Sunday, July 21, 2019

The Art of Sumigashi

 Look at this flowing decorated paper I just created. Its technical term is Sumigashi, or Japanese water marbling.
I attended a workshop with my local fellow bookmakers. We are always trying to learn a new technique to teach each other and  apply to our handmade books. 
This is a natural extension of my art as a Calligrapher here in Sedona,  creating by hand the vessel to hold my handwritten words. There was also a lesson on how to create this diagonal Pocket folder, which can hold a hand made book or card. Now that was a  lesson unto itself! We put on a backing  to make it into this folded form.Back to the paper...
The process starts with a pan of still water. Into this container I put the tip of a Japanese sumi brush, or its equivalent, which  has as nice pointed tip. Only touching the surface, it will spread out into a circular designs.
Using primarily black ink, we did a lot of experimenting with adding colored inks. They went in bright, but diluted quite a bit with the final rinsing process. I must add I was using a pink paper to start with  since it seemed to hold up better than the thin rice paper, although that does work. Just be careful taking it out. 
The paper is folded and lowered into the pan center first, then the edges at the end.  It is the down side of the paper that will be the printed side we look at.  This is a fun art and definitely Not for those who want control.
I think I will call it the art of the Surprise!

Thursday, July 4, 2019

The Art of My Flag

Here is one of my favorite art pieces I have created. Actually, this ceramic plate is the one that sold, but I kept the original for me.I used low fire glazes to create the bight colors, and it has a nice foot to stand on, or it can hang on the wall. I named it " A mer i ka", which was probably the pronunciation given by some of those early immigrants entering our country.
This seems such an appropriate choice considering I am writing this blog on July 4th, 2019 here in my hometown of Sedona, AZ. There are a lot of flags flying here today. 
When I was young, on the kitchen wall above the vintage yellow chrome table and chairs where we kids ate, was a huge map of the world. Below were all the flags of all of the countries in front of us. Of course we played " guess which flag" with each other. 
Maybe that's where my love of travel started. My conservative parents let us go off to all corners of the world when were still young. It was our education they thought, and so it was. I wanted to see those countries myself, and so later, if I had any money at all, off I would go! I liked seeing those flags flying where they lived!
Here I am years later making the flag I care about into a nice ceramic abstraction. But you know what it is when you look at it, don't you ? 

Today is the day we celebrate all those heroic women and men who fought for our freedoms and independence from England.  I know, that  story continues.
 But today, I celebrate the art of my flag.