New Learnings for a New Year – Week 1 of 2

 In About My Work, Artist Books

7 days ago the clock ticked over for the psychological reset for a fresh, happy, full of hope and possibility New Year. ? ? ?

I don’t know about you, but I was in bed and fast asleep well before midnight on New Year’s Eve – I needed to rest for my gift to myself – I was heading off for 2 weeks of Summer Workshops with Adele Outteridge at Studio West End.

This is something I have been wanting to do for a few years. I finally gave myself the permission and time to do it!

Just sitting inside the studio is a visual feast and inspiration injection for the soul. It was wonderful to be the student inside an artist’s studio. Then there is all the doing under the generous guidance and tuition of Adele Outteridge.

I found a new happy place. Folding. Cutting. Tearing. Gluing. Thinking. Stitching. Making.

The focus for me was to make books – specifically stitching books. I have been folding books for a long time – I loooooove to fold paper. But I wanted to improve my stitching. I have admired Adele’s book work for may years – it has been a treat and a privilege to spend time with her, to learn from her, and to be inspired by her.

So week 1 was all about books. Week 2 will be more books, with some printmaking.


Week 1 – All About Making Artist Books

Golly did I have fun. New stitching techniques. Vast improvement on some I have already been working with. New ways of thinking about paper. New folding paper. New paper compositions. New uses for my prints. New neural pathways formed inside my brain. I couldn’t keep the smile off my face all week!

The book below is one of the early in the week books. I absolutely love its sculptural presentation. I used cyanotype prints for the decorative papers, stitched concertina folds and viola!

My next book was a little more complex – but really, not as complex to create once you have a few of the basics down. Adele is a fabulous tutor, and so very generous in sharing her hands-on experience and knowledge. This book taught me to look at paper folds and sections in a whole new way. I thoroughly enjoyed the build up of this book – making the base concertina from a gel print, folding and making the internal sections and stitching. then making the covers. Then bringing the book together.

Butterfly Book artist bookAnd then there was this treasure – the Butterfly Book.

I had seen this structure on Adele’s social media feed in the past. It was love at first sight. I had attempted to deconstruct it myself from photos – but not nearly as successfully as I had hope.

I was so excited with the final outcome. Again I used my gel plate monoprints for the covers. Making the covers, folding the concertina, tearing the sections, the stitching – bring the whole book together was pure bliss.

It was such a lovely feeling to learn new skills then create something beautiful with them. Add the fact that I gave myself the gift of time – time for Me and some professional development. I really was in heaven.

Coming up in Week 2

I can’t wait for week 2. Time to chillax for the weekend (in the crazy heat and humidity of January in Brisbane. ik!).

There will be more books. And new printmaking processes to learn under the guidance and tuition of Sharon Smith. Very excitement … ?

Click here to see what happened in week 2 …

ooppss I almost forgot – my Orihon book

Thank you Adele for the quick little video! This is another structure shared – an Orihon folded book. It is a bit like a paper slinky. I can flip through this book time and time and time and time and time again. And I did.

I dipped this one in the indigo vat. The covers are indigo dye papers. I did manage to fold the paper to the wrong orientation, but it still worked. I will be making this one again when I get home. I just love it. The sound. The colour. The patterns. The movement. So meditative.

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Gelatin Plate Monoprinting workshopCeltic weave binding on my handmade book