April 26th, 2011 | 2 Comments »

Thanks to an interesting project by Josh Hite and Scott Billings I had the opportunity to visit the secret stairway under the Burrard Bridge last week. It’s been abandoned since the 1930s, and when I visited I could understand why. I imagine it would be a creepy place at night because it certainly was during the day.

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge

The guy in this photo turned out to be an upstairs neighbour from my building who I never see. It was hilarious to run into him in such a random place. He and his girlfriend were helping out as actors during the filming.

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge-3
Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge - old graffiti

The metal column going down the centre of the staircase was set temporarily for their project of filming the interior of the stairway in a helical movement. I didn’t see much of the filming because they were still setting up but I was really impressed by how much equipment they brought all the way to the bottom of the stairs. The only way in is from the top of the bridge because the city bricked up the bottom entrance ages ago.

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge, window

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge - looking up from the bottom
Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge - looking up from the bottom

There was plenty of ancient graffiti covering the stairs and walls, which indicates people have been able to sneak in there in the past. I wonder if the Department of Eternal Art is still around….?

Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge - old graffiti
Secret Stairway under Burrard Bridge

The whole experience gave me a killer case of vertigo but it was an amazing opportunity to get into this space which is normally restricted from public access.

April 25th, 2011 | Comments Off

In two weeks I’ll be teaching my second altered book workshop at Chalk Xchange in the Strathcona area of Vancouver. It’ll be the same class as the previous one from February but with a longer timeframe. The class is on Saturday May 7th, the day before Mother’s day, so I’m suggesting this as a present for mom, something to do with mom, or just come all by yourself if that works best.

These photos are of work made by students in the two previous altered book workshops I taught earlier this year. You really do come away with some lovely and interesting stuff.

Altered book workshop - Student work

Altered Book Workshop - Seattle Center for Book Arts

This workshop is a one day class and is an introduction to examples and techniques for transforming old books into one-of-a-kind pieces of art. There is an unlimited potential for creating interesting work by altering books through cutting, folding, rolling, collage, etc. This course will demonstrate a selection of techniques and provide a starting point for creating work of your own. The goal will be to complete one finished “folded page” altered book by the end of the workshop. Please bring at least two old books you would like to work with.

There are more details about the class when you follow the link below to Eventbrite for registration.

Date: Saturday May 7th, 2011
Time: 11am to 5pm
Cost: $80 + $2.99 processing fee
Location: 593 East Georgia Street, Vancouver BC V6A 1Z8

Register for the workshop online through Eventbrite »

April 22nd, 2011 | Comments Off

Working on the Fairy Tale series has unexpectedly led me to making paper cut work. It’s become more of a focus (or rather obsession) since I made the wolf for the Little Red Riding Hood book. The books I’ve been working on for the last two weeks are the Three Little Pigs with each pig in their own house-shaped book. I wanted to make a Big Bad Wolf to go with them and envisioned this as a large paper cut to flow around the books.

This is what I came up with and I love it.

The Big Bad Wolf

I foolishly cut it from paper that was too flimsy and it curled in a very unhelpful way. I had to back the whole thing with a thicker paper and then recut the shape. I decided to paint the whole thing to make it more dramatic, using black and white acrylic paint. I’m relieved that part went so well because painting, like drawing, is not my strongest artistic skill.

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