Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Italy Adventure, Umbria, Italy 2010

This journal is one of my favorites so far. The dimensions are 5 3/4 x 7 3/4.  It nestles into one's hand very comfortably and fits into a backpack or tote bag very easily.  The pages are of 140 lb Fabriano soft press watercolor paper. Soft press has a texture between hot and cold press with a bit of a linen finish to it.  Soft press absorbs watercolor fairly quickly which I like when I'm moving around from one location to another and don't have a lot of time to wait for the watercolor to dry.
The journal is sewn with exposed double raised cords and kettle stitches at each end. An extra strip of thin bookboard is glued to the spine edge of the front and back covers as a grip which makes the journal easier to grab when removing and placing into whatever I am carrying it in.

There are pocket pages sewn in between the watercolor paper sections for miscellaneous items.
This is my first sketch in this journal. I was sitting in the cafe at the Museum of Modern Art at the Borghessi in Rome were there was a relief of a lion on a wall. On the left are stamps purchased at the Vatican post office.
Here are two of the pockets mentioned above. Great place for small maps and clippings from tourist information brochures.
This is the page following the pockets in the above photo.  Ken O'Connell, our tour shepherd and workshop leader, was big on visiting post offices in various towns and buying stamps for his and our journals.  Here I tried to recreate the colors of the stamps in swatches of watercolor.

 More stamps and brochure clippings intermixed with watercolors. A map of the area visited is "tipped in" with a thin line of glue into the page crease.

A word to the wise....wear good shoes or you will wind up here. I paid two visits to emergency rooms, one in Rome and one in Terni. Not a fun way to spend your vacation time! I thank Edmond, manager of La Romita School of Art, for his kind patience in transporting me to the one in Terni.
On the left is a piece of the pharmacy bag from my pain relief  prescription. On the right is my sketch of a scene of San Gemini the first small town on our tour.

The nice thing about looking at vacation photos or videos is that you don't have to undergo the weather issues of the actual place....of heat, humidity or the relentless little flying creatures that you have to keep waving off as you try to draw. Here I am sketching Phil as he is lost in his own work.

...the end for now.... 

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cortona, Italy, Journal 2009

In 2009 I participated in a workshop in Cortona lead by Gwen Diehn in which we produced our own pigment and journals from local materials found on our explorations around Cortona and Florence. Walking along the unpaved country road behind the Oasi Hotel searching for rock with which to crush into pigment is still a fun memory.

The cover paper on this journal was made from a bag from the Il Pozzo D' Arte gift shop in Cortona. There I purchased handmade paper and some crow quill pens. Il Pozo had a wonderful display of handmade paper journals for sale, too.

The pages of my journal were made of a type of Fabriano paper which I am not familiar with here in the US. The watermark impression was F44. For those of you who don't know, Fabriano paper is made in the town of Fabriano, Italy.

Here's the back side of the journal. We also made rubber stamps as part of the workshop.

Zecchi sells art supplies in Florence and sells their own brand of watercolors. Here is their shopping bag broken down into a journal page insert and their watercolor chart also as a page insert.

I enlarged this image a little more so you can see the bare spine with the outer paper covering removed. The cover structure was thin cardboard product packaging. The stitching is a version of long stitch with chain that can be found in Keith Smith's book, Volume I Non-Adhesive Binding: Books Without Paste or Glue.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Southern France 2007

I constructed one journal before I left for France and two more book structures after my return.
This journal below I took with me. It is 9 1/4 inches wide and 15 1/2 inches high. What was I thinking! What a boat anchor to be lugging around! But it gave me lots of space to glue portions of brocures and write lots of commentary. 

I used leather scrap from a remnant store for the spine and tie strip.

The pages are 140 lb. Fabriano hot press. Nice and smooth for writing and still great for watermedia.

The photo album below is 7 3/8 inches wide by 11 1/2 inches high. A somewhat easier size to carry in a travel bag.  It is similar in style to the journal above. The sections were spaced far enough apart to accommodate the insertion of the photos, or in the case above, brochure clippings, ticket stubs, etc.

I decided early on that it was easier to determine the book size based on how the paper tore down. It eliminated a lot of page measuring and cutting.  I basically fold and tear until I have the size I want, which is usually 7 1/2 by 11 1/2 or 5 3/4 by 7 3/4.  I leave a small margin of cover overlaping the pages. That's just my preference. The pages are 140 lb but I don't remember who the manufacturer is.

And the final book.......

This one is 4 3/8 by 6 3/8.  The cover paper is of a crumpled map.

The little France sign hangs from fishing line which is hardly noticeable and keeps the sign from getting lost.

You can see that there are six envelopes. These hold post cards and 4x6 inch photos. They are sewn into concertina folds. This design is a spinoff from a concertina workshop that I took with Daniel Kelm at Garage Annex School in Easthampton, Massachusetts.

Little paper "buttons" and thin, waxed linen thread hold the envelope flaps down. The "buttons" and envelopes, by the way, are made from manilla file folders.