Last night I taught my first ever "Making Little Books" class. What a lovely group of people came together in the library at Newark - we're going to have a fun term.
When we were doing the introductions I asked people to say what had attracted them to the course. There were lots of lovely reasons, my favourite being "I really like making things, and I love books. Oh, and I really like little things." The class should be a hit with her - let's hope it is!
When I teach calligraphy I generally have a good idea how long to allow for each activity - much harder with the book making, although I've learnt that I have a very dextrous class and they're going to need plenty to keep them busy for 2 hours each Monday. This week we did accordion books - it was so great to hear how pleased people were with their beautiful precise little concertinas.
Yet again, as with calligraphy, I find myself being paid for spending time with like minded people - I'm a lucky girl!
These were my examples I took with me, plus the one I made as a demo. Next week I'll try and remember to take a photo of everyone's work, as they looked excellent together.
Thinking about desirable items to sell on our Mosaic Fairs craft stall in the run up to Christmas, I find myself once again writing on Christmas baubles. Having written "Emma and Kevin December 18th 2010" on 70 baubles last year, I think I may have said "never again" - but of course life's not that simple!
I've had a first play, and the silver on black looks good. So I'm now hunting in the shops for baubles that I'd like to write on... doesn't quite feel compatible with the beautiful week of weather that has just been forecast for us.
It's very exciting - for the first time ever I have five calligraphy commissions at once (and the delivery dates don't all come together, so I don't need to panic. Well, not just yet, anyway). There's 3 sets of song words, 1 cover page for a photo album and a family tree. They're all presents so I can't show you anything yet because you never know who might be watching!
But...because I know you'd like to see really.... here's some snippets of either the roughs or finished pieces.... shhh.... don't tell anyone!
You can see there's some variety in the projects!
(The 5th one hasn't reached the stage of pen to paper yet)
An empty drawing board? Whatever is happening!
Truth is that I'm delaying my next commission - and therefore finding all sorts of important jobs like picking all the sticky tape off my board, dusting my light, clearing the top of my wheely trolley (botton right).
I can't even really explain why I'm shilly-shallying - the commission is going to be great to do and once I've started I'll really get motoring.
And guess what... this blog entry is ANOTHER delay tactic!
Right Janet - pull yourself together and go and WRITE!
(By the time I got round to posting this I'd taken my own advice, and am now motoring along nicely! Can't show you the piece yet as it's a commission, and I only put work on here after the receipient has seen the work (of course!) and if they are happy for it to be shared. )
This is Minstrel, the youngest of our 3 cats. Everything is a potential toy, and every moment is an opportunity for mischief. I do wonder what would happen if she's managed to spill the acrylic ink. Certainly there'd have been glorious bright cat prints around the room, and maybe she would have coloured fur for days. I'm happy not to know!
Seems I get a different animal every day keeping me company - I'll try and photograph Treacle cat (the rarest visitor) if I can.
Had a fabulous day in the sunshine in Melbourne, Derbyshire today. It is the 7th year of the Arts and Architecture trail, where well over a hundred top notch artists and crafts people were displaying their work. Many of the exhibits are in homes and shops (even the Estate Agents!) as well as churches, church halls etc. The organisers have made sure that there is plenty of variety throughout the town (i.e. some but not hundreds of jewellers!)
There was no calligraphy.... maybe just maybe in 2012 I could remedy that....
It is rightly titled as an architecture trail because the building of Melbourne are beautiful - I'd say their town planners or equivalent have never taken their eye off the beauty of their town, and it has really paid off! It is definitely worth a visit in its own right.
I'm back from a wonderful week in Scotland - they can really do weather up there - nothing halfhearted about it. We were in the south west corner (Isle of Whithorn) which was very quiet, with some beautiful places (including the view across the harbour from our apartment). I didn't do very much calligraphy, but couldn't resist leaving the occasional calligraphied stone for a future visitor to ponder!
Two weekends ago I attended a workshop with calligrapher Susan Moor. She taught us various techniques to use in decorating paper, adding text and images to pages, and making a complete book. One of the many things I loved about the weekend was that we were encouraged to just go for it, with only the most rudimentary of planning sketches. It was very good to know that there was no option to delay with the "I'll just do one more rough" excuse - there were the pages waiting to be filled, so get on and fill them we did. The results of 2 days of play were excellent - such variety! I didn't finish all my pages at the workshop, but was determined to complete the book, and have now done so. There are 7 double spreads, a cover and back, plus a mini book with 3 double spreads. Here's a few of the pages (looking a bit lurid as I've not really got the hang of taking great photos yet - especially under artificial light.)
This is definitely something I shall be having another play with.
I'm off on holidays for a week or so, so unlikely to be blogging.... but I'll be back soon!!
I'm Janet Smith, a calligrapher who loves to experiment with lettering and calligraphy.