Sunday, June 17, 2012


It was early in the morning last Summer, when Sky Bergman started setting out her supplies.  In a few hours, she would be teaching people how to make books.  Sky, is one of many sharing their skills to show those attending Sweet’s Mill Music and Arts Camp,  how to tie-dye or batik, make hats, jewelry, ceramics, musical instruments and in her case... books.  My son-in-law Steve,  has brought his printing press to teach printmaking, along with Kristen's dad, Steve Wilson.  It’s a hands on deal here in the Art Area of Meditation Meadow.

Press made by Steve Gutmann

High in the Sequoia National Forrest somewhere, is a gathering of Musicians and Artists sharing music, dance  and experiences during a giant two week camp out.  There are a lot of talented people, from all around the world.  What am I doing here?  After hearing about Sweet’s Mill from my daughter, like forever, I decided to attend.  Krista and her BFF Kristen have been going since they were kids, and now my granddaughter, Ula, has been attending for all of her 11 years.  Krista is an actress and Kristen is a Belly Dancer.  I have no musical talents and marginal artistic skills, but I do like to take photos, so I decided to chronicle life at Sweet’s Mill.
I had my camera ready when Sky started her first bookmaking class.   Actually I did make a book, in fact two, but my modesty prevents me from being the subject of this story… and it is hard to make a book with a camera in one hand.  So, I was delighted when Kristen arrived and said she wanted to make a book.  A group had gathered and the class was underway…
soon the 'bookmakers were deep into cardboard, art paper and paste...
               Sky began the process with making the cover of the book and concluded after adding the pages.  The books were done, and the campers had a journal to record their experiences in…
making the binding 
attaching cover plates
sizing art paper for cover
gluing cover together

press together
adding the pages

Kristen's Book

Kristen & Sky

And, that's how you make a book!

I'm looking forward to Sweet's Mill next month... I will probably make another book, but Sky is also the head of the Photography Department at Cal Poly... and I just bought a new camera... I have lots to learn.

And, I'm not that modest... here's my book... 

Saturday, June 2, 2012

THE CRUSADER … and the Acting Student

One day, the actress took me to see Graceland Cemetery…  I was living in Chicago, and she said it was a must see.  It was a beautiful spring day, and we strolled the grounds… me snapping pics and she studying her lines for a play that was opening soon.  Never one to miss a dramatic opportunity, she began posing with the statuary… giving me her reaction to each theme.  When we came to the stone knight, she fell to the ground and played the ‘fair maiden struck down in the prime of life’.  After she got up, I asked her if he had slain her.  ”Oh no”, she replied, “he stands guard, protecting her.”
The Crusader by Lorado Taft (1931)…  Cemeteries are the perfect place for a history lesson.  I learned a lot about Chicago history at Graceland.  The place names I had seen around the city came alive with the dead.  The men and women who created Chicago, or made her interesting, making their final stop at Graceland and the other cemeteries around town.  Their gravesites were fascinating, not only for the artwork, but for how they wanted to be portrayed.  Some erected huge mausoleums, and some preferred something quieter…  like their name carved upon a rock.   Victor Lawson got a Medieval Knight.  Victor was the publisher of the Chicago Daily News, and the sculpture embodied his character.   The monument does not bear Lawson’s name, but does have an inscription which reads, “Above all things truth beareth away victory”.   At his brother’s request, Lorado Taft sculpted The Crusader out of a single block of  dark granite.
Taft’s most famous sculpture also stands sentinel at Graceland… although of a different type… it is entitled  Eternal Silence.
English: Eternal Silence, (1909), Lorado Taft....
wikipedia photo
I thought of my photo, taken in 1988, while watching Game of Thrones last night.  The knights protecting their charges… and some not with protection in mind.

Friday, June 1, 2012

FRIDAY FICTIONEERS… One Natural Disaster On It’s Way…

The top is off!!!
I told them not to screw with things… would they listen? Nooo… and now there’s no top. There one minute, gone the next!
Would it be so hard, just for once, to have something done right? What are we going to do to explain this one? A landslide won’t work here, and of course floods are out. I guess we’ll have to hurry and pull a Mount Saint Helen’s before the sun gets up to high… and the natives see it’s gone.
This is such a pain in the ass… but we can’t have another panic.
It must be Friday… time for Madison Wood’s Friday Fictioneers, and some 100 Word Flash Fiction!   To see all the stories or to join in and add yours, click here.
 Credit for the Photo Prompt belongs to the Aloha Man, Douglas MacIlroy on the Big Island.  He works at the Keck Observatory on top of Mauna Kea… 13,522 feet above the Hawaiian Sea.  To see another great photo taken from his office and to read a celestial account of his job ➢➢➢