Sunday, June 30, 2013

More notes and reflections from last Sunday's meeting.

Here's a bit more from last week's meeting:

People attending were Emily Hoisington, Betsy Byers, Erin Maurelli, Hend Al-Mansour, Sonja Olson, Olga Ricalde, and Angela Hed.

We talked a bit about technical details, starting with paper: Erin is considering using a French paper and could organize a bulk order if anyone else wants to, please contact her. We discussed how the book will be more varied than unified, because different print processes will required different papers, and some people might be making their own paper, so we will not be all using the same paper. The important thing is that everyone keeps in mind the flexibility required by a stab-binding when selecting paper and paper grain.

We talked about bleed prints vs. prints with borders. Several people thought that bleed prints (going off the edge and even continuing under the gutter where the book will be bound) would work best with the idea of progressing from dark to light to dark. I agreed that would be nice but stated that I do not want to require any limitations beyond those that were in the original invitation, because some people have already begun work on their plates and at least one person has already delivered completed prints to me (Thanks Pat Benincasa!) So, the conclusion is that you may make a print with borders or not, but if you haven't committed yet and think that it's a good idea, you might want to consider running it off the edges.

We talked about wanting to have uniform signing guidelines. I should make an example of that quickly, as some people finish their prints! We thought that signing prints on the back would be nice, and to make sure that signatures will not be hidden in the binding.

We talked about the kind of collaboration that this is. Some people were interested in coordinating colors with others in the book, while others wanted to work independently and be surprised by what others made. I set the project up so that people could work as independently as they like, but everyone knows who is doing what page in the book and has each other's email addresses, so if you'd like to talk to those whose print comes before or after yours, you are welcome to do that!

Erin wanted to remind everyone about MCBA's open studios on Tuesdays from 6-9pm as a place to work or get advice, and that she will be around and happy to help people until her baby comes sometime in July.

Olga wanted to remind people of the research and inspiration available in MCBA's library, and she is there on Wednesday afternoons.

Several people were interested in meeting again before the deadline for working proofs. If you weren't able to come to the first meeting due to time/date/location and would really like to come to another one, please email me with your preferences and I'll see what I can do. I can't guarantee anything when coordinating a group this large, but I do want this to be a chance to build community and continue conversations. Please keep posting on this blog as a way to continue the conversation! Use the questions I posted before as a starting point if you like.

Hend sent me her thoughts in response to some of the questions:

Question 1
I have been collaborating with other artists lately. I have 2 other projects. It is not easy to collaborate but it makes the work richer and of a larger context. It opens me up to different things artistically and personally. I feel this would help to integrate myself within the Minnesota fabric by bringing me into intimate contact with other women artists.

Question 4
I hope to expand my printing techniques. My theme will not shift much. But the size of my print will be smaller. I had a dream of making a book one day, this might be a sage way to that.

Question 5
“The Full Moon” is a song from early Islamic community in Medina, the second holy city in Islam, it was sung by young women and girls of that city to welcome the Immigrating Prophet Muhammed from Mecca. The event is the start of the Islamic lunar calendar. The image I will make will be of a group of women singing with the background of Full Moon. It will also include an Arabic text of the lyrics and Arabic months.

Question 6
Because I love circles I will make a large white circle with silhouettes of figures, trees, houses and animals. One side of the print will contain the receiving city and people, the other Muhammed and his camel.

Question 8
Contrary to other cultures, the Arabic for moon is masculine while the sun is feminine. The words moon and the “full moon” in particular are used to describe beautiful people.

Question 9 My two hopes are to improve on my technique and to belong to a new community. 

I also have some written notes from Erin from the meeting (we did a few minutes of quiet writing before discussing) and I'll paraphrase them here:

4: Art work relates to current work: The body, particularly the feminine body, changes and evolves through time. Functions as a machine--autopilot as far as menses, menopause, pregnancy, etc. What happens when that machine malfunctions?

5. What are you researching for this project? Re-exploring kitchen witchery. Folklore and the mystical, connection to season, earth, cycle. Trying to integrate that with the more mechanical/medical imagery in my past works. 

7. Thoughts or concerns about making something to be understood in context: Concern that each of us iwll have a literal image of the moon on each page. My thoughts revolve around the New Moon as a beneficial time to start a project, adventure, or endeavor. But in a body/mechanical way. How do I approach mechanics in the new moon? Why does this folklorish concept resonate with me?

Ok, now you've all heard some from me, Hend, and Erin. Please post your thoughts here!


  1. I am interested to hear what people are using as a paper weight -- The paper I was hoping to use comes in 216gsm - does that seem too heavy to anyone?
    Please let me know what weights you are considering!

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  3. I have not selected my paper yet. I have such a limited experience with paper. I was thinking of using fabric but think not.
    I will be interested too to know the paper weight or any advice in this area.