Published Artwork

I will be writing blog posts in the coming months to make up for the year that I failed to document due to teaching a packed college class schedule in the fall, and sickness in the spring. It was a challenge to do anything more than what was required of me! I look forward to sharing with the world what my students were capable of accomplishing this past school year.

During Fall 2014, I was contacted by a publisher in China called DesignerBooks about the possibility of being included in a paper arts book. After much emailing back and forth, it became a reality. On July 23, 2015 I received an email that my work was officially included and was sent a copy of the published book a couple months later.

My chosen paper art from undergraduate and graduate school was featured in four full spreads with detailed descriptions of my idea and creation process.

It is a beautifully designed book, and I am proud to be included with many of my paper art heroes throughout the world.

Title: Paradise of Paper Art 2: The World of Dance Paper
Dimensions: 1.4 x 8.3 x 11.2 inches
Pages: 400
Color: four-color printing
Paper: Matte paper
Binding: Paperback
Language: English
ISBN-13: 9789881378217
Shipping Weight: 2.3kg (5.1 pounds)

At the moment, it’s available on the Australian book website Booktopia and other Chinese vendors, including DesignerBooks.

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The book

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Book jacket with laser-cut holes & the front cover

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Table of Contents & Biographies (see my ice cream cones on right page)

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Cloud Gazing spread 1

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Cloud Gazing spread 2

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Summer’s Day Treat & Jacks

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Eldritch Forest typeface promotional mailer undergrad project

All of these projects are featured on my portfolio website, brittanyspencer.com.

It’s amazing how the Internet makes our world so much smaller and offers connections we would not make otherwise. I’m grateful that a DesignerBooks representative found my website and offered me this opportunity!

Cloud Gazing Installation Progress Photos

I received so much help casting paper balls.  It seemed like a never-ending endeavor!

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All this hard work was to build my cloud installation entitled Cloud Gazing.  As a child I remember staring at the white, puffy clouds in the sky and making out shapes and figures using my imagination.  This memory was the inspiration for this installation.

Posted below are progress photos that were taken along the way.  So much junk white paper was used to create all the components.  I even took the time to tear off any ink that was on these sheets of paper to avoid any discoloration of the clouds.  Gorilla glue and hot glue held the pieces together.  Various buckets and containers were used as moulds for some forms.  Styrofoam, cardboard, packing tape, and aluminum tubing were also used for certain figures.  Pulp was pressed over glue seams to conceal them.

CASTLE

I spent the most time on the castle cloud.  I envisioned it to be a very large cloud to hang from the ceiling.

IMG_1853b IMG_1981b IMG_1982bAt this point, the cloud was too big to proceed working on it in my studio.  I took it to the campus workshop, flipped it over, and suspended it on wooden sticks to continue adding half-spheres to the bottom. But to my dismay, it was an extremely humid, rainy weekend.  The wet areas of the castle cloud continued to spread to dry areas.  Some friends and I tried to pick it up carefully and move it into another room, but then….IMG_1998b….it fell APART!  I was completely heartbroken.  So much time, effort, and materials went down the drain.  Fortunately, the top half of the castle was salvageable.

IMG_2003bThe next day, I got back to work to recreate a new castle cloud.   This new version was so much sturdier based on my previous experience.  Due to my time constraints in finishing this cloud, the photo below is the only in-progress photo I have of my new-and-improved castle cloud.  It ended up not being as large, but I found it more aesthetically pleasing.

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OCTOPUS

I wanted this component to be really whimsical.  It ended up as a floor piece.  A lot of styrofoam was used for the head and tentacles.

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MERMAID TAIL

My first VHS tape when I was a toddler was The Little Mermaid.  I was OBSESSED.  I watched it way too much on a daily basis.  The little girl in me had to have a mermaid tail component.  A lot of styrofoam was used for it, as well.  It also became a floor piece.

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I used the side of a ruler to press fish scale lines into the body of the tail.IMG_1984b

AIRPLANE

For the guys, I decided to make an airplane cloud.  I found a styrofoam airplane flyer in the toy aisle, and it was the perfect size.

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LION HEAD

I wanted a scary component to mix things up.  I intended it to be a lion, but I’ve also heard it called a bear and a monster, which is totally cool!  That’s how cloud gazing works, right?  To start it off, I had to create a pretty complex mould for the face.  An Iron Man mask was a fantastic base.  Then I used styrofoam and duct tape to make it more lion-like.  I envisioned for the head to turn into the edge of a cloud.

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Wet pulp.IMG_1743b IMG_1744b IMG_1985b

Roar!IMG_2007b

CLOUD CLUSTERS

The half-sphere paper casts were hot glued together, and Great Stuff insulation spray was used to fill in the gaps. Pulp was eventually applied to cover up the foam.  These were to hang directly on the wall.

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My next post will be photos of the final installation and the rest of my work in the MFA thesis show!

Transportation Set

I have many ideas for art pieces that are gender neutral, and some that will apply more specifically to girls’ childhood.  I felt I needed something that guys could relate to.  My younger brothers had SO MANY toy cars, trucks, helicopters, etc., and I imagine other boys did, too.  I used three transportation pieces for a gift and felt they turned out so well, I could make my own for my thesis work.  I found a race car and airplane to add to my set.

I drew off with pencil how I wanted to apply the pulp.

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Here they are dried!  I used a bit more pigment than usual to see if that helped the color from dulling as it dried.  It was a bit messier to do since the pulp didn’t want to soak up all the pigment, but it did make a big difference!

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UPDATE:  After I got back from Christmas break, I went back with acrylic paint in the areas that I couldn’t apply paper pulp.  I also added in some tiny details.

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Bailee has it rough being my studio helper 🙂

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I hope everyone has a restful, fun and turkey-filled Thanksgiving!

UPDATE:  Exciting new additions to this piece to turn it into a wall hanging will come later this school year!  Stay tuned…

Paper Gifts

I’ve made a series of gifts lately in celebration of children’s birthdays and a college friend’s wedding.  I thought I’d share them with you.  It’s been nice to make paper art outside of my thesis work, because it allows me to think about ways to make my art differently and discover some new techniques that I may not have thought of doing before.  I played with gluing paper collage, paper collage and object embedment, a little pulp painting, and pulp casting onto other objects.

The following gifts are for the kids I babysat last summer.

For Presli, 4 years old:

IMG_1014 IMG_1015 IMG_1019IMG_1301IMG_1226For Paxtin, 1 year old:

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Left wall piece is for Presli.  Right wall piece is for Paxtin.

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And this piece is a wedding gift for my friends Kaiti & Michael.  They were married this past weekend and used leaves for decoration, so I thought this would be appropriate for them.  Yes, these are real leaves I hand-picked off trees 🙂  I used an x-acto knife to cut L-O-V-E out of the leaves.

IMG_1271 IMG_1272 IMG_1303 IMG_1304It looks like most of the color is going to stay!  Yay!

I haven’t given any of them their gifts yet, so don’t tell them!  It’s a surprise 🙂

My First 3D Paper Forms

A goal for my final year of graduate school work is to pursue 3D forms along with my 2D forms.  Paper casting is pressing blended pulp onto a mold that will dry and take its shape.  Paper sculpting is the art of folding or bending sheets of paper into a shape.  For my first 3D piece, I needed to use both methods.

What child hasn’t experienced their tasty ice cream cone falling to the ground?  It’s such a sad disappointment!  Don’t us adults wish that our problems were as simple as ruined ice cream cones?

For my molds, I found cone-shaped floral foams for the cones and a tiny mesh colander for the ice cream scoops.  I blended vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, cherry, and waffle cone pulp colors.

IMG_1112To make the ice cream scoops, I pressed pulp on the inside and around the outer edge of the tiny colander.

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IMG_1115The pieces dried separately…

IMG_1124…and I placed them together and added pulp into the crease to make it appear as one form.

IMG_1125I made the waffle cone sheets, but felt they needed the waffle cone pattern.  With a metal ruler and bone folder, I simulated the crease marks.

IMG_1132IMG_1133Next I used spray mount and wrapped the sheets around the cone molds.  To secure the sheets while they dried overnight, I added rubber bands.

IMG_1136Then with the “strawberry pulp”, I added a spill effect to the scoop paper form.

IMG_1139Next I worked on the cherry.  The cherry ball is essentially balled up pulp, and I pressed pulp around a thin wire for the stem.  The wire extended through the cherry so I could poke it through the chocolate scoop to hold it together.

IMG_1140I added some strawberry drips, and took it to show my directed study professor, Nicole Duet.  We agreed the strawberry cone was much more lifelike, and the chocolate/vanilla was too “perfect”.  Kids’ ice cream cones aren’t perfect….they’re deliciously messy!  Also, the cherry colors weren’t “cherry” enough once the pulp dried, so she suggested painting them with watered-down red and brown acrylic paint.

IMG_1142TA-DA!

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IMG_1222My next 3D project….the game “jacks”!