Thursday, February 20, 2014

Moving into my new studio:
building my new table

I've just moved into a new home studio space, and I needed a new, bigger table to work on new, bigger papercuts. Luckily, I know someone who is a talented craftsman and – more importantly – was willing to help me make a table from scratch.

Seriously – we bought lumber and everything.

This was a first for me – I cut paper, but usually not wood. Alan helped me plan what the table would look like based on what I needed it to do – and we started by buying a 4' x 8' sheet of plywood, oak  for the edges, and all sorts of other stuff. He, of course, had all the tools we'd need.

Like this power saw. Yeah, he did a lot of the work – but showed me how to use some great tools, and taught me a lot about quality woodworking. Alan? Definition of the master woodworking perfectionist – no detail too small to be done exactly right. Once we had the board the right size, we added oak edges and drilled for the legs.

In this photo of the underside of the table you can see the pocket holes Alan made with a big, heavy machine made specifically for the purpose – that's how we attached the edges without having any holes in the exterior; it's all hidden underneath.

I'm drilling holes for the legs, which are made to adjust from about 30" to 40" – allowing my plenty of flexibility as I determine the height at which I want to work... and allowing me to change my mind if I wish. Perhaps I'll like cutting at one height, and assembling backgrounds at another... who knows?

The top of the table is a laminate which we glued and rolled on – the trickiest part of the process. Alan and I were glad we got the top on with no bubbles, no bumps, no problems at all. I won't be cutting on the surface – that's what cutting matts are for – but it's a great durable white surface that's easy to clean.

The finished table is 3' x 6', and it looks great in my new studio.

Thanks to Alan, I couldn't be happier with my new table (and my new space) – now I've just got to get the last of my shelving in, put up some track lights, and it'll be the perfect studio.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Super Heroes, Holy Land:
"Fantastic City"

I cut this papercut as a navigable map of the Old City of Jerusalem showing its four quarters and major thoroughfares. My favorite route to the Wall is on here (from the Jaffa Gate, through the Armenian Quarter), and I'm sure you'll find your way as well.

Each of the quarters is represented by a member of the Fantastic Four: The Thing for the Jewish Quarter, Mr. Fantastic for the Christian, the Invisible Woman for the Armenian, and the Human Torch for the Muslim. The Temple Mount is backed with academic texts on these religious traditions.

There are pieces of Israeli comics in it as well – including a bit with the Hebrew for "amen" at the site of the Western Wall.

This papercut includes:

Fantastic Four #17 [trade book] (Aug 1963), #248 (Nov 1982), Annual #18 (1984), #265 (Apr 1984), #272 (Nov 1984), #296 (Nov 1986), #297 (Dec 1986), #300 (Mar 1987), #314 (May 1988), #354 (Jul 1991), #410 (Mar 1996), #542 (Jan 2007)
Fantastic Four: Flesh and Stone (2001)
Fantastic Four 2099 #6 (Jun 1990)
The Last Fantastic Four Story #1 (Oct 2007)
Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #34 (May 2008)
Silent War #1 (Mar 2007)
The Thing #22 (Apr 1985)

Ultimate Fantastic Four #4 (May 2004), #10 (Oct 2004), #42 (Jul 2007)
Life World Library: Israel. Time Incorporated, New York (1965).
Sacred Books of the World. A.C. Bouquet. Penguin Books, London (1954).
"Fantastic City" is in my current show in Los Angeles, "Super Heroes, Holy Land" – in which all of the papercuts are inspired by my recent family trip to Israel. This one is already sold, but there are still pieces available for purchase.