Friday, October 28, 2016

The Workshop Experience

Not too far from my home I have book-binding and calligraphy workshops. Houston is the 4th largest city in the US, with many workshops each year or semester-long classes too. 

My thoughts on how to enjoy excellent art or craft workshops:

---Teacher attributes:
  • Handout with good instructions for what we are doing.
  • Thoroughly qualified - can respond intelligently to questions.
  • Shares about their background, perhaps with photos.
  • Provides samples of past work & samples of what we are doing.
  • Gives individual attention besides the group discussion.
---Group conditions:
  • Minimal amount of supplies needed; I’d rather have a supply fee than lug supplies.
  • Ease of participants talking quietly, but not too noisy either.
  • Enough private area in front of each student.
  • A comfortable seat (I also bring a pillow).
  • Not too cold and not too hot inside (I dress in layers).
Wonderful book-binding workshops are taught at The Printing Museum, either paid classes or at meetings of the Houston Book Arts Guild which meets there too.

About 3 or 4 calligraphy workshops each year are sponsored by The Houston Calligraphy Guild; we have teachers from Belgium to California coming in to teach.

Please let me know your thoughts about workshops; what works for you?
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, October 21, 2016

Publishing Zines

A Zine is a Do-It-Yourself magazine. Over the last 17 years I published 22 Zines. My first Zine had my art techniques and I swapped Zines with other artist book makers. 
My last Zine was about my ten days in Paris and contained internet links plus 53 photos - Mon Dieu!
My first Zine was cut and paste. After that, I used my home word processor, then my computer & printed book-style.
Zines are printed in small editions. I received Zines in swaps from Alaska to Hawaii, and practically all 50 states. Some had advertising, contributors or held interviews with other artists.
Starting with my second Zine, each one had the following:
  • Table of Contents
  • Workshop Review
  • Swap Stuff
  • My Carvings
  • A Poem (of my own)
  • Calligraphy
  • Art Book Review

My Zine 10 had instructions and a sample book for a Japanese binding technique, the Tortoise Shell Stitch.
In Zines 13 to 16 - I issued “An Invitation” - to share my interests, my calligraphy, my print carving, and my artwork. Sound familiar? Kind of like this blog.

I contributed an article: Mining for Creativity, a workshop review to L.K. Ludwig’s first Zine, called Memory & Dream in 1999. You can buy her 2008 art journaling book here:

Teesha Moore produced and authored professional Zines for more than 10 years - with advertising, many articles and pictures. They were inspiring! Some of her Zines are still for sale on her Etsy site:  
In 2008, Zine 17: Zine Creation has zine-making instructions. I taught 22 people how to make a Zine at The Printing Museum in Houston; in April 2009 I taught 30 Austin Book Workers - who now have the Austin Book Arts Center - at DOMY Books - now Farewell Books - in Austin. 

Shameless Plug: You may want to Subscribe to my Blog (upper right side) - to know about a future blog that will have my full instructions for making your own Zine. 
The Houston Zine Fest 2016: at The Lawndale Art Center on Saturday, November 19th, from 2:00 to 8:00 pm. Support Zinesters! Check their website for future dates:
If you read this far, please let me know if you have any questions or comments.
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, October 14, 2016

Swapping Journal Pages

I had fun carving and journaling recently; it reminded me of my past participation in Art Journal swaps.
Before the current layering craze - to paint backgrounds, drop inks, fill in parts of stencils - we recorded daily personal events in our journals; sometimes adding illustrations.

Mostly I used quotes to practice calligraphy plus printed my carvings or used commercial rubber stamps.
I wrote about my travels in my handmade books. For one of the swaps: Twenty-five journalers exchanged Travel Journal pages.
One person would host and send the pages to those participating. Fun to receive photos, sketching, or just words.
I still participate in a carving swap as I mentioned last week:
And I am wondering about what image to carve for Christmas cards this year.
I still enjoy playing with calligraphy and rubber stamps in my journals. What are your favorite art journaling techniques?
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016

Friday, October 7, 2016

Print Vibe

My Owl Carving this week - for the Rubber Amateur Press Society quarterly swap due October - mentioned in an earlier blog:
Since it is the Season of the Witch - here is my skeleton carving. I was reminded of another Carving swap - Print Vibe 21 - that I joined for three years: 2010 through 2012. 
Heart and Print Vibe Cover Carvings by Tim Blackburn
Hosted by Tim Blackburn, an excellent carver, Professor of Radiology too. Tim looked for other carvers after 7 swaps; I carved & printed 21 prints - for the last 17 out of 24 issues. 
Another Halloween-theme: my Poe Carving. The print size: a third of an 8 1/2 by 11 inch page = 3 3/8 by 8 1/2 inches. I printed 21 original prints for each issue - 6 issues a year.
Who did not love Michael Jackson!?! I was pleased with my MJ Carving. With my Fish Carving below: I added watercolor.
Please let me know what you think about carving or printing - see my earlier blog:
I love multiples! Remember the rubber stamp craze during the 1990’s? That is another story...
©Anne Rita Taylor 2016