Junkmail Journal Workshop – Deborah Giles

April 26 & 27, Friday, 6-9 pm, Saturday 9:30-4:30 pm
Workshop fee $25, lunch provided. Some supplies required. Non member fee is $75

Location: Orange Hub,
10045 156 St NW, Edmonton

Registration is now open here

Finding inspiration for our creative practices can occasionally be a challenge. Working outside our usual creative process and outside our usual medium can be very freeing. Working in a different medium with a serendipitous creative process will give us access to fresh ideas that can in turn inform and influence our usual creative practices. Using recycled materials to create this journal provides a no-risk environment to experiment and to push through a serendipitous creative process to see what we can learn and see where it leads.

What will participants do/learn?

-start a small creative journal made of recycled materials
-learn some art journalling/mixed media/altered art techniques to use in the journal
-learn and enjoy a serendipitous creative process.

Why would fibre artists want to work on a paper-based creativity journal?

  • Finding inspiration and motivation for our creative practices can occasionally be a challenge. Working outside our usual creative process and outside our usual medium can be very freeing.
  • Designing and creating in an accessible alternate medium will give us different results than designing in our usual medium and/or process; following this alternate process will give us some study pieces we can take back and adapt to our usual medium.
  • This is a no-risk, no-commitment experiment in colour and creativity that is rewarding and satisfying in itself. Using recycled materials to create this journal eliminates our reluctance to waste expensive materials and provides a low-risk environment in which to experiment
  • It’s good for us to occasionally take a creative leap into a different pool just to see what happens.
  • Sometimes in our chosen medium we have high expectations of our design ideas and technical execution; in this creative journal we can relax and enjoy a serendipitous process in which we follow the process to see what the result might be without trying to control the end result too much. We don’t even have to “finish” anything to benefit from the experimentation.

About Deborah Giles of Edmonton AB

My background is in quilting although I started my journey of hand-making at six years of age with that ubiquitous gateway drug of creativity — knitting. A few years later I expanded my repertoire to include garment sewing. Both of these skills were taught to me by my mother with a significant caveat. She said something like: “I will teach you this if you want. I know how to do it but I don’t like doing it and I’m not good at it so you can probably find a better teacher.” Convenience won and she taught me all I needed to know to get going. That start really fed the beast because over the years there has been nothing handmade that I haven’t wanted to learn how to make.

When I was pregnant with my first baby I must have been feeling quite domestic because I wanted to learn how quilts are made. I took a weekend class at Earthly Goods Quilting in Edmonton and the rest is history. It turns out I like the quilting part of quilt-making a lot more than the piecing and I have served many clients as a professional long-arm quilter.

After making a cabinet full of traditional quilts, I met some art quilters at a guild in Vernon BC. This opened a whole new realm of quilty fibre-based art. I have also expanded into fabric dyeing and surface design using different techniques and colour mediums that work on fabric. In my experiments with fabric painting I looked at a lot of mixed media artists and art journallers to find paper-based techniques I could adapt to painting on fabric. I learned a lot though this experimentation but I also was very curious to also try the paper-based techniques on paper.

Through this experimentation I found the current serendipitous process I use on paper to do my “art journalling” (or whatever label might be most appropriate for what I do). I love the freedom of using serendipity to create and I love the freedom of splashing old paints around on junk paper that we can upcycle from a destiny in the recycling bin to a higher calling of life in a creative journal.