Oola and I traveled East from Seattle to the town of Sammamish which was holding an art fair. We joined up with Mark Hoppmann and Pat Chupa of the Puget Sound Book Artists at the town library where we hosted a meet-and-greet table to gently educate the public about Artist Books.
I borrow this photo from Mark’s page on Vamp and Tramp booksellers. Each extraordinary page is meticulously drawn and printed. Each volume is individually sewn and boxed so that no two are exactly the same.
You can see more of his work at www.markhoppmannart.com.
Pat Chupa showed her Wonderkammer, a cabinet of curiosities. I borrowed this image from her website because it explains her book so much better than any of my photographic attempts.
I showed my Book of Bon Bons, but it was hard to get most people to play with it.
The most popular aspect of our presentation was the take-away table where people could make a small accordion book to take home or to donate to the worlds longest accordion book being put together by PSBA.
This table moved out into the aisle and got messier and deliciously messier as the afternoon progressed. Sunny was one of our champion collager/stampers.
The table next to us was a little quieter (not that we were noisy in the library!)
Anne Shannon makes paper the old way. At her take-away table she invited the children (and Oola) to make collages with her handmade paper. We shared our amazement at the intensity of concentration at both tables, and a quality of inevitability in their collages.
One work was left on the table, and a cloud came over Anne when she explained to me that the boy who made it said he would “donate” it. When Anne pressed him to take it home he explained that his father would only make fun of him for making art.
I think this is one of the saddest things I have seen in a long time; call it Portrait of a Spirit Being Crushed.
On a cheerier note we got to meet the Poet Laureate of Washington State, Tod Marshall.
Tod gave a mini writer’s workshop which probably could have been advertised better. I wish that I could have attended, but felt obligated to my spot at the PSBA presentation. Read about his newest book, “Bugle”.
Meanwhile, in another part of the city center there were more artists showing and talking about their work. Two that captured me were:
Linda Gisbrecht and her bead embroidery
Linda told me a story which I quote here from her website —
I began creating bead work pieces as a result of a dream. In this dream, a wise old grandmother lizard promised me a necklace as a gift, and to teach me the craft. Upon awakening, I excitedly began to explore this media. A few months after having this dream, I went home to visit my parents. After hearing I was now doing bead embroidery, my mother offered to give me a drawer full of seeds beads she had been saving. In response, to my surprise, she told me about how my great grandmother made bead embroidery handbags. I feel this deep connection with my ancestors through this craft.
Misako Plant and her washi dolls
When I got to her booth I was immediately thrown way back into a memory of my Father coming home from sea with the present of a porcelain doll in a silk Kimono in a glass case. We got to look at it and we were warned this was no ordinary doll. The beautiful doll from far away land was exhibited high up beyond our reach in her glass case. The red of her kimono and the black of her hair and the gold hinges of the case became lodged somewhere DEEP in my psyche.
Misako’s dolls are made of Japanese paper (wa-shi). She showed us how she wraps the paper around a cylinder and crushes it to give both texture and strength. She called this “shrinking” the paper.
Love the energy of this dancer who is planted in rectangular strength but in whom everything is delicious movement.