Papermaking with Anya

Anya is a sweet friend of my neighbors. She spent a few hours with me a couple mornings during the summer to learn how to make paper. We had a great time together! Here are some photos from the session. She loved making paper! (Isn’t she just adorable?! And she’s just as sweet, too.)

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Organic Papermaking Workshop 1

I had the pleasure of teaching a 14 year old girl named Anandi how to make natural-looking hand-recycled paper a couple weeks ago. She was so sweet and full of creative ideas. Anandi also used a template of Mississippi that I made in graduate school to make Mississippi-shaped paper. Of course we had to mix color pigments together to find the right mix of Mississippi State University MAROON! We had a lot of fun!

Below are photos of the paper she made:

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MSU Summer Arts Camp 2016

Hi everyone,

Last week, Mississippi State University’s art department hosted their annual INvision art camp for high school students. These kids got to experience a taste of life as an MSU college art student by living in a campus dorm, eating campus food, becoming familiar with campus grounds through planned social activities, and making art.

I led three workshops– Photoshop, t-shirt design, and book binding. Other workshops offered by MSU faculty included ceramics and drawing. This event is a fun getaway that helps students decide if art and design has a part in their college future. Even more, we hope it attracts them to choose MSU for their college education!

This summer we had 10 high schoolers in attendance. This bunch of kids were an exceptional group. They were so polite and eager to learn. I enjoyed teaching them.

Below are images of what the students produced in my workshops, lasting a couple hours each. Action shots are credited to art department technology coordinator Aaron McElfish, originally posted on the MSU Art Galleries Facebook page.

PHOTOSHOP
The goal was to design a surreal composition using stock photography found on the Internet.

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Savannah-Alley-final

by Savannah Alley

Savannah-Alley

by Savannah Alley

shelbyhatfield

by Shelby Hatfield

EmmaJones

by Emma Jones

emmajones07

by Emma Jones

ginnybrown

by Ginny Brown

ivy-williamson

by Ivy Williamson

kendall-young

by Kendall Young

kendallyoung2

by Kendall Young

MaryCiochetty

by Mary Ciochetty

Corey-Moore

by Corey Moore

photoshop2evelynh

by Evelyn H

photoshopevelynh

by Evelyn H

TalleytheGreat

by Ty Talley

 

BOOK BINDING
Students learned how to fold and bind a multi-section hardback book. See an online tutorial HERE.

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MSU Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture and dear friend Elizabeth Tofte also joined us for the book binding workshop.

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{Continue scrolling to see examples of their finished books…}

T-SHIRT DESIGN
Students collaboratively drew patterns inside a bulldog’s face, representative of our school mascot. Information about the event will be typed underneath. It will be screen printed white on maroon shirts. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!

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INVISION ART EXHIBITION
Students hung and placed their artwork from the week inside MSU’s Visual Arts Center to share with their families before leaving for home. (Look at those gorgeous hand-bound books!)

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It was a great week! If you know a high school student that has an interest in art, I hope you will share this opportunity with them so they can attend next summer!

Summer 2016 Papermaking Workshops for Kids & Teens

Hi everyone,

I haven’t posted any updates in too long. I intend to change that this summer.

I have great news! I am teaching papermaking workshops for kids and teens ages 7–14 in Starkville, MS this summer. Class size is limited, so pre-register soon to be sure to snag a seat! Each workshop is a 3-day event from 9:00 am–noon, costing each student $100. All materials will be supplied.

Students are encouraged to wear “paint clothes” as these activities can be a little messy! Parents and guardians are also welcome to attend, but are not required.

To give you an idea of what to expect, here’s a video featuring my little buddy Shivank making his first sheet of hand-recycled paper under my instruction.


And now for the dates and workshop projects:

ORGANIC-POSTER-01

PULPPAINTING-POSTER-01

The next workshop is an event for kids and teens that love Christmas so much, that they  would enjoy creating tree ornaments in July! I taught this workshop over 2 years ago while in graduate school and it was a big hit. Visit the old blog post to see those kids at work: https://brittanyspencer.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/kids-paper-pulp-ornaments-workshop-photos/.

ORNAMENTS-POSTER-01

I will also have copies of my self-published children’s book A Girl Finds a Flower featuring my hand-recycled paper illustrations for sale at the workshops for $20. They are also for sale online at Lulu.com and Amazon.com.

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I hope you can join me to create fun, exciting art! Please contact me to pre-register at brittany.liz.spencer@gmail.com.

MSU Summer Arts Camp 2015

Hello world! It has been awhile since I have documented my art and teaching experience on the web. You last heard from me in May as I was wrapping up the spring semester. Summer brought new experiences, visiting friends and family, making new discoveries to improve my health, lots of gluten free cooking, and REST. I also finished buying the supplies I needed to convert my apartment dining room and back porch into a papermaking studio! I will share in future blog posts how I’ve been using my home studio, what my students are doing this fall semester, and more exciting news.

Between June 5th-12th, I volunteered to lead three workshops for Mississippi State University’s art camp for high school students. The camp has been an annual event for three years now for students that are 16-years-old through incoming college freshman. I taught a recycled papermaking workshop, and beginner workshops about Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. Students also learned about photography, graphic design, drawing, ceramics, and sculpting processes from other MSU faculty.

What is great about this event? Young students get to have a hands-on experience with all types of mediums and processes, and decide if art and design has a part in their college future!

Below are examples of what students produced in my workshops, lasting a couple hours each:

ILLUSTRATOR
Students constructed and stylized an animal of their choice in the Adobe software.

by Thomas Kennedy

by Thomas Kennedy

by Sarah Hoing

by Sarah Hoing

by Phillip Merryman

by Phillip Merryman

by Phillip Vosbein

by Phillip Vosbein

by Natalie Blaylock

by Natalie Blaylock

by Mary Preston

by Mary Preston

by Kristen Page Stacy

by Kristen Page Stacy

by Jordan Kirk

by Jordan Kirk

by Jana Hubbard

by Jana Hubbard

by Ivy Williamson

by Ivy Williamson

by Haley Lawrence

by Haley Lawrence

by Caroline Harris

by Caroline Harris

PHOTOSHOP
Students’ goal was to design a non-objective, abstract composition that creates space and interest. They needed to experiment to consider color and value as they worked in the Adobe software.

by Caroline Harris

by Caroline Harris

by Tatum Roper

by Tatum Roper

by Sam Turba

by Sam Turba

by Phillip Merryman

by Phillip Merryman

by Emily Manning

by Emily Manning

by Jordan Kirk

by Jordan Kirk

by Jana Hubbard

by Jana Hubbard

by Haley Green

by Haley Green

 

PAPERMAKING
Each student had the opportunity to make at least two sheets of hand-recycled paper with the supplied paper, leaves, flowers, grass, and dyes to their creative liking.
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If you know a high school student that has an interest in art, I hope you will share this opportunity with them so they can attend next summer!

More to come….

Graduation Day

I am now an official Master of Fine Arts graduate from Louisiana Tech University!  So much has happened since I moved to Ruston, LA three years ago and I have grown so much as an artist and person.  Fellow graduate MC Davis had the best way of describing how I feel about graduate school: “The third year [grad students] in the past warned us we would miss it… it’s super stressful in the moment of things but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Grad school is a very humbling and productive experience. It will fly by. It’s hard, it will make you want to quit and walk away, but the satisfaction of walking away with having completed it is………… there’s not a word for it.”

I had incredible support from the LaTech art/design faculty and friends I made there.  Though I am excited of new changes that are coming as I enter the career world, I will miss the community that I experienced there.  I encourage anyone interested in pursuing their MFA degree to give Louisiana Tech University a look.

All seven of us MFA graduates participated in the graduation ceremony on Saturday.  It was a wonderful moment of celebration in realizing that all of our hard work paid off.  It felt good standing out from the crowd in our big hoods (which are brown….why do MFA graduates get the ugliest color in combination with black?!) and funky sleeves.  We made photos together and said our goodbyes, because who knows when we’ll see each other again?  I will miss them dearly.

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For my next adventure in life– I have been hired at my alma mater Mississippi State University to work as a lecturer, teaching basic design software courses in the art department.  I am so thrilled about this opportunity!  This summer I will be getting settled there, and establish my lesson plans.  I will mainly be interacting with students that are trying out for the graphic design program, so I will completely relate to how they are feeling!  I also hope to find a space to rent so that I can continue papermaking.  I have a dream of having this studio space for people to walk in and purchase items, and also have the chance to learn papermaking.  I would also love to start a business through Etsy.

Today I read an article about actor Jim Carey’s commencement address to some graduates.  He stated, “My father could have been a great comedian, but he didn’t believe that that was possible for him, and so he made a conservative choice. Instead, he got a safe job as an accountant. When I was 12 years old, he was let go from that safe job, and our family had to do whatever we could to survive. I learned many great lessons from my father, not the least of which was that you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance on doing what you love.”  I could not agree more.  I am so glad I followed my heart!

Pulp Party 3

Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to meet Brooke Foy, an Instructor of Art at University of Louisiana at Monroe, which is 30 minutes away from Louisiana Tech University.  We were asked to help judge a middle and high school art exhibition (which was harder than we thought!).  She heard my plea for help making multiples of paper casts, so she brought a car full of her students along one night to learn and help.  Some of them had even tried making paper on their own in the past, but it didn’t quite work out.  They were super focused and were very quick with the process.  It was nice to hear that they knew papermaking would benefit them in future projects and were thankful to spend a night in my studio.  Passing this process onto others is so fulfilling!

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10155920_10152322862755170_4867605418909076468_nVery beautiful pieces of work!

 

 

Pulp Party 2

Another group of undergrads volunteered to help me paper cast a lot of bouncy balls for my installation, and I taught them how to hand-recycle sheets in return!  We had a great time.  One girl that came was not even an art student– she was majoring in theater and biology!  She was interested in the process to consider making her wedding invitations by hand.  They were super helpful and produced beautiful paper art.

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Pulp Party

My biggest project that I will unveil at my MFA Thesis Art Show on April 24th has a bit left of getting done.  I tend to get big ideas, and later realize they are bigger than I initially thought!  For this particular installation, I needed some extra help to move along the process of paper casting.  It’s amazing what five extra pairs of hands can do!  Rosalynne, John, Catlin, Darby, and Lindsey are a few of my former design students that volunteered to spend Saturday with me to help paper cast a lot of bouncy balls, and in return I taught them how to pull sheets of paper.

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Blending white paper scraps with Abaca (banana fiber) to add strength to the paper.

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Draining a lot of the water through a colander so it won’t be completely soppy.

IMG_1712Patting the drained pulp onto the form like clay, and soaking up the excess water with a towel.

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Working away to paper cast ball pit balls.

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558988_10152293856595170_1862830671_n 603586_10152293856870170_979249009_n7002_10152293856460170_2003802350_nOnce these paper casts dried, I applied a second layer of pulp to thicken the casts. Then after they dried once again, I popped the casts off the bouncy balls.

1780068_10152296914970170_362738828_oThe beautiful hand-recycled paper they made!  They colored them with pigments and tissue paper, and experimented with blending screen-printed scraps, food seasoning, and grass into their pulp.

Kids’ Paper Pulp Ornaments Workshop Photos

I am so thankful for the opportunity I had to lead a kids’ papermaking workshop through the North Central Louisiana Arts Council last month.  It was such a success thanks to Matt, Jacob, and Jaime’s help.  We all had a blast!  My friend Jaime was kind to make photos of the action.  (By the way, check out her awesome work: jaimejphotography.com/)  Check back soon for a video!

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