Thursday, October 31, 2013

Special retreat coming up

I have been working on a new branding for a Bed & Breakfast in the Southern Highland. It is amazing how many roughs you have to do to get to a "happiness" platform between client & artist!  I think we are just about there! But that is not what this post is about.

In a few days I head off to the Golden Door Elysia in the Hunter Valley of NSW. I have been invited to give a lecture about calligraphy and working in the decorative arts industry and running a calligraphy arts practice. I will also hold a two-hour workshop for Golden Door guests who wish to partake.

For the guests at my lecture they all get a specially designed bookmark for their trouble ... they are not finished yet but it's a surprise.

But I think I will keep this lovely for myself!

The decorative arts workshop participants will be making a single section booklet with their own cover design using  watercolour pencils similar to these.

And not to get too carried away but they will either then design their own initials in gold leaf or create a simple Celtic Knot ... or both!

All achievable as everything has been measured, cut and ready to work on!

For more information on the Golden Door Elysia in the Hunter Valley read on!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Out of today's hot pot

A delicate flowering weed I found in the garden has given a lovely delicate remainder.

I am happy to say I have found two of the absolute best papers to use for eco-dyeing. Both Hahnemuhle and Khadi

Three fuchsias.

 Detail ... just gorgeous!

This is the most delicate rose leaf I have done so far.

And, from my little khadi paper booklet these ...

I could not be happier.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Arts And Crafts Edward Johnston ... enjoy!

You know when you go looking for something and you find something else? Well, I found this and have retyped it faithfully to to share with you. It is one of five articles I plucked from The Times when doing a little Edward Johnston research a few years back at the University of Canberra ... and oh how relevant it is today ... all but eighty years later ... read on:

The Times, November 19, 1934; pg. 8; Issue 46915; col C

Arts And Crafts Edward Johnston.
Category: Letters to the Editor
Full Text: Copyright 1934, The Times



Sir, -- May I take this opportunity of thanking Sir Reginald Blomfield for his letter which appeared in your issue of the 10th instant, recalling to Mr. John Milne (and other readers of The Times) the work of the Arts and Crafts Exhibitions Society? I fear, however, that the wording of Sir Reginald’s letter may convey the impression that the society no longer exists. Actually it has existed without a break from its foundation in 1888 and continues to hold exhibitions every few years. The society expects to have an exhibition in the near future.

May I refer also to a passage in Mr. John Milne’s letter in to-day’s issue of The Times? Writing of the forthcoming exhibition of British Art and Industry Mr. Milne says:--

“The forthcoming exhibition is mainly concerned with the application of design to modern processes of machinery, which, however we may regret it, has superseded the craftsman.”

Without the craftsman there can be no design in that sense of the word which connotes aesthetic value. In this connection the engineer may be regarded as the craftsman, and the aesthetic value of his work is likely to be in proportion to its fitness for purpose. Unless the design arises out of the actual construction of a thing it is reduced to the level of extraneous ornamentation. Design, in fact, is inherent rather than applied, and the “application of design” to mechanical processes suggests an attempt to get the best of both worlds by trying to secure the appearance of craftsmanship without it’s substance.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
President, Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society, Ditchling, Sussex.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

N E W S - hot off the press

I am delighted to have been invited to teach on the Faculty of the Legacies II international lettering arts conference in
Dallas Texas 19 - 26 July 2014. 
 Please feel free to visit the Legacies site for more information.

You may also be interested in visiting my brand new website launched just a couple of weeks ago!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Something special ...

A couple of special ones:

Can't remember leaves :-)  Oh dear!

 Rose leaves

Rose leaves

Just playing ...

This is a piece that was dyed with no emphasis on particular leaves. It reminded me of this saying by Rengetsu, the 19th century Japanese Buddhist nun.  I created the saying in graphite.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Plant dyeing trials & tribulations - continued

These are from a new batch I created yesterday using copper sulphate instead of the weeknd batch where I used iron sulphate. Believe it of not thay have been dried and pressed.

The results on the handmade paper are very good. The results however on the Bristol paper I used in the same pot-boil are not good ... for grounds.  And though I love the images especially the rose leaf and the fuchsia flower the paper has not flattened enough for my liking.  Perhaps they will be fine for covers for small books.  I may dampen the Bristols and try pressing again.

 Fuchsia on Bristol paper

Rose leaves on Bristol paper

Gum leaves on Bristol paper

 Gum leaves on handmade paper

 Handmade paper

Handmade paper

Visit my website too!

Visit my website too!
In-class illumination demonstration

Something about Gemma

My photo
Blackmans Bay, Tasmania, Australia
I am an Australian, a letter designer & calligrapher. I enjoy working with letters and grounds, teaching and mixing with like-minded people.


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