Milk Paint

Milk Paint has a short shelf life so Thurs morning Dolph mixed up 4 colors for us to use the next 2 days. He coated his wooden cover with black milk paint using a dabbing technique instead of "painting". After the black was dry he brushed it lightly with steel wool and then applied a coat of blue using the same dabbing method. ( photo 3 ) Once this was dry he sanded it using 4 x O steel wool. ( photo 2 ) The transformation was magical. The cover went from a sandy, chalky, feel to a smooth, silky finish with a slight shine to the high spots. ( photo 3 )


Wood Covers

Today we worked on the wood covers for our books (photo 1). Dolph demoed using the scroll saw (photo 2) and the dremel (photo 3) to sand away layers of the plywood we are using for covers. There is lot's of action in the studio. Tomorrow Dolph breaks out the milk paint!



Today Dolph demoed a technique he developed using graphite and shellac. Using a mixture of ground graphite and liquid shellac he painted onto a board that he had embellished in different ways. After the graphite had time to dry he used a dry rag to polish it up. The raised areas burnished nicely with the end result creating a beautiful metallic look. Even subtle marks come alive. The class dubbed this technique "dolphite".


Tomato Fan

Dolph started out the morning giving each of us a TOMATO FAN, celebrating the "Ripley Tomato". From there he moved on to demo a text block bound with tapes. We sewed a sample text block in preparation for our first book. We spent the afternoon tearing paper and designing the book we will bind tomorrow.


Dolph Smith at Penland

This week I'm assisting Dolph Smith (photo 1) 7th session at Penland. He is teaching a class called "Shake, Rattle & Roll". Here is the description from the catalog-

This class will search for a book niche somewhere between pop-up and built. We will consider the book as tool; the book as display case; the book as container with storage space and windows, perhaps with movement behind the windows; the book as three-dimensional sculpture with three-dimensional illustrations; and we will explore the elements of sound and touch. We will attempt all of this using wood, copper, found stuff, milk paint, graphite, and who knows what else? It will all

work out.

Photo 2- Dolph and Jessie- his wonderful wife of 50 years.

Photo 3- Zennias that Dolph and Jessie brought from their farm in Tenn to grace the book studio.

It's a full class and we are looking forward to an exciting week.



This week I have been completing work on a project I am involved in with BookWorks in Asheville, NC. Here's the specifics:
2009 Small Book Exchange

12 BookWorks Coop members will each make 15 copies of a 3 x 3 x 3” artist’s book on the topic of Cabinets of Curiosities. Two copies of each member’s edition will go to each of two boxed sets (boxes to be made and donated by Gretchen Winger, Gwen Diehn, Laurie Corral, and Dan Essig), one to be raffled off and the other to be sold to raise money to support artists’ residencies at BookWorks. One other copy of each person’s edition will be silent-auctioned at BookOpolis. The drawing for the raffle will happen at BookOpolis, September, 25, 2009.

This is my third year participating in this exchange. It's fun, but I always forget that making 15 of something is TOTALLY different from making 2 or 3 of something. I learn a lot about myself and the way I work- very valuable.

My "book" entitled Digestives consists of "crackers", laminated Reader's Digest pages, inside a cracker box. My statement reads: Reader's Digest Condensed Books are cabinets of easily ingested curiosities. Munch, munch, crunch,crunch - page by page - goes down smooth.


Shameless Self Promotion

Want to learn how to make cloth books? Come join me-