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Week #29
This work was done by Edna Bjorge this year in Ellensburg, Washington for the session “Carolingian and Variations”, in 26 Seeds: a Year to Grow. In her own words:
These pages were done as part of an assignment in the Carolingian section of our year long class. I have been collecting Haiku for quite some time, especially the poems of Basho dealing with nature, and this seemed like a perfect opportunity to start putting them in book form. I wanted to be able to add to the book over time, so I chose a post-bound format. The elongated pages seemed to fit the poems and also to go well with Carolingian, a book hand custom-made for long lines of small writing. I wanted the book to be spare and elegant, in keeping with the subtlety and austerity of Basho’s work.

I chose Arches 90# Hot Press Watercolor paper for the pages because it could take the abuse I intended to give it, and because it folds easily: all the long pages are soft-folded about 11” in from the right side, in order to decrease the size of the book and to add a little mystery to each page. Each page is 6” x 21 ½” when unfolded, almost the full width of the paper. The closed book measures 11 ½” x 6 ½” in a horizontal format.

For the Oak Tree poem, I chose a plain page and lightly drew a single line 2” up from the bottom. I did the drawing first, taking care to keep most of the image to the left of where the fold would be.
I then did the calligraphy, using a Mitchell #3 nib and wine red stick ink for both. I love the rich color with the tree image; it reminds me of oak trees in the fall. This poem is one of my favorites; Basho seems to be reminding us to be ourselves, and not to seek after transient glory.

For the April Air poem, I used a page cut from a full sheet of paper that I had previously altered by taking it outside, hanging it on the fence and flinging water and various dilutions of walnut ink and black gouache at it, letting the splatters run at will, and then cutting it into pages. The page I chose for this poem seemed to be asking for a few simple leaf shapes, so I added them using a black Micron .01 pen, and then gilded them using Instacoll and Lemon Gold. It was a dry day, but the gold went down easily, which surprised me. I did the lettering with a Mitchell #3 nib and black stick ink. I resisted the urge to add the butterfly, but who knows what might happen in the future?

I love this project because it fits so well with the organic way I like to work, and because I loved learning Carolingian, so full of possibilities. I know I will use Carolingian and variations for many projects and this book will continue to grow. I hope my granddaughter will love it, too. Thank you, Reggie!

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The answers to most of your questions regarding “Primitive to Modern” or “26 Seeds:  a Year to Grow” can be found through the main page at the web www.reggieezell.com .
There are now NO openings left for cities for 2015!
2016 and 2017 are the last years I will be conducting my Year Long Courses.
Look at the few remaining openings on my above website, the "Calanders" page. Thanks, Reggie

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