Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Sitka Center for Art & Ecology

I just taught a 2-day workshop at Sitka, a wonderful art community on the Oregon Coast.


We are on a family working vacation. Sunset Magazine asked Ted to write a little piece about Pacific City, which is just a short drive from Sitka. So far, the kids have tried fishing (caught a newt, no fish yet) and horseback riding on the beach. There is a huge dune in Pacific City, where we will try sandboarding tomorrow.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Custom Lampshade

I don't usually do this type of project, but this one sort of fell in my lap, and my intern Ainsley helped out. My client had an old Japanese-style lampshade that needed to be re-covered. She couldn't just go to Ikea and get a new one, because this particular shade had a special cylinder in the middle of it where it connects to the lamp. So there really was a need for someone who could recreate the shade. Hooray for handmade!

I removed the old shade, made a foam core armature in the same size and shape, wrapped it with rings of reed, figured out the pattern for the paper panels, and recovered the shade. After applying the paper panels, the foam core armature gets removed -- you just lift off the top and bottom rings and the spokes collapse and fall through the holes.

I'm assuming the client was pleased because she hasn't called to say otherwise (her assistant picked up the shade). It looks quite different than the original -- the reed is spaced differently, the paper is thicker, etc. but all in all, I was pleased with the results.

Papermaking with Plants

Last weekend, I taught papermaking with plants for the first time in MANY years, and it was really fun. We processed kozo from cooking all the way through drying the sheets. I brought wheat straw, which I'd cooked and beaten in my blender, and we compared those sheets with pulp we processed in a blender and beat by hand. One student brought cattails, which we cooked, hand beat and made into sheets.

We also made vegetable papyrus from daikon, carrots, peppers and onions.