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With the exception of my Daily Dots entries, I probably get more feedback about my State Fair Journal from 2003 than any other journal. People have been asking me to post my 2004 State Fair Journal, so here's a sampling.

Above is the journal itself, and the slipcase I made after the fair. The journal is about 8 x 8 inches; hardcover, with a red bookcloth that has white nubby bits. When I bound this journal I made a debossed rectangle on the cover to hold a label. I had no idea at the time I'd use it for a State Fair Journal. Inside the label area is a laminated color print of my Spin-Art piece for 2004.

Spin-Art, for those of you who aren't lucky enough to live near a fairgrounds, is a concession stand where you pay for the privilege of pouring enamel paints onto a spinning sheet of cheap, slick cardboard. You get to control the spin with a button. When you're finished your art is released from the clips which hold it on the turntable, and it is popped into a cheap white greeting-card-type frame. As the attendant takes your $3.00 you are reminded that "it might not be dry yet." Of course it does dry quickly, but that is a useful reminder.

Every year my friend Linda makes a piece of Spin-Art. I never used to do this because the paints smell so strongly. Linda can be quite persuasive, however, and I'm happy to say making Spin-Art is now a yearly ritual for me as well.

The slip case I made for my journal is made out of a thick piece of handmade paper that has a lot of fiber in it that looks like hay to me. What could be more appropriate when one considers how much time I spend in the animal barns? The case is constructed so that it has a double wall. Out of this wall a small window is cut for the reduced print of my Spin-Art.

The journal itself is made using my last couple of sheets of Fabriano Artistico, 90 lb. watercolor paper. This is Artistico the way it used to be, with a pronouced and rather unusual texture (which is visible in my sketches).

I went to the fair three times in 2004. First I went with my friend Tom (my State Fair Journal from 2003 was done entirely on a visit with Tom). The day that Tom and I went I did six page spreads and felt quite satisfied (especially since we spent over an hour of our time in the fine arts exhibit).

My second trip to the Fair was with my friend Roberta. She is a commercial artist and very serious about production. I did eight pages spreads on that day, and filled the book. I had extra paper with me and used one sheet of that.

My third trip to the Fair was with my friend Linda, ostensibly to pick up her Crop Art. (On the last day of the Fair all the artists and crafters and exhibitors can pick up their exhibits after a certain time.) Linda also wanted visit with friends who were demonstrating bookarts and cram in some Fair time. We walked quickly about to various sites she enjoys (stopping frequently so that I could have corn-dogs). The speed with which we moved made sketching impossible, but I didn't care as my book was full and I'd left it at home. I had loose sheets with me "just in case," but my drawing impulse had be satisfied. Instead I was content to munch my way along the avenues and finally create Spin-Art.

Of course I had salt water taffy at each visit.

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Text © 2004 Roz Stendahl; All Rights Reserved

Photograph © 2004 Tom Nelson; All Rights Reserved; Used with permission