“Out of the Blue” a collaboration in process with Trace Willans

Posted: November 8, 2014 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: , ,

Out-of-the-Blue-covers-in-processEvery morning I start the day with Trace Willans beautiful  Paint Rag Book 1
that she made out of gessoed paint rags, indigo and wax
I renamed it ‘Out of the Blue’ (a place to keep all those pieces of dreams that come from Out of the Blue)
and have started adding some stitching & beads to the covers
title-page this tiny embroidery on ‘Whisper’ silk organza found a place to rest at last
it was an experiment for The Stole of Bandaged Hearts
bh60Bandaged Heart no 60 (Mo) 2011
page-1this tiny weaving less than the size of a 5 cent piece was inspired by Liz Ackert
during Jude Hill’s “Considering Weave” a few months ago
NB Yikes! I spelled Liz’s name wrong, will have to go in with the  white out and rephotograph this page!
weaving-correctedI love how Liz graciously posted a response that helped me see my mistake joyfully !
weba spider web stitched on the old hand cranked Singer back in 2012
rosea left over drawing from the Rose Book
blue moonan indigo dyed moon from Jude Hill stitched under the influence of
Cindy Hand Stories’ magically stitched moon, sea & star booklets
fishthis fish was accidentally sewn to the back of the moon
moonso the pages change a little each day
flannel flowerActinotus minor (Lesser Flannel Flower) collected in 1983 stitched onto a piece of Washingtonia palm sheath bark
egga crow gifted this egg shell in 2011
petalskeletonized hydrangea petal, pencil, white ink, reverse of stitching on next page
feather plant pressingwhite feather from a heron, graphite and an unknown piece of plant pressed into a book back in the 80’s
retrieved during the making of the Spirit Book of the Spirit Books
echidnaan echidna quill from Bronwyn Berman
crow-feathera crow feather found on the way home from the Nag Hammadi workshop last weekend
some days I just add more marks to the pages others I add new bits as they surface
working as an amateur bookbinder for the past 12 years the idea of scrapbooking has been anathema to the craft but now that I will be officially old in 4 months and eligible for a seniors card it’s Time to Play!
NB will be posting more about this little book as it goes, I love it!
gardeniasthree Gardenias that Old Man Crow picked on his way home from the pub last night
wish I could send the perfume through the ether!

  1. julie says:

    This is truly breathtaking, Mo. And what I really am struck by is the meta-fact that you used the book. So many times we I mean I am so overwhelmed by the majesty of the handmade book that I hesitate to actually use it. You have turned something on its head for me. So you make an entry every morning?

    • Mo Crow says:

      All kudos go to Trace Willans for making such an inviting book, I love how she has recycled her old paint rags and then gessoed them into a beautiful surface that loves pencil, paint and stitch! Am hoping to enter this one in the Manly Artist’s Book Award early next year as a collaborative effort (with Trace’s permission of course!)
      Oh and yes I do a little something each day since I started with this one on October 27th after finishing the run of talismans. Some days I stitch in a piece from the past as it surfaces or just draw or add a few stitches to one of the pages that is already started, it’s a work in process that is a great way to warm up the eye hand heart coordination for the day!

  2. Jane B (epocktextiles) says:

    love that it has been added to in so many different ways over a period of time

    • Mo Crow says:

      Hi Jane, this one is holding a sense of time but not chronologically, some of the pressed flowers were placed in a children’s book over 30 years ago that I only just recently found again, other pages are drawings in direct response to the marks on the page created by the old paint marks on the rags overlaid with the gesso by Trace and some of those pages are beautiful just as they are. I may just decorate the edges on those ones to frame them as I loved building up the foredge on the Spirit Book of the Spirit Books

  3. Liz says:

    Oh Mo … I am so “under the influence” of this collaborative piece!! My mind is spinning with ideas and I’m sure to return here for inspiration.
    P.S. I can’t tell you how giddy I felt as I enlarged one page to see my name in your hand … thank you for preserving a magical time during this summer’s considered weave.

    • Mo Crow says:

      Oh yikes Liz you are such a lady, I spelled your name wrong! will go in with some white out, correct the spelling to Liz Ackert and rephotograph this page!

      • Liz says:

        Oh no … I’m just Liz … and even that isn’t what matters … it’s that we had this wonderful connection that happened at CW … and what is written captures that. Please don’t white out anything … your book is too good for that!

  4. deemallon says:

    it is so filled with the texture and magic of you! do you work left to right (as we read?) or are you jumping around more improvisationally?

    • Mo Crow says:

      this one is all over the place, each piece of my past fits into a different page according to the colour and feel of the page in relation to the materials. The first day of play was squaring the back cover with the waxed linen and blue beads. I want to add more beads and threads to the covers over the next few months as the book evolves, if it is accepted for the Manly Artist’s Book Award it will need to be finished by the end of February.

  5. soewnearth says:

    I love what you are doing with the little book I began. I see i shall have to make some more of these books to send out into the world. The couple I had left are now for sale at Open Drawer in Melbourne. x te

  6. this beautiful little book is so inspirational mo, on so many levels. love it.

  7. i bet this makes Trace very happy. you, too.

  8. handstories says:

    oh, Mo, first I scrolled through the photos, completely enamored with this book, then to read your magical words about it all….I’m quite thrilled to have a small part in this wonderful collection & collaboration.

  9. …like a ‘place keeper’ (Jude), or a ‘memory bank’ (anonymous),
    or a ‘treasure cache’, ‘enigma diary’, ‘event record’, ‘dance card’, ‘time keeper’


  10. jude says:

    this is really something

    • Mo Crow says:

      love how Trace transformed the old paint rags into such an inviting book, the gesso gives the cloth a workable surface and the wax protects the covers, all my little bits and pieces are enjoying their pages and the reverse of each page where the things are stitched in is getting exciting!

  11. margaret johnson says:

    oh, just beautiful, ox

  12. Christina says:

    Beautiful Mo! I did a workshop with Trace just before she headed off to Queensland (we were almost neighbours for a couple of months!) and learnt how to make and bind a little book. Her books and other artwork are just beautiful. I’ve been AWOL from the blogosphere for a while, making a book of my own, but it’s finished now…phew!

    • Mo Crow says:

      good to see you Christina, I hope to meet Trace one day in real life & loved seeing your poem book “Lamentation” back in August on your blog. So your “map book” is made, look forward to the reveal when you’re ready!

  13. Carol says:

    I’ve been going back and back again to this post, Mo. Trace’s book is lovely enough but you are working such beautiful magic on the pages. I’m in Tamworth, 34’C, and really enjoying being able to look at favourite blogs without any feelings of guilt. I’m not enjoying the heat wave but it’s giving me some real down time to look at art.

  14. sue says:

    you’ve worked some magic there..it’s full of treasure. beautiful.

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