Merrickville, Ontario, Part 1

The historic village of Merrickville, Ontario, remains a fantastic place to meet and invariably greet artists of different media. Every summer, I typically travel the hour-long route from Ottawa/Gatineau to view some favourite galleries. This is a feast for the eyes trip. Next year, I would like to visit studios that participate in the Artists Tour at the end of September. For over 30 years the Merrickville Artists’ Guild Autumn Studio Tour provides thousands of art lovers a peek into the creative worlds of artists in and around Merrickville.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Monsky Creations Art Gallery

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Monsky Creations Art Gallery

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Monsky Creations Art Gallery

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Monsky Creations Art Gallery

During our stay, serendipitously through a valuable introduction by my husband, I visited the Monsky Creations Art Gallery which exclusively features the work of multi-disciplined artist Monica Viola. Monica works in clay, glass, painting, and fabric; one-of-a-kind art that is beautiful and intriguing. The mention of glass work and I’m there!

Over the last few years, Monica has become an international artist whose unique and highly collectable works can be found all over the world.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Floating Butterflies, fused glass by Monica Viola

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Floating Butterflies, fused glass by Monica Viola

 © 2018 David Viola, Twiga, fused glass by Monica Viola

© 2018 David Viola, Twiga, fused glass by Monica Viola

 © 2018 David Viola, ceramic by Monica Viola

© 2018 David Viola, ceramic by Monica Viola

 © 2018 David Viola, fused glass (20” x 7” x 1.5”) by Monica Viola

© 2018 David Viola, fused glass (20” x 7” x 1.5”) by Monica Viola

 © 2018 David Viola, fused glass platter (20” x 7” x 1.5”) by Monica Viola

© 2018 David Viola, fused glass platter (20” x 7” x 1.5”) by Monica Viola

 © 2018 David Viola, ceramic serving platter by Monica Viola

© 2018 David Viola, ceramic serving platter by Monica Viola

 © 2018 David Viola, Gazelle Platter, clay (4” x 21” x 6”) by Monica Viola

© 2018 David Viola, Gazelle Platter, clay (4” x 21” x 6”) by Monica Viola

 © 2018 David Viola, clay, Windtalker by Monica Viola

© 2018 David Viola, clay, Windtalker by Monica Viola

Found Objects

Back on the road and intentionally trying to write as fast as I can. It’s challenging to get back into my work after such an extended holiday. I’ve heartily enjoyed the continuous presence of family and friends back home in Canada since the beginning of August. Now we are going South to warm up. Furthermore, it's time to get back into creating artists’ books. As I travel, the one thing that keeps catching my eyes are trees with their texture and shape.

 © 2017 Louise Levergneux, Palm trees

© 2017 Louise Levergneux, Palm trees

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sedona, Arizona. trees give me hope and comfort

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Sedona, Arizona. trees give me hope and comfort

During studio visits, I connected with two artists who have in common an affinity for using driftwood, roots, and other natural elements in their art-work.

For my first blog post after a lengthy break, I bring the work of Marnie Powers-Torrey from Salt Lake City and Judith Serling-Sturm from Cincinnati.

Marnie’s work in progress—a series of boxes—its working title Archive of Now is without a declared finish date.

Marnie talks of Archive of Now:

 © 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

© 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

Maybe, I’ll consider it done when I complete a concurrent project Roadside Attractions. The paper wrappers for the boxes are printed as palimpsests of the process of printing Roadside Attractions. The plates are relief-printed collagraphs {roadside found objects mounted type high for letterpress}. Simultaneously printing projects from the same matrixes is a matter of efficiency—a necessity in our culture {the digital age} when my research relies on obsolete {slow} processes.

The roadside objects were sought like shells by a beachcomber during walks of all sorts—meditative, hurried, purposeful, lackluster—all otherwise uneventful. Initially, I had no intended plan for this rubbish. I was compelled to pick up the pieces and save them like prizes. These found pieces of the industrialized puzzle were mysteriously captivating to me, not being particularly mechanically minded. I had no recollection of many of these scraps of things—what their initial purpose was. Others, I recognized after considering for a time, and some immediately know. All were realizations of human being’s incredible and lasting ingenuity.

 © 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

© 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

 © 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

© 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

At the same time {for the past few years and now}, I began collecting sage root balls after the county cleared a new cross-country ski track and hiking trails in the open space near my home. I am enthralled with the new trails and walk them nearly every day. Still disturbed by the disruption, the annihilation of this slow-growing and remarkably hearty desert dweller. Sage is long-living—an icon of wisdom and progenitor of healing. Sagebrush’s dry wit is also a fuel source for wildfires. These root junctures are thus both castaways and wellsprings, harbingers and scepters.

 © 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

© 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

I’ve always collected things since I was very young. First rocks and then pottery shards. Also, erasers and soaps. The calling to gather, to preserve, and to keep has stayed with me. The driftwood, bones, rocks, and other organic souvenirs are memorialized and archived in these boxes. Presenting the found natural objects in this manner allows us to refocus on the micro, to recontextualize the beauty of these nothings that would otherwise continue to naturally decay in the natural environment. The still beauty of nature’s readymades is engulfed by the bits of manmade machinery meant for motion. Each naturally occurring object gains an aura, surrounded by the impressions made from objects shaped from raw materials by man. Both nature’s and human’s byproducts are talismans to hold tightly into the uncertain future.

 © 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

© 2018 Marnie Powers-Torrey, Archive of Now

Some boxes hold typed text while others are purely visual. The text is serendipitous meditations—translations that come to mind as I handle and contain each object. I am reticent to include text in all boxes as I’d like the viewer to discover personals effigies. I hope the text that I do include provides permission to follow our visual intuition when looking and excavating meaning. I invite the viewer to appreciate the beauty of these objects for what they are while also imagining what their shapes and presence suggest.


 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, found objects in Judith Serling-Sturm’s studio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, found objects in Judith Serling-Sturm’s studio

Judith explains some of the pieces of driftwood and bark that she has collected and how they will be integrated in artists’ books in the future.

Frequently, I am drawn to a piece by its texture; the vertical striations of a honeysuckle branch, the knobbed shingles of persimmon bark, the smoothness of a knotty branch lapped by years of slapping waves. Other time the shape invites me.

 © 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, I discovered this unique piece on a hike shortly after reading Walt Whitman—for me it evokes the free celebration of self, body, and soul—and one of these days, when I have no pressing duties, I will incorporate this piece into a fan book...

© 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, I discovered this unique piece on a hike shortly after reading Walt Whitman—for me it evokes the free celebration of self, body, and soul—and one of these days, when I have no pressing duties, I will incorporate this piece into a fan book...

 © 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, I uncovered this piece of wood by a construction site... it just looked up at me, the bent rusted nail a tear seeping from the knot of an eye—and there is so much to cry about these days... it will undoubtedly become a cover for an artist book.

© 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, I uncovered this piece of wood by a construction site... it just looked up at me, the bent rusted nail a tear seeping from the knot of an eye—and there is so much to cry about these days... it will undoubtedly become a cover for an artist book.

 © 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, this palm bark, another form that speaks to me with its female form... one of my many long-term projects is one about ‘Home’ after moving so many times. For several years I have interviewed people to learn what they mean when they talk about ‘home.’ This unfinished piece refers to my immigrant grandparents and my grandfather’s assertion that, as Edward Sharpe says,  Home is wherever I’m with her .

© 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, this palm bark, another form that speaks to me with its female form... one of my many long-term projects is one about ‘Home’ after moving so many times. For several years I have interviewed people to learn what they mean when they talk about ‘home.’ This unfinished piece refers to my immigrant grandparents and my grandfather’s assertion that, as Edward Sharpe says, Home is wherever I’m with her.

 © 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, this is an artist book with a nest and a condom wrapper woven into it! How can it not be an artist book about the naturalness of using contraception?

© 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, this is an artist book with a nest and a condom wrapper woven into it! How can it not be an artist book about the naturalness of using contraception?

 © 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, when I found this stick, I immediately began thinking about how all creatures leave their mark in the world, how we create and at the same time possibly destroy as we strive for a meaningful life.

© 2018 Judith Serling-Sturm, when I found this stick, I immediately began thinking about how all creatures leave their mark in the world, how we create and at the same time possibly destroy as we strive for a meaningful life.

Time and again a natural element will prompt me to think things in an innovative way, as in this last case. It may never actually be incorporated into the actual artist book about that issue. 
And sometimes a piece of wood is collected just because it's beautiful. And that is equally valuable
.


I have been attracted to trees especially in the hills of Texas but nothing has come to mind for a future project yet! What about you, have trees, driftwood, or other found objects conveyed ideas for an artists’ book, art piece, or series? If so, what have you produced with them?

Dignity

So many things to see as one travels the country. As we crossed South Dakota, my eyes were attracted by a large statue on Interstate 90 in Chamberlain. I grabbed my phone and googled the statue, its reason and its installation on the banks of the Missouri River at the Lewis and Clark rest area where it overlooks the river.

366Dignity-on-a-bluff-overlooking-the-Missouri-River-near-Chamberlain,-South-DakotaDSC03373.jpg

I discovered a soaring 50 feet/15.24m high, 16 feet/4.88m deep and 32 feet/9.75m wide stainless steel sculpture entitled Dignity created by South Dakota Artist Laureate Dale Lamphere.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Dignity by Dale Lamphere

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Dignity by Dale Lamphere

Dignity represents the courage and wisdom of the Lakota and Dakota people who hail from the area.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Dignity by Dale Lamphere

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Dignity by Dale Lamphere

The statue depicts an American Indian woman holding a star quilt made of 128, 4-foot-tall glass diamonds in shades of blue that move in the wind "like an Aspen leaf." The colours in the quilt shift in intensity depending on the time of day. colours in the quilt shift in intensity depending on the time of day. The glass diamonds also spin when the wind passes through them so as to reduce the statue's wind resistance.

"In the shadows or at night, that dark blue looks really dark blue. The sun shines lighten up the colours" says Brook Loobey, who painted the glass diamonds. 
“Wind and sun will pass through the sculpture so that rather than resisting the natural environment she moves with it,” Lamphere said. “She is of the earth and sky and the water that surround her.”
 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Dignity by Dale Lamphere

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Dignity by Dale Lamphere

Dale Claude Lamphere has created over 60 public monumental sculptures from Washington, D.C. to Burbank, California. He recently installed a 23’stainless steel and stone sculpture in Snowmass, Colorado. Additional recent monumental sculptures have been placed in Chicago, Kansas City, Colorado Springs, Omaha, and Dallas.

Lamphere has consistently derived direct inspiration from the land and people of the prairie and mountain environment where he lives. Innovative use of new materials and technologies are frequently incorporated on his evocative and elegant sculptures.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Dignity by Dale Lamphere

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Dignity by Dale Lamphere

If you travel by Chamberlain, South Dakota, do not miss this inspiring and amazing sculpture.

This short two-minute video shows the statue Dignity from the air.

A Bridge Between Two Cultures filmed by KOTA TV in September 2016. This video is approximately 25 minutes long, but if you are interested in the production process, it is excellent. The statue was commissioned by a Rapid City couple.

Phase Two

It’s a memorable summer, and this is the period to travel. Oh! Wait! I am traveling. 

It’s difficult to schedule work time, especially with the significant heat wave and our much-needed change of “home” from putt-putt to château. Even with the pleasant distraction of all the wonderful National Parks, the planning phase for the page's template of my ABC book has begun. In addition, the research on binding structures to enhance the content is on the way. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, White Sands National Monument

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, White Sands National Monument

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park

The key theme is the alphabet via a sprained foot, properly introducing this subject matter by implementing elements and design that complement the content is important.

I’m favorably inclined or should I say having a penchant towards metal for parts of the binding, maybe Wire-O referencing the crutches. Should I use cloth covered boards or a printed photo to illustrate the cover? The big black boot remains an integral feature of the book on the cover—right—perhaps? 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

For the substrate, could I apply various types of paper representing the phases of healing—differences in skin colour and texture. This might work since my inventory is filled with many types of papers. Using these soon would be good, because of the length of time since their purchase.

I would like to interject a distinction between the typefaces for the alphabet and the text. Naturally, there are 26 pages to think of and thick papers! I’m concerned about the weight of paper, double-sided pages will help but sheet registration can be monotonous. The gutter has to be calculated for facing-pages, details, details, details! What size? What orientation? Maybe the use of transparencies. Where to place the text or words that accompany the alphabet? Planning is the fun part or at least the beginning!

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

Varied structural types of binding for my published books include the accordion, perfect binding, spiral, supple binding sewn in Japanese style, screw post, hard-cover case-binding, saddle-stitched, French doors, Turkish Map folds, the new oriental binding, wrap-around case with a tray, explosion box,

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's image/photo for content

The accordion is enjoyable and many alphabet books utilize the form, but because of the type of paper and the number of pages, I need a structure that would harmonize with its design, form, and content, in this creative expression of an unpleasant event. I want to take the time and pay attention to materials and their interactions on the subject. Once all these aspects are figured out, the path of production will be clearer.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, ABC book's video for content

I am so looking forward to the actual creation, being on the computer for the express purpose of an artists’ book instead of administrivia or other activities. How do you find time to undoubtedly create? How many hours in the day are spent in the studio? What phase do you prefer or do you enjoy all phases of producing your book?

Salt Lake City, Utah

This chaotic week is making my head spin after traveling 360° from Utah at the end of May to Ohio and back during the past two months.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Lake Powell in Page, Arizona

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Lake Powell in Page, Arizona

At my return in Salt Lake City, I promptly communicated with a local artist, I, unfortunately, missed the last time around.

Desarae Lee is a talented artist and illustrator who lives and works in Salt Lake City. Her art has appeared in galleries and art shows across the US and she has won numerous awards for her work including Best of Show, Best Illustrator, and Featured Artist. Desarae a published author and illustrator serves as a founding board member at Salt Lake City’s Downtown Artist Collective, where she can occasionally be found teaching drawing or printmaking.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Desarae's studio in Salt Lake City, Utah

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Desarae's studio in Salt Lake City, Utah

Desarae works primarily with pen and ink and balances exact meticulous line-work with natural flowing compositions. Over time, her art has developed organically to include watercolor, tea staining, and printmaking. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, dry point by Desarae Lee

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, dry point by Desarae Lee

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, dry point by Desarae Lee

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, dry point by Desarae Lee

Influenced by personal trauma and struggles with depression and anxiety disorders, Desarae naturally creates work that revolves around themes of finding humor in pain, beauty in the grotesque, and light in the darkness. 

 © 2018 Desarae Lee, Memory, dry point print

© 2018 Desarae Lee, Memory, dry point print

 © 2018 Desarae Lee, Meronymy, pen & ink and watercolour

© 2018 Desarae Lee, Meronymy, pen & ink and watercolour

 © 2018 Desarae Lee,Octopus, pen and ink

© 2018 Desarae Lee,Octopus, pen and ink

Desarae’s work ranges in the themes she develops but her work inevitably attempts to connect the deep places in herself to the unknown places in a potential viewer, to somehow create a bridge of communication over the immense expanse of our differing perceptions, beliefs, and experiences.

I enjoyed the hour spent talking with Desarae in her studio and I’m looking forward to meeting more and more artists on this fruitful journey. In the next  couple of weeks I will be in the area of Houghton Michigan.

New Acquisitions on the Road

As an artist, I recognize my world and the many hours I spend on administrivia. The constant disruption of non-stop tasks is troublesome but necessary. I schedule my creativity in between the repetitive tasks and hope there is enough time to finish what delights me.

Apart from the creativity and the operation of a business, it’s meaningful for me to have my published books acquired by collections. How do you manage this part of your art world? How do you create opportunities to sell? Communicating and visiting libraries is all part of the fun side of the territory. The artist is likely the optimum person to talk, explain or promote hers/his work. The creator knows all the details, the frustrations, and the stories behind the wonderful final product—the artists’ book.

I benefited from the privilege of engaging with other dealers in the past. I still pursue an excellent relationship with Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC out of Birmingham, Alabama.

I discovered that presenting your work is a bit of an adventure. I enjoy seeing the expression of someone reading/viewing my book for the first time. Since some of my books exhibit a playful aspect, the smiles and laughter are inspiring. Traveling and meeting with librarians in the previous year contributed to my self-reflection and recognition of who I am as an artist.

In the Spring, I reached out to Katherine Krzys, Archivist, Interim Head of Distinctive Collections Curator at the Arizona State University Library. The artists’ book collection includes small-print publications created as works of art, exemplifying the importance of collaboration between a writer, artist, papermaker, and printer. Katherine was interested in Entre deux and La Guadalupe and purchased both for the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. deux and La Guadalupe and purchased both for the Rare Books and Manuscripts Library. 

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, Entre deux

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, La Guadalupe

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, La Guadalupe

 © 2013 Louise Levergneux, La Guadalupe

© 2013 Louise Levergneux, La Guadalupe

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Vernon Alden Library, Ohio UNiversity in Athens, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Vernon Alden Library, Ohio UNiversity in Athens, Ohio

In June, I visited with Michele Jennings at the Vernon Alden Library of the Ohio University in Athens, Ohio. I was fascinated by what books attracted Michele. I received an email just the other day that Michelle was interested in adding 26NOV2006 to the Arts and Archives Library collection.

 © 2008 Louise Levergneux, 26NOV2006

© 2008 Louise Levergneux, 26NOV2006

 © 2008 Louise Levergneux, 26NOV2006

© 2008 Louise Levergneux, 26NOV2006

I communicated with Jessy Randall, Curator, and Archivist of The Tutt Library of the Colorado College in Colorado Springs. The library maintains collections of rare books, special editions, manuscripts, and published archival material on Colorado. Two volumes of City Shields that include manhole covers around Denver, Vail, Highlands Ranch, and Colorado Springs were added to Special Collections.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, Tutt Library at the Colorado College in Colorado Springs

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, Tutt Library at the Colorado College in Colorado Springs

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Colorado volume 1

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Colorado volume 1

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Colorado volume 2

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Colorado volume 2

At the beginning of July, I met with Holly Prochaska, MLIS Preservation Librarian of The Robert A Deshon & Karl J Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati. The DAAP Library acquires examples of works in order to provide a rounded view of contemporary attitudes towards the book and to inspire students to think outside the book. Holly is a welcoming individual who also creates artists’ books. In the end, Holly purchased Xtraction and City Shields—the nine Ohio volumes for the Special Collection. 

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, an exhibition of globes at The Robert A Deshon & Karl J Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, an exhibition of globes at The Robert A Deshon & Karl J Schlachter Library for Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning at the University of Cincinnati

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, display of artists' books at the DAAP Library of the University of Cincinnati. A book by JoAnna Poehlmann attracted me with its delicate detail of a tulip, just gorgeous! On the last shelf is the Bon Bon Mots of Julie Chen.

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, display of artists' books at the DAAP Library of the University of Cincinnati. A book by JoAnna Poehlmann attracted me with its delicate detail of a tulip, just gorgeous! On the last shelf is the Bon Bon Mots of Julie Chen.

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

© 2016 Louise Levergneux, Xtraction

 © 2006 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Ohio volume No 5

© 2006 Louise Levergneux, City Shields, Ohio volume No 5

Excited when reading obsession, Holly decided to add a copy for her own personal collection.

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession

 © 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession

© 2012 Louise Levergneux, obsession

One can never expect to land a sale while visiting a library; but I have been surprised at the response to my publications.

Enjoy your visit and contacts when you can, since it is the best part of the business of art, apart from creating your work.

Walnut Creek, Ohio

Traveling transports me to locals I never thought of going and unfamiliar places of being. While in Walnut Creek, Ohio, awaiting the repairs on our trailer we organized a few touristy things to do on the extensive list of places to visit and shop in the area.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, a daily scene in Walnut Creek, Ohio

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, a daily scene in Walnut Creek, Ohio

I devoted a couple of hours at the exhibit of nationally known maritime artist David Warther, a fifth-generation carver of Swiss heritage. In the breathtaking Amish countryside of Sugarcreek, Ohio, David records the history of the ship from 1st Dynasty Egypt, 3,000 BC, to the present day.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, David talking about the ships he carves

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, David talking about the ships he carves

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, David Warther's carving of the Lioness of Thebes, 1190 BC

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, David Warther's carving of the Lioness of Thebes, 1190 BC

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, the creation of the Royal Ship of Tutankamen, 1335 BC by David Warther

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, the creation of the Royal Ship of Tutankamen, 1335 BC by David Warther

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, David Warther's creation of the Star of Memphis, 1350 BC

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, David Warther's creation of the Star of Memphis, 1350 BC

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, David's carving of the Royal Ship of Queen Hatshepsut, 1500 BC

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, David's carving of the Royal Ship of Queen Hatshepsut, 1500 BC

With over 80 major works in the collection, David carves daily in his on-site workshop utilizing antique ivory and ebony wood. His works are designed using blueprints and drawings furnished by maritime scholars and researchers worldwide.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, David Warther's creation of Bonhomme Richard, 1779 AD

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, David Warther's creation of Bonhomme Richard, 1779 AD

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, one of David's exhibit room and carving studio in the background

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, one of David's exhibit room and carving studio in the background

David's carvings are made of legal pre-ban ivory. He has become an expert in knowing the laws and regulations of buying, selling and gifting old legal estate elephant tusks and ivory carvings within the United States.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, David explains the hand filing and sanding technique of making the ivory rigging lines

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, David explains the hand filing and sanding technique of making the ivory rigging lines

The rigging on his ships is made of his "ivory string"; a technique that is a signature of his artwork. These ivory threads are seven-thousandths of an inch in diameter (.007"), twice the thickness of a human hair.

David engraves the highly polished antique ivory through a process known as scrimshaw where fine lines are scored on the ivory's surface with a hand-held stylus. Later, when ink is applied to the scored surface, the microscopic pores in the ivory absorb the ink while the polished areas remain white. The scrimshaw process allows the intricate details of the ship's planking, doors, and windows to come to life.

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, details of the scrimshaw effect where fine lines are scored, Lightning, 1854 AD

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, details of the scrimshaw effect where fine lines are scored, Lightning, 1854 AD

 © 2018 Louise Levergneux, David's carving of the Wanderer, 1878 AD

© 2018 Louise Levergneux, David's carving of the Wanderer, 1878 AD

When his art project is complete, David expects to have close to 100 carvings that will convey the progress man has made in shipbuilding over the past 5,000 years.

The viewing of the exhibit and the conversation with David were worth being a tourist for an afternoon. What will I encounter next? Are you on the path of my travels? Will I discover your work throughout my journey?