Friday, March 5, 2010

Introducing--Laurie Weiss

We are happy to begin a new feature on our blog of member introductions. We asked each member to answer a questionnaire about their art and interests. We have 30 members with diverse art interests, so we hope you enjoy meeting them all and find inspiration in their thoughts and artwork.

Laurie Weiss is probably one of our more focused members with a concentration on creating art books.

1. What are the main mediums you use? What do you find satisfying about them?

I work mainly with paper, leather, and cloth for books. I'm always interested in the feel of both the materials and the finished book. Handling books is a very tactile experience for me, regardless of the content, or if there even is any.
2. If someone were going to get started in those mediums, what suggestions would you give?

Portland has a huge book arts community. There are class offerings, from beginning to advanced, all over the region. A couple places to start are EM Studios (SE Portland). Green Heron Books (Forest Grove), The Book Center (McMinnville), and of course PCC and Oregon College of Art and Craft. There is also, of course, the 5-day biennial Focus on Book Arts conference in Forest Grove (next one June 2011).

3. A perfect art day would look like.....

Last Saturday--beautiful, warm weather so I could leave the door open to the studio (the dogs can come and go) and several projects working out at the same time as glue and paint/dye dry, and NO interruptions!

4. Do you have dedicated studio space?

My studio was created from one of the over-sized bays in my garage. It's 24'x16' with lots of light and built-in storage for just about everything, including my papers.

5. Favorite place you've visited or lived?

Well, I love where I live and everything I need or want is here. But, I also loved Morocco when I visited a few years ago. The people were great and there is art everywhere, calligraphic pieces and tiled geometrics.

6. What inspires you (or are there recurring themes in your work)?

Nature patterns and natural elements (materials such as papers and dyes, as well as earth tones) seem to be incorporated in most of my work. I think where I live, out in the country, tends to draw this out.

7. I still struggle with.....

The concept of "art" vs. craft". My goal is to keep moving my work more into the artist realm, expanding the mediums I work with and incorporating more creative elements.
8. I'd be lost without....

My Teflon bone folder! A most handy tool in my work.

9. Favorite dessert?

Easy one--cheesecake.

10. What's on the horizon?

I don't know. I've started making boxes, and am wanting to try my hand two-dimensionally. I think of art as evolving, so it's not something I want to plan out. I often find that calls for exhibit entries will get me thinking of something new to try.
Hope you enjoyed this first introduction. Let us know if there are other questions you would like to hear answered.


Dayna Collins said...

Lovely post and so nice to read Laurie's answers and see images of her work. Bravo!

Suzanne Reynolds said...

Such fine work on those books and journals! I enjoyed getting to know more about Laurie.