Sunday, April 19, 2009

Calligraphy Gifts

Shortly after Chris passed in Nov.1988 I decided to share Christopher's work in a Tribute book and celebrate his life cut so short.
First I arranged a memorial exhibition at Dawson's Bookshop in February 1989. In 1992 I showed his research of his slide lecture on the Deccani research and work at the International Gathering in San Francisco. In 1998 I was asked to bring his work to Ebristan in Istanbul, Turkey. Chris had visited there the year before in 1987 and I remember well how he described his time there and the people he met. How exciting for him, his only trip during all his years of marbling searching for answers, trying to trace the history. I will write about that experience of bringing his work there in a later entry. In appreciation of having brought Christopher's work to Istanbul I was given this very special gift above left. I was already on the way to the airport when Fueson Barutcugil's cell phone kept ringing. Someone needed to get ahold of us. It was this gift by Professor Dr.Huesrev Subasi of Marmara Univesity,Ilahiyat who hoped to hand it to me before I left. When I see this beautiful gift and the next one shown below I know it was the right thing to keeping Chris's memory alive. The above piece reads in Kufic script: Christopher and Ingrid Weimann on all four corners. To have received it in person the last minute before we boarded the ferry was so touching and so very appreciated as are all the other gifts I received over the years.
Here is the other treasure by Mohamed Zakariya on the left who gave it to me in Feb.2000. I reads from the lower left: "Ingrid & Chris Forever" in Celi Divani Script. The triangle is a piece I gave Mohamed that Chris had gotten in Istanbul on his only visit there. The inner blue marbling of Chris's from their only collaboration. Mohamed preserved Chris's ebru and used the outer Ebru using his papers. They sadly never met in person. They collaborated on one piece in 1988 shown below. Chris was told by Sandra Kirshenbaum of Fine Print that he should contact Mohamed that they were kindred spirits. This happened in the spring of 1988 and Chris sent some specially prepared papers for the project after they corresponded.

Christopher got to see the finished piece the month he passed and for him it was hope for future projects. These are all the treasures you share with dear friends you meet through art and their passion.
May this sharing of the human spirit keep life alive.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Marbling inspiration and beginning

After a long work day working with color and finishes on leather in the late 60s early 70s Chris noticed how drops of color on metal lids and containers left interesting patterns. Chris started to play with these chemical reactions on paintcan lids and it evolved over time to some very interesting and beautiful images. *One lid I wanted to show here that looked very much like a marbled pattern has faded and the scanner didn't pick up the blue colors but I may find a slide at some point so I show another one instead on the left. In the meantime it looked like this pattern on paper to the right he eventually achieved and which had let him into marbling when he saw papers in a Bookbinding class. To work with colors like that totally inspired him and the search was on for information.

*After several days I did find a copy of the original paintcan lid that resembled marbling and which I now added to the top of this revised blog. When he showed the lid to a bookbinder he asked Chris "Are you a Marbler?" and Chris asked "What is marbling?" The rest is history.

I don't need to go into detail how long it can take to accomplish beautiful papers without much information available, sheer trial and error, over and over again for many years. So once again after a long day trying, often with frustrating results Chris played. The results I saw in the evenings coming home from work. To my dismay he had cut up some photographs of mine "without" permission. His smile made me forgive him.
Sometime later he showed the pieces to a Printing teacher at a University and he was quite impressed and encouraged him to continue. Three of the four he made are shown here.

Three are on paper and one he marbled on a plastic frame with the photo attached to the back, it doesn't show up too well to include here.
During those first years of marbling in the early 70s he met a Special effects Director who had been involved in the making of the 2001 Space Odyssey and he told Chris about the filming of the secret marbling done in London shown at the end of the film. He asked Chris to do some experimentations for cloud effects. Chris used colors in a deep tank of water, one of the results you can see below. However, this project was brief but Chris ended up working there for a while longer organizing, cleaning and assisting the creative Staff. When work stopped as it does on projects with Studio work I urged Chris to get back to marbling full time, pursuing what he hoped to achieve.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Sharing the memory of Christopher and his work

Hello Everyone

This blog about the late Christopher Weimann (1946-1988)is to share his work on a personal level. As I'm learning to blog there are a lot of oops and deletes by accident like the saying goes "where did it go?" I'm learning as I go along setting it up.
After working three years professionaly as a trained Color Matcher and Leather finisher, designing new colors and finishes for the Design Trade Chris quit; a very toxic job. Wanting to continue working with color and leather he took an evening Bookbinding class at UCLA while trying to find information on marbling. It took years to find information (unlike today) and even more years of experimenting with various colors, such as oils, printing inks, acrylics, gouche sizes and paper etc. Orignially the idea was to make a business with Stationary products but having a business in an apartment was not possible and there wasn't money to rent a space. Actually I'm sitting in this room right now, the converted bedroom to a marbling place and again to a bedroom now and where I paint.
The collage shown in the Title of the first entry was a gift assembled from pictures I sent Milena Hughes who gave it to me for a Birthday gift in 2008 (the photo of Chris was in 1979 while printing the miniature book).
Many of you already know quite a bit from my articles, slide lectures and my book but this is additional and I hope interesting.
I am dedicating this blog to the late Muir Dawson of Dawson's Book Shop. As I wrote in the "Society of Marbling" Newsletter, Jan,2003 :
"Without his friendship, enthusiasm and especially encouragement during Chris's marbling years I don't think you would know about Chris today."
Christopher was too shy to let himself be known, he was just trying to sell some papers to stores etc. Dear Muir told him that he should let people know that he had made the papers.
How it happend I will tell as the blog developes.

A very special moment for Christopher and Muir Dawson
at the symposium at Harvard University where Chris
demonstrated his stenciled marbling for the first time
and the slide presentaion of his research on the marbled Deccani paintings.
"Ebru: The Art of Marbling in the Islamic World"
Arthur M.Sackler Museum, May 24-July 12,1986