Category : Art

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Montpelier/Worcester Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logo

Vermont’s 27th Spring Open Studio Weekend is coming up this Memorial Day weekend, May 25 & 26! Artists across the state are busy creating work and cleaning their studios just for you.

Most Vermont craftspeople work in studios located in or close to their residences. These are places of production and inspiration located in downtowns as well as at the ends of dirt roads. They are exciting places to visit because they reflect the dynamic yet organized process that is used to produce the finished work of art.

The studio itself is enormously informative because you can see at a glance how the artist works. Buying or ordering work during an Open Studio sale is a unique experience because you have the opportunity to speak to the artist directly.

I send out a postcard every time I participate in Open Studio Weekend (yep, people still use mail). Check out the snazzy postcard that went out this time:

Artist book by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs

If you’d like to be added to my snail mail list, just let me know. I love stamping postcards!

My studio is an obvious first stop on your tour. Books are my thang and I will talk your ear off if you let me. In a good way, I promise.

Once you’ve had your fill of book talk and Cabot cheese, you can easily visit five other artists within a 15 minute drive of my studio. Montpelier and Worcester offer sweet little gems for your studio hopping pleasure. 

I’ve listed these local studios below, where I’m referring to them by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the yellow 2019 Spring Event & Resource Guide. There are several ways to get your hands on a guide:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

Note: If you’re wondering why the studio numbers are different colors, that’s because they correspond with the marker colors on the map I created to help you plan your travels. Behold – the Google Map!

If you do plan on coming to the Montpelier area, let me know and I’d be happy to recommend some local restaurants for your dining pleasure.

I hope to see you at the studio!

Paper cutting with Tyvek

As I mentioned in this post, I’m working on creating a portrait of someone using painted sheets of Tyvek. 

Have I done a paper cut using Tyvek before? Nope. Do I have a deadline that is forcing me to get really good at it ASAP? Yep.

I decided to do a test run before I started working on the actual piece. My biggest concern was how I was going to mount the piece once it was finished. I did some research by consulting my copy of Cut Up This Book! by Emily Hogarth.

She offers several suggestions for selecting the right adhesive for your project, including glue sticks, double-sided tape, and spray adhesive. I knew that my piece was going to have many teeny cuts so glue stick and tape wouldn’t fit the bill. And spray adhesive is just too darn icky.

I settled on using something that I already had in the studio – CODA cold-mount double release adhesive. It’s basically like a big sheet of pH neutral, double-sided tape. I was first introduced to the product by book artist Randi Parkhurst at the Focus on Book Arts conference.

I started by removing the paper release liner on one side of the CODA sheet. I placed a piece of Tyvek on the adhesive and rubbed it down with a bone folder. Lastly, I trimmed off the excess.

Because the release liners on the adhesive sheets are full-size, I decided to lightly score the back of my piece with an X-Acto knife (not cutting the Tyvek) – I wanted to be able to remove the liner in smaller pieces when dealing with the more delicately-cut pieces of Tyvek.

White Tyvek with double-sided adhesive sheet mounted on the back

I decided to test my ability on the text part of my design. I printed it out and taped it to the Tyvek. Then I cut through all of the layers – paper template, Tyvek, and adhesive sheet. As long as the blade was sharp (changed often), I had little difficulty getting through the layers.

One of the benefits of using the CODA adhesive sheets was that they stiffened and stabilized the Tyvek, making it much easier to cut. 

Cutting letters into Tyvek through paper template

When I finished my first word, I removed the template. I was more or less satisfied with the results (cleaner corners, please).

White Tyvek with the word price cut into it

I removed the liner from the back of the Tyvek and adhered it to a dark piece of paper. It looked pretty good!

White Tyvek with the word price cut into it, mounted on grey paper

So this is the way I’m going to work on my portrait. Hopefully, the smaller details will render well.

Stay tuned for a post about the final piece!

Artisans Hand annual sale

ahgoudylogomid2It’s that time of year again!

Starting on Friday, November 4th and lasting through November 6th is Artisans Hand Craft Gallery‘s 33rd annual birthday sale.

Everything in the gallery will be 20% off during the sale.

This is a great time to get a jump on your holiday shopping – the prices on my work at the gallery will be lower than at any of my shows this season. If you’ve seen something on my website and they don’t have it at the gallery, let them know and they can put in a special order for you.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, once upon a time, Artisans Hand took a chance on a curly-haired bookbinder and became the very first gallery to sell her handmade books. The gallery is nestled in a very warm place in my heart. I love that the gallery is located in Montpelier, VT, where I live and work. The staff has always been very good to me and I feel like I’m at home whenever I visit there.

In addition, the State of Vermont has designated the gallery as a Vermont State Craft Center. This honor is given by the state to craft galleries and education centers that meet a strict set of standards for quality and diversity of crafts.When you buy work at Artisans Hand, you are selecting from work that’s among the best the state has to offer.

Be sure to stop by the gallery and pick up something made lovingly by hand.

Support Vermont artists!

Foliage Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Central VT Artists

Central Vermont Foliage 2011 Open Studio Weekend map with heart

Vermont’s Open Studio Weekend is 1 1/2 weeks away.

Yep, you heard that right!

This year is the debut of the first (and hopefully annual) Foliage Vermont Open Studio Weekend!

If you’re planning on visiting my studio (and you totally should!), you can visit other great artists within a 20ish minute drive of here.

And as you can see in the image at right, the studios in the heart of Vermont form a sweet little heart.

Central Vermont has a lot to offer this October – exhibits and demonstrations of pottery, jewelry, sculpting, weaving, painting, photography, illustration, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Foliage Studio Tour 2011 Guide. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

I created the map below to help you plan your travels. Depending on your route, you should double-check for any road closures that are still in effect due to Irene. The State of Vermont created this awesome map that has the most up-to-date information on road closures.

Have fun!


Make that map bigger! I like my studios ginormous!

Vermont Open Studio Weekend – Central VT Artists

Vermont Open Studio Weekend logoVermont’s Open Studio Weekend is 1 1/2 weeks away. Time to start cleaning the studio.

Ugh. Any volunteers?

If you’re planning on visiting my studio (and you totally should!), you can visit other great artists within a 20ish minute drive of here. This year, Vermont Hand Crafters has a hub location at Vermont College and is hosting seven artists.

This adds up to a total of 24 artists participating in the central Vermont area (we represent!). Artists are offering exhibits and demonstrations of pottery, jewelry, sculpting, weaving, painting, rug hooking, and more.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the Vermont Studio Tour Guide 2011. There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

Here’s the rundown of who’s who (click on the links to learn more about specific artists):

I created the map below to help you plan your travels. Because the studios are so close to each other, you can visit quite a few of them within a short period of time.

Have fun!

 


Make that map bigger – I like my studios large!

Artisans Hand annual sale

ahgoudylogomid2It’s that time of year again!

Starting tomorrow, November 5th and lasting through November 7th is Artisans Hand Craft Gallery‘s 32nd annual birthday sale.

Everything in the gallery will be 20% off during the sale.

This is a great time to get a jump on your holiday shopping – the prices on my work at the gallery will be lower than at any of my shows this season. If you’ve seen something on my website and they don’t have it at the gallery, let them know and they can put in a special order for you.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, once upon a time, Artisans Hand took a chance on a curly-haired bookbinder and became the very first gallery to sell her handmade books. The gallery is nestled in a very warm place in my heart. I love the fact that the gallery is located in Montpelier, VT, where I live and work. The staff has always been very good to me and I feel like I’m at home whenever I visit there.

I’ll be at the sale at some point this weekend. I’m hoping to finally buy a zipper barrette made by my friend Stacie Mincher. I’ve wanted one for a while.

Maybe I’ll see you there!

Jill Timm’s work in artist books

Jill Timm - Miniature Books

During her Amazing Dremel workshop, Jill Timm treated students to a talk about her work in artist books. Many of her books are miniatures and include her photographic work. Jill’s work tends to focus on natural themes, which seems to have evolved, in part, from her love of National Parks. Her work is so beautiful!

One piece that I found particularly amazing was Magical NatureScapes. The book contains six scenes that are presented in 3-D, which one views through the included 3-D glasses. Jill told us that she created the 3-D effect herself by moving images pixel by pixel.

That’s what I call artistic commitment.

When I attend an artist talk, I try to remember to bring my studio journal. I’m often amused by the rather obvious (yet still valuable) things I write down. On occasion, I’ll write down something totally random that I found funny at the time and then later I’ll have no idea what it means.

Here are the quotes I captured from Jill’s talk (and what I learned from them):

“The page needs to grow to fit the photo.”

Translation: Don’t crop your photo to fit the page – preserve your content! I love the idea of pages that expand and fold out, so I need to remember this one.

“Pages do not always have to be square or rectangle.”

Translation: Hellloooo…shapes! I think I shy away from shapes because cutting the pages can be really time-consuming. It certainly would be easier to make shaped books if my books were smaller. And this doesn’t even mean that the covers have to be shaped – you can just focus on the pages. See Jill’s Talking Rocks for a great example of this.

“A book should not be naked on the back.”

Translation: Put content on the backs of your pages. I am so guilty of this one, especially if I’m working on something accordion-like. I’ll conceptualize the book one side at a time. I hereby commit to no more naked backsides.

I’m still working on my two remaining Dremel posts – the sample books and the printable guide for everything learned in both Dremel classes.

On a personal note, I’d like to thank everyone for their support during these past weeks. Your kindness has been very heartwarming.

Oh yeah, I’ve been on cable tv

This past Wednesday I was part of an interview on a local cable channel – “Positively Vermont: Vermont Crafts Council“.

My friend Nancy Stone (and fellow bookbinder) & I talked about the Vermont Crafts Council, Open Studio Weekend, the Book Arts Guild of Vermont, and the State of Craft project. Oh yeah, and we got to talk about our own work too.

If you’ve got 45 minutes to spare and have a fondness for curly hair and/or odd facial expressions, enjoy the video below.

Note: That’s me on the right.

Feeling understood

Handmade journal by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof DesignsI just read a brief interview of artist Mariko Kusumoto in The Boston Globe Magazine.

Kusumoto creates interactive metal box sculptures that will be featured at an upcoming exhibition at the Fuller Craft MuseumUnfolding Stories.

When asked for the inspiration behind her work, Kusumoto replied:

I feel comfortable creating space. It gives me a sense of security.

Those words could just have easily come from my lips – that’s one of the reasons why I make blank books. I love the idea of creating spaces where people can feel safe enough to express themselves.

For those of you who also make books – why do you do it?

Montpelier Art Walk – recap

Last Friday I was the featured artist at Artisans Hand Craft Gallery for the Montpelier Art Walk. I had an awesome time. As I am who I am, I brought way too much stuff with me.

Hello, my name is Elissa and I don’t know how to pack.

I brought my one-of-a-kind books for people to explore. Seeing all of my work on display at one time was not something I had experienced before then. I liked it.

Elissa Campbell's handmade books at Montpelier Art Walk - Artisans Hand

I’m not sure why, but not many people picked up the books. If I do something like this again, I’ll put out a sign indicating that it’s okay to pick up the work.

I also brought a coptic journal for my bookbinding demonstration. As I expected, I didn’t get much of it done because I was so busy yakking. I never realized just how sloppy my work gets when I talk and bind at the same time. That book is so getting taken apart.

Lastly, I brought a quick project for folks to make on the spot – a mini book that’s created from one sheet of 8.5″ x 11″ paper. My thought was that folks could use their books for writing poetry – this seemed liked a good match for both National Poetry Month and Montpelier’s involvement in POETRY Alive!

I had an unexpected surprise while at the Art Walk – a friend of mine from college came by the gallery! Earlier in the day, I had joked with him on Facebook about coming to the Art Walk, as it was a “short” drive from New Hampshire. Although I loved the idea, I certainly didn’t expect him to take me up on it. Friends are so great sometimes.

Another highlight of the Art Walk was that I got to work on a book project with my niece. I think that this is the 3rd book we’ve done together. She’s a 5.5 year-old bookbinding genius. No, she’s a wunderkind. I never get to say wunderkind.

The next day, my niece told me that she wanted to a book maker like me. She said that it was because she “liked all the colors”.

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