Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Gestural Writing with Yves Leterme at conference part 2

Here are photos of the lettering that I did in the workshop. Yves' preferred lettering tool is the humble and unloved Speedball C5.  So many experienced and established calligraphers (Sheila Waters comes to mind) have said that any Speedball nib smaller than a 3 is useless because of inconsistent manufacturing.*  But Yves swears by them, and after a bit of warming up, they worked fine.  It was hard to believe that we could get such lines from a lowly Speedball nib. The white paper is Arches text wove, and the darker papers are Bugra. The abstract color square in the first photo is done with my old favorites, Twinkling H2Os.

These little abstract marks were about 2 X 3" and done over some watercolor backgrounds that I had previously done in a journal.

* In a note of clarification Sheila said, "I would be talking about not to expect predictable sharp thicks and thins for relatively slow, precise formal writing. Gestural writing is quite different, needing speed, and Speedball smaller C series nibs would be fine for that....I would never use the term "useless" about any tool, especially nibs, because it depends on what you want to use them for..."  
Thank you, Sheila, for the explanation.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Gestural Writing with Yves Leterme at conference

My class at conference was gestural writing with Yves Leterme. He was an excellent teacher, patiently taking us through exercises to help us deconstruct the letterforms and then reconstruct them in a thoughtful but spontaneous-looking way. He was self-effacing, honest and generous with his demonstrations. He also is an amazing communicator, considering that English is his second language. It was lovely to lieten to his lilting accent!

We did pages and pages of practice work! Then around the middle of the 2nd day we started to do some things on individual sheets, like this repetition exercise, when we were allowed to add color! Everything that we did during the week was a progression, building in succession on what he had taught before. It was challenging to remember it all and implement in into new exercises as the week went on. Here are some samples:

Joan Machinchick's "artifex" exercise with color added:

Yves' "artifex" demo:

Another demo by Yves:

Two Japanese women were in our class and they were like stealth calligraphers! They just sat quietly and knocked out some amazing work! Here are a few pieces by Hiroko Shimizu that just blew us all away:

This is another example of the repetition exercise, done by Barbara Beattie:

Another repetition exercise by Yukimi Annand:

Monday, July 21, 2008

Letters Mingle Souls first impressions

Wow! I am finally here and so far everything has been amazing!  If I elaborate, it will all sound too gushy, so I will just share these first photos:

I am taking a week long class with Yves Leterme called Gestural Writing. Here is one of his demos:
This is Yves demonstrating at someone's desk in class:

In the classroom next door is Charles Pearce!  Here is one of his class demos from the first day.  I post it because it typifies what conference is all about (aside from all the socializing, shopping, and seeing exhibits!)

Charles Pearce
Reggie was impressed with Peter's suspenders and couldn't resist!  They called themselves 2 good-old-boys from Tennessee!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Second half at Arrowmont

What an intense week! We all worked hard during the day and most of us stayed in the studio til after 9 every night.  Dan was generous with his time, coming back in after hours to help everyone or just hang out with us.  Here are the books that I did, some of Dan's and some of the other students'.

My 4 X 6" book, with papers that I had decorated in advance:

The same book, open from the front, showing the papers:

Cover of my other wooden board book:

Both covers and spine sewing:

Detail of window, covered with mica and tiny brass nails:

Detail of back cover. Notice the crackled wood treatment. I made the tiny scroll myself, including the carved dowels, using an actual power tool!

Detail of the headband sewing, which was one of the most difficult things that we did:

Inside back cover with marbled paper under a circle of mica:

Inside front cover:

The tiny book that I started on the first day, finished off with a headband stitch:

Two covers not attached to a text block yet:

These two books are examples of Dan's. The top one is about 4 X 5" with blank pages. This is a detail of the spine, the stitching, the colorful way that he dyes the covers and the inset with the shells. Most of his books look like this.

This book is a sample showing the kinds of things we could do to the covers ou our books -- the inset windows, the mica shapes sewn in, the little pillow-shaped insets on the bottom right.

Ann's book:

Damon McIntyre's book:
Lynne's book:
Patty's book:
It was a great workshop and I am so glad that I was able to attend.  From a calligrapher's point of view, it was wonderful to understand this structure better.  I can imagine books filled with lettering done this way.  I definitely came away with ideas for future projects.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Book Binding at Arrowmont

I'm in Gatlinburg, TN taking a workshop with Dan Essig at Arrowmont.  He is a wonderful instructor and here are a few things I have done so far:

This is a close-up of the coptic stitch that we are using (above)

This is the cover of that same book closed, and embellished (above)

Above is the outside of another book I did, with paste papers and calligraphy

This is the inside front cover of that book, with a window holding the butterfly image

And this is a wooden cover. It has been drilled, sanded, painted with 5 layers of paint, re-sanded and waxed!  It takes a lot of work to make something look this distressed!