Saturday, March 30, 2013

Yellow Renaissance

finding beauty
Yellow Renaissance, handmade paper 
new forms
new shapes
new life
from the discarded,
from the unwanted
from the used

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Black Moon Series

Handmade pulp and paper
from salvaged magazines,
junk mail, and paper bags.

Black Moon #3 by Suzanne Coley
String was embedded into
the pulp and then attached
to hand painted cardboard.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

From Studio to Museum

Opening Night 
Baltimore Salvage Art Exhibition
at the
Public Works Museum
I wonder what she sees?
Black Moons #3
It was wonderful being surrounded
by so many inspiring art pieces.
All made from recycled materials!

This is a YouTube video of some 
of the artists, especially drums
that light up when played, by
Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormack 

Artist Adrianna Morgan 
And when the show was over
I went back to my studio
and worked.
experimenting with paper 

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Carving Images

Back in the studio 
carving the images for
Monster Series
Finished carving her yesterday at 2 am.  
I like sketching images
in my notebook before
making an outline on the 
linoleum block. For me,
the process is very organic 
and my final carving doesn't
exactly look like my sketch.
A few of my carving tools.
Marke Kirschen aka "the two cherries" 
carving tools are great.  They are easy
to hold and fit perfectly in my palm.

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Experimenting with different 
ways to embed 
string into handmade papers
for my new series Monsters.

Made paper purposely two-toned.  White areas still have remnants of former life,
 (deconstructed letters and text can still be seen).
Baltimore has great water for 
making paper and I don't have
to do much on that end.  
 Neutral pH level!

I have been separating the initial
salvaged papers in recycle
bins and playing around
with combining the really high end
papers with samples of 
glossy, highly processed ones.

Violet papers rest on  handmade deckles and moulds.
Overall, I love the quality of the papers.
However, as a printmaker
I have always used
England's Somerset
France's Arches
China's Red Star Xuan papers
Japan's Kitakata (love it for book binding)
which makes me want to
really test the papers I have been
making.  I have inquired about
working with a local chemist/scientist. 

Saturday, March 23, 2013


before Photoshop 
all my manipulations 
were done by hand
in the darkroom
under a dim red light
handprinted b/w silver gelatin photo on fiber paper
today when I was 
making handmade paper
and manipulating the textures
with hand carved molds
I was reminded of the 
experiments I performed
 in the darkroom
with C-41 & E-6 films
and fiber papers

some of the handmade papers
feel like skin and are
as soft and durable
as suede

I am looking forward to 
posting these experiments  
in the upcoming weeks

Friday, March 22, 2013

United States Art in Embassies

Livre d' artiste 
Department of State Art in Embassies Program
book arts by Suzanne Coley
Invisible by Suzanne Coley
I love book arts because
the tactile nature of 
handmade books invokes 
exploration and interaction 
by inviting the 
viewer to turn each
page and explore the images,
textures, and words of a 
visually narrative world
orchestrated by the life
of an artist. 

textured artist's book
Invisible was one of three artist's books selected
When I was selected for the program
one of the first questions the curators
had was, Can they be touched?
Absolutely, was my response.
I  wanted my books to be read,
the pages touched, 
and viewed in the palm
of the reader's hand.

I created sturdy, durable
matching clamshell boxes
to house the books and 
allow personal handling 
without gloves. 
I also began to create more
durable covers to allow for
 natural wear and tear.  

textured cover of book
Detail of box texture
I experimented with several different
gel mediums as textures before
working with thick modeling paste.

Modeling paste was the most 
flexible and allowed for
   the types of sculptural
effects I wanted to achieve.
book arts
Page 5 of Invisible
With Invisible, I used iconic silhouettes, 
and transformed them 
into unrecognizable geometric frames
with acrylic paints, 
handmade paper and glitter.

The poetry explores how beauty
is depicted through the media (externally)
and by individuals (internally).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

22nd hour

22nd hour by Suzanne Coley
45 dollar a night hotel
on the corner next to Hell

a fee she can't afford
with her monthly award

22nd hour of her life
entangled in discord and strife

running from herself

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


                            Remembering a Journalist
Rapid rise in pressure

Internal sonic booms

In a makeshift media room
A dim light bulb hangs
from above, illuminating
a tiny space for Truth

Deafening sonic booms
False pressure waves

Boom, boom, boom
No time to glance out
the peephole

Rapid rise in pressure
an internal sonic doom
One last thought before
waves of compressed air
hit her, knocking her into silence

Truth is dead

 handmade accordion book with 
silver leaf cover and matching 
clamshell box with custom protective pouch

silver leaf cover of book and matching box

Tuesday, March 19, 2013


book arts
Center page of Metro by Suzanne Coley
on the metro she met him
on the metro she left him

Monday, March 18, 2013

Education through Art

Working as a visiting artist to a few 
New York City high schools
I like to create projects that combine
current events and art.

Eleanor Roosevelt High School students
One project students loved was the Map Project.
 I asked each student where she or he came 
from and to find a map of their hometown.

Eleanor Roosevelt H.S. teacher Ms. Ettenheim had boxes of maps
This led to very interesting conversations
because, surprisingly, half the students
were not from New York.  
And, some were from other continents.  

If there wasn't a map of the city the student was from, we would make one.
Two students were from Michigan, and knew
people who lost homes from the horrific tornados.
One student was from Japan and discussed the 
Tsunami.  Students from Asia and Africa
discussed recent events in their countries.

But enough of my thoughts, 
here is what they had to say about 
the experience:

"As you look at the installation, you will notice references to the destruction and turmoil in our country over the course of the last year, but you will also have the sensation of connecting the dots to a future time and place. Her work incorporates found materials and materials not traditionally used in art making. We don’t see the actual images of destruction and rebuilding, but the strokes that are abstract and complex make us think about where we have been, where we are and where we are going."

More than 50 students helped with the installation
Thank you everyone!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Lady of Letters, Part III

The Russian word Life was 
printed on many of the 
postcards that I mailed.

Life postcard by Suzanne Coley
I really like working with 
lithographs and silkscreens,
however with this project,
I didn't have a lot of space
or time for those processes.

With linoleum and wood,
I can take the little blocks
everywhere, cut anywhere,
and print anytime.

My handwriting and some cuts
I  began the text
by writing the
mirror images of
 Russian and German words
on the linoleum block.

The final plate with red Charbonnel ink
I removed all of the background,
leaving only the lettering.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Boreas blows

looking through the telescope
this is what I see:
Documenta 13, Germany
who will make it
shouts old Boreas as he
blows studio doors open
revealing the souls of
penniless artists
to hungry Universe

Eurynome, disguised as 
eternal Spring, dances
to heavy drum beats
crushing weak hearts beneath
her green stilettoed feet

Hesiod steps aside, letting
artists write new endings
to ancient tales 

Documenta 13, Kassel
creation begins

Friday, March 15, 2013

Baltimore Public Works Museum

Recycled Art

handmade paper and pulp from recycled papers and fibers by Suzanne Coley
Salvage: A Waste of Materials, A Wealth of Art, headed by the Bureau of Solid Waste’s Office of Recycling is a recycled art show featuring various mediums of art from established and arising local artists. Salvage will be presented as part of the Drive to 35: Baltimore’s Race to Reach a 35% Recycling Rate campaign.
Baltimore Public Works Museum 
751 Eastern Avenue Baltimore, MD 21202
Opening Night 
March 22, 2013 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Exhibit Run
March 23 – May 18, 2013 
Artist Contribution/Submission  
Local and regional artists have created 2D and 3D artworks made out of curbside recycling materials like plastic bottles, glass and cardboard.  The following is a full list of artists participating in the show. 
Amanda Nelson
Brian Baker
Diana L. Spencer      
Donald Edwards
Emily C-D
Erika Kim Milenkovic
Heather Joi
Jenn Figg and Matthew McCormack
Katie Chen
Laure Drogoul
Patrick Craig
Shahrzad Taavoni
Stephen Towns
Suzanne Coley
Sylvia Park
Winston Harris

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Paper Pulp Love, Cycle I

in search of beauty 
Moon Reflections, MMXIII (handmade paper)
collected bags of discarded
memories in yellow,
blue, and black on white

i reach into your center
to feel the hands
that touched you before me

latest bags of recycled paper in my studio
from where do you come?
what eyes have read your words?
how many hands have unwrapped you?

handmade paper by Suzanne Coley
to know your history 
is to understand your essence
i must deconstruct you 
to a pulp

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Lady of Letters, Part II

I had an idea to mail
 handmade postcards 
 through the 
U.S. Postal Service,
but fear prevented me from
doing it for years.

2nd postcard mailed
I was afraid to send such delicate, beautiful,
handprinted (some with real 22K gold) 
without envelopes through the mail.

What if the recipients never received them?
What if the cards were damaged along the way?
What if they were lost?
What if the recipients threw them in the trash?

Photo from Smithsoniam Postal Museum 
 In the autumn of 2012, I read how real
babies (yes, infants and toddlers) were
sent through the
in the early 1900's.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Lady of Letters, Part I

as a child I loved writing letters
 and I was sure I'd be a
Lady of letters

Front of 1st postcard mailed
computers, Internet, and modern technology
 made me re-think how 
I could send handwritten 
correspondence through the mail.

My typewriter and a few epistolary novels from 1800's
I decided to create 
high quality 
handprinted postcards

Detail of Kunst postcard

Some handprinted cards drying
from Aug - Dec 2012 I created over
two hundred handprinted postcards
and I began mailing them.

Mailing a postcard in Germany

Monday, March 11, 2013

Kaleidoscope Dreams

handmade paper from junk mail and old books

kaleidoscope dreams
cascading down Niagara Falls
taking me to Lake Victoria
memories of my Ob'
flowing into the Arctic

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