Friday, October 14, 2011

A Week of Variety!

(Above: Book of Covers, altered book(s). 12 1/4" x 19" x 19" Click on image to enlarge.)

Although I haven't posted in just over a week, I absolutely have been working! In fact, I've got several projects going and at various stages of completion. Some have been photographed (just scroll down); some haven't been ... like a new grave rubbing art quilt, my small sculptural unit of old clock cases, and a mixed media series on mounted book pages dating to 1655. (These last ones include both hand and machine embroidery.) I'll post images soon!

(Above: Karen showing an interesting accordion fold. She used the covers of the current undefined issue as a "learning piece".)

Last Wednesday was my final book arts class. We created interesting accordion folds and shared projects that each participants made ... including my Book of Covers.

(Above: The Book of Covers. Click on image to enlarge.)

The first experiment with old book covers failed miserably. I attempted making more holes using an awl. For this piece, I used a drill ... with bits graduating from very small to rather large. The "interior" of each book cover includes vintage clipped letters with definitions and variations on the word "cover":

Cover, an entry fee
Dust Cover, a plastic machine or equipment shield
First Day Cover, a special stamp
Cover, a dramatic or operatic or dance understudy
Cover Crop, erosion prevention
Slip Cover, sofa protection
Cover, as in a blanket
Cover, a collection of mathematical subsets
Cover, a lid or seal
Cover Girl, the lady on the front of a fashion magazine
Covered Wagon, primitive transportation
Cover, a form of protection in combat
Cover alls, a work garment
Run for cover, getting out of harm's way
Cover, what one tells the boss for a co-worker
Cloud cover, overcast
Cover, singing someone else's song
Cover letter, the introductory page for a business proposal or an information packet
Covered, an insurance claim
Cover, to traverse or to travel over
Blow One's Cover, inadvertently give away one's secret identity
Cover up, a loose outer garment
Snow Cover, the white stuff
Cover, how a stallion mates a mare
Cover up, a type of cosmetic make-up
Break Cover, suddenly emerge from hiding
Take Cover, seek protection
Cover, the ability to pay for something
Under Cover, disguising one's identity to gain the trust of another
Cover up, an untrue explanation for an action or motive
Cover, a relatively common last name
Cover, as in concealment
Cover, a fielding position in cricket
Cover, a poor way to judge a book

(Above: Bookmarks. Click on image to enlarge.)

I guess this book arts class prompted me to make another batch of bookmarks ... plus, the South Carolina Artisan Center was out of them.

(Above: Two Hours at the Beach. Click on image to enlarge.)

Yet one of the most exciting things I've done this week was to work on the materials I'll need to transform a display window at the Tapps Center for the Arts. The window will include this unique art quilt and will also be called Two Hours at the Beach. What I needed was MORE BEACH TRASH.

(Above: Trash collected from Folly Beach in two hours. All "washed" with a garden hose and packed tightly into containers. For some reason, my husband Steve thinks this shouldn't be brought into the house! Click on image to enlarge.)

Yesterday I had a picture framing delivery outside of Charleston. I took advantage of the drive by visiting Folly Beach ... both before the delivery and after the delivery. I needed the "recovery time" between the two, hour long tasks. Why? Because it's HARD WORK! I'm pretty sore today. Lots of muscles are aching! Plus ... I couldn't park anywhere near the end of the island where most of the trash washes ashore. Folly Beach was totally devastated by Hurricane Irene. The County Park at the end of the island is closed due to severe erosion. If I hadn't known where I was, I wouldn't have guessed it to be the same location at which I collected all the trash for the original art quilt. The dunes are almost all gone. "Relic sand", the kind that oozes between bare toes ... a combination of soil and sand generally found where the sea has most recently claimed solid ground ... was everywhere and right beside the tide lines. All the signs of a beach in poor health were obvious. It was so sad ... and also quite full of trash.

It was also covered with some amazing shells. I couldn't resist these two. The presence of so many nice, big shells made clear the underway force from the hurricane.

Yet it was the beach trash I came to collect ... to add to the art quilt in the storefront window. I was shocked to fine such fragile glass bulbs still in tact. The strangest piece, however, was undoubtedly another dental floss tool. I found TWO this spring during my "two hours". They are on the quilt. At the time I wondered, "Who flosses at the beach?" To find another one was just plain strange!

Most horrible were the black "rocks" littering the beach. I picked up a few small ones but couldn't manage to haul back any of the larger ones. They are lighter weight that "real rocks" but still heavy. I don't think I would have figured out what they were if it hadn't been for a kind gentleman out for his seven mile jog. He explained that these are "tar balls", and he broke a small one with his bare hands. I picked up one and could easily do it too. They have the consistency of water logged charcoal. Some were larger than bowling balls. They leech coffee-like stains back into the ocean. This is undoubtedly the remains of an oil spill ... now washed up on an already devastated South Carolina beach. (PS THANK YOU to the gentleman ... who also carried most of the first haul over half the way back to my car. I couldn't have done it without you!)

I made a video of Steve breaking one of these small "tar balls". CLICK HERE to view it.


lynda Howells said...

Wow you have been busy but then again..when aren't you Susan!hax love what l am seeing it. It was also great to see your beach quilt again.xxxxlynda
please note my main blog now is
xx more trips to Birmingham planned ?

Frieda Anderson said...

truly amazing. Thanks for sharing. My son lives in Florida and has been talking about these tar balls, I couldn't imagine but now I can.