$21 from InkSpot Workshop.
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$21 from InkSpot Workshop.
language & meaning designworks: I’ve been mesmerized by paper for as long as I can remember. I can’t tell you how many portfolios of paper I have…well, actually, I can since they’re right next to me, but I digress.
I started doing fine art collages in college. Inspired by Hannah Hoch and her Dadaist counterparts, I enjoyed playing around with a mix of found images and objects, advertising cut-outs and text and found that I was drawn to their interplay. Really, I suppose you could take it all the way back to when my sister and I would cut out words, fashions and famous people from magazines and make huge poster board displays for our rooms. Luckily for everyone, I won’t be making any homages to the Cure or Benneton any time soon..
I never could wrap my brain around large-scale projects. Instructors were always telling me to step back from my projects for perspective, telling me “you’re too close to that canvas;” guess I was trying to make something big, small. Instead, I opted to create vignettes that (I hoped) had a Joseph Cornell vibe to them. Small seemed intimate, personal; a window into a certain feeling.
I take the same care with my cards, invitations and other paper crafts. I like to think of them as tiny works of art. I LOVE paper! I see ideas in those sheets but I’m not gonna lie, not everything I make is a hug from Jesus. You won’t see any of my design step-children here; only the best for you peeps!
I’m a total and complete art history nerd: modern and contemporary art/photography and mid-century architecture/furnishings. The weirdest thing about me is the way I eat ice cream from the carton – it’s gotta be scraped in a flat, level pattern or all is no bueno in this house! Currently in grad school for my MFA and loving life with my husband, the company of good friends and MAKING STUFF.
Bookplates, $25 for 32, from The Paper Princess.
Everyone please welcome Kim O’Brien to Try Handmade! Kim is a metalsmith from Pawtucket, Rhode Island, US, and she’s here to share with all of us the handmade goodness to be found in her home state. Please leave a comment for her if you know of a fantastic maker in Rhode Island, or just to say hi!
Hello, Readers! Welcome to my new column In My State. In case you hadn’t guessed we are talking about the tiniest of states. Here in RI we are big on handmade. How can’t we be? We are home to Rhode Island School of Design so we are invaded by thousands or artists each year who are looking to further their artistic explorations. The city is flooded with RISD umbrellas and students carrying portfolios to and fro. Even before RISD came to be we were known as the jewelry capital. Needless to say, art runs in our blood. We need to create.
To get you situated, I will start with a little map project which artist, Kristin Crane takes on passionately.
Kristin doesn’t let the map control her books, instead it is a compromise. Balancing color and composition, she works with the map and makes it her own design.
Her coptic bindings are a lovely detail, it shows her skill as a fiber artist. However, it serves a practical purpose, allowing the journals to lie flat.
Kristin’s own words best describe her passions. “I’m a textile designer living in Providence, Rhode Island and am a self proclaimed book addict. I love to shop for them, read them, make them, write in them. (I tell myself there are worse addictions to have.) I also love to travel and get as excited about what journal to bring on a trip as I do planning every other part. I love when books I’ve made get to travel around the world, even if I can’t go with them.” It is these passions which make her work so successful.
Kristin doesn’t stop at journals. Here are some of her quirky book marks.
And some cards to send notes home to loved ones while you are off traveling.
Fitting isn’t it?
Now that you are hooked and ready to start making your next travel plans, head on over to Kristin’s shop. If you don’t see your destination there check out her flickr site to see other custom orders she has done.
This week I am multi-tasking as I write my column. I am selling my jewels at the Pawtucket Rock And Roll Yard Sale. Please excuse me should any random song lyrics find a way into this post. As I sit surrounded by vinyl and rock memorabilia I have been focusing on these elegant journals and albums from local artist Natalie Stopka. Quite a contrast I know.
Natalie of Natalie As Is has an amazing eye for integrating vintage odds and ends into her books. The lace here is so precious and adds a special detail to the canvas she has bound together.
And when the artist doesn’t have the proper trimming in her stash she makes her own from scratch by creating hand sewn embroidery. I am in awe of Natalie’s description of her book as “humble” as they are far from that in my eyes.
Her details are ever so carefully collected and utilized. We can recognize the fabric swatch on this book cover and feel comfort in the memory of soft cotton against our skin. This repurposed smock adds a delicate detail and gives the book a dreamy quality, possibly dictating what stories or pictures are to be logged on it’s pages.
The book in the photograph above is my favorite of Natalie’s collection. I am in awe of the detail and care in construction. It is the same care someone would give to the making of a wedding dress, as this would make for the perfect guest book for any bride and groom. It is timeless and classic, always a favorite.
This is another great example of the artist creating the perfect landscape for her vintage finds. The whole piece is well balanced. No one element outweighs another. The subtle hues of the book’s covers allow you to appreciate the artist’s skill in bookbinding. This same neutral cover allows us to appreciate the antique satin ribbon she chose to accentuate her album. This mastery of design is a unifying element in Natalie’s work. I am never ceased to be impressed when I browse her shop. Enjoy and happy shopping.