When logged in to my page to write this post, and of course first took a look at my last blogpost. How can it be that more than a month has passed since I wrote it? I remember in the old days, I would blog about what I did during the day, and I sometimes struggled to find enough slots on my blog to post all that I wanted to say and had written. Back then I had a lot of work in progress, tutorials, and experiments on this page. Nowadays it seems that my blogpost are most of the time wrap-ups of what happened since my last blogpost. (Although I have some new and hopefully exciting new work to share below.)

This is not only happening to my blog: It also happens to my facebook page. Since I opened an instagramm account, I now post images of work in progress there, and my facebook page sometimes seems like a wrap-up of what happened in the last week.

But I think this isn’t necessarily bad. It comes from my attempt to cross-post not too much. I myself am a little annoyed when I see the same stuff of the same people over all platforms they are active on, and try to spread what I have to say over my different channels. And so this blog space has morphed into a low-frequency, summarizing kind of platform. And maybe that’s exactly right for some people. I figure. I hope, I suppose.

So just a reminder, and a summary of what platforms I use these days and where you can find me:

  • Instagram for in-the-moment, this-is-what-I-am-working-on-right-now kind of posts. (@buchertiger)
  • Facebook for slightly more developed, but still rather fresh content, including longer posts than on instagram and event announcements (buechertiger fanpage)
  • Skillshare for tutorials and workshops. This is a pay for content plattform. If you sign up through the following link, you get the first two months free at the moment; offers vary over time: https://skl.sh/2HiY6UJ. I am going to post my new class (see below) any day now, and once you signed up, you can see all of my and all other skillshare teacher’s classes. – A girl gotta earn the money for her ink somehow.
  • This blog for longer, less frequent posts, summing up progress and plans. I also plan to take up my artist interview series again, and maybe post my literature posts again.
  • My newsletter for even further spaced out announcements of mostly finished work.

And now, without longer addo, here’s what I have been up to:

346

Leading up to the open studio, I went to finally finish copies 3-10 of 346. These are the scrolls in a box without a model.
When I wrote my last blogpost, I still thought I might add a swaddle to the box. Well, I gave this up pretty soon as it was a) very, very hard for me to make, it b) looked weird and c) I came up with a much better idea: Around each box I put a wide, white cotton strap, fastened with velcro. It holds the scroll in place, and symbolizes my being bound to the bed. Which is much more appropriate than a reference to a baby, as this is more about me being pregnant than about babies being born.

I also got to work a little more on model for copy No. 2. The first model has some problems which I naturally want to avoid with this second copy. One of those was the nightstand: It stands on four beads (that represent caster wheels) and with the outstreched tray it has an unfortunate weight distribution that does ill with so little area for glue to hold it in place. So in model No. 2, a book fell under the nightstand, giving me a larger area to apply glue and looking nice:

I finished the box for the model to sit in, and many aspects of the model. What still needs doing is not little, but I’ll finish it one step at a time.

Open Studio

My open studio was a great success in many ways just not when it comes to visitor numbers: I think it was 5 or 6 parties in total. Those that did come created some wonderful stamps (I especially liked the robots that a team of visiting twins made with the help of their parents). Low frequency of visitors meant that I had time for those who showed up. And one of those visiting was Jet, a wonderful lady, who marched into my studio with a smile that dropped the moment she was properly in. She looked around with a doubtful expression on her face and introduced herself with the words: “Hello! Well, I thought this was bigger, do you know what I mean?” I answered honestly, surprised and intruiged: “No, I don’t. What do you mean?”. That’s when she started laughing, and we went on to have a really good conversation. Turned out she expected a larger space because I called it “Büchertiger Studio” rather than just “Hilke Kurzke” in the brochure that came with this series of connected events. But at that point it didn’t matter anymore anyway.

stamps made by visitors to my studio

German has, other than Enlish, a low-context culture: English people call us too blunt, we call English speakers overly polite. It’s a difference that’s easily overcome, but it can be a hurdle in a conversation nonetheless.
Jet, however, was refreshingly direct, making this one of the least straining conversations I have had in a long while. And when she strew in a few Dutch words, I asked her whether she was indeed Dutch. – I found it much easier to believe that a Dutch woman got rid completely of any accent than that I could have a conversation like this with an English woman. But she isn’t Dutch. There are people like this here.

It wasn’t just her direct speech. Something just clicked for me, and I find her and conversations with her hugely inspiring and energizing.

New Work and a Workshop

Jet and I spoke for several hours, and a lot of art and results have already sprung from that conversation. First of all: There will be a (private) workshop in September about tunnel books, prepared by me, delivered by all of us, at Jet’s (apparently her studio is at least four times as big – her estimate went down considerably while we were speaking), and you might still be able to sign up if you want to. Please contact me directly if interested.

As she was so interested in the tunnel structure this renewed my interest as well, and got me working in a wider range of directions.

In the tins on the left: the beginning of a first, still mysterious tunnel experiment

I was going to take part in Backlit‘s Open Studios two weeks later, and started working on putting this together – and got into making all kinds of things will tunnels; I shall show you one of them in a minute.

Backlit provides studio space to artists in Nottingham and is an independent gallery. I am an associate member there, and was delighted when Tracey Kershaw (do follow the link she does some really interesting work; look at her “mother bowls”!) offered me her -at the time of the open studio event virtually empty- studio at Backlit, so that I could participate.

Events like this are big driving forces for fme: I made (a first 20 out of planned 50) “Nottingham” prints, inspired by Nottingham architecture and atmosphere with a screen printed, mono-type background and a lino-print in the front.

But as I would bring in my things just for the event, I decided to exhibit mostly recent work in progress rather than finished art. And thus one wall (which you can see above on thw right) was occupied with work I have not shown online before, or at least not in greater detail. The working title currently is “Learning to Crochet”, and it deals with the narrow expectations toward women’s feeling regarding reproduction. In that it shares the broader topic with 346. This work, however, deals with miscarriage. The pictures that you can see at the wall are not ultrasound images. They are digitally altered prints which I made in a technique that I developed for these prints using unbaked polymer clay. Since I was working with tunnels, and Jet mentioned in a later conversation over skype and egg, it felt natural, to mount these prints at the back of an egg:

Learning Crochet, by. H. Kurzke

As you can see in the photo further up, I currently have a variety of things belonging to this project, and I don’t know yet how they will all fit together. I thought they might end up in a zine-like publication, I don’t know how to fit the eggs between the pages, though.
The same images that are at the back of the eggs I also printed larger on photographic paper and adorned them with asemic writing, representing the wordlessness many women and men feel when they experience a miscarriage.

I also have pieces of writing in various stages of unfinished, one of them is actually in the photo above. I also have some crochet prints, but I am not completely sure yet, how this will all fit together. It kinds of works in my head but not yet in the real world. Work in progress.

And while I was working with eggs anyway, I also made eggshell panels. I shall talk about this more in a blogpost to come. But just to mention it here: I made eggshell panels, generated a skillshare class about them (I am still editing, but almost done, and a taster can be found here) and am currently binding a book with an eggshell panel decoration on it and eco prints inside.

yummy paper for my new book block

Birthdays and Bottles

Right after Backlit’s Open Studio, there came half term, with the kids enjoying a range of art activities with me. – That was great, and a novum. Apparently they are finally old enough for this. Little man did a lot of printing of his own and even enjoyed accompaning me to some open studios.

– And then it was the twin’s birthday! Seven years old now. No idea how that happened. To celebrate their birthday, we went to the coast for the weekend, and I dropped some bottles. The drop-off post can be found here, and the finding post will come up soon. – As soon as I can find the time to write the blogpost…

As it says in the title: A work intensive, but quite successful May. And now I got some more work to do…

I’ll leave you gessing what new idea I came up with and what work is in progress here.

 

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