Posts Tagged ‘papermaking’

Stations of the Cross with imagery from 2nd-3rd graders

Monday, March 29th, 2010

This week, I am interrupting my work on the apple tree print to make a piece for House of Mercy‘s Stations of the Cross service this Friday.

This year, each of the 14 stations will be a body part. I’m doing Station VII Jesus Falls a Second Time, the right calf and foot, and Station IX Jesus Falls a Third Time, the right thigh and knee. For me, the Jesus Falls stations are about incarnation, humility, a God who gets dirty. And those who know my work know I am fascinated by dirt, both on and under the ground.

In 2008 I made this sculptural book called Glimpses Underground. It was inspired by turning over a rock and discovering a window to an underground world full of ant tunnels, worm castings, roots and invertebrates. The cover and container for the book is made of paper cast over a rock. The pages are shaped to match the contours of the rock so that they fit within it, and are bound together by a single cord. Each page has a different woodcut-printed glimpse of something one might find underground or under a rock.

I made Glimpses Underground intending to make a large edition of books, but I decided I didn’t need more than 2 or 3 finished books, so I have a lot of leftover cast rocks and shaped pages, some printed and some not. For this year’s stations of the cross, I thought I would recycle some of those pages and the structural idea from the book. I will trim the pages to make them the contours of the foot and leg, and bind them with a cord running through them. I will use some of the ones that are printed, to bring the world of the dirt into the meditation on Jesus’ falls.

I will also use some of the blank pages, painted with walnut dye by 2nd and 3rd graders in Sunday School yesterday. I told them before they started painting that I would use them in my piece for the Stations of the Cross service. We talked about and painted imagery from four stories for Holy Week: Palm Sunday’s triumphal procession with palm leaves, the Last Supper’s bread and wine, the Crucifixion, and the Resurrection.

Normandale students make paper at MCBA

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Yesterday I did the last teaching I have scheduled until this summer. I’m a little sad, but now I will focus on the apple tree print, along with prep for my summer classes, and of course, prep for the birth.

A mixed media class from Normandale came to MCBA and I taught them papermaking and pulp painting. It was a fun day and a great group of students. They might use their handmade paper along with some other techniques such as batik and felting in their next couple of assignments.

Pulp painting of a dragonfly by a Normandale student.

Another pulp painting by a Normandale student.

Rag Paper at MCBA

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

This window full of colorful sheets of paper is from my Rag Paper class at MCBA. We used blue jeans, white and orange t-shirts, pink linen, and a jute coffee bag. Students brought a playful and experimental attitude to class.

This detail shows a sheet of paper made from the pink linen with some of the coffee bag fibers mixed in for texture. These sheets dried on the window will have one very smooth side. We also used several other drying methods producing different textures: restraint, spur, and air drying. I look forward to teaching this class again next year!

Classes at MCBA: woodblock and papermaking

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2010

Detail of a block I carved as a portrait of a friend's dog.

This winter, I am teaching two adult workshops at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). The first one, on Japanese Woodblock printing, is already halfway over, it goes so quickly! I have ten students from a variety of backgrounds, from an engineer to an elementary school art teacher. Most have carved one or two blocks and begun printing proofs. I’ll ask their permission next week to see if I can post any of their works in progress. Their subject matter ranges from nature to cityscapes. MCBA usually offers this class about once a year, so if you missed it, look for it next fall or winter.

There’s still a chance to take a class from me at MCBA if you register soon (before Saturday, February 13). On Saturday February 20 and 27, I’ll be teaching how to make rag paper, which is handmade paper from recycled cloth. To register, go to and look for Rag Paper.

Finished sheets of handmade cotton paper, cut-up cotton shirt material, and sleeve of the shirt used to make paper.

Any cloth that is 100% plant fiber such as cotton or linen will work, and the more worn out, the better. Perhaps you even have a stash of sheets or clothing that is too worn out to use but too sentimental to throw out or make into cleaning rags. Make it into paper and you could use it to make cards or a scrapbook with meaning and memory embedded in the fiber!