Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Tiny Shiny Books: Glitter and Glam

If you have ever been exposed to glitter you know that once it touches you it hangs around for awhile. A speck on the cheek. In the mac and cheese. The neighbor cat's fur. Since most of us encountered glitter in grade school art projects its presence remains with us if nowhere else than in memory.

Little girls are particularly susceptible to glitter and its tiny shiny allure. As they grow up they are told to leave their glitter use behind and to embrace matte finishes and practical materials. Generally, I have adopted the serious nature and work of artmaking, but not without joy, and periodically not without indulging in the guilty pleasure of using shiny iridescent materials, primarily pearlescent inks.

Occasionally I teach a workshop called "Tiny Shiny Books" where we unabashedly embrace our inner glam artist. In other workshops when we paint paper I say, "use pearlescent inks sparingly, for accents perhaps, or to highlight certain areas," but in this one I encourage everyone to buy one bottle of FW pearlescent ink and bring it to share. (I think the names speak for it such as: hot mama red, volcano red, waterfall green, sundown magenta, and birdwing copper.) The first time I offered the class at the San Francisco Center for the Book it was completely full.

Giving ourselves permission to indulge the concept further we made miniature books—small is cute—with a tied binding that I devised (I included it in Making Handmade Books, which is finally available!) Everyone seemed relieved to have an outlet for their inner glitter girl, so I guess the desire for sparkle really never leaves, after all.

I Want It, 2007
Blogging from glittery Los Angeles this week…

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