Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Book 2: pages 3-4 (TwinDreamCreations)

This is the second spread of Book 2. The artwork was created by sisters, Caroline and Catherine Benitez (TwinDreamCreations on Etsy).

Book 4: pages 3-4 (stilettoheights)

The second spread of Book 4 was created by Jennifer Gordon (stilettoheights on Etsy).

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Book 3: pages 5-6 (bellaroo)

Book 3: pages 5-6 (bellaroo), originally uploaded by etsyjournal.

The third spread of Book 3 was created by Amy Boling (bellaroo on Etsy).

This shot includes her entry in the written companion journal. Here is an excerpt from the wondrous things Amy wrote:

I use a lot of eggs. But don't confuse this for something Easter themed. The eggs are actually pods. And pods can be anything – Thoughts, potential, growth, obstacles, infatuations. –But they are always there. We all have our pods. Sometimes they are perched on top of our heads and they are very heavy. Sometimes they are balanced so perfectly there that they seem to weigh nothing at all. Sometimes they are hidden all around us in plain sight. I have my fair share of them and so do you.

Amy diligently tracked her process working on the journal. More photos of her detailed process can be seen on her personal Flickr photoset.

Book 2: pages 5-6 (antelucandaisy)

The third entry in Book 2 was created by Katherine Parys (antelucandaisy on Etsy). She used a fuse fabric technique.

Here's what Katherine wrote about her entry (from her Flickr page):

I had the Etsy journal Book 2 this past week and spent most of the time thinking about what I was going to do and How I was going to do it. I had recently taken a great class in free expression fusible quilting with Robbi Eklow and had the cup from learning her techniques. While digging and organizing my desk to make enough room to work I found some great fabric with the flying worm guy and was totally inspired.

Friday, March 16, 2007

artwork ownership

We got an excellent question via email today about rights and ownership of the artwork contributed to the etsyjournal project, especially in relation to our possible plans for merchandise and reproduction books. This is an important issue, so I thought I'd share my answer here as well.

We want to respect everyone's creative property rights with this project. All our artists should retain ownership of their artwork. You created it, you own it. By signing up for the project, everyone agrees to "release" their work into the world and lose a bit of control over it via the collaborative process. But that doesn't mean it is any less your work in a legal sense.

Nothing will become the intellectual property of Etsy; Etsy will just own the finished books much like a gallery owns works of art. In fact, etsyjournal isn't specifically an Etsy-run project, so the company is even further removed from the artwork in that respect. While the staff is fully supportive of it, it's actually just a personal project Heather & I are doing together.

Before anyone's artwork appears in reproduction books (or any other sort of merchandise), we'll have to get their permission to reproduce it. Additionally, everyone will always get full credit for their artwork everywhere we display images of their work (blog, flickr, merchandise, etc) attributed to their real name and their Etsy username. Part of our goals for this project is to promote individual Etsy artists and their shops, along with creating a physical manifestation of the creative spirit within our virtual community.

I am hopeful that most of the artists who've signed up for this project will be excited at the prospect of their work being "published" (even if on a small scale). If someone decides they would prefer not to allow us to reproduce their artwork, we will honor that request.


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

adhesive advice

As much as we would love for everything in the etsyjournals to be archival and last a really long time, it's not practical to expect everyone who participates to know what the "right" materials will be.

In this post, we'll make recommendations of what are the "best" adhesives to use, but really whatever you do will be okay.

Etsyjournal participant, Phyllis Petersen (aka JOYouz) is an experienced book artist and kindly gave us some great advice about archival-quality adhesives:

The best are wheat and rice pastes one makes in small batches themselves. Most people don't want to do that these days usually.

PVA, Polyvinyl acetate, otherwise known as white glue, is excellent. Most brands are not reversible but I doubt many things made to be sold on Etsy need to be.

There are different brands on the market. Elmer's is probably the best known but not the best quality product; well, not for our needs anyway mostly because it's not elastic and dries brittle.

The primary difference between brands is probably how much elasticity there is after it dries. Elasticity is good for our purposes... book and paper products. Manufacturers are often not very open with their PVA formulas but the little differences between them can be significant when dealing with something like a book that will be opened and closed for years (hopefully) and needs to remain pliant.

Jade is a brand used by many professional bookbinders. Jade in the formula known as Jade R is reversible - if that is important to your work. I don't consider it that important in mine.

Jade and other similar products are listed and described on the Talas website. I trust anything recommended by Talas. Their staff is extremely knowledgeable about all the products they carry as well as bookbinding techniques. They can sometimes be more expensive however. Quality and inexpensive are not often compatible. lol

If anyone wants to go to the trouble of making their own wheat paste or rice paste, here's where to get the raw materials.

One brand of PVA widely available in most craft chain stores (also very elastic) is Aleene's Original Tacky Glue.

Nori made by Yasutomo is good.

PVA can be watered down to the consistency better for spreading. Don't ever allow it to freeze however because it will lose its stickum. Most art suppliers will not ship PVA during cold months for that reason.

Water can be added to any brand of PVA to make it easier to apply with a brush and it dries completely clear and won't yellow.
Phyllis also warns against using "YES!" paste, as it is not truly archival and will discolor with age.

Thanks for all the great information, Phyllis!

For those who are concerned about not having the "right" materials, don't sweat it! A big part of this project is the process involved, the collaboration. Even if parts of the book aren't archival, their slow transformation of the book (through aging, yellowing, etc) will continue to be a part of the process. Think of it as a lasting metaphor for how working with other artists has an effect on your work.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

etsyjournal merch

We have been discussing the idea of opening an etsy shop to sell etsyjournal-related merchandise (handmade, of course!) to help spread the word about this project. All items would be sold AT COST, so there's no need to worry about where the money is going.

Heather is thinking of creating t-shirts, specifically.

What do you all think? Is this something you'd be interested in buying?

Leave a comment here, on this Etsy forum thread or email to etsyjournal@gmail.com

Book 3: Pages 3-4 (juniperberry)

Book 3: Pages 3-4 (juniperberry)
Originally uploaded by etsyjournal.

The second entry in Book 3 was created by Jenni Ohnstad (juniperberry on Etsy).

Here's what Jenni has written about her entry:

I utilized my love of typography to focus on creativity. When you combine Create (to evolve one's own thought or imagination) and Heart (to freely give oneself to the world), you are sure to produce something that will speak to others. To truly create something from the heart takes courage, but it will always be your best and most meaningful work. I love that Etsy is a place where people can share a bit of themselves with others.

I used Yes! paste to glue a swirl of tissue paper on my pages, colored pencil to draw my words, and a gocco print to give it some colorful texture. Thanks for allowing me to share a bit of myself with the world through this journal and Etsy!

Jenni Ohnstad

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Book 1: pages 1-2 (totemic)

Book 1: pages 1-2 (totemic)
Originally uploaded by etsyjournal.

This is the first spread in Book 1, with artwork by John Wik (totemic on Etsy).

Here is what John has written about his contribution to Book 1:

My image is a visual representation of the proverb:

"Beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

I usually don't incorporate symbols into my work intentionally because I enjoy letting the design flow according to its own natural rhythm, but I wanted to try something new with this project.

I began with four essentially identical faces in each corner of the layout, then determined a few shapes for each individual to be admiring.

From there I embellished around each face/shape and brought the image together. The colored shapes and eyes are made from cut paper which I applied after the image was complete.

* This was very enjoyable project and I look forward to seeing how it evolves!

All four books are with (or on their way to) the second person in line.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Welcome to Book 4!

Book 4; Pages 1-2 (thefofers)
Originally uploaded by etsyjournal.

Colorful, furry creatures greet you on the opening pages of Book 4! Artwork by Shana Barry (thefofers on Etsy).

Monday, March 5, 2007

Book 3: pages 1-2 (shoofly)

Book 3: pages 1-2 (shoofly)
Originally uploaded by etsyjournal.

Book 3 is off to a beautiful start as well! We just received photos from Rania Hassan (shoofly on Etsy) with her contributions to the opening pages of Book 3. Lovely work!

Check out our Flickr pages for more photos.

Friday, March 2, 2007

Our first peek inside Book 2!

Book2: Pages 1-2 by UrbanHeirlooms
Originally uploaded by etsyjournal.

This is the first scan we've received from a participant. These pages are the first spread in Book 2 and were created by Dana Osborne-Biggs (urbanheirlooms on Etsy).

Here is what Dana would like to share about her contribution:

My Etsy Journal contribution is entitled "I Decide".

The text reads, "You don't get to tell me what beautiful is...I decide."

I've always been impressed by the African women who deliberately (and decoratively) scar themselves as an expression of beauty. Most other cultures see scarring as something heinous, to be ashamed of and hidden or corrected, if possible.

So I stitched a line drawing of a woman's torso, complete with surgical scars (on breasts and abdomen) as an example.

Behind the torso is a page from a vintage book on fashion design and techniques on how to dress your "problem figure".

The Adinkra symbol across that page is the "love eye", an appeal to look on our perceived imperfections with love and compassion. The symbol behind the woman's head on the first page is the Adinkra symbol for forgiveness, an atonement for looking on ourselves or anyone else with an unkind eye.

The text on the second page (torso page) reads, "He laid his head and found paradise on a part of my body which had received the bulk of my contempt. As he slept, I wept..."

Often, those who love us are not as critical as our perceived flaws as we are. It takes courage to see beauty in unlikely places.

Dana Osborne-Biggs