This morning I wandered into the Immigration Museum for Drop 8. The Immigration Museum is in the old Customs House and the building is incredible! There was a school group taking up most of one of the floors, so I went upstairs to the top floor to find a little space in which to drop the books. On the landing on the second floor was a wishing tree, on which you could hang wishes in an ancient Japanese tradition, which was beautiful! So I couldn’t resist leaving one of the Journals on the wishing desk…
Today I also wanted to highlight Ink and Spindle, the local screenprinting business that is responsible for the amazing material that make the unique Sharing Ink Journals covers.
Apart from their beautiful range of prints and their commitment to ethically produced and eco-friendly materials, Lara and Tegan are great believers in community and local artists. When I contacted them about the possibility of being part of Sharing Ink, they leapt at the chance to participate in a local art project.
This is Ink and Spindle’s 10 metre table, where they print all their distinctive and amazing fabrics. If you look closely at this photo, you might recognize the pattern, it can be seen (wholly or partly) on Journal 12, Journal 27, Journal 24, Journal 28, Journal 29, Journal 21, Journal 13, Journal 2, Journal 15, Journal 9 and Journal 10. But as you look on the Journals, you’ll notice the layers and layers of other patterns overprinted across the material. This is because the Sharing ink Journal material is actually material that Ink and Spindle lay down the protect their table from the screen printing process. This makes every Sharing Ink Journal unique, although there are patterns that appear again and again, it’s never the same collection of patterns on any inch of the material.
If you go to the Ink and Spindle website you’ll see all the patterns you’ve noticed on the Journals in all their glory.
I’d like to thank Ink and Spindle for their support, it is their material that gives this project it’s visual continuity and it is their generousness that has helped infuse the loveliness that is such a part of Sharing Ink.
So there’s a thing that’s starting to happen, which I didn’t anticipate but I think it’s kind of wonderful.
It started with Journal 11, when I got it back from it’s Inscriber. When I went to take a photo of the return, the Inscriber said “How about I put the Journal in front of my face?” and promptly did.
I took the photo, although I wasn’t sure that’s what I wanted for the hand back photos, so I also got them to place it on the table and photographed it, ultimately that was the one I used.
Next was the hand back of Journal 2. As you might recall, we went for a pub lunch and after the Inscriber handed the Journal back, I noticed that they hadn’t signed it. Now it’s up to the Inscribers whether they want to sign it or not, but when I asked this Inscriber, they decided that they did want to sign it. So they took it back and I snapped the moment of signing, feeling a bit like I was capturing something important, but not knowing why. I didn’t use the photo, but here it is.
Then just the other day, I went to pick up Journal 10 from it’s Inscriber. They wern’t in the office that day, but they had left it at the front desk for me, the lady there was smiling as she handed it back to me. Again, I forgot to take a photo (what is it about me not photographing Journal 10? How did I fail at that twice?) But I didn’t mention it to the Inscriber, to be honest I didn’t notice that I hadn’t photographed it. But the next day, the Inscriber’s lovely assistant emailed me this photo, without being asked.
How amazing is that? This is clearly a trend with the Inscribers, an interesting one since none of them know who any of the other Inscribers are. Super interesting!
Yesterday afternoon I found myself wandering city lanes and alleyways, looking for the next Inscriber’s office. They had given me the address, which was clear and simple, but finding the laneway that the building was in proved (only a little) bit tricky. But find it I did, one of those beautiful Art Deco buildings hidden in the city which look like a normal storefront until you look up. Next time you’re in the Melbourne CBD, remember to look up! The buildings are (usually) so beautiful. But I digress. So I found the building, and headed up in the lift to the floor. When I entered, the office was warm and cheery and filled with nice people, it made me feel very welcomed. Then the Inscriber came out of their office and joined me on the couch. I handed them their Journal (Journal 10, which you can see here), which they seemed rather thrilled at. It’s a beautiful Journal and specifically matched to it’s Inscriber because of the bird on the front. The Inscriber was very busy, so we only had a couple of minutes to chat and I was very aware not to take up too much time, so I left pretty quickly. It was only back down in the alley that I realised that I hadn’t taken a photo of the handover! Luckily, as I walked down the alley there was quite a lot of paste ups and stencils, including this little sparrow, which matches Journal 10, in a way. So I provide you with this photo instead of the usual one. Because stories with pictures are always nice.
Straight after Journal 10′s Handover, I headed off down some more alleys to another rendevous with an Inscriber, this time for Journal 13. But I am not great at navigating. I’ll happily admit to that. And Smartphone technology, while on the surface seeming to solve all your directional problems, still doesnt help if you’re peering down trying to figure out which way you should turn to follow the map. So you’ll be unsurprised to learn that I got a bit lost. Twice. But getting lost down Melbourne alleys just means you find loads of street art to instagram, so that worked out well. I even found a piece of street haiku, which was lovely. And eventually I found my way to the next Inscriber’s office. Through a warehouse door, up some old stairs and into a brightly lit office with old floor boards and a miriad of people working on computers. This Inscriber was also super busy, they had a deadline looming, so the encounter was quite short, I handed over the Journal, which the Inscriber carefully opened and leafed through, we had a super quick chat and as they put it safely on their desk I exited the building. At least this time I remembered to snap the moment of hand over before I left!
Tuesday was a shorter day at Visible Studios, so only three Journals were sewn.
Journal 9 – Put a Narwhal on it!
Journal 10 – the first to use the new cotton Bakers twine, much softer than the older book binding thread.
Journal 11 features a number of the Ink and Spindle printing credits on it’s front cover in various interesting directions