get up at 4:40 am everyday (and most days it takes a lot of convincing myself to get out of bed) but I always feel better and have more energy AFTERWARDS. Today (Halloween) we needed to bring a pumpkin to work out with--think medicine ball. Well of course, I had to decorate mine with paper since we were restricted to not carve out the inside--it would make it too light! This is my favorite bird from our Migration of Junk Mail exhibition and I thought he was such a nice complementary color for the pumpkin so the whole scheme was driven by him. I like decorating pumpkins but I hardly ever do it so I'm glad I had a reason to do it. Here's what I learned about decorating pumpkins this go around:

  1. Pumpkin surfaces are too uneven to use rubber stamps cleanly
  2. Stickles work great (even tho the pumpkins are a little waxy) and make them sparkly!
  3. Handmade paper glued on with PVA lays on nicely
  4. To double make sure the paper circles didn't pop up, I used a matte gel medium over them
  5. Most pumpkins don't need so much reinforcing unless you are using them as a medicine ball--the stickles even stayed on with all the handling!
  6. It is hard to figure out how to attach a bird to a pumpkin that you'll be using as a medicine ball. (Especially at 11 pm the night before) Gary used some sort of long eye screw that was open on one side to go around the bird's leg and into the pumpkin stem
  7. Weigh the pumpkin in advance next time before using as a medicine ball--11 pounds feels like 800 lbs after lifting it above your head 50 times while doing squats. 3 lbs sounds like a better number!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Left brain or right brain?

Are you left brained or right brained? You've got to see this, it's kind of mind boggling. I looked at it and called Gary in to see it to ask him which way he was the dancer moving--clockwise or counterclockwise.

Initially, we were total opposites! But I realized as I started to read the article, the dancer changed directions. It is totally wild. (Click on the dancer and it will take you to the site)

Monday, October 29, 2007

Where did the time go?

Wow, I can't believe I'm so behind on posting. Yikes! October came and went in the blink on an eye.

October has been a crazy roller coaster of amazing highs and a few quirky hiccups.

One of the best highlights of the of a month was being named Best Paper Shop 2007 in the Best of Phoenix by the Phoenix New Times. This is the third year in a row we have received that designation and it thrills us beyond belief because we work really hard to bring you the best selection of papers, innovative products, tremendously talented instructors and way cool exhibitions. Thank you to the New Times and all of you who keep us inspired and on our toes!

We did have to note a teensy weensy exception to the wonderful write up--where they were describing the studio--"Shelves and racks brim with Japanese paper...decorative papers sporting patterns from country checks to preening cats." Country checks and preening cats? We had to scratch our heads on that line. We do have papers with images in checked patterns--cats in costumes, pigs on ladders, circus poodles and women hitting each other with whisk brooms but there is nary a country check or a preening cat found on any of our papers that we can think of. (we had pictures of our real cats on our blog...maybe that was it)

The first weekend of October was a blast with Teesha and Tracy Moore. They are such talented artists and terrific people as well. It is always a rollicking good time when they are here. Two journal creating days and an artist reception kicked off our 3rd Visual Journal Show--Under the Covers III. The show will come down at the end of the week so trot over if you haven't had a chance to see it yet. You can also view it online of course!

In the middle of the visual journaling project we worked like major crazy bees to finish a huge project in 12 days--from concept to execution--including ordering, designing, letterpressing and assembling till the cows came home. Several really late nights and tons of adhesive!

Last weekend we had Cecile Webster here from Chicago teaching papermaking from the garden and grocery for two days. Everyone up to their elbows in pulp and fabulous paper from rosemary, milkweed, corn, banana leaves, oats, papyrus and more. Fun was had by all and no one ate the paper!

Well life at The Paper Studio is by no means perfect and we seemed to have lots of annoying hiccups to deal with this month--mainly those pesky annoyances that comes with owning a building & business. It started with our security system going off several times a day for 3 weeks for no reason and no one being able to fix it! After 3 phone service people and 6 security system people being at our building for hours at a time it is finally fixed. I could have pulled my hair out! That was only one of the issues we had to contend with--glitchy things with the AC, our sign, lights and more. Egads. We are such "get it fixed NOW" fanatics--being at the mercy of repair folks has been a bit wearing on our nerves. Thankfully we can see the light at the end of the tunnel!

But on a really fun note, we got some way cool orders from some really interesting companies that we can't really reveal but talk about 6 degrees of separation--down to one degree from major, major icons. Whoo hoo! (And be on the lookout for The Paper Studio's name in some national publications--we'll post them as soon as they become official. )

This weekend, we wrapped up the month with a really fun Polaroid Transfer class. Talk about renegade students. They made amazing transfer and emulsion lift images and tons of them! Everyone worked until the very last minute. Such fun especially since most of them didn't have any experience with this medium! Don't you just love LuAnne's cow image?

Well, that pretty much wraps up October! Looking sooooooooo forward to November!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Book Autopsies--Brian Dettmer

Everyone has been blogging about Brian Dettmer and his book autopsies over the past couple of weeks. His work is fabulous and I got a kick out of that he went to Columbia College Chicago (although not at the Book and Paper Center) but! none the less...

His work involves the alteration of preexisting books to transform their physical form and/or to selectively remove and reveal content to create amazing works of art. A significant and notable body of Dettmer's work is created by altering books without inserting or moving any of the books' contents. Dettmer seals, then slices and carves into older textbooks, dictionaries, encyclopedias, medical guides, science books, engineering books, history books, comic books, and others, exposing select images and text to create intricate works that impart or reveal new or alternative interpretations of the book.

So inspiring! Scalpel please!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Misprint Type--This Site Rocks!

I know this site has blogged about for months but I wanted to make sure our readers were aware of it. I love the collage work of Eduardo Recife, an artist who was born in 1980, Belo Horizonte (MG) Brazil. He started his own site project back in 1998, titled Misprinted Type. The site consisted in basically showcasing his experimental typefaces and artwork. Things got bigger and in 2003, Recife launched the 2nd version of Misprinted Type and for that he won recognition in lots of magazines, books and websites.

There is so much fun stuff on this site--collage, fonts, drawings, photos... you'll get deliriously lost! Plus there is lots of fab free fonts (say that 3 times really fast) that you can download. Go to his link on projects and watch Invisible--a scrolling poem with music--I just love it!

Here's a couple of pieces that are on his commercial site that were commissioned by HBO's Assume the Position.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Visual Journaling Exhibition

The Visual Journaling show--Under The Covers III is now in our gallery! Oh what a visual delight it is! I love visual journaling--it's like extreme diary-ing or graphic journals filled with vivid colors, crazy text forms and interesting images. As a book artist, I'm always more restrained--I can never let loose on the page the way these artists can! I tried to keep a visual journal once--it became more of food and exercise log and somewhere along the line, all the images fell by the wayside...sigh...I'll stick to artist books and live vicariously through these bunch of talented journalers! (stay tuned, it will be in our gallery section on our website soon!)

The artist reception at The Paper Studio is Saturday, October 6th from 6:00-7:30 pm. Here's your chance to look through the journals and chat with the artists!