|Denise melting wax|
To rewind a little bit...After the workshop that I arranged here in June, "Following the Lines", where my good friend Mari and her two colleagues Birgit (from Germany) and Massimo (from Italy) came to Oslo, I heard about a workshop that Mari was arranging. It was going to take place in Dresden and Denise Lach was going to teach us a new technique she has learned. I just HAD to go, I mean, it is Denise Lach whose work I absolutely adore! I did not know at all what we were going to learn or do at this particular workshop, but that didn't matter to me.
I knew we were going to make collages, which I have done quite a bit now, and something else… I packed my calligraphy nibs, inks, some old Japanese rice paper with photocopying on it of old watches and writing – actually I used what was left from when I stayed in Dresden 12 years ago! It seemed like the perfect thing to bring and use going back to Dresden after all. After quite an easy trip by train, plane and bus I arrived at Dresden Neustadt Thursday night, and a whole welcoming committee came to take me home to Mari's house where Massimo and I was going to stay for the weekend. It was so nice to see them and I was so excited, almost couldn't sleep that night. I wondered what the weekend had in store for me. The next morning we all went to the workshop and set up the room. The others arrived and you could just feel the anticipation and positivity from everybody.
Each person had three wooden boxes/frames on their desks and Denise showed us what we were going to make of them. We were going to cover the boxes in collage, using different papers, with prints, calligraphy patterns, whatever on it. After it was dry, we were going to cover it with a thin layer of candle wax. We melted wax and using a broad paint brush, just quickly painted it over. Lastly we could scratch in the wax, make calligraphic marks or patterns using a cold needle or any kind of sharp device that could make a clean mark in the wax. When that was done, you could cover it with oil paint and the paint would go into the grove you had made. This was quite a messy job, trying to clean off the excess I mean. You use an old rag and try to get it off and leave just the paint in the grove. When done correctly, it is quite a nice technique. The wax leaves a whitish cover over the collage, and you can see layers of print, colour and textures.
Even if I didn't feel like I mastered this technique that well straight away, I got a feel for it and I think I will use it again. I liked the matt effect the wax gave to the piece, and I liked the layered effect. I still have a lot to learn about composition and be more free when I "make my mark". Unfortunately, this is because I haven't got enough time to practice calligraphy as often as I would like. The days just aren't long enough for everything I'd like to do, but I have a whole lifetime ahead of me.
After I got back I discovered a film about Norway on fb. I saw the ragged landscape and the layers of colour and surfaces from the stone, water and bushes. It was like a collage of textures and colours and layers! I thought of runes scratched in stone…all this can be "translated" into a little collage box with wax on top. I will explore this idea further…
Now over to something else – my courses, and here I will continue in Norwegian. Ok, helgen før jeg dro til Dresden holdt jeg kurs for Oppegård husflidslag. En slags ønskereprise…
I løpet av helgen hadde jeg planlagt at deltakerne ville få mulighet til å forsøke seg på plakatskrift, eller hurtigskrift (det ble ytret ønske om det da jeg holdt forrige kurs for laget), men hovedvekten av det jeg skulle gå gjennom skulle være italic og uncialskrift. Ideen med å starte opp med litt hurtigskrift ville jeg vise at man trenger ikke å ha noen prestasjonsangst for å starte opp, samt å få frem det med kontroll over skriveredskapet ved å dra strøkene mot seg istedenfor å la bevegelsen gå opp og fra seg. For de som alt har lært litt kalligrafi, så gir dette mening.
Det var en koselig, om enn intens helg. Det tar på å konsentrere seg så mye på å få til fine strøk som sammen danner en bokstav. Som alltid var arbeidslysten stor og resultatene ble bra. Jeg er utrolig takknemmelig over å få lov til å spre glede rundt kalligrafi og et gammelt håndverk som dessverre blir mer og mer uvanlig – nesten borte. Nå som "alt" går ved bruk av tastatur eller tasting på telefoner mister mange følelsen for å holde et skriveredskap i hånden og samtidig få frem tydelige og om mulig vakre bokstaver. Det krever mye trening og selvdisiplin å få til flotte bokstaver, men det går an! Samtidig er det god trening både fysisk og mentalt å jobbe med kalligrafi. Det er ikke "å skrive", det er heller ikke "å tegne", men en kombinasjon. Man ser raskt hva som blir bra og hva som ikke blir bra og man kan innimellom miste motet. Det gjelder å ha forståelsen av at man ikke bare kan ta en kalligrafipenn i hånden og tro at man umiddelbart kan få til fine bokstaver, på lik linje kan man ikke ta en gitar i hendene og tro at man skal få til å spille på den med en gang. Man må øve.