Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wild Women, Steampunk and Flying Free! - Altered Book Round Robin

by Leslie Brier, Brier Design Studio

Last week, my altered book group met to share our latest creations for the Altered Book Round Robin. I am so excited about the artwork made by Terry Pitzel for my steampunk-themed book. The doll was a part of the pages that Terry worked on. I took a quick picture of her before I tucked her into the book and sent her on her way with the next artist.

Here she is as part of the spread that Terry did. Isn't it wonderful?  

Linda Madden created this work for (below)  Jennifer Gorman's book. The book's theme is "fly free". The flower centers on the left are textured metal, and Angelina fibers make up some of the foliage. The heart and wings are fabric and embroidery.  I hope you can click on it to see some of the detail. I think I had my camera on a lower resolution setting than usual.

I worked in Terry Pitzel's book. Her theme is "notorious women" . I decided to go with Josephine Baker. I learned so much about her. She spent a lot of time in Paris. When she died more than 20,000 people attended her funeral. She was also an actively involved in the civil rights movement.

 Of course, I had to include an image of her in the banana skirt!
 The writing around her is quoted from Josephine herself.
 I made a Josephine Baker doll for the paper doll section as well. I had some tiny banana-shaped beads that worked perfectly for her skirt.
This month I'll be working in the "fly free" book. I have an image in mind - I just have to figure out how I'm going to use it.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Book of Knowledge

Leslie Brier, Brier Design Studio

 This is the first piece I created last week in Stephanie Lee's Metal Magic Workshops at ArtBLISS. The pages inside are blank, but this book, for me, is a true Book of Knowledge. Stephanie shared a hundred- hundred big ideas and little suggestions with her students. I came home feeling inspired and empowered, and finally, after all these years of trying, unafraid of my torch!

And the group of artists that assembled for this class were amazing. They came from all over the US and beyond. Everyone brought their tools and their jewels. It was fun to see everyone's stash of treasures. This is the little pile of goodies that I started out with.
 Everyone came in with a spirit of collaboration and friendship. We really bonded over the few days that we had together. We all worked and played really hard, and everyone came away with absolutely beautiful work.
 This is the back page of my cover in its ugly duckling phase. The top piece of metal shows what it looked like before I Frankensteined it with the torch! It was fun, but it wasn't easy!

These are works in various stages by other classmates. I know the dragonfly piece belonged to Bette.  

 We got to create bezels, and fill them with my new favorite product, Ice Resin.

This is Michelle's finished book. It was only about 3" by 4", so sweet and so delicate! I haven't had time to add embelishments to the spine of mine yet. Look how beautiful these buttons were:
 This is another sweet little book, being worked on by Lois. She added ruching to the spine and it was absolutely gorgeous.

 This is the group from my table: Karen, me, Lois, Stephanie and Annie. We have vowed to stay in touch, and I really think we will. We already have a yahoo group started.
 This is the spine of my book. I got the knotting a little straighter on the second try. It'll all get covered eventually.
 Here is a closeup of my finised cover. As you can see, I did a lot of changing around before I got the final piece done. I was happy with the end result, and Annie had the perfect piece of leather for me to use as a tie.
More next week on the completion of this book, and the jewelry class  that was equally amazing! A big thank you to Jeanette and Cindy of ArtBLISS, Stephanie Lee and all of my classmates for a truly wonderful experience.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Altered Book Round Robin

By Leslie Brier, Brier Design Studio

Back in December, I joined an altered book round robin group. I kept thinking that it wasn't a good time to start a new art commitment, but luckily my heart overruled my head. This is an amazing group of talented women, and I'm so happy that I've got standing date with them every month.

The premise of the project is simple. Everyone found a book to alter and chose a theme. They started the artwork, and then passed it along to another artist to do a spread in the book. This month I got to work in Barbara Deal's book. Her theme was "celtic". The words "A Story As Night Falls" were already on the page, so I decided to do something with a dark background.

 I was surprised at how many items I already had in my studio that fit the theme. (Another good reason to keep it clean!) I zentangled the large celtic piece during the Super Bowl. Here is a closeup:

The theme for my book is "steampunk". Jennifer at Crafty Dayeseye did the first spread in my book. She wasn't familiar with the idea of steampunk, but she hit it out of the park!

I was astounded and amazed. It has movement! And light bulbs! and hot air balloons! And gears and watches! I couldn't wait to get it home and admire it. And then I remembered that the book had to move on to the next person in the swap. Jennifer kindly sent me some of her photos. I need to talk to her about photography. See how she captures the light? (no pun intended!)
My challenge this month is to work on Terry Pitzel's "notorious women" book. There's already a fabulous spread on Mata Hari in there, and some paper dolls to play with. I'm leaning toward Josephine Baker at the moment... I'll let you know what I come up with.
Here's one more picture of Crafty Dayesye's work. Love it!