Friday, August 21, 2009

Magnolia and fossil updates

All the magnolia photos in this post are my own. I'm saving reader's submissions for the Award announcement post in early September.

Magnolia season is in full swing around here. What's happening in your neck of the woods? I've already received a few nominations for Magnolia of the Year, but its not too late to send in your photos.

I've been out magnolia hunting around Hamilton and I recommend Clifton and Riverview Terraces as particularly lush with fine magnolias in bloom. There's also an awesome one on the roundabout by the Mosque on Heaphy Terrace.

Both the tulip and star magnolias in these photos are from the same Clifton Terrace garden where the two trees grow so closely that the blooms are intermingled. It's magnolia heaven, I tell you!

These magnolias were spotted on my way home from print class on Tuesday, when I was feeling pretty good already because my embossing went so well. I got to use real woodcutting tools, which do wonderful things to the board, especially when sharpened. As my bookmaking students all know I am vigilant about working with sharp blades (I'll say it again: there is no point in wasting an expensive piece of paper because you are being stingy with a 2c blade).

My board went through a few stages, with the sunburst outline developing to try and cover up a slip o' the knife onto the background. It looked just as bad on paper as it does on the board, so I ended up cutting my carving right out of the board.

The ammonite woodcut sitting inside the puzzle pieces that I fished out of the bin to take this photo.

That's when I started getting really satisfying results on the kraft paper taken from the huge roll I scored at the Dump Shop earlier this year. It's wonderful sturdy manilla, in such a quantity that its crying out to be included in some oversized installation. And I'm thinking that the installation will involve embossed fossils... and I'm thinking that the surprise package prize for the Magnolia of the Year winner will certainly include an embossed ammonite.

Once cut out from paper, these little ammonites seem to me objects to fondle, rather than prints to look at.

So, a new fossil project begun, and today finally, I finished a very slow, laborious, layered fossil embroidery. Yes, its the one begun about six weeks ago, before I went to the Daintree, and despite two long days of stitching in transit, it has dragged on while I've been distracted into making all sorts of pins for another purpose. But even if it had my undivided attention I think it would still have taken longer than either of the previous fossil embroideries. When I have some better photos I will illustrate why, but suffice to say that there's 2-3 layers of stitching throughout, giving it quite a medieval brocade kind of feel.

Ophiderma, fossil brittle stars from the early Jurassic, finished at last


Kay said...

Aaah (sigh) your place is a thing of beauty that's for sure. I'm at a loss for words ...

Carol said...

Oh, oh, please say you'll have the embossed kraft paper ammonites for sale. They are just wonderful. As is the Ophiderma embroidery - you seem to be going creatively from strength to strength.

Carol said...

I forgot to mention earlier that I have put a photo of the Happy Bus on my blog post today and also talk about your fossils. I am so impressed with the work you are doing at the moment.