Printmaking Unleashed

Traci Bautista’s new book, Printmaking Unleashed is FULL of unique ideas for printing and mark making.

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I was excited to have a couple of hours to sit down and try some of the techniques in her book today. It really delivers as it definitely unleashed the printmaking beast in me!

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She sent me a box full of awesome tools to try out and the thing that grabbed my attention right away is how many things you can use in printmaking that are just ordinary items. I’m getting ready to bind these backgrounds into a new journal so I can continue printing and journaling on top of them. Love having pages ready to develop in my journals, much more inspiring than blank pages!

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Making the Journal…BIGGER

So as I said in my post yesterday, one way I want to make this journal different is by making it bigger. This is the standard journal size that I like to make. It’s big enough to have lots of room to play, but not overwhelmingly large.

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Original Journal from my book Creating Art at the speed of Life

 

 

 

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The journal size I usually make

I used 90lb Fabriano Hot Press Watercolor paper. This is still my favorite for journal making because it’s not too heavy but the pages hold up very well to all sorts of media. It’s also easy to fold, tear and punch through. I get asked about this choice often and I’d like to insert that any paper that you like to use for mixed media art can be substituted. Your journal is a personal place for you to make art and the substrate you choose to work on is a personal choice. I just share what my favorite is:-)

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To make the 7 1/2″ x 11″ journal that I made, tear four 22″ x 30″ sheets of paper into fourths, you’ll use 15 of these torn down pieces of paper. I used a tear bar but you can fold and score with a bone folder tool, wet the fold with a sponge and tear. Remember that this journal can be made in any size you want so if you already have a pad of paper you like you may just want to tear out pages and fold them in half.

 

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Fold each piece of torn paper in half and score fold with the bone folder tool to create 15 folios. Nest three folios inside of each other to create 5 signatures of three sheets each.

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Punch a center hole and one hole from each end for three holes total in the spine. (You can find complete instructions on stitching this in my book. Use waxed linen thread to bind each signature with a pamphlet stitch, tying the not on the inside of the signatures.

I like to store my awl and binding needle in a cork to keep them together and myself safe from being poked.

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I get my waxed linen thread from the jewelry section of Michael’s or Hobby Lobby.

 

Because this is a larger journal and the stitches on the outside are a bit larger than my 2″ cloth tape, I’m going to use two pieces of tape in each stitch for a total of 4 pieces.

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I find it helpful to use a piece of 2″ by 8″ piece of chipboard to act as a threader for the tape. Simply stick the edge of the tape to the chipboard and thread it through the stitches on the outside of the stack of signatures. Remove the tape from the chipboard and stick one side to the outside of the signature on one side of the stack. Then compress the stack of signatures and stick the rest of the tape to the other side of the stack. If needed use a second piece of tape beside the first one. Repeat for second outside stitch.

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For the covers I like to use mat board or the heavy boards from the back of drawing pads. Just cut to the size of your journal. For the larger journals like this I like to have a nice sturdy cover so I wouldn’t recommend using just canvas as in the smaller journal in my book.

 

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Use Yes glue or other good strong paper glue to attach the cardboard covers to the front and back of the signature stack.

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To cover the spine I like to use Gaffers tape but any cloth tape including the one you used for the binding will work. Duct tape will even work. Just cut two pieces the length of your journal. Place one piece sticky side up on your worktable and then tear about a 1″ strip from the second piece of tape. Place this sticky side down, down the center of the piece on your worktable.

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Set your journal, bound side down on top of the tape, it should be resting on the non sticky middle strip. Carefully stick the tape to the front and back of the journal.

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Sometimes there’s a bit of a gap between the signatures when you ope your book.

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To fix this I just add a strip of the cloth tape I used for the binding.

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Let the glue set up overnight if possible, I like to weigh the journal down with a book or two on top of it. Then you’re good to go!

You can decorate your cover or leave it plain. For complete journal making instructions remember to check out my book Creating Art at the Speed of Life 

 

AWOL-Time To Get Back In the Habit of Art Journaling!!!

What a crazy busy summer! We moved, into an apartment waiting for our house to be finished, then moved my mom in Washington and then moved ourselves again into our new home! And in the midst of all of that I did the photo shoot for my next book, finished my manuscript, edited my manuscript, taught several workshops around the US and very nearly went crazy lol!

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Now school is finally back in session, and we are feeling pretty settled in our new home and I am looking forward to actually making some art of my own. I have 3 more teaching gigs before the end of this season (you can find them listed on my ‘Teaching’ page) and I’m really looking forward to spending time at home with my family for the holidays. 

I must admit that I feel in a bit of an art slump. I love teaching and writing books but I really am feeling the need to explore where my own art is going to go from here. I have a beautiful new studio space in our home that is as yet untouched where making art is concerned. 

I’ve been thinking long and hard about how to get back in the swing of things so to speak and while unpacking my journals I looked at the journal that I made for my book Creating Art at the Speed of Life. I’m thinking that it would be fun to make a new journal and create pages inspired by the techniques and exercises from my own book. It’s been a couple of years since I actually made that journal and it’s always great to revisit things and see how much your work has evolved. 

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To set myself up for success so to speak, I’m going to keep my book out on my work table with my new journal. I want it right there so each day I can try to work in it but I’m going to allow that some days will just be too busy to do so but I want to see it every day.

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I also thought I’d change the size up and make a larger journal to work in. If you want to join in I’d love it if you’d share a link to pages you’re making in the comment section so we can all go and see your progress too! It’ll be a sort of a blog hop where we can all share with no fear of commitment!

I always get in the mood to do something new at the beginning of the school year so I think it’s a perfect time to revisit the lessons in my book and expand on them! I hope you’ll decide to join in and please feel free to join the Creating Art at the Speed of Life Facebook group where you can always share your work and ask questions.

Falling for Fall

With the return of Fantasy Football, I’ve found more time to work in my art journal. While my household of men aren’t obsessed with the game, (they don’t schedule everything else around it) they do like it, so while they gather around the big screen TV, I sit in my favorite chair, with my feet propped up on the ottoman and journal to my hearts content.

I’m still loving to play with my Conte Crayons and plan to use these as my journal tool of choice in Paris this December. Be sure to check out my Teaching page for the latest news on upcoming workshops. Hope to be adding another live venue soon.

Maybe I’ll be able to steal a few moments tonight to finish this page up.

I also like to knit a bit and usually look for one or two cool little projects to work on during the colder weather. I knitted and felted this knitting bag a couple of years ago in my felted purse craze. This year I’m going to start with a fun Cabbage Rose Cuff from a kit I got at Crescendoh.

What are you looking forward to this Fall?

High School Art Class

I’ve not taken many Art classes past my high school days, but I loved walking into the Art room way back when. It had a smell to it, kind of earthy like clay and crayons. It was always kind of dirty in a cool way and finding an unbroken crayon, pastel or piece of charcoal was rare. I vaguely remember the funny little square Conte Crayons and have to admit, back then a paint brush interested me far more.

I bought some a while back and thought they’d be good for on the go sketching in my Moleskine journal so the other day I had a few minutes to play in my journal and I pulled them out. They were laying in the box, pristine and unbroken, each one nestled in its little compartment. I started to sketch and was quickly engaged, surprised at how smoothly they laid down on the page. I was even more impressed with the detail I was able to get with them. These pages took only a few moments, some Conte Crayons and a blending stump.

This medium will be perfect for working outside in the sunshine. I love to sneak out for a few minutes of solitude and vitamin D every chance I get. I’m liking these crayons so much I went back and ordered a box of colored ones. Sometimes the overlooked, simple supplies can be just the thing to inspire you to go back to the basics.