The 2020 Santa Fe Book Arts Group’s Artist in Residence, Sally Blakemore, fell in love with the book form before she could read the words. As a child, she perceived the book to be an imagination-vessel that she then wanted to copy for its alchemical ability to provide a hidden story between two cardboard covers. It was a flask for her experimentation in timing a story to tell. She played with the format for 30 years; at one point in 1979 she discoverd Tor Lokvig’s Haunted House, a paper engineered book. Collapsible paper sculpture, popup books became her new fascination.
After packaging and designing books for Simon & Schuster, Viking, Dutton, Abrams, Reader’s Digest Children’s, HarperCollins, Disney Press, and many others—plus some major traveling to be on press—a trip to China with paper engineer and photographer Colette Fu changed everything. The experience added the new element of Chinese papercutting in addition to the paper engineered book.
By working with handmade papers, Tyvek, and 10-point industrial-strength paper for manufacturing, Sally combines elements that could not be reproduced by machinery. Editions and refinements work best when organized and created by hand assembly. Handcutting Tyvek from a roll is like cutting silk. Handcutting 10-point paper can best be done on the laser cutter or plotter cutter. All of these skills and working at MAKE Santa Fe on digital machines will be open for During-Task workshops. This means observers and questions are welcomed plus experimentation with other BAG members files is offered as a service.
Sally’s Book Arts Group residency gives her focused experimentation a real purpose while pushing some standard materials to the limits. While she plays with a pile of ideas, she will make herself available to anyone who wants to follow some new out-of-the-bag expansion.
Residency Intentions for 2020
- To create a surprising, experimental portfolio of designs that include paper engineered structures supporting Tyvek forms, painted pieces, and pieces combined with handmade papers
- To produce abaca paper with Liz Faust at her studio and to invite others to attend who have never made paper for their own books
- To format unique, easy-to-assemble handmade paper products for art book tourists who visit book stores and museums in Santa Fe, including:
- Santa Fe Opera Gift Shop
- Santa Fe Children’s Museum
- Los Alamos Science Museum
- Pasqual’s Gallery
- Military Museum
- Botanical Garden Gift Shop
(Formats can be introduced through workshops and to develop a small hand-assembly group for a mini-manufacturing unit)
- Repurposing art for experimental books, paper engineering sketch ideas using old watercolors, inks, painted Tyvek, cut paper pieces as a palette, and for detail and contrast
Sally’s residency will include invitations to workshops and informal salons at local coffee shops and art spaces. During these Sally will show off new ideas, revelations, insights, books and educational links, plus call for entries to shows in other states through the Center for the Book and other groups.
For those interested, Sally is organizing a trip to Denver for The Movable Book Society in October 2020. Program will be announced plus costs and inclusion in a BAG Art Book table at the conference.
Arty Projects Studio, Santa Fe, Ltd.
3012 Siringo Rondo South
Santa Fe, NM 87507
Paper Play on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ju_1Xl5igsk