This art piece is made from love and to honor his beautiful canine being.
Step 1 Starting
Staring with the original photograph, the image was printed out on an old HP colour printer using my handmade-paper of linen & cotton blend. This gave it texture for reworking with other materials.
Step 2 The Assemblage
Within 2-3/8″ square, the following pieces were designed:
Photo resized & reworked with chalk pastel for high/low lights;
Glue background piece onto an acid-free, heavy stock
Calligraphy, hand-coloured with pencil;
Hand-decorated pieces for emphasis with added, and
Lastly, shell gold was painted on and buffed to signify lasting love.
Step 3 The Final Gluing
Assemble pieces into places for the last view
Add or move pieces now
Glue smaller pieces together to form larger ones before final gluing to the background piece
Place in book press for 30 minutes with wax paper covering image
Step 4 Frame
A memento of someone loved, to someone you love.
Sammy the Dog came into our lives through our son -his very first dog as an adult. This pup was a rescue dog who had suffered much prior to his adoption. He lived a good life : well-loved, well-fed, well-cared for every day. He took up little space but filled all of my son's with a devotion, pure and simple, as only a dog can do for us.
The love of calligraphy, type design & letterpress combined with reading Gutenberg’s Apprenticeshould create literary joy on any given day. It should be impossible to put down.
Unfortunately for me, an experienced calligrapher and letterpress aficionado, it is the opposite. Several times I have tried to read this to its end. I want to like it more than I do.
Ms. Christie’s first novel, so well documented, is extremely well written as she is an erudite author on this subject, and a letterpress operator herself. Additionally, the hardback copy is beautifully printed with detailed maps as endpapers and decaled edges on pages that are exquisitely printed.
Nuts! What is not to like, you ask?
Not unlike the historical time period in which Gutenberg lived and stealthily developed type in mid-15th century Mainz, the story is dense. And dark. And moves slowly with a heavy tale of intrigue and deceptions. It is about power and money. Yet with all this – ALL this – I feel weighted down by the narrative. There is no reprieve from the heaviness whether it is with humor or tenderness; no space for a breath. Perhaps the only area that resonates personally is Chapter 8 where Peter discovers the unmitigated power of type – the drawn and carved letter he has created after he sees it pressed for the first time. It is the closest feeling to pure joy.
“None of the arts he’d learned could remain unchanged. None of the ways of his fathers and their fathers, the familiar rhythms of their lives, would be the same. The genie was released from the bottle.”
So, what to do?
While I am grateful to the author for her work, which intellectually I appreciate, I just cannot read more. There are others who are “better” than I with this style of writing; others, who love type, letterpress, art, and history. And, I know just the person – Dr. Schiller!
Christie, Alix. Gutenberg’s Apprentice: a novel. HarperCollins, 2014.
This is a “table screen” that incorporates a Mary Oliver poem, “1945-1985: Poem for the Anniversary.” It is included in several of her anthologies. This piece was a gift to my friend, De Fischler Herman a Rabbinic Pastor, who during an international conference of religious leaders for peace brought it to Dachau to read.
“…while the rest of the world did nothing.”
Do something good today. One good deed for someone or some living thing.
This began as a most unsettling summer as many summers are for me; I dislike this season living here – humid, incessant sun, and worst of all, utter stillness. I could not find a quiet center within myself regardless of the books I read, visits with friends and family, or my love of gardening. Restlessness permeated my days and nights. It was not until I “turned my ankle” during my relentless drive to clean up the yard that put me where I belong. Sitting still.
More than twenty years ago I began to make a type of western “prayer flag” as a gift to those whose heart breaks or joys are difficult to contain or express with flowers and gifts. It was a tangible way to offer love beyond my small self – an offering for the other to the universe. This summer I had a purpose – my own slow heartbreak. Two dear friends, with twenty years and miles between them, are diagnosed with cancers of the worst sorts.
Tina Hudak’s prayer flag adapted to the Western culture
Choose a paper that is strong, but flexible in the wind. I use my own handmade paper for two reasons: the papermaking is part of the prayer, and I can choose my fibers and shape. Many local art supply stories offer Japanese papers which are light and durable.
Create your image according to your artistic style that holds meaning. Here, I use calligraphy, my photo scanned on handmade paper, print on handmade paper, stencils from my hand cut design. Spray with a workable fixative.
Cut “air holes” so that the flag meets less resistance from the breeze. If not, it will most likely be torn down in a forceful wind.
Reinforce the ribbon or string used to hanging to withstand the wind.
At the bottom of the prayer flag, attach an object to weight it, but not enough to tear through it. I often use organic, found objects, such as shells, bits of pinecones or nuts. You can easily insert the thread or ribbon by using a hand drill to make a small hole in the weight.
Please feel welcome to contact me if you have any questions regarding this process.