Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Artistic Artifacts

I am going to be heading up to Virginia this February - to an wonderful mixed media fiber shop called Artistic Artifacts.
I am teaching a two day book making class called "Bound By Heart, Made By Hand".
Someone ask me why I call the class this so I'll explain here.

A lot of my recent work (the last three years) has revolved around the death of my mother.
When I was cleaning out her house, I found so many keepsakes type things that I had forgot about, had never seen or couldn't remember the story attached to them.
There was a lot of vintage linens from my grandmother as well...she was a doll maker and a quilter.
Oh, and also a doll doctor. She had been certified to do "reconstructive surgery" on all types of dolls -wooden to ceramic.

I found myself the owner of a ton of family keepsakes.
And not an idea of what to do with them but store them like my mom did.

But, a couple of things kept nagging at me.
I didn't want my son to find all these things after I died and wonder about them...or throw them out.
And I just didn't have the storage space to keep them all.

I made the decision to use them.
Not in the intended manner but in an artistic manner.
I put aside the ones that held special meaning or were in the best condition.
Then I began using them as art supplies...yep, cutting them up, adding them to books that I made, attaching them to fiber wall art...just generally enjoying them.

And I found that all of the pieces that I added to artwork held more meaning to me.

They began to bind my heart to the work that I made by hand...
Hence "Bound By Heart, Made By Hand" was born.

And in my classes, I show everyone how to use those vintage linens (whether hand-me-downs or not), old clothing, copies of hand written letters and anything else they choose to bring in their artwork.
The books are so textured with all of the different linens, homespun and hankies inside (and outside) of them.

The books have so much more meaning and sentiment when you use personal items.

And you can bet that your kids won't throw these away when you're gone!

I've had women create family recipe books, wine tasting books, memory books for family or friends, and art journal books.

Here's a few photos of the ones that I have made.

I love painting the pages inside then going back and sketching or writing in them.
But I also love viewing the book as a piece of art in itself.

The class will be held at Artistic Artifacts in Alexandria Virginia.
It's a two day class and almost everyone goes home with a completed book!
Sometimes two books if you've planned ahead.

Contact Judy Gula at the shop for prices and payment options.

Oh - class dates are Feb. 24 & 25.

My buddy Liz Kettle is teaching a one day workshop the very next day (Sunday Feb. 26) called "Metal Magic".

Judy is offering a $10 discount on both (either or) classes if you sign up now!

We could make a weekend out of it...just think - hanging out with me, Liz and Judy all weekend!
A girl's weekend...with great art making too!


lee said...

I think that is a great idea to re use your mothers and grandmothers precious items.

Joanne Huffman said...

I love the sentiment of this. I also really like your book work.