Laser Cutting in Massachusetts

As mentioned in a previous post, I collaborated with FreeFall Laser located in the Berkshires of Western Massachusetts for the cover page of Surveillance—my tunnel book project. 

Sarah Pike of FreeFall Laser was great to work with and efficient as she typically focuses on each specific customer with a personalized service. 

Our initial communication started with a brief consultation by email describing the project from which Sarah asked for samples of the page with printed images on the exact substrate chosen for material testing.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Inside my artists’ book  Surveillance —a mock-up.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Inside my artists’ book Surveillance—a mock-up.

My images for this project were reproduced on Moab Entrada Rag Bright paper. This is a double-sided archival acid and lignin-free, 100% cotton fine art paper. My question was “would this fibrous paper be a problem for the CO2 laser cutter”?

Double sided images need to be precisely registered for the desired effect to be successful. After figuring out the perfect registration, I sent a package with ten double-sided printed copies, hoping no difficulties would arise during the laser-cutting process.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Consulting with Sarah Pike for the cover of  Surveillance  FreeFall Laser in Massachusetts.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Consulting with Sarah Pike for the cover of Surveillance FreeFall Laser in Massachusetts.

When the work for Surveillance was completed, I promptly decided that picking up the work directly from the studio would naturally give me the unique chance to socially meet with Sarah in person. The plan for the first phase of my journey was to visit FreeFall Laser after I crossed back into the US following my two month stay in Canada. 

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah Pike showing me around FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah Pike showing me around FreeFall Laser.

Sarah’s approach combines artistic experimentation with technological experience to create exceptional work for fine artists, designers, conservators, bookbinders, artisans, woodworkers, and museums. It was a tremendous experience to see Sarah’s studio and her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s studio and her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s studio and her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

I was so excited when I picked up my precision cut covers that we discussed the distinct possibility of laser-cutting the binding for my creative project. I could not fathom cutting the exact holes for the electronics and faux camera another 8 times through binders board. What a life saver!

Visiting FreeFall Laser provided me the opportunity to observe some of Sarah’s own art work—what a treat! A lot of her art work is laser cut marquetry in wood veneer. Sarah also designed a beautiful sample book to demonstrate her CO2 laser cutter capabilities.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s sample book demonstrating the capabilities of her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s sample book demonstrating the capabilities of her state-of-the-art CO2 laser cutter.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s art work using laser cut marquetry in wood veneer.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Sarah’s art work using laser cut marquetry in wood veneer.

On my initial contact with Sarah, with due diligence, I wanted to view some samples of artists’ books or bindings created with the help of FreeFall Laser. 

© 2019 Sarah Pike. Laser cutting of the   The Radiant Republic   by  Sarah Bryant  at FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Sarah Pike. Laser cutting of the The Radiant Republic by Sarah Bryant at FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Sarah Pike. Laser cutting of the   The Radiant Republic   by  Sarah Bryant  at FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Sarah Pike. Laser cutting of the The Radiant Republic by Sarah Bryant at FreeFall Laser.

© 2019 Sarah Bryant.   The Radiant Republic   by  Sarah Bryant , built entirely out of language found in Plato’s Republic and Le Corbusier’s The Radiant City.

© 2019 Sarah Bryant. The Radiant Republic by Sarah Bryant, built entirely out of language found in Plato’s Republic and Le Corbusier’s The Radiant City.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux.   Reason Belief Truth   by  Thomas Parker Williams , binding, French split goat skin, laser-cut binder's boards; edition of 12.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Reason Belief Truth by Thomas Parker Williams, binding, French split goat skin, laser-cut binder's boards; edition of 12.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux.   Reason Belief Truth   by  Thomas Parker Williams ; laser cut painted with ink and watercolor; letterpress printing (hand-set type, polymer plates) by Mary Agnes Williams; marbled paper.

© 2019 Louise Levergneux. Reason Belief Truth by Thomas Parker Williams; laser cut painted with ink and watercolor; letterpress printing (hand-set type, polymer plates) by Mary Agnes Williams; marbled paper.

Wynn Bullock images © 2019 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved .  Wynn Bullock:  Relativity: Wynn Bullock and Albert Einstein , edition of 15; published by 21st Editions; binding by Peter Geraty and Julia Rabin with production assistance by Tim Faner.

Wynn Bullock images © 2019 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved. Wynn Bullock: Relativity: Wynn Bullock and Albert Einstein, edition of 15; published by 21st Editions; binding by Peter Geraty and Julia Rabin with production assistance by Tim Faner.

Wynn Bullock images © 2019 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved. Wynn Bullock:   Relativity  , 9 bound and 9 loose, platinum estate prints, 1 signed vintage silver print.

Wynn Bullock images © 2019 Bullock Family Photography LLC. All rights reserved. Wynn Bullock: Relativity, 9 bound and 9 loose, platinum estate prints, 1 signed vintage silver print.

I was content to get back to work, after my informative conversation with Sarah. Next phase—prepare the boards by covering them with Canapetta bookcloth, measure all the positions of the holes... so Sarah could make my vision a reality...

Phoenix Book Placement

Last week was intense! My thoughts are to stop the madness and start creating, publishing and have fun with photos, I took way back when... Before the face the sand event!

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Coachella Valley, Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, California

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Coachella Valley, Thousand Palms Oasis Preserve, California

Snapping photos during physical therapy for my alphabet book gets me excited about working and thinking about the content and title. With a high strain sprain, I’m also taking time to enjoy and study my Sony camera with all its features. Content to learn something every day but it’s absorbing the info that is a process.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Heiden Orthopedics, Salt Lake City, Utah

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Heiden Orthopedics, Salt Lake City, Utah

On the administration side of the studio, while passing through Phoenix, I contacted the Rare Books and Manuscripts Department of the Arizona State University Library. The result of my conversations represents the placement of two artist's books in the Book Arts Collection. The collection contains books with unusual formats about fine printing, binding, and handmade papers, it also includes pop-up books.

With this acquisition, the complete edition of Entre deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered deux and Guadalupe are sold out. Both artists’ books are in great company, I discovered After Image: Colour at play by Barbara Hodgson & Claudia Cohen is part of the collection and The Blame Game: Winning Excuses and Strategies on and off the Court by Carolyn Shattuck. 

Entre deux is an interactive documentary inviting the reader to take part in a simple meal with a couple whiles being privy to their conversation on the subject of love. deux is an interactive documentary inviting the reader to take part in a simple meal with a couple whiles being privy to their conversation on the subject of love. 

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

Guadalupe was created after exploring Santa Fe, New Mexico, I created a documentary on the Virgin Mary, an image that saturates the entire city in different formats, sizes, and styles.

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, Guadelupe

I have another three weeks in Salt Lake City and looking forward to positive answers to studio visits as hiking the wonderful Wasatch Mountains is out of the question.

Little Things with Great Love

During my stay in Desert Hot Springs, California, I met Cathy Greenblat, Writer, Sociologist, and Photographer, through my husband’s work and game-based learning.

Since 2001, Cathy has been working to change the imagery of aging, illness and dying by combining her background as a Professor of Sociology with her photography.

Cathy’s body of work began at a municipal old age home in Mexico after she left her tenured full professorship to focus on work combining photographs and text. 

© 2004 Cathy Greenblat,  Mrs Morimoto Singing ,   Japan

© 2004 Cathy Greenblat, Mrs Morimoto Singing, Japan

I believe this to be the most effective vehicle to open people’s eyes, literally and figuratively, providing a better way to help them “face” issues that are generally avoided. Since then I have directed my energies to the creation of photographic projects that challenge stereotypical conceptions of the aged, the infirm, and those in the terminal stages of life.
© 2008 Cathy Greenblat,  Benedicte Snoezelen , USA

© 2008 Cathy Greenblat, Benedicte Snoezelen, USA

I then documented a person-centered approach to Alzheimer’s care in the United States; those photographs and text appeared as a book in 2004, Alive with Alzheimer’s (University of Chicago Press). The German edition (Alzheimers und Lebensqualitat) was published in 2006 in conjunction with a three-year traveling exhibition in Germany. In recognition of that work, the University of Houston College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences awarded me the 2007 John P. McGovern Lectureship in Family, Health, and Human Values.
© 2008 Cathy Greenblat,  "Can we use your ball?" , India

© 2008 Cathy Greenblat, "Can we use your ball?", India

Cathy has continued to photograph Alzheimer's care in the USA, in France, India, Japan, and the Dominican Republic. These photographs were presented in exhibits and are now offered in her book, Love, Loss and Laughter: Seeing Alzheimer's Differently (Globe Pequot, 2012).

© 2007 Cathy Greenblat,  Rolland & his daughter at Kate's music group ,   USA

© 2007 Cathy Greenblat, Rolland & his daughter at Kate's music group, USA

In both forms, they offer an additional challenge to stereotypes about Alzheimer’s disease. They show that while the losses created by degenerative brain disease are real, people with Alzheimer’s are not, as they are often depicted,  “empty shells”, completely lost. The photos show what quality healthcare looks like, and illustrate that such care allows people with Alzheimer’s disease to sustain connections to others and to their own past lives at a far higher level than is generally believed to be possible. The photographs reveal that they are capable of experiencing joy as well as sorrow, that loving care can yield loving responses and laughter.
© 2008 Cathy Greenblat, Jacqueline laughing, France

© 2008 Cathy Greenblat, Jacqueline laughing, France

My other project, undertaken between 2005 and 2008 focuses on end of life care. Exhibits from that project have been titled Alive at the End of Life, or Little Things with Great Love. The latter title comes from a statement by Mother Theresa "We cannot do great things, only little things with great love." This project is meant to provide insight into the ways the experience of dying can be enriched, both emotionally and intellectually, for the person who is dying and for those attached to him or her. We cannot do “the one great thing”, eliminate death, but I hope to show the important little things that are being done with great love by those who are engaged in the reconceptualization and reconstruction of the dying process. 
© 2008 Cathy Greenblat,  Judge Pratt and his friend John Wayne , USA

© 2008 Cathy Greenblat, Judge Pratt and his friend John Wayne, USA

As I have spoken with people with dementia, with cancer, and with AIDS and with their family members, I have seen how little prepared most of us are in terms of knowing what to do when death approaches, even when it has been coming on for some time due to a chronic illness. It is rare for people to make advance visits to places where palliative and end of life care is offered. If they visit at all, it is when someone is in need of immediate help, and then they are often so emotionally burdened that they are unable to observe and judge the quality of the services offered. I believe that my projects can help convey new information and insight to viewers not (yet) under such stress.
© 2008 Cathy Greenblat,  "It's a DOG!!!" , USA

© 2008 Cathy Greenblat, "It's a DOG!!!", USA

The photographs and accompanying text provide a symbolic journey through the dying process via the representation of everyday people whose lives and deaths have been eased by the best of programs. Because of the obstacles to overcome in viewing death, I believe that still photography is a better medium for this endeavor than is film; people need time to stop and reflect on the images, to deal with their emotions and thoughts at their own pace.  
Much still remains to be done to increase both public awareness of the issues and to provide healthcare professionals with knowledge and training in dementia care and end of life care. I believe that photography can be an important tool in creating a new vision of what can be, of how to meet the growing need for quality care.  
© 2008 Cathy Greeblat,  Going home after the Memory Clinic session , France

© 2008 Cathy Greeblat, Going home after the Memory Clinic session, France

Professor Greenblat has been selected to have her work archived at the Bienecke Library at Yale University. It will be accessible in the Women in Photography International Archive, Western Americana Collection, and Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library/Yale University.

Thank you Cathy for such wonderful and candid photos!

Happy Easter!

Easter, the celebration of the resurrection. For me, this spring equinox is the season in which we witness new beginnings. The first light is a reminder that we are still alive and ready to breath-in new challenges and happenings. As artists what will become of our imaginations? What will emerge from our skills?

I rarely wake-up early enough to see daybreak. When we lived in South Jordan, Utah, I once chauffeured my husband to the airport, a rare occasion I caught sight of a glorious pink and blue sky before 6 am. The experience brought to fruition two artists’ book one entitled Ouest/West the other 6:45 both in a flip book format.

© 2011 Louise Levergneux, Ouest/West

© 2011 Louise Levergneux, Ouest/West

© 2011 Louise Levergneux, Ouest/West

© 2011 Louise Levergneux, Ouest/West

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, 6:45

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, 6:45

Art is presumably the sole reason I get up early. In Texas, a public art piece stimulated me to photograph its lit cylinders as the sun barely risen, kissed the horizon.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Marfa, Texas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Marfa, Texas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Marfa, Texas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Marfa, Texas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Marfa, Texas

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Marfa, Texas

In Arizona, it’s the intensity of the sun first thing in the morning that inspired me to photograph these photos. I also had a second reason, a request from a fellow reader for photographs of sunrises after my March 4th blog post on sunsets.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Gila Bend, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Gila Bend, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Gila Bend, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Gila Bend, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Gila Bend, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, sunrise in Gila Bend, Arizona

Happy Easter to all you artists, studios, and presses.

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, San Marcos Date Farm, Desert Hot Springs, California

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, San Marcos Date Farm, Desert Hot Springs, California

Numerous Hats

I’ve been wearing my arts management hat this week. An assistant to deal with the field that concerns business operations around my art world would be nice. Even on the road, one has to facilitate the day-to-day operations of one’s own organization — the finances, the sales, the invoices, the inventory, the databases, the acquisition of materials, the marketing...

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Heads 2014 by  Jun Kaneko  at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Heads 2014 by Jun Kaneko at the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, Arizona

I deal with administration and create policies. But, who fulfills the mission? Most artists work on their own since finances do not allow us to hire staff. We need to understand all business units of a working organization. I've often felt I should fire one of my hats and hire another, better equipped to do the job. But reality presents itself at every turn, and I must deal with the whole shebang!

The teamwork, the creative leadership, and the dynamic process of reflection all lie on my shoulders. Oh! What fun when Income Tax returns are due in 21 days. 

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, a bird making its nest in a Saguaro, San Xavier Mission, Tucson, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, a bird making its nest in a Saguaro, San Xavier Mission, Tucson, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, a rabbit looking on in Congress, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, a rabbit looking on in Congress, Arizona

I prefer to produce than execute administrivia, I’m adept at it, but that is not my labor of love in life. 

At the moment, I am constrained by the living space and suffering from a sprained ankle. These create disquietness, and I can only dream of hiking and photographing cacti in the Sonoran Desert or standing at a workstation swearing at glue that is running amuck. But for the next week, Income Tax and database reorganization are my future.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, a Geico resting at the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, a Geico resting at the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend, Arizona

In the meantime, the early mornings are where I dream of new artists’ books. I would welcome the opportunity to visit another studio — I’m in Phoenix, where are you?

What strategies do you pursue to maintain your creative process through the many hats you must wear in a day?

How do you implement these strategies?

What gets your mojo motived?

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, driving through the Sonoran Desert

Documentation

It’s been two weeks since my last post. My friend, Flavie Beaudet, visited us in Arizona and her companionship took precedence over everything else. We enjoyed six days of sun and warmth in Sedona and Gila Bend—what a treat! As artists, art is never far from the conversation, and documenting what we witness is strong.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, cactus at the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, cactus at the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend

I brought my studio outside once again as I absorbed my surroundings with an unconventional eye. As a lover of landscapes, I could finally share with a friend from back home what I perceived in this astonishing—stupéfiant environment.

Textures and colours of Arizona suited Flavie’s fierce sense of design. In the past, Moroccan patterns have influenced her creations.

© 2017 Flavie Beaudet, first layer for a tabletop design

© 2017 Flavie Beaudet, first layer for a tabletop design

© 2017 Flavie Beaudet, the second layer for a tabletop design

© 2017 Flavie Beaudet, the second layer for a tabletop design

© 2017 Flavie Beaudet, several layers later, the finished tabletop

© 2017 Flavie Beaudet, several layers later, the finished tabletop

© 2017 Flavie Beaudet, another Moroccan inspired tabletop

© 2017 Flavie Beaudet, another Moroccan inspired tabletop

We soon watched out for each other's obsessions. This past week, I was fixated on the sky with its fabulous clouds. More on that later.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Phoenix sky

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Phoenix sky

Flavie photographed motifs nature gifted within cacti, trees, desert plants, shadows, hay...

There were rocks to photograph...

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, rocks at Gila Bend KOA Camping site

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, rocks at Gila Bend KOA Camping site

... then there were rocks.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend

Since my camera was always in hand, I recorded Flavie documenting patterns. I’m looking forward to seeing what will become of this photographic archive of Arizona.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, on the way to document the desert

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, on the way to document the desert

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Flavie documenting at the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Flavie documenting at the Painted Rock Petroglyph Site, Gila Bend

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Flavie stealing a shot of the Solana Generating Station near Gila Bend

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Flavie stealing a shot of the Solana Generating Station near Gila Bend

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Flavie photographing hay on Citrus Valley Rd near Gila Bend

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Flavie photographing hay on Citrus Valley Rd near Gila Bend

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Flavie photographing and enjoying an architect's work at Taliesin West, Phoenix

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Flavie photographing and enjoying an architect's work at Taliesin West, Phoenix

We all document our thoughts and ideas in different ways, what is your process? I would love to hear.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, un bis pour toi

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, un bis pour toi