Thursday, July 26, 2007

What do you do with handmade paper?

A short post to show you what I did with my handmade paper. I'm taking two classses at the Armory in Pasadena. One is a class in collage and the other is printmaking. You might have a look to see what classes are offered for Session Two, August 6 - September 1

Tonight we printed with an intaglio (silent g) process after scratching into a plexiglass plate utilizing dry point. With intaglio, the mark created on the plate leaves a slightly raised bur that accepts ink. As well, ink is worked into the groove that is left. Most of the other ink is wiped away with a thick tarlatan cloth. Paper to be printed on is first soaked in water for about 30 minutes. This helps the ink to be pushed into the paper fibers instead of simply laying on top.

It Happened!

Amazing turnout the other night for our first Open 2 Anything Happening. We had old friends, new friends, families, and neighbors at the fences. All who attended showed up with a wonderful attitude. Thanks for being flexible with our first event and giving us a chance to work out the bugs. True to form with Open 2 Anything, participants shared their knowledge with others so there wasn’t simply one leader. I’m glad to see JC jump on the blender so readily (even if the thing was smoking when I walked by.)

When participants arrived, (after last minute directions from their loving brother even!) they found ugly greyish pulp already blended in a large vat. The grey pulp was simply made from reused ditto paper from Mike’s classroom that was blended with water. From here, they chose their preferred color from a stack of construction paper. This color was blended and then added together with water and the grey pulp to a new tub. Each participant had her own screen to dip into the tub and lift out to reveal a square piece of newly made paper.

Some in the group brought string or yarn to add as an embellishment piece to their handmade paper. Others chose bits of old maps, graph paper, dried flowers, etc. to sandwich between two layers of pulp. Chunky pieces of contrasting color worked well with the liquefied colorful pulp.

Our youngest participant, Emily, (8 years old?) showed up with her family and got right to work creating many different types of handmade paper. She really set a standard that was difficult for others to match. All in all, people enjoyed themselves as they worked at their own pace taking breaks to eat drink and socialize with others. As they left for home with several of their creations in tow, it was easy to see their satisfaction.

Thanks to all who made our first Happening a huge success: Sarah, Tyn, Irene, John, Bobbie, Emily, Claire, Erin, Anchal, Ric, JC, Joe, Pat, Cynthia, and Jackson!

(Be sure to send in photos of your handmade paper so I can add it to our slideshow!)

Mike Conger

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back in Town (with some Examples)

I've been back from my Whitney trip for a few days, but it has really taken some time to recover. Thanks to Joe for sending out the email while I was away. (I know the message date confused some of you who knew I wasn't supposed to be around.) Let's take a look at what we'll be producing for the first Happening:

This example shows 2 different colors of paper pulp layered on top of each other, rolled flat, and then dried. Before layering, string was placed on one of the sheets. You might like the embossed look it has when it's all dry.

A similar example to the first one except this piece has bits of vellum mixed in to the white pulp. Vellum has a wax-like quality to it and doesn't completely pulverize in the blender.

Our final example shows a single-layer piece of handmade paper with bits of dried onion skin embedded within.

• Items you MUST bring:
Nothing (I'll have plenty of my own materials to share.)

• Items you MIGHT bring:
Old bath or hand towel (We'll use them in the papermaking process)
String or yarn in different colors
Postages stamps, old photos, dried flower petals, wire, flat odds and ends for embedding

That's about it. Hope to see you there! Don't worry if you'll be late or even if you can't make it. Address and directions are in the email.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

First Happening!

Papermaking Tuesday July 24 from 6-9pm. We will be posting examples, please check back.

Friday, July 13, 2007


Open 2 Anything emerged from our desire to collaborate and learn from others. Mike, Joe and Megan were sitting around discussing a way to make art and creativity a more prolific element in their lives. Having their friends come together to share their passions and expertise with others seemed like the best solution. It's not an original idea, but it's one that works for us.

The Blog is here to document various aspects:
• Calendar of Happenings
• Bring the events to those who were unable to attend
• A forum to ask questions or to share what's going on in your own life
• Highlight our work and the work of others that inspires us
• Document our interaction with creative people and events

Our Mission at Open 2 Anything: To bring people together to learn from one another.