November 17, 2009

Between the Covers

I attended Journalfest last month because there were a couple of bookbinding workshops that I just had to take. I've been fascinated with the book making process for sometime, in particular the dimensional books with beautifully stitched exposed bindings that just beg to be examined and filled with all manner of inspired paraphernalia....but I digress. I thought I would start out by learning the basics, from some of the best in their craft. Daniel Essig, who is by all accounts what you could only call a true master craftsman, taught an enthusiastic group of artists and amateur bookbinders his technique for a smock stitched Mica covered book. This is my book here:

Corpse Mica Journal

This is one of Dan's books featured in the Smithsonian. Hey, when you really want to nail down your ideas...

Dan Essig - Book of Nails II at the Smithsonian

Then LK Ludwig taught us her unique techniques for painting journal pages and binding them together using some cording, waxed linen thread and a couple of old book covers. Her easy manner, generosity and thorough directions made the class a pleasure to attend.

Criss Cross Journal

If you ever have the opportunity to take classes from either of these two artists - I highly recommend them! Now I.m off to hit the books...

November 13, 2009

An Artful Fetish for Words

I've had a love affair with words for as long as I can remember. As a precocious youngster, I would read the dictionary for fun. (Hey, I didn’t say I was popular, just precocious). I understood all too well that the pen truly is mightier than the sword, and a word once spoken would linger and continue its impact long after it has been uttered. Words are powerful indeed and "fetish" is one of the greats - it's an attention seeking word, it has sizzle and as many exciting synonyms as you can imagine: obsession, fixation, mania. Fetish is a word with a dark side; a word perfect for the world of art!


1. an object regarded with awe as being the embodiment or habitation of a potent spirit or as having magical potency.

2. any object, idea, etc., eliciting unquestioning reverence, respect, or devotion: to make a fetish of high grades.

3. Psychology. any object that causes a habitual response or fixation.

Yes, I confess, I have an art fetish. There's no question in my mind that every artist pours at least a little magical potency into their work and that it is meant to elicit strong feelings. That the artist aspired to create a sense of awe and wonder, and more than likely went through at least a brief period of fixation before the piece was done.

I wish to share with you some of my favourites here. The artists and the artworks that embody a potent spirit, and along the way I promise I’ll share with you my fixations and challenges in creating art that I hope will inspire others.