Saturday, July 21, 2012

A book of tea

After seeing the Damien Hirst exhibit at the Tate in London, a mental palate cleanser of sorts was needed and I could think of no better...or more immediate...way to do so than to peruse the gift shop for treasures. 

I came away with what has become my book of tea. 
Well, tea and rust really although I think of it as my book of tea.

My tea bag stash has been featured on the blog so admitting that 
I keep my used tea bags when traveling should come as no surprise.  


And being the rust junkie that I am, no one should be shocked to learn 
 that I travel with a rusted washer or two...


because you just never know when one will come in handy.



What do you do with your used tea bags?

26 comments:

  1. at least you channelled your energy into something lovely... I suspect if I was subjected to hirst I'd think up DIFFERENT uses for rusted washers (anti-hirst missile anyone?) or used tea bag string (a hirst garroting machine anyone?)

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    1. Let's just say that never again will I go to Hirst exhibit...although I would love to know who it is in his court that puts such a wonderful spin on things. You know...who writes the statements, etc. The booklet for the exhibit is here somewhere and what's written makes perfect sense. But the reality of the visual aspect...well...I'll supply the rusted washers and tea bag strings if you know how to make the missiles et al.

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  2. I have no time for Hirst and would probably need an enema to go with my palate cleanser; however, I could browse your blog, teabags books et all......well all day really. And this is a lovely one!

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    1. I spewed red wine clear across the room reading your comment about needing an enema after seeing Hirst!!! SO TRUE. A shower, at the very least, was needed. And several drinks...of the alcohol type.

      I have to admit that I went into the exhibit knowing very little about Hirst other than his name and thinking "shock art" via the sharks. Five minutes...no...one minute into it and I was kicking myself for wasting the money paid to see the exhibition. And based on the looks on a lot of faces, others were thinking the same thing.

      His early circle series are what I remember best...probably because I like them. The row upon row of cigarette butts or pills...ugh!!! The flies and cows and sharks...science, not art.

      Oh! I'm so sorry. This rant has been held in for nearly 2 weeks now. I just don't get how anyone could view what he does as art and was wondering if I'm the only one who feels that way.

      Thank you for letting me know I'm not alone. And for liking my blog...and tea bag books. Seriously, thank you!

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    2. Sorry about the red wine spill. Just take another shower and try to get him out of your system for good! He's a charlatan, and smugly admits to it too. He makes me feel very cynical when I'm forced to consider him, and he's a perfect example of what happens when big corporations like Saatchi start manipulating the art world. I say The Emperor Has No Clothes!

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  3. Don't know much about Hirst but I love your "sketchbook". They are truly like lovely little watercolors.

    I will have to think about using all those tea bags as I am no longer a coffee or even decaf coffee drinker. Had to give it all up because it was bothering me digestively. Really missing iced decaf though...esp during the summer...

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    1. Used tea bags are gorgeous, especially if they're left to dry with the tea still inside. Wonderful patterns are created on the bag. And, if you stick the wet tea bag inside a book of [handmade in my case] paper along with a rusty bit, the tea and rust interact to rust the paper while the tea alone dyes the paper. That's how my tea book is made. It's not watercolors dear. I can't paint worth a darn.

      Sorry to hear about the need to give up coffee, but welcome to the world of tea!

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  4. Absolutely LOVE your Book of Tea! It is very inspirational, unfortunately no time today to take the inspiration far. But the idea is simmering, hopefully it will materialize at some point. As for what I create with tea bags.... luminaries, cards, accordian books, collages.... just about everything I makes gets a touch of tea bags!

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    1. Thank you Kim! Glad a bit of inspiration has been gleaned from my quirkiness. Then again, I'm not sure just how quirky my love of tea bags is after all. Seems there are a lot of us out there. Have you posted on your use of tea bags? I'll have to venture over and do a search to see.

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  5. I am so glad there are other people that think like me..that Damian Hirst is a faud!!! I went to one of his exhibitions about 10 years ago and never agasin! Love your tea book but then l love your work normallyxlynda

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    1. I am with you...never again will I go to a Hirst exhibit. My curiosity to see what all the hype is about is what took me in his direction, not a love for his work.

      I'm curious...what do you think of the Tate itself? It's huge!!!

      Glad you like my tea book. I'm having fun with it and plan to continue making them. Think they'll nice journals. Maybe.

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  6. Had such a giggle reading this post Jennifer. What a weird bunch ....... I so get your travelling with a few rusty washers, a book and some tea bags collected along the way. Doesn't sound ridiculous to me. Takes one to know one though ..... I would say 99.999999% of the population would doubt your sanity. I often wonder what customs officials would make of such a stash were they to examine it!

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    1. Oddly enough, it's not the rusted washers in my backpack that gets me stopped by security. It's usually my iPad stand that looks like a metal easel when opened and a, seemingly, rather suspicious and menacing long piece of metal when closed. Been stopped for that so many times that no longer accompanies me.

      Then again, all that chuckling and shaking of heads as my backpack slides through the scanner is probably due to the washers and masonry nails...

      So...do you travel with rusty bits?

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  7. Hi! Jennifer....well, I totally understand your teabag collecting! It's especially difficult, as a loose tea drinker, to gather enough teabags to keep myself supplied for my drawings on teabags. Nothing like having your co-workers save teabags for you as well. Every couple of weeks I find a pile of old, dried teabags waiting for me on my desk, causing me to swoon! Your book is quite lovely....the subtle color variations and marks made by the tea is always beautiful and makes such a perfect surface for drawing and sewing! Cheers!, Patti

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    1. Isn't it wonderful to have such caring, sharing and understanding co-workers? I've a couple of friends who'll save their used tea bags for me occasionally.

      It's an honor that you like my tea book. I am an avid luster and drooler over your tea bag art...one of those who rarely comments, but comes back to look and be amazed at the creativity and artistry shown. And that it's all on a tea bag is simply icing on the cake. Thank you!

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  8. Sometime ago I had friends collecting the seals from milk bottles for me! We are a weird lot but what wonderful results! Just visiting London which is scorching. Came across the 'All saints spitalfields' in Portobello, Thankyou for that little gem. And we will certainly miss the Damien Hirst! Give me Grayson Perry any day!

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    1. Isn't Allsaints the greatest? I could have spent all day in there just ogling and photographing the fixtures. Sorry to hear that London is scorching. It was cooler during when we were there...and probably rainier too. Grayson Perry? Not familiar with him, but will defintely google him. Enjoy!

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  9. J- I am now worried - on one side of the world there is this person who wanders around with teabags and rusty washers; and over this other side is this other person who finds a seriously rusted fence staple on a beach and I thought maybe she had discovered a diamond - or had she. The teabag and rust network - hmmm!!! Go well and collect well. B

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    1. OMG!!! Next time you and Fiona come to the NY area, we've all got to get together. You and John can swap stories about Fiona and I finding rust. John would probably tell you about my glee at finding a large rusted washer in Central Park on one outing. It was the highlight of the day for me...and he knew it and joked about it. Ha! Not sure if it's as good as finding a rusted fence staple on the beach though...

      Isn't it nice to know your wife isn't the only one who gets excited over rust? Enjoy, J

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  10. I'm late to the party again J - sorry, we've been away. But I totally love this book and have been back to look at it several times! What a healing and restorative thing to do after seeing the exhibition. It is easy, you have the bits on hand and it makes you smile and feel good. I love it and I love your vision and creativity with it.

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    1. Thank you! The tea book is fun and was the perfect palate cleanser after seeing Hirst's...hmmm...stuff. Can't quite bring myself to call it art...or work even. Stuff. That fits.

      Hope you enjoyed your time away. I've visited your latest post several times, but still can't comment...just look and drool and dream. Intelligent speech should be possible soon...I hope.

      Enjoy! Jennifer

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  11. I used to save my tea bags to make a second cup of tea from them; I don't do that any more. Now I use them for staining paper, like paint. Then sometimes I wash them out and collect and then dry the empty bag with a view to using them in future art projects.
    What fun! I just love the colour of tea!
    xx

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    1. Tea is very intriguing to work with. I'm enjoying using it with rust...especially on paper. My tea bag collection keeps growing too. There's an idea floating around for what to do with them. One day...

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  12. Glorious effects! I am inspired!

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    1. Thank you! Have you begun collecting tea bags yet? I remember that you asked earlier how to open them and have been watching your blog for signs of tea bags being pared with your carvings. Has one snuck by me?

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  13. Not yet though I have always used tea to stain my wood. One of these days I will experiment more. Your book of tea is soooo yummy! My mind is in a fog.... I thought I had put my name down for the lucky draw and now i see that I didn't or my comment went astray. Oh well, I look forward to January.

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