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52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 21

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Documenta14, Kassel, Germany

100,000 Forbidden and Banned Books Banned books donated from all over the world were used to create the Parthenon of Books in Kassel, Germany. The installation was constructed at the same site (Friedrichsplatz Park) where Nazi sympathizers burned books on May 19, 1933 during the "Campaign against the Un-German Spirit."
The brainchild of this installation, Argentinian artist Marta Minujin, established a list of banned books for her project with the assistance of students at Kassel University. With donations from the public, 100,000 copies of the banned books were gathered to create the  structure.  Parthenon of Books has the same dimensions of the real-life Parthenon in Athens.

*** Note: This is a temporary installation and will will run until September 17, 2017.  When it ends, the Parthenon of Books will be dismantled and the books will be distributed around the world.

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textiles: Week 29

Textile Books Today I visited the National Museum of African Art to meet my mentor and show her fifteen new textile pages.
 I've been interested in how we read textile pages before they are bound and after they are bound.
One of the things I've noticed is how people tend to hold the unfinished pages much longer when the pages are unbound.  They seem less afraid to "handle" the pages and seem to enjoy looking at the back stitching and artwork.  (Once the pages are bound, the backsides are no longer visible.)

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 28

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. This has been my mantra for the past two weeks.  It began when my original Exodus carving (and design) didn't work out.   It wasn't the first time I had to destroy my work, however it was the first time I had to destroy work without a backup.   This whole project has been the most delicate and fragile project I have ever undertaken.  At any time, the whole project can be destroyed, and at times, this is exhilarating.  At other times, it is very scary. I had some linoleum left over (from the large roll I began this project with) and I was able to create an entirely new cover for Exodus.   The new image looks much better than the original, and  if I didn't try, try again, I would have never created it.

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 27

Linocuts.  Why I love them!
 The challenge of the carving.
 Experimenting with ink colors and viscosity.
Capturing the mood.

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 26

Every book needs a Cover One of the trickiest parts of making this 12 volume series of unique books has been the design of the covers.
I knew from the beginning that I wanted the covers to be created from wood.  The inspiration for my designs were the beauty of antique violins and guitars.  Wood, a material that comes from our soil and has a previous life, also offers symbolic connotations.
Each piece of wood is unique, even if it is cut from the same tree.  I chose the woods that have lots of life and character.  I wanted to tap into the temperament of their grain,  luster, and imperfections.
Like the unique pieces of vintage and rare African textiles, the unique grain of each piece of wood has guided my creative process and inspired my linoleum block designs.
Each book is unique, with its own poem, set of images, and textile designs.  However, the covers are the same, and have the same width, depth, and overall construction.  Perhaps one day they will be exhibited together . . . 

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textiles: Week 25

Behind the Seams This week I want to give you a peek behind the seams. Show you what the fabric looks like on the backside.  It is important to have even seams, no more than a 1/4 inch.  This allows for a smooth book page when I am binding. Before printing on the textiles, I always do a lot of sewing.   The more time I take at this stage, the better control I have of the printmaking process later on.

52 Weeks of Printmaking on Textile: Week 24

Research at The Textile Museum, DC One aspect of creating original textile art is leaving the studio and visiting libraries and museums.  The Textile Museum in Washington, DC is wonderful. Their library is considered one of the most important resources for the study of textiles in North America.  They have thousands of out of print and hard-to-find books on textiles from every continent.
Researching antique textile techniques, especially embroidery methods from around the world, has given me a broader perspective of the historical and social components of textile art:
How do we define textile art?   How do we categorize it?  How do we create it?  How do we combine various techniques?  Do these definitions and categories need to be updated and revised?
There were so many wonderful antique textile books.  However, I really appreciated this one because it was

 "Dedicated to Her Majesty the Queen of Spain."