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Week #27
This work was done by Katie Garrod in Chicago this year for the session “Writing on Vellum”, in PRIMITIVE TO MODERN.
In her own words:
The assignment was a book, but I wanted a book that could stand up by itself to be displayed containing some of my "go to" quotations. In class we dubbed it a "scrollex"! The dowel and wire hinges allowed for differences of size and shape of paper and the wire was sturdy enough to support the vellum. If you want to try this I used 24 gauge wire, it's a bit fiddly to make the hinges but the vellum was tough enough to withstand being scraped and poked at by the wire while I was fumbling my way through the process. I used a very small drill on from my grandfather's jewelry making tool box to make the holes in the vellum. This was rather a poignant moment as I never met my grandfather but my late father passed this little box of treasures onto me. This was the first time I used anything from the box.

(1) For the gentleman with a pigeon on his head I found the image online and traced the outline roughly onto the vellum; then went to work with various shades of watered down sumi ink, some dirtied up white gouache and a very fine brush. Dirtying the white gouache helps the image look right on the vellum, almost like a photograph on newsprint. And whoops! . . . the lettering left too much white space which I handily filled with one of Reggie's "lines" which was supposed to look like a carved stone border.
(2) Reggie had suggested that as an exercise we copy “a master”. In my innocence I chose a Sheila Waters style for the word "love". The project started out as an "Homage" which rapidly became a "Grovel" after closer examination of her highly decorated words! Once I set out to copy the borders and images with which she surrounds her letters I was dumbfounded at the detail in her pieces. I would never have understood this complexity without attempting to emulate it. Sheila's colors are softened and muted in comparison with mine which were left bright. Muting the colors would have meant adding black and white (I think) in meticulous proportions . . . a lesson learned for next time. To graduate the colors from dark red to blue in just four inches I made up 16 shades. Then, feeling as though I had narrowly escaped falling over a cliff edge I realized the gradation of color would need planning out! So a little chart had to be marked in pencil in 1/4" increments across the space to indicate where the columns of each color should be placed. In this way the somewhat dry gouache looked blended when brushed into place.

(3) My dog, pictured here, assumes I am an amazing human being - well we all need a little inspiration!

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