Monday, September 28, 2009

Studio Tour Chris Peden

Name: Chris Peden

Name of studio/business/art pseudonym: Dang, I wish I had something clever-you all are going to have to help me come up with a studio/business/art pseudonym. Be nice!


Describe your studio/work area: The dormer of a very old Beaverdale home. It was completely unfinished when we moved in, and full of the prior owners (all of them since 1916) garbage. We finished it ourselves and used it as a bedroom for my son. When he went to college-I moved my studio up there. (my daughter is still pouting).

Do you have a day job? I work for the State of Iowa in Human Resources. I am also a mom and step-grandmom!!

How did you get started in the book world? In college, I did camera ready artwork for advertisements for local nightclubs, politicians and public entities. I continued to do freelance camera ready art after college-really stimulating stuff like product brochures, displays for conventions, conference brochures, ads for local bars (a theme here??), political campaigns (another theme) and whatever else someone would pay me to do. It was my secondary income. I started dong convention displays for rubber stamp companies-postcards, cards, and a bit of mixed media. I wanted to make something special for my parent’s 50th anniversary, but not a traditional scrapbook-I had already done 20 volumes of scrapbooks of my children and step-children lives. I started researching artist books, and it all kind of evolved from there.

What inspires you? Anything and everything. Vintage stuff; rusty things, anything paper, old labels, buttons, game pieces, things I find on the street, and the work of my friends and other artists.

What is your favorite technique? I make a lot of books, eraser carvings, mixed media pieces, jewelry, and things from clay. I will try anything!

What is one tool you couldn't live without? A good paper cutter. And lots of paper-two things, but they sort of run together!

What is the most challenging part of what you do? Finding the time right now. I would love to teach again and have more in-my-own studio classes again-but the day job and some family things are interfering with my passion.

What is the most rewarding? It is all rewarding. Having someone send a magazine with one of my pieces in it and asking me to sign it; having someone ask me to do a particular book/journal for a special occasion for them or a loved one; having been asked to teach a book or binding in a far away place; having friends recognize my art on sight at conventions that I can’t attend; seeing my work in books and magazines. Extra special is having one of my kids tell me they really like a particular book or piece of work is great. A friend of mine bought some of my eraser carvings and turned them into rubber stamps and sold them (okay-a lot of my friends own them, but still!!!) I meet (in person or through exchanges) the most awesome people. I exchanged art with Angela Cartwright-Sound of Music (Brigitta) and Lost in Space (Penny Robinson) and she published my work in one of her zines. I fly to the East Coast every year and meet up with 14 friends from across the US and we spend a week or two making books, jewelry, polymer clay pieces, mixed media, paper-each of us teach a class or two, and in exchange, learn another dozen or so techniques. We all met on the internet-exchanging art, ideas, techniques and a whole lot of friendship.

Where do you show/share your work? Since I have done mostly commissioned work-it is shown by rubber stamp companies, artist supply vendors, and at eraser carving shows. I did a few Sunday afternoon tea showings in local places. I have done demos at wholesaler shows and conventions. I show my art when I teach.

What drives you to work creatively in PBC? I was looking for something local. I found a postcard about an Edible Book event at Koch Bros. At that same time, I found out that Susan was the mom of my daughter’s boyfriend. She heard from my daughter that I made books and kept me in mind for this book. I am excited and scared!!

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