Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Art of Ping Pong

Here is a side of this Sedona artist you might not have known. I am learning to play ping pong, also known as table tennis. This picture was taken  recently at the USA National Championship, held in Las Vegas.To enter you must belong to this organization, which I do not. I was there with a friend who loves the sport, and enters different events.
 Open only to citizens of the United States, players compete in different events throughout the week, based on their skills and desire to play with people who cherish the sport as they do. Events are focused on which type of racquet used, as well as the player's rating. I am learning on a sandpaper paddle, shown in my hand. There is also hard bat, and the more popular called sponge.
 Competing in these events earns the player a numerical standing. Events are based on these numbers,as well as the type of racquets played. There are a lot of hot shot kids, and northern California is a center for instruction. Since ping pong is taken very seriously as a sport in China, it isn't surprising there are many very proficient young Chinese Americans in this sport.
It is a different world. I am a novice, but watching the good ones hit is like a ballet. Also, as in the world of art,  everyone is trying their best to win.This doesn't always happen, but how can you know unless you try?  

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

A Scroll Book from Fabric

Here I am making my latest book project, which I show in the picture below. Made of fabric, both cover and pages are rolled up into a scroll form when complete.  Rolled books are a very ancient form of communication. We see examples in ancient tapestries and literature. Back then I am sure the pages were hand sewn. 
Being in  modern times, I used fusible lining and a hot iron. Always this is a learning process. I chose a thick denim, and transferred words of poetry right onto each "page" of material. I can see how this would be a fun vehicle for my original calligraphy. 
 The weight of the fabric made it hard for the denim to  adhere. Using steam  helped with the joining. I may go back and add a few stitches, for security's sake. This is still a work in progress for me.I guess it could hang up on a wall in its open form. There are so many paths to follow in this wonderful world of book arts.

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Display of Handmade Books

Here I am in front of a case full of   handmade books. I am pointing at those made by me. This display is currently  at the  Prescott Valley Library until Jan 6, 2015. A wonderful selection of  various styles of hand bound books.Two of my books also have original calligraphy. That was really how I got into making books. Certain alphabets I learned were flourishing before there was even a printing press. So making the  book seemed a natural extension of my art.
The library itself is an architectural innovation, which I liked seeing.Something provocative in the north country.  
The art of made by hand books is alive and well in northern Arizona. A group of us meet every few months and have a workshop to create a specific type of book. The attendees  are all experienced book artists. Each member takes turn being the teacher, and chooses the subject.  Anyone who has ever done this knows how much one learns a  from those we teach. 
So I invite you to go and visit this display  and enter the world of handmade books.