Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Play with pinhole cameras

photos of plastic dinosaurs in diorama setting taken with a pinhole camera Two of my photos, appear in "Play! Toy Camera Photographers for Tots: A Collection of Sixty-three Toy Camera Photographs Made by Thirty-six Photographers in Twelve- Countries" published by CWIPress, edited by Jody Shipka with Nic Nichols. They are "In my Dream the Boy and I are Chased across the beach by a huge dinosaur," taken with Oneiro and "Photo of the Late Cretaceous by Tyrannosaurus Photo Ventris" taken with Tyrannosaurus photo ventris. They appear on pages 66 and 67. You can see a preview of the entire book (possibly only for a short time), and purchase a copy at the link above. At some point there may be a download option available - when font issues get resolved.

This is the first time one of my photos has been published on it's own. Before this the cameras seemed to be an integral part of the project, and I wasn't sure the photos could stand on their own. I am pleased about the whole thing.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Incorrect dinosaur

green plastic dinosaur with nice texture and warty bumps I'm working on a sketchbook for the 2012 Sketchbook Project. In part I'm using photos of my plastic dinosaurs, so I'm also having some fun taking quickie digital shots. I love this plastic dinosaur - he's so uncorrect yet so amusing. He's got this great all-over texture, plus some warty bumps. His pose is stiff, his tail drags on the ground. But he's my favorite.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Distance of the Moon is a Google Doodle

google doodle for October 15, 2011 This was the Google doodle for Italy on October 15th, 2011, the 88th birthday of Italo Calvino. The image illustrates "The Distance of the Moon," the first story in Cosmicomics. This is my all time favorite book and story. It's beautiful, poetic and full of imagination.

artist's book made of brass, copper, formica, illustrating Italo Calvino's story The Distance of the Moon
I was so inspired by the story I made an artist's book to illustrate it.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Spectacles for Viewing Christmas on Mars for My Mom

Spectacles for Viewing Christmas on Mars. ©2011 Life size paper Christmas card spectacles. This pair was printed on Epson's double sided Premium Presentation Paper. The slip case is red cardstock. The pattern is a free download here. On the same page there is also a plain pair (no collage) that you could decorate yourself or use as a pattern to design your own. Merry Christmas, really early! Spectacles for a Fish Goddess ©1993, 3 x 6-1/2 x 6-1/4 inches, Brass, copper, sterling silver, 14 karat & 18 karat gold, shell, coral beads.

For years I have fantasized about making some paper spectacles. I made a whole series of spectacles years ago in metal, plastic and found materials. More recently I thought they could be done in paper - fun, fast and much easier. I thought the simple ones could become another free download to add to my web site. I have a part of a maquette on my work table for a simple pair that has been chewed on by cats.

But I haven't made them, until now. The tipping point was my mom. She asked for some homemade Christmas cards. She is 88 and has some dementia. Mom often says to me "you know what I would love? Some handmade Christmas cards!" Or "A handmade birthday card would be so nice." Is she thinking I'm 10 and bored? In my 30's and broke? I'm not sure. But it's fun, and she's so sweet and upbeat, which is remarkable given how much her life has changed in the last few years. When I think of my sources of inspiration I don't consider my mom. I should. She has been there cheering me on all of my life. What a gift.

Christmas on mars, ©1988, 3-1/2 x 7-1/4 x 1/2 inches (open). Cover: brass, fabricated. Pages: collaged watercolor paper. I wonder where people go when they die? What do they do for Christmas?

The two pairs of paper spectacles I just made are based on a little book I made years ago, Christmas on Mars. I don't celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday, but I'm also not crazy about using "Seasons Greetings" on cards. It sounds like a generic, all-purpose solution. But I do like the stamp, it was the best of the batch I had in terms of color and orientation.

Now I have to get back to the cover for my Spirits Under Glass book. After I make 20 more cards.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Book Arts Jam 2011

Above: At the Book Arts Jam, 2011. I didn't take a single photo at the Jam. Luckily Jim took this one, so I have proof I was there. It was a great day - fairly steady crowd all day. I got to talk to a few people a bit, but only saw a tiny portion of the Jam. That's Lila Wahrhaftig to my left. She had wonderful collages and funny artist's books. Jim was on the other side of me with the Zymglyphic Museum road show. Photo by Jim Stewart

The Jam was a lot of fun. I met a bunch of interesting people and talked to people I have seen at the Jam before (we have a lot of regulars). I didn't get away from the table to hear speakers or see most of the artist's work. I heard good reports about both. I was one of several people interviewed for La Voz, the De Anza college newspaper. That was fun. I have no memory of what I said, I hope it made sense. I believe the article will be published in another week.

I did take my Spirits Under Glass book unfinished - it's the black book in the lower left corner of the photo. I got the pages painted, the photos mounted - it needs a cover and a colophon. Then I'll have to set up the photo equipment and take the official photos, post everything to my web site, flickr, this blog, etc. etc. This week we have guests, so all I've done is unpack.

Baba members have photos of the Jam posted in the flickr Book Arts Jam 2011 pool. The Jam got a mention in the blog Not for Fun Only.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Progress on Spirits Under Glass, the Jam is approaching

Above I'm working on the pages for Spirits Under Glass, the one-of=a-kind artist's book that will hold the photos from my Zymo 127 pinhole camera. This photo was taken last weekend, right now I'm cutting out the letters for the title in brass. Next I have to make a bezel for the glass that covers a photo that will go on the cover.

Before I forget, I want to tell you about the Jam. I will be at the Book Arts Jam on Saturday, October 15th. My table is on the left wall as you come in the main door. The Jam takes place at Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, 10 to 4. There is a $2 fee for parking - bring ones or quarters. Admission to the Jam is free. Over 50 book artists will show their work. In addition there will be an exhibit of books made by members of the Bay Area Book Artists, other exhibits, a slide show of member's work, a silent auction of book arts related items and artist's talks. I have attended most of the jams, and they never fail to delight me.

I am struggling to finish this book before the Jam. Otherwise I don't think I'll have any new work. I may bring it partially completed if I don't finish.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My next book: Spirits Under Glass

photo of spaceman in The Quiet Parlor of the Fishes
Another photo from the Zymo 127 pinhole camera. This one was taken in The Quiet Parlor of the Fishes, which resides in our living room. Not many people see the QPOTF in person.

In my previous blog post I showed you the Zymo 127 pinhole camera I've been using to take photos in the Zymoglyphic Museum. I could keep taking photos, but I also want to wrap this up and go on to another project. Now it's time to make a one-of-a-kind book to hold the best photos. So far I have some prepared pages, the photos and a title: "Spirits Under Glass."

My title for the book is inspired by this blog post Jim did about the museum practice of displaying spiritual objects in cases. The Zymoglyphic Museum follows the same practice, gathering interesting objects that have meaning, at least to Jim, from all over the world, and sealing them up in dioramas or vitrines.

Above is a possible sequence for Spirits Under Glass. See a larger version of this photo here. I have been struggling with the sequencing of the photos this week. I alternate between moving photos around on the work table, and the computer, where I try to find other people's ideas about sequencing photos. Every time I get a sequence I like, I take a photo. Above is my best so far.

Here and here are two interesting blog posts about sequencing. Scroll down to the second post on the second link to see the sequencing info. Somewhere I have seen the opposite opinion, too. That the pairs should have subtle intuitive relationships that make people wonder about the photos and their meaning. Somehow that's not working for me. I'm hoping to have this book done by October 15, the Book Arts Jam.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Zymo 127 pinhole camera and photos from the Zymoglyphic Museum

©2011 Zymo 127 pinhole camera. Altoids tin, brass, found spring, wooden dowel, brass nuts, fabricated. 127 film format. This camera was built to take photos in the Zymoglyphic Museum. Light levels are low in the museum, I wanted to use Tri-X, which only comes in 120 and 35mm format. So I cut down Tri-X 120 to 127 format and usually get 19 shots on a roll.

Photo of the diorama, "Getting On." I took 19 rolls of film. There was one magical roll of film that had around 10 shots that I really liked. That's a very high proportion for me. Of course there were other rolls that were complete duds, or only had one or two images I liked. Most of the photos I like best were taken with a "I wonder what will happen" attitude. I try to put my eye where the pinhole will be and guess at what will appear on the film. But it's very hit or miss. My flickr page has more photos taken with the camera, and photos of the camera in progress.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Open Studios Surprise

One of our guests this past weekend was René Roberts, seen above, wearing Now she is the moon.  René is a fellow artist and collector. She has two of my brooches, from a one person show I did at Art and Soul Gallery, in Mill Valley, in 1995. I was delighted to see her, and to see "my" brooch. We met during the opening of California Metals North, where we both had work. I don't know if this is still the case, but in the 90's it was unusual for jewelry galleries to tell you the name of collectors, so work often disappeared when it was sold. In theory the gallery could contact the collector later, to borrow work back for a show or photos. But some didn't seem to keep much paperwork, and of course galleries close over time, some much quicker than others. I don't know if any of this has changed, but it's wonderful to see a favorite piece, one that I thought I would never see again.

This incredible object is René's "Warming Trends" from the Metal Works North show. It is electroformed, a technique I admire, think of as mysterious, and know very little about. But searching on the web for René I found several discussion groups where she was mentioned as a master.

Another favorite image from this past weekend.  So many people like trying on the spectacles, I'm going to make a flickr gallery when I have time to go through all the photos.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tyranno photo ventris takes photos on WPPD 2011

Tyrannosaurus photo ventris is working on a new series of photos taken in the late Cretaceous. This one was snapped on Sunday, April 24, Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day and is the official entry on the WPPD website.

Another view of the late Cretaceous. This is the first shot ever of Imperialsaurus. There are also pinhole photos from WPPD on flickr's photo pool Worldwide Pinhole Day: smooshing the space-time continuum. More of Tyranno's photos can be seen here.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day and Project Oyamel Fir

Above: my entry in the Me, Monarch/Oyamel Fir Project in honor of Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day, 2011.

Today is Worldwide Pinhole Photography Day. Because it is also Easter, photos taken between April 23 and May 1 will be accepted. You can upload photos to the WPPD site, or on flickr to the Worldwide Pinhole Day group. It's nice to be on the big pinhole day website, so many people all over the world participate. There are also galleries from years past. But it's a huge number of images, and they are hard to scan because there are no thumbnails. Edit: my mistake, there are thumbnails - click on "gallery" from the main page, then "exhibition April 24, 2011" then on the small "exhibition on the upper left. You see a page of thumbnails, clicking the back and forward arrows takes you to more thumbnails. It's great!

Above: photo by Arturas Meskauskas. View the invitation larger here.

In honor of WPPD the Goa Center for Alternative Photography invites you to Me, Monarch (Project Oyamel Fir)
98 artists, 24 countries
Exhibition of Self portraits taken through a Pinhole camera
Worldwide pinhole Photography Day
24th April 2011, 6.30PM
At Goa Center for Alternative Photography (Goa-CAP),
C/o Prashant Falari, House No. E2 / 268, Dongorpur (Royal Village),
Near St. Alex Church, Calangute, Goa, India,

The exhibit is also at
Ravi Photo Gallery
6-3-902/7/1/C, Dream Gate, Second Floor, Somajiguda
Hyderabad, India
April 24 to May 4, 2011. Hours: Mon - Fri 10:30 to 9:00pm
Sat and Sun 10:30 to 10:00pm

On the UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL YEAR OF FOREST 2011, Project Oyamel fir is dedicated to Oyamel Fir trees which are the winter shelter for several hundred million Monarch Butterflies migrating from north and south. Relentless logging has compromised the forest canopy that once protected monarchs. A growing human population around these butterfly havens and increased demand for wood gravely threaten the survival of the over-wintering butterflies, as well as the forest environment in general.

Project Oyamel Fir is not a contest; it is an experimental initiative where pinhole Photographers, enthusiasts from all over the world are invited to send one self-portrait taken with a pinhole camera to create a large dreamy, and beautiful body of work to be exhibited as **Me, Monarch**

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Open Studio Saturday and Sunday May 7 & 8, 14 & 15

I hear the voice of my mom in my head, saying "It's time to clean up your mess, young lady." There is a big event coming! On Saturday and Sunday, May 7 & 8 and 14 & 15, Studio 19 (myself and the Zymoglyphic Museum) will be participating in Silicon Valley Open Studios. We will be open from 11 to 5. At 1pm each day I will demo "Primitive Wire Edge Binding." A large selection of my artist's books, pinhole cameras and pinhole photos will be on display.

For more information click here.

You can also check out an assortment of my vintage snapshot film cameras, mostly inexpensive cameras from the 30's, 40's and 50's. Behind the beautiful Sabre 620 above is a Traveler 120 and an Ansco Shur Shot.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

We Travel in Boats to Denver

I just mailed my book, In my Dreams We travel in Boats to Abecedarian Gallery for the Artist's Book Cornucopia II show.

Alicia Bailey, book artist and owner of Abecedarian, says "Juried this year by Brea Black, Special Collections Librarian at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library in Topeka, Kansas, Artists Book Cornucopia II includes work that is traditional, non-traditional, unusual, familiar, dynamic, and challenging, representing the diversity in the field of book arts in 2011."

In her juror’s statement Ms. Black states

"Each (selected) work represents a unique vision and provides a unique experience. The interaction between the book, the artist, and the viewer is what makes these pieces so special. Some of these bookworks address nature, the environment, body image, personal identity, family dynamics, and even one’s place in the wider world. Other works invite us to explore myth, math, and science, using unexpected materials and structures to engage us.
In viewing these bookworks together as an exhibition, I hope the gallery patron will react much as I did. I was inspired by the creativity, originality, and diversity of these 47 pieces. From what I have seen here, the future of the book arts is extremely bright."

The show will be up April 15 to June 4. There will be an opening reception on Friday, April 15th. Check the gallery website for more information. There is also an exhibition blog.

Click these links to see large views of the front and back of the postcard.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

Tyrannosaurus cuts cookies

I found this cookie cutter in the back of a drawer - my Dad made it many years ago. I remember him sitting at the table with pliers working on them - there is a unicorn too. It's made from the top of a large tin can. The bends are definitely hand made - not at all parallel. I did use them some, back when I made cookies with little kids. Mostly they are just too precious to part with. You can imagine what my closets looks like.

I am always interested to see how much my parents and my childhood influence me even now. It's not so much the Tyrannosaurus, they are universal. It's more that the act of making solid objects that exist in the world is so satisfying. Collage, painting and drawing all have some pull for me - they are satisfying ways to explore image possibilities. Photography is a more recent interest - especially pinhole photos. But actually making a 3-d object like tools, books or cameras is the best.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Photo Book Works Travels to Portland

Above is an ecard for the Photo Book Works show - click here to view the card full size on a web page. Partial text from the card:

"Photo Book Works - An international exhibition of artist books using photography as a primary image element. Featuring 31 artists from the United States, Great Britain, Switzerland and Australia.

January 27 to March 12, 2011
Opening Reception: First Friday, Feb. 4, 5-8 p.m.

23 Sandy Gallery, 623 NE 23rd Avenue, Portland, OR 97232

Oneiro, as part of the Photo Book Works show, has been shipped to Portland to be exhibited at 23 Sandy Gallery January 27 to March 12. Photo Book Works originated at Abecedarian Gallery in Denver. Its nice when a show travels. There are costs associated with each show. Sometimes there are entry fees, always time spent getting images together, filling out forms, sometimes I research the juror, trying to figure out if he or she might like my work. When a show goes to a second venue, the artist gets more exposure for the same amount of effort. Alicia Bailey created a catalog with all the books in the show. Laura Russell of 23 Sandy has created an online catalog.