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Monday, November 30, 2015

For Christmas Gift Giving

As I came to understand in my 65th Year posts, I am very lucky. I have been able to work in the arts pretty much on my own terms. However there are disadvantages to being a solo act and for me,  the biggest one is that there is no one to promote my work but myself. I really do enjoy reaching out to people and sharing my work in a general way, but have a tough time when it comes to a more specific approach, like saying, I made this. How about you buy it?

So this post is do that. The Spirit Books catalog makes a great gift. When I needed a tag line for the book for the Independent Publishers of New England exhibit at the New England Library Association Conference, I came up with "Nature meets book, a catalog of contemplative objects" which I think describes it well. It won an Eric Hoffer Book Award and the USA Review of Books wrote:

Texture and context collide in Gaylord's absorbing retrospective of collage. Consider this a chapbook-sized coffee table book of art-books or book-collages. Photographed within its pages are collages—constructed from various artisanal paper and natural material—that loosely resemble books in structure and meditative thought in concept. And like the mind, the thoughts continue. The numbered pieces are sometimes salvaged to create entries further in the line. The artwork is captivating even in this smaller format. In both a physical and conceptual way, the book harkens the smaller reproductions of Matisse's Jazz, yet with the variegated range of Gaylord's earthen, natural palette.

If you live north of Boston, you can purchase copies at the Jabberwocky Bookshop in my hometown of Newburyport, MA. I'll be there on Friday, December 4 with a mini exhibit of original Spirit Books during Newburyport's Invitation Night from 7–9 PM.

The Spirit Books catalog is also available on amazon. You can order copies here. I haven't figured out a way for you to let me know if you would like it signed and/or inscribed through amazon. Feel free to send me an email—susan (at)—after you make your purchase with your request.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Studio Sunday-First Instafilm Photo

I've only taken one photo with my new Fuji Instafilm camera. I created a little still life of scissors, awl, pin cushion, yew clipping and calligraphic message, and crab apple. I've learned a few things. On the good side, sharpie marker writes wonderfully on it. On the less positive side, in this photo, everything is really blurry, the objects appeared to be centered in the view finder but obviously are not, and I had hoped that the larger margin would be on the left to make it easier for binding. Experiments are in order.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

For Thanksgiving

Wreath of embroidery hoop with maple keys and wire. Writing with sepia ink and brush on a page from an old book that I was given pieces of. I think I was inspired to use it by all the writing I saw in the PBS American Experience on the Pilgrims. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Book Arts Tuesday-Forgotten Libraries of the Sahara

"The Sahara wasn’t always a desert — 7,000 years ago it was a savannah where grasslands and animals thrived. Eventually the weather changed; the rain slowed, then stopped, and the desert took over. 

When Michael Huniewicz was getting ready to visit Mauritania, he found an old book on West Africa, and within the pages he found something that caught his eye: The Forgotten Libraries of the Sahara, part of a town, Chinguetti, that was a 17th-century hub.

“What could be more romantic?” asked Huniewicz. When Michael arrived, he found what felt like a ghost town, though 4,000 people live there, and there are librarians who will still show you the old books housed in the libraries."

You can watch this short video on the yahoo travel website. The books are haunting and beautiful and in need of conservation. Thanks to Brien Beidler for alerting us to this on the Book Arts Listserv.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Studio Sunday-New Toy

Here's a case of a good deed leading to good things. I gave a free day-long Book-Play workshop to Masscribes a couple of weeks ago. In the late 1970s/early 1980s, I was president of Art Alive!The Greater Lowell Arts Coop. I learned many things in those four years. One was that group members who do not contribute are a pain in the neck. The other is that I really don't like serving on committees that involve meetings. As a result, I try to make some other kind of contribution to the groups I belong to. Masscribes generously gave me a gift card to Michael's which is what I used to purchase this little instant camera. I look forward to sharing what comes  forth and some photos from the workshop soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Book Arts Tuesday-Book-Play at Rolling Ridge

I'm taking this blog post to promote my upcoming Book-Play workshop at Rolling Ridge Retreat Center in North Andover, MA on December 3rd from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. We'll be doing several versions of books based on origami folds that are great for ornaments, mini-journals, and gifts. It's a low-key, relaxing day with an emphasis on approaching bookmaking with a light heart. What makes it special is the beautiful setting, the crackling fire and muffins and coffee and tea that greet you in the morning, and the delicious lunch served midday. If you register by November 26, it is only $65. for the day. The price goes up to $80. after. You can get information about the workshop and how to register here.

Snowflake with peace written in different languages

Sunday, November 15, 2015

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