15 May 2009

Talk about arthritic hands and shoulders!

Time certainly does run away when working and researching.
I have been very busy preparing kits, class proposals, new mixed media books for workshops etc etc.

I have four Visual Anthologies I am busy preparing for, the lead up to the piece some times takes longer than the making of the art work.

This latest piece, which I cannot show yet is almost done.
At least that was until I started to cut into the cover today. 4 hours to cut.
I was going crazy.

One would think it was paper or board right. Well its compressed wood and at over 150 years old
you cannot use a knife. So off I ran to the harware shop to find something to cut through it - even my wood dremel wheel seized up.

Actually this happened in my Melbourne workshop but these cuts had to be fine and small so I had to be careful what I used - no quick fix here.

I came back empty handed and back to the laborious task of using small cut with the chisels in the photo. The material was so tuff that the chisels just stood by themselves.
Then I had to use a surgeons scalpel to try and make the final cut.
Every time I did the blade would come apart from the base.

It was hell but a labor of love.

This book is for Michael.

There are so many components to it. Dont even ask about this part, you can imagine how long it took to get all the skele's on this old rusty something with 53 holes in it!

Yes I counted.

I will be teaching it in Philladelphia in August to a very small group. There are a few places left so if anyone is interested let me know and I will give you the details.

I will announce more details when I finish the book hopefully by Monday.

Actutally it is similar to the one I am teaching at Carol Parks in August but there are some new techniques and I have used old covers instead of using velvet like my "Just In Case Class". But I will be covering the same techniques in both classes.

I have had a great time embossing with velvets as you can see below - not a great photo yet.
I used Michelle Ward's gigantic rubber stamps and they worked really well - see them in the first image here.

So when I found that book with the Salome spine I started investigating her and found out alot of fascinating information.

That somehow led me to Italy in the 17th Century.

Four amazing women have taken up almost a month of research.

I have started one piece which will be for my proposed workshop with Stacey in Cortona, Italy next May. More on that later when the piece is nearly done - its very interesting though.
It was difficult to stop that piece to start and complete this Art Journal. It is something I rarely do, that is jump from one piece to another but when time restrictions are in place, one has to stop.

It does interfere with the creative process and I am itching to get back to the Italy piece but that piece actually led to Michael's book anyway so that was a good thing too.
From Italy, I jumped all over history to research another piece which I am also itching to do. It will be a complex piece and I am formulating how best to approach and do it. I have learned so much I did not know.

I am interested if others jump from piece to piece or do they, like me, prefer to work ona piece of art until it is complete then move on to the next piece?


irenka said...

WOW, I'm just blown away with the details of your art. Wish I lived closer to Philly. I'd just love to come and watch.

Lynn said...

You do endeavor with a passion
until finished
and the results
to behold

I like to finish one thing at a time, most times...sometimes lately I find myself dancing
between sewing and painting and now stamping
new things
in small ATC sizes
i'm a beginner
you a master

Ro Bruhn said...

This is fabulous Judy, Michael will love it. Maybe one of those burning tools would have cut through the wood.
I have dozens of projects on the go at once, it makes life interesting.

kecia said...

oh my god, that book is going to be amazing! your poor hands! as a massage therapist i'm going to lecture you about taking care of your poor little digits (preventive care). do some stretching on them (i can show you in aug.) you can also do an immersion bath if they ever really bother you (say after cutting 150 year old wood....) where you have a bowl of ice water and a bowl of hot water and you alternate between the two for 5-10 minutes - dry hands and then flick hands quickly for a few seconds and viola - refreshed, relaxed hands! when you have philly class info ready, send to me and i'll blog it.

Judy Wise said...

I prefer working on one project at a time. I'm very focused that way.

And yes; treat those hands like gold. As a woodcut artist who cut plywood to save money and then had to have a carpal tunnel operation I can tell you that caution is the password.

You and Michael. OMG, so sweet. What a fabulous gift. xo

Sharon said...

Fascinating projects you are working on. Oh how I wish for time to research as you do.
Me, I tend to work on only one at at time as long as you don't count all the art journals that I play in.

BloggingQueen said...

I used to work on one thing at a time, but was getting a backlog of ideas that I didn't want to lose. (Small people in my house keep insisting I pay them some attention...) I'm now working in two books, two scrapbook/visual journals for los bebes, and gotta finish a piece I want to send my mother-in-law by 5/23.

Seth said...

Fascinating as usual. I love and admire the passion you have for every little detail! I always have multiple projects going at once and really enjoy bouncing from on to another. It keeps the fire lit!

Robyn said...

A labor of love indeed! But I can imagine it's going to be stunning and well worth the 4 hours. I presume you will be using the piece you cut out. I also like to finish one piece at a time...probably because I'm posessed by the muse and don't want to look at anything else til I'm done.

Judi said...

I jump around a fair bit, but usually only one piece has any "meat" to it; the others are less mindful. I am amazed by your research and dedication. I can't wait to see Michael's book!

kelsey said...

Love the embossed velvet (Michelle's stamps are the best!!!), love the skulls on Michael's piece...can't wait to see that one! Love the fact that you completely immerse yourself in each and every piece you do and yes, even to the point of probably bleeding onto it!

I'm a "jumper", I like to work on something until it says stop, then move onto something else. The original piece will simmer away in my mind until I come up with the next piece in it's story.

Dale said...

I am often a piece jumper. I get a little impatient with things like waiting for resin/paint/glue to dry, and so need to work on something else or i'd just be poking at that and ruining things every 5 minutes hahaha. Also, i find that on occasion, a piece needs to sit and perculate a little with me, and so i need to set it aside and think upon it until i know what direction it needs to go.

Sam Marshall said...

Hi Judy,
These pieces look amazing already-love the skulls. It's fascinating looking at the process.

Susan Tuttle said...

your attention to detail in your work and the amount of loving care that you infuse them with moves me.

i can't wait to see more of michael's book!

How wonderful that you will be teaching at the Carol Parks studio!:)

rochambeau said...

Dear Judy,
Michael's book is really going to be something wonderful! I love to feel your passion for what you do.

It's wonderful to see how many classes you are now teaching and ideas for classes you are cooking up!!
You go girl!
You are an inspiration!

Lesley said...

Anymore opening in Philadelphia?


Jen Crossley said...

I just work on one piece at a time boring I know,but slowly slowly catchie monkey
The piece is wonderful

Kim said...

no wonder your blog's been a little quiet, you are so busy, but I love the hints at what you're up too. Medieval Italy is soo interesting to me too!. The piece for Michael looks great, the skulls look like they will be popular alright. As for the creative stuff, one at a time for me or it ruins my flow and inspiration. I will jump if needs must but it isn't my preferred thing. Can't wait to see your finished bits.

dede warren said...

Just seeing your art and knowing the work that goes into each piece makes me eager for our workshop! This time I will be far more prepared than last, and I can't wait to see the art that is created.

be well, Dede

Leslie said...

Your work is always inspiring. I love how you simply make it happen when you want to. I'm looking forward to seeing more . . . as always!


Leila Marvel said...

Truly stunning I wish I could see it in person.

disa said...


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