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Sunday, July 21, 2013

CBAS is really cookin'!

Judy, keeper of the pots
What do you get when you mix water, a few iron nails, a roll-up of linen, bits of spinach, marigold, onion skins and slices of avocado pits? Something wonderful if you were in the garage at Judy Dominic's house in Harrison this weekend. That's where she introduced 8 of us to contact dyeing.

Useful plant materials for dyeing
Bundles ready for the pots
Simmering pots on burners in the garage and Judy's deck were readied while we tied up our bundles of both cloth and paper as tight as we could. We had covered the insides of the bundles with lots of plant materials that Judy had prepared for us to choose from. Then we crossed our fingers and pushed our sticks and packages into the chosen brew of either iron or copper water. Some of us also played around with dipping and submerging our paper and cloth samples into a pan of lovely walnut dye. In addition, there was rust dyeing in baggies with vinegar water.
Walnut dye pot
Rust packets cooking in the sun
After the labor-intensive afternoon, we left things to soak overnight. Returning on Sunday, we were all eager to see what had happened. There were no mistakes, just gorgeous and even more gorgeous results.
April looks for her bundles in the crowd
Cecie's folded paper with plant material still adhered
Lou shows off a beautiful gauze piece
Our show-and-tell was fun and helpful at the close of the workshop. We're so grateful to Judy for sharing her expertise.
Carolyn loves rust
Violet and Louise got great results, even with blueberries
Carole produced 2 beautiful silk scarves

Jeanne shows her experiment with steel wool
Another group of CBAS folks will be the lucky ones next weekend when Judy again pulls out all the pots!
Watch for another report from weekend #2.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Tying Up Loose Ends

Two Jeannes work on Paula's project
Study Group welcomed two new members at its July 13 meeting. They will all be great additions to our active and always eager-to-learn group. Cooperation with one another is one of Study Group's strong suits, and our project this month was a good example of that spirit.
Presentation of original leather bound book to Pope John Paul II
In 2005, Study Group member Paul Kirk was asked to do a leather binding for a book to be presented to Pope John Paul II, a book documenting the exhibit "A Blessing to One Another: Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People." With that project completed, a busy professional life intervened and before 2 p.m. Saturday, Paula still had a large box of unsewn copies of the book. "Many hands make light work," the old adage says, and in 3 hours it was proven true. Participants completed stitching 100 additional copies of the book in a simple softcover binding, copies which will be available to museum visitors as the exhibit begins its European tour. After traveling throughout the U.S. for the past 8 years, "A Blessing to One Another" is currently showing in Warsaw, Poland.
Trish works with jute and learns a new stitching pattern to join two signatures
What first appeared to be a simple structure became more challenging as we learned a new stitching pattern and used a new material: jute twine. The completed books looked very professional, but our laughing consensus was that jute twine would not replace the more familiar waxed linen thread in most of our tool kits. As a thank you for helping Paula complete this long delayed project, everyone in attendance received a copy of the book.

Thanks to everyone who participated, and to Paula for involving Study Group in an unusual and interesting project.
Your blogger thanks Janice for the story and photos.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Workshop Weekend a Great Success

CBAS Chair Lou Kroner introduces Paul Johnson on Friday night

Paul show us his amazing book structures
This year's visiting artist Paul Johnson came to us fresh from teaching gigs in Vermont and Maine. We were indeed fortunate to be on his itinerary during this visit from England. Friday night he shared his work and enthusiasm with us at a lecture at the Art Academy of Cincinnati. His recent work, incorporating more text than in the past, is a joy to behold. His vibrantly dyed paper (he uses heavy 140 lb. Saunders watercolor) and unique locking mechanisms that enable the pieces to collapse completely flat were real crowd pleasers. There were gasps of amazement as he opened the larger ones. And Paul is so gracious in sharing his expertise and in encouraging us to pass along our own artistic gifts to others. He is an artist and a teacher who inspires his students, both young and young-at-heart.

Paul's gazebo provided inspiration on Saturday
Personalized gazebos take shape
Paul helps us get started on spirit house bases on Sunday
Paul's model (front) and his completed spirit house (rear)
Saturday and Sunday it was "hurray for gazebos and spirits houses!" Two dozen participants in the CBAS workshop focused on the many-part gazebo structure assembled with "Us and Ts" on the first day and then learned a different assembly technique making spirit houses on the second day. When the basic spirit house structures were all locked into place, everyone had time to get their creative juices flowing with embellishments for most of the afternoon. It was an inspiring weekend.
 Thanks to the CBAS Visiting Artist Committee and CBAS Board for pitching in to handle all the details for Paul Johnson's visit. Special thanks to Janice for hosting the wrap-up pizza supper at the end of the workshop. And much gratitude to the Art Academy of Cincinnati for providing space for the lecture and workshop.