Monday, 28 October 2013



Students have been asking me about making a portfolio presentation case for their portfolios.  At first I wasn't sure what this entailed.  Once I did some research, I created three different styles of portfolio presentation cases.  This one has a three-sided envelope inside.  The sides are flexible and made to accommodate a number of pieces in different sizes.  Once tied, the art work remains in place.  I covered this one with hand marbled paper by a marbler in the city.  I used book cloth for the spine and to join the envelope pieces.  

I used silk ribbons for closures on the outside of the box and waxed, braided cotton thread for closures on the inside. 

This is the second style I made.  I used untreated canvas to cover the outside of the case.   

I lined the inside of the covers and box with a copper foil decorative Japanese paper.  The box is covered with a textured decorative paper that compliments the  unfinished canvas. 
I used a red and gold ribbon for closure.  This is the Portfolio Presentation Case that I will be teaching on four Monday evenings, starting November 18th and finishing on December 9th.  This mini-course will be offered at the Ottawa School of Art, Shenkman Arts Centre campus.  If you are interested in attending, registration is through the Ottawa School of Art - course cost $150 plus the cost of supplies - $25 - $40 depending on the needs - based on the size of one's portfolio.  I will also demonstrate how this case may be sectioned to accommodate different sizes of work in a portfolio.  This case can also be used by collectors for special pieces and of course. for book lovers.  I have put three journals in the different cases that I have made.  


I have been playing around with different stitchings and bindings.  I find the straight stitching on the single signature books quite boring and so my boredom led to the creation of a new decorative binding.  I call it 'corn cob' binding because it looks like two rows of corn on a cob.  

I find this binding quite decorative and it adds a nice touch to the single signature books that I have been making for the book fairs.  


This year I have been making large journals.  I am getting great pleasure out of creating a full-bodied journal that is substantial and feels good when held.  I have also been experimenting with different papers for the text blocks.  I have used a beautiful Ingres paper by Fabriano in two shades of blue, Fabriano writing paper and Strathmore sketch paper in grey and beige tones.  The Strathmore paper is heavier and gives the journals a weighted elegance.  I have used both leather and paper covers for these journals. 

This journal is made with lamb skin and lined with Lokta paper.  I used a chain, glass beads and leather to create the design and closure.

This journal is made with a reptile stamped cowhide and is lined with a faux reptile decorated paper.  I like working with the shape of the leather, so the top right hand corner of the journal is exposed to show a decorative die cut on the page. 

I have had a lot of fun mixing and matching papers and ribbons.  The cover of this journal is made with Lokta paper and lined with the same. I used a green, white and fuschia gross grain ribbon for the closure.  

I used a navy blue reptile stamped leather for the cover of this journal.  There was a small hole in the leather and rather than work around it, I like to work with it.  The leather is lined with a Japanese copper foil decorative paper.  I wove the binding and made the closures from waxed, braided cotton thread.  

I was looking through my different pieces of art work this past week and came across two photographs that I had done on fine art paper. The paper is beautiful to touch and I really like the image: which is a reflection.  So they are now both covers for single signature books.   
I also had some beautiful fine papers that were for special invitations.  I made drawings on them and they are now covers for single signature books.  I used the decorative corn cob stitch I mentioned earlier on these books.  


This book was initially created in response to a call for art representing the human figure.  It is two accordion books joined back-to-back.  One end of the book has five female figures and one side of the book has the poem: Phenomenal Woman by Maya Angelou.  The other cover of the book has five male figures.  The poem: To Lou Adreas-Solome, by Rainer Rilke is on the other accordion book.  I used photographs on both sides of the accordion folds - soft curves for the diva and angular curves for the bachelor.  I decided not to submit the book to the first call when I was told that it didn't have enough of the human figure showing in the piece.  I then submitted it to the Fritizi Gallery in response to a call out.  The piece of art was to be in response to a play - modern version of Othello.  I received a letter stating it was a very good match for the play, however, because the gallery is an open space there was concern that the book would be stolen.  So alas, I have this beautiful double accordion book which will now be the first piece in a series of books.  Watch for the complete series next year. 
This is the Diva's side of the book, with the poem: Phenomenal Woman.  The photos represent the soft curves of the female figure and the words in the poem.  

This is the bachelor's end of the book.  I used leather and textured papers to cover the figures.  

The photographs I used for this side of the book are very angular, representing the male figure. 


I attended the Ottawa Small Press Book Fair this past month.  There was a steady stream of visitors and I sat between two authors.  A video of my time at the book fair can be seen at:

The next craft fair for me is on November 9th at the Britannia United Church on Pinecrest road.  The event opens at 9:00 am and goes through to 3:00 pm. 

Following this I can be found at BazArt at the Shenkman Arts Centre, 245 Centrum Boulevard on November 30th and December 1 from 11:00 am to 5:00 pm.

You will also be able to find me at the Noel Market at the Museum of Civilization, in Gatineau, Quebec, on December 6, 7 and 8th.   I hope to see you at one or more of these events.  


 I will be teaching courses and workshops at the Ottawa School of Art again this winter.  Here is the schedule and course codes.  For a full description and registration: go to the Ottawa School of Art:

WINTER 2014 – George Street Campus
Course Code
Jan. 14 – April 1
Tuesday Evening
1800 – 2100
Book Arts – 12 Weeks

WINTER 2014 – Orléans Campus – Shenkman Arts Centre
Course Code
Jan. 15 – April 2
1300 – 1600
Book Arts - Intro - $260.


WINTER 2014  -  Workshops – Orléans Campus – Shenkman Arts Centre
W/Shop Code
January 25
10:00 – 4:00
Japanese Stab Binding - $110
February 8
10:00 – 4:30
Introductory Box Making - $110
February 6 – 27
4 Thursdays
1:00 – 4:00
Artist’s Portfolio Presentation Case - $150
March 1
10:00 – 1:00
Hand Decorated Paper - $80
March 29
10:00 – 1:00
Flowers & Folding Books - $80

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