friends, home, food for thought

my dear friend Alexandra is an architect and these are her business cards, cool yes! you can build with them; I love her own house: it's what we call 'pot deksel' = wooden-horizontally-overlapping-planks and on the inside the walls are loam, which is another word for clay and seems a very appropriate material for this part of the world now that I come to think of it; the roof is covered with plants. There's lots more to tell, but I'll leave it for now. Her whole design ethic is based on eco-friendly building and living and the results are beautiful as well as environmentally sound, please check out her site if you're interested here the black house is hers, it's very near to us walking, distance in fact.

a bird house converted into a wasps' nest; I'm not overly fond of them, but as my husband says: as long as they don't bother us, we won't bother them

the local bumble bees took up residence here, as did the woodworms
bird house with ecological roofing

in the studio, my home really, a new arrival: a press!! with the added bonus of the table/cupboard on wheels which came with it. It comes from another dear friend N. who is busy converting his studio into a B&B and the shed into a studio/ he felt some things had to go. I am soooooooooooo happy it came my way. A big thanks to the husband who helped lifting and moving this very heavy object.

heavy cast iron beauty

of course I had to start pressing, an old lino with my name and address, mentioning opening hours of the studio....

and here a bit of fabric used as a blotter, but this is where the printing is heading: fabric prints!!
above: an old tree-of-life lino print on a piece of home dyed cotton/linen

here's the print on paper, the ink was far too runny so the whites have become coloured as well; it's not a particularly good design really, as I find it very hard to get my head around the black-and-white thinking, where to carve out and where not to. But now that I have a proper press I could devote time to learning more about designing correctly. For amazing prints check out Amanda's work at Mangle Prints

detail of print on cloth, here at least the whites are white

toad hall; this has been modified since I last posted it here: another dear friend W. who supplied the 17th century bricks (known as 'Utrechtse platte') admired the structure but suggested I use a glass plate on top, which he swiftly cut and presented to me; as the glass plate was larger than the original stone square on top, I had to place the bricks more apart and whilst 'restyling' a tiny toad popped out from between two bricks and waited patiently until all was put back in place and he could relax again, hence the name. 
a different toad altogether: one I caught on camera this morning whilst collecting walnuts with T.

acorn shells soaking; I found these yesterday late afternoon, as it is a lot of work I'm not sure how often I'll be doing this; we'll just have to wait and see if the results: the edible flour and the dye are worth the while really......
I found an acorn flour recipe here a guy called Hank is up to all sorts, very interesting food wise.

speaking of food and thinking of Grace: guess what this is a huge chunk of Parmesan cheese straight from Italy; both our boys have an exchange student from Italy this week, the first arrived yesterday and as a gift gave us this cheese, wow, we love cheese
our second guest will arrive very late/very early depending on how you live your life: 1:30 a.m.....I know tomorrow we'll all be knackered, in a good way mind you


jude said…
oh, the press, wow.... how wonderful. i used to etching back in school. printing on cloth is a wonderful direction.

acorn water makes a good mordant for cotton, even if you don't get a dark color for dye.
Saskia said…
Jude: I know, isn't it fantastic, I've been experimenting with printing on fabrics this afternoon and have in my mind all these ideas: printing and grids and maybe cutting and changing a scene around so bits show up all over/through....the mind boggles at the possibilities.
thanks for the mordanting tip btw.
Nancy said…
Oh that press is fantastic and I love it on the fabric! I always have trouble with the positive/ negative aspect too.
And those cards...what I great idea! Will have to look at the links...
Mo Crow said…
love those old bricks and your press is a beauty!
Valerianna said…
oh, how COOL, a PRESS! I've been wanting one in my studio lately...
Saskia said…
Nancy, Mo & Valerianna: the Press is such a wonderful gift; for many reasons, but for the moment also because I'm so into exploring grids (as theme, idea, concept, motive) this offers yet another way to examine that, mixing media and ways of expression, although I 'm not sure what I have in mind is exactly clear when put into words here, suffice to say I'm thrilled with the Presence of the Press in the studio
the Presence of the Press....
what a beautiful Object s(he) is

just to have there, to admire.

you are very lucky!
Saskia said…
Grace: lucky and this Presence has already made me move in new directions



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