Review: May Tips & Tricks Day

Simple Book Structures with Diana Brandt

By PPA member Bonnie Lipman

PPA invited Diana Brandt, our very talented member artist, to run a Tips & Tricks session on simple book forms in preparation for our upcoming Mezzanine Gallery exhibition ‘Books and Boxes’ at Primrose Park Art Centre during the month of July.

The constant rain did not deter members and we had a very well attended day.  

Diana started by talking about the many varieties of concertina books, paper grain and types of paper to use. She then showed us examples of her work over the years and the different forms that we would be making as templates for our future books.  

Diana’s concertina samples

She demonstrated easy ways to evenly fold a concertina and how to join sections to enlarge books.

Left: concertina work in progress, Right: Karen Miller, concertina variation

We made book forms using a single sheet of paper that could be, for example, A3 or A4 and just by cutting in different areas of the folded sheet one is able to achieve different flutter books.  

Diana’s single page book samples

We also made a sculptural triangular book and a clever easy slits and strips book that didn’t need any stitching or gluing and that could be added to.  

Rectangle to triangle books, Flag book and double fold-out concertina

Diana has always enjoyed using text and writing in her art books. She firmly feels that ever since she started using a fountain pen her writing style has vastly improved.

She talked about fountain pens, cartridges and connectors and demonstrated using several different pens.

She also showed some of the beautiful inks she uses and we all loved the red gold ink that when dry looked even more beautiful.

It was a very full, fun and informative day and we all felt it was more like a workshop than a T & T.  So much inspiration and knowledge given to us for our future book making adventures.  

Assorted books

Thank you, Diana, it was a wonderful day.

Shamim produced these lovely books after our inspirational lesson last Thursday.

Shamim’s books
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Paper Manipulation with Midori Furze

PPA Workshop Report:

The workshop started by making spirals.

The members scored and folded crease lines on the paper, then changed some lines to mountain folds and others to valley folds. They could see the transformation of the paper. 

Many different shapes can be created if changes are made to the angles of the lines.

The possibilities are endless.

After the spiral, they moved to simple modular origami. The folding parts were relatively easy but they found that the assembly part was tricky, especially for those who have never done modular origami before.

Members completed modular origami pieces and made them into lanterns using LED lights.

Not only do we need exercise for our bodies but also for our brains to keep us healthier and have happy lives. Origami is a great brain exercise and some experts say it’s even yoga for your brain.

Happy folding!

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Workshop: A Taste of Texture

Using pastes, gels and mark making techniques participants will learn how to embrace texture and use it to create gestural collagraphs.

Using board as your plates, you will add mediums to change the surface, you will also make marks with various tools such as those used in drypoint or by cutting.

The workshop will also incorporate time to hand colour prints, or with a gelli plate. You will be working with fairly small plates to assist drying time and experimentation.

Workshop suited to those wanting to embrace a loose and gestural more abstract style, A short mark making exercise will be included to help you find your starting mark!

The Makers Studio
8 Russell Drysdale Street, East Gosford

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Exhibiton: Rabbit Hill

Our Neon Foe
411 Parramatta Road, Leichhardt 2040


Rabbit Hill

an exhibition by Melissa J Harvey
7 – 29 May, 2022

Melissa is drawn to and affected by disparate spaces and ephemera in her environment. It is one of the ways she communicates with the world.

She grew up on a remote dairy farm with long green pastures, rolling hills and Sclerophyll rainforest on Gumbaynggirr country. This site has informed her current body of work- linked to memory of growing up and experiencing this landscape through incidental actions. The textural residue of surfaces and spaces she inhabits and explores, continually evokes this connection to place, materiality and memory.

Opening times: Sundays 12 – 4pm
Private viewing: Contact the artist on 0400 705 302

Webmaster Note: Melissa Harvey is a member of Primrose Paper Arts and we are delighted to promote her solo exhibition.

Image kindly supplied by the artist
Some text from gallery facebook page

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T&T Review: Hungarian Map Fold Book

By PPA member Karen Miller

We had a really enjoyable, fun day learning from Diana how to construct a Hungarian Map fold book. 

Starting with 12 sheets of coloured paper cut to 4 different sized squares, we were shown the basic fold – see yellow folded paper at left.

Then moving on to each colour and size we folded all into the basic fold pattern.

The next step was to ‘nestle’ each folded piece into the next going from largest to smallest.

This formed the flower-like components of the book. 

These were then glued together to form the book. Diana instructed us on how to make the covers from card stock covered with fabric and paper which were then attached at each end of the book.

To hold it closed a band of coloured paper was made into a loop to slip over and hold the pages closed.

A ribbon or other material could be used and embellished as desired. 

Everyone enjoyed making this colourful little book and realised how many variations could be achieved.  Only limited by your imagination!  

Purple/orange/red book (yellow cover) created by Karen Miller
Black/blue/red book created by Marina Mavritsky

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Exhibition: Big in China

White Rabbit Gallery
30 Balfour St, Chippendale 2008

Until 22 May, 2022

Lin Yan, Sky 2, 2016, ink, xuan paper

China’s fast-paced transformation has turned the nation into a global powerhouse. These days companies, brands, and even nations from around the world all scramble to win the favour of Chinese consumers.

What does it mean to make it Big in China? It is no easy feat to captivate the attention of over a billion wandering eyes and minds. How do we draw the focus of so many unique individuals and make them move in unison?

In this exhibition artists show us that it is not simply brute force that drives a nation and its people. Rather, it is the grand and overarching narratives, outstanding creativity and unique art practices that have the power to move a population en masse.

Wu Wei, Behemoth No, 12, 2020, paper on canvas, 150 x 150cm

This exhibition encompasses a wide range of disciplines including works with paper, inkjet printing, painting, etching, performance, robotic mechanisms and video.

Resources and more information:
(Most) Text and images from White Rabbit Gallery website

Many thanks to our member Michele Day for bringing this event to our attention.

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Exhibition: Architecture and Beyond

25 May – 12 June, 2022

An exhibition of two and three-dimensional works presented by six artists.

ARTISTS: Mandy Burgess, Michelle Le Dain, Sarah Fitzgerald, Nicola McClelland, Ro Murray and Lisa Pang.

Responding directly to the Incinerator’s architecture as a site of diverse legacies, Architecture and Beyond playfully explores Marion Mahony’s and Walter Burley Griffin’s enduring impact through the discourse of contemporary visual arts.

An exhibition of installation, assemblage, printmaking and sculpture, these artists explore perceptions of interior and exterior spaces within the Incinerator and other Griffin-designed sites. Through their different mediums, the artists focus on the Griffins’ influence in relation to the issues and challenges of the twenty-first century.

Incinerator Art Space
2 Small St, Willoughby 2068

CLICK HERE for opening times and dates

Webmaster Note: We are delighted that Mandy Burgess, a member of Primrose Paper Arts, is participating in this exhibition.

Image: Ro Murray, Reflected in Glass, 2021, lino print

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A Commonplace Book

By Cecelia Clarke, Reporter at large and PPA member


My good neighbour, Daryl, is a trawler of second-hand shops. His latest treasure is a late 19th Century Commonplace Book.

This book whose name, Bertha Affolter, appears under fine pen and ink drawings, contains missives in both German and English in a beautiful copperplate script. It measures 21 x 15 x 2cm. With its pigskin binding and marbled silk end papers it is a thing of beauty. Bertha’s book fits neatly into the specialised literature of commonplace books.

In contrast to journals which are chronological and introspective, Commonplace Books are private collections of information.

The fifteenth century Italians called them Zibaldone (hodgepodge books). Their variety of information includes sketches, poems, maps, laundry lists, quotes, recipes – material which reflects the interests of the collectors.

Composer Beethoven Conversation Books still survive. They contain jottings by friends, shopping lists, and musical sketches.

Bertha’s book contains a pressed four-leaf clover. Jane Austen progresses her well-meaning, but clueless heroine, Emma, through the compilation of a commonplace book for erstwhile Harriett. Harriett’s book would be for the consumption of her friends. Bertha also invited her friends to write personal expressions of friendship.

Bertha’s commonplace book leads us to further questions: Who was Bertha Affolter? How did her book come to be in a second-hand goods shop? And where can I find a notebook such as this one?

Posted in Books, Magazines, Articles, Videos & Kits | Tagged | 6 Comments

Papermaking Adventure workshop

By PPA member Dinah Beeston

Six members of ATASDA (Australian Textile Arts and Surface Design Association) joined us for a paper making adventure.

We started the day by setting up the vats and the workstations for each person and then creating that important first sheet of paper. Once that was done there was no stopping them as they made papers using the different pulps that were available – recycled printmaking offcuts, denim, hessian and plant fibre.

We also played with laminating one colour on to another and using the very small moulds to make designs on the bigger sheets. While all these stacks were put through the press, Jill talked with them about how we made the pulp – describing the work of the beater and demonstrating the blender.

We moved on to some of the more technical aspects of creating interest in the paper – the “finger thing”, Vat man’s tears, and the “blowing thing” which all came up with interesting results that were combined with other papers.

Alison Muir from Textiles Sydney (another member of the Primrose Park Art and Craft Centre) showed the students around their display that was in the Mezzanine area.

Next was a working lunch – as one of the students said “we didn’t come here to have lunch” we loved that approach. There was discussion about the particular interests of textile artists and how they overlapped or could be incorporated into their work – paper felting, stitching on paper, eco-dyeing using handmade paper.

After lunch, the stashes were opened up to reveal wonderful things that could be used with the paper – heavily textured materials that could be used for embossing, dried leaves and flowers that could be laminated on to a handmade sheet, the bark from a paperbark tree, fibres of different sorts such as ramie and linen, silk.

This was a special adventure as everyone experimented with what they had, not quite knowing what the result would be.

A few students even found the time to make little bowls from pulp mixed with glue – they will take a number of days to dry so it will be good to hear how they turn out.

It was a very good day – lots of experimenting with materials that we papermakers don’t often use, lots of work done, and lots of fun. We hope we see them coming back to make more paper.

Embossed paper
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Workshop: Paper Manipulation

Paper Manipulation
with Midori Furze

Saturday 14th May, 2022

This workshop will explore the concept of creasing, folding, pleating and working with simple modular origami to build structures. It will also include making several “Spirals” and “Self-folding origami” for pop-up cards and books.

Modular origami is a traditional method that enables multiple pieces, folded in the same manner, to be fitted together to create a larger and more complex structural piece. Modular origami can be extremely satisfying, both to fold the individual units and then assemble them into a beautiful model.

The LED tealights and some paper to make lanterns will be supplied at the workshop.

A materials list will be sent after enrolment.

For full details and enrolment form please click HERE

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