I finally have proof that I've spent some time in my studio lately. This act of creation came about as a result of my recent show at the Bennington Museum, which was really a sale, and it did inspire me to try to create something that someone might actually buy. I was pretty happy with these pieces--they are joyful! If you are not familiar with what I normally make, I think the descriptors "textured" or "layered" or "thoughtful" might come to mind, but not joyful. I found some beautiful papers at a local store (really the only place to buy decorative papers in southwestern VT) and slowly acquired a selection over the past few months. I've been hoarding them and trying to figure out how to use them other than to embellish and cover blank books. These tunnel books wound up being quite small (4" x 4") and they needed protective hard covers with doors, like tiny cabinets. I constructed them out of book board with a spine and door on either side with the tunnel book safely tucked inside. And one did sell!
I'm even working on a few fun projects. I found a book of Japanese Zakka patterns in a local bookstore. If you know me at all, you know that I love all things Japanese--paper, origami, bento boxes, sweet bean cakes, and I could go on and on. This is one definition that Wikipedia gives for Zakka:
Zakka has also been described as "the art of seeing the savvy in the ordinary and mundane". The zakka boom could be recognized as merely another in a series of consumer fads, but it also touches issues of self-expression and spirituality. Cute, corny and kitschy is not enough. To qualify as a zakka, a product must be attractive, sensitive, and laden with subtext.
These are the sweetest useful things I've ever seen! Not being the most exacting or apt to follow patterns sewer, I decided to start simply with a book cover for my sketch book. I found a size and shape that I like very much and have been using for years, so I figured it would get lots of use. My mom brought back these beautiful linen and cotton dish towels from Denmark, and I've been trying to find a good use for them. It made a perfect cover--cute, cuddly, and certainly laden with subtext.