This is how I titled the book I have just completed.
Gina, a friend of mine who I have known since early childhood, commissioned the book for her partner Karen. To celebrate Karen turning 50 (sorry Karen, but you don't look a day over 30) Gina arranged to go to the Zoo in Sydney. There, an elephant presented Karen, via it's trunk, a huge bamboo cylinder. Inside the cylinder was the itinerary for the surprise trip. The book I just finished was about their elelphant trek through Thailand's Golden Triangle. Karen has loved elephants since she was a child so imagine the surprise when she recieved the itinerary from one.
Fortunately, I am able to share this Visual Anthology with you.
I feel it is befitting to state that having done one of Nina's classes at Artisitic Journey , it certainly influenced this book. So thankfully some of the techniques I learned, whilst rushed, as they are in a one day workshop, were honed well here. Nina is an not only an artist whom I greatly admire but has become a lovely friend as well. If I could only produce as well as Nina does - we all live and dream.
I would like to make special mention of Christine Cox from Volcano Arts. I have been a customer of Volcano for some-time now. I emplore those who do book arts and any artisitic endeavour to look at what Christine has to offer. She has an abundance of helpful information on her site too in "The Muse". Her service is amazing, fast, efficient and very personal when needed. I do not know too many people in the industry who answers calls at all hours - and rushes to the post office whilst trying to teach workshops and run a shop - for someone desperate for product from the other side of the world. Chrisitine does and did - so thanks, you are a life saver. I could not have finished it without your amazing products.
Befitting an elephant story, the book took on mammoth proportions. I had to bind the front and back last as I was not sure just how big it would be. When I first saw all of the pages stacked up, one on top of the other, I nearly collapsed from worry - what if I could not bind it all so it would sit correctly?
How was I going to stitch the signatures in?
Do I start from front to back or visa versa?
I took a mega logical approach and worked through it bit by bit until it worked.
It was so wonderful to work in unlimited dimensions. Being a perfectionist, whilst I ummmed and ahhhed over how the signatures of the book would fit to the binding and whilst it was a struggle, the struggle was indeed worth it.
Working in these dimensions and being able to adapt any part of the book myself was sooooo liberating.
Alot of the treasures within the book came from the haul Michael and I received from my ex Bob (see earlier post). The metal piece on the top of the front cover looked to me like an elephants trunk, a perfect embellishment to adorn the front of the book, I thought.
Ah yes! I went through copious amounts of Liquid nails. My dremel and soldering iron got a good workout. And it was only on the very last of hundreds of setting of eyelets did I manage to smash my index fingernail which is now an unsightly blue! I managed to go through an eyelet setter and the punch because the vintage book covers used were sooooo thick. Liver of sulphur stunk the house out for 2 days as well. i almost went through an entire stamp re-inker of walnut ink - and that was alchohol ink which goes really far - so you can imagine just how much I went through.
As with all my Visual Anthologies a hand is always featured - usually on the first or introductory page. Why a hand?
In Judaic and Middle Eastern customs, the hand or "Chamsah", as it is known, is the symbol that wards off the evil eye. It is a protective amulet, as it were. My VA's usually tell a story of someone's life and involves a celebration of some-sort. The books are usually seen by many people and I put the Chamsah in so as to protect my client from any jealous eyes.
The hinged frame, when opened, reveals the Chamsah. Under this one I have featured an elephant's trunk and leg. I symbollically wanted to protect not only Karen but the elephants she holds dear. As we all know, elephants are poached for their ivory and are taken from their environments/habitats for a number of reasons - so I felt to combine the hand with the image would be befitting.
Thanks for looking.
To be continued...
On that Thinking Blogger thing that is whizzing around blogs at present I have recieved three.
Not sure why really and I have been avoiding it but thanks to Ruth Rae for the latest one. At least I think it was on of those... Ruth and I have indeed become good blog mates. I absolutely adore her art. Her fibre works are soooo inspiring and so much thought goes into each piece. She is such a deep and spiritual person - something that I very much appreciate in her and her work. I was initially attracted to her work as I stumbled upon her blog and noticed that the background was opaqued out Hebrew Text. I became curious and more and more of her art was revealing the use of Hebrew texts - which I do as well. So one day I just had to ask her why she used them. I am such a busy-body sometimes. Anyway, so started a lovely link between us, her love of the look of the hebrew letters and my knowledge of all the texts she was putting in her art. I am so grateful to have found Ruth and hope to meet her one day, maybe at Artfest next March.
Then there was the nomination from Ro Bruhn - thanks Ro you were the first of two in one day. It was so nice of you to nominate me - as stated previously, not really sure why as I do not really reveal, or so I thought, the thinking side of me on this blog. But alas maybe I do without even realising it. Anyway Ro and I met at the Artistic Journey retreat earlier this year. What a giving person, what a great blogger and a very very talented artist. Lately we have been doing lots of shopping for each other and I even recieved a magnificent piece of Ro's art, a gorgeous necklace, which I will take a photo of soon and post. Ro even incorporated Red Velvet into it - How nice was that - my favourite. You are such a darling Ro, so thanks.
I happened to be checking out what Fibre Artist Extraordinaore Barbe Saint John was up to and there I was, listed on her Thinking Blogger list. It happened to be on the same day as Ro and I thought what is happening here. Anyway I met the ever so lovely Barbe when I was in the USA last year. She is a great friend of Michaels and he really wanted me to meet up with her so we did. Barbe is a great girl, "shoots from the hip" and that's what I love about her, my kinda woman. Yes she is another of the talented bunch I have met and, boy, does "she spin a good yarn"- lol. Well actually, go check out her blog, she really does spin her own yarn - delicious stuff. Anyway, thanks Barbe, hope we can catch up soon.
Sooooo, not sure about the 5 links I am supposed to forward on... still thinking... will let you know.