Thursday, January 5, 2012

Another Introduction: Ellen Golla, Group 6

I live in the isolated redwoods of Humboldt County in Northwestern California, about a 6 hour drive north of San Francisco. I used to work largely in detailed cut paper collage, but nowadays mostly make books. These have included a few small editions in addition to unique books and book-based sculptural pieces.

The Literary Cure from a few years ago is an example of one of my editions (5 copies). I thought the way we read books is changing. So why not just take them as pills? 

I'm another first-timer in BAO. I've been following this blog, as well as those of several of the longtime participants, for quite a while. I'm excited to now be a part of it myself. It seemed fitting to be joining for this particular edition, since I've also taken part a few times in the Bookmarks project that Sarah Bodman runs. (I was in Bookmarks VVI and VII.) I liked the idea of using her work as our inspiration, and that she would be getting copies of the books.

My website is at (my longtime studio name is Zebra Crossing Picture Factory) and I blog at (The Paper Chipmunk Press is my bookmaking imprint). I also have some (very) miscellaneous pictures of projects (and cats, etc.) on Flickr.
A Cat's ABC (small open edition)
Speaking of cats, I have three, including two black ones. I picked Superstition for my title, because when I saw it, the line "one should not dance around ladders nor sleep with black cats" popped into my head. I have no idea why. Then it later occurred to me that while black cats are considered bad luck in the U.S., they are good luck in some other places. So if I actually used that, it might not make as much sense in some of the places the book will wind up. Hmm... I'm curious--what sort of luck do black cats bring to Australians? Norwegians?


ronnie said...

hello Ellen! and welcome

I love those little codex pills and have enjoyed your blogsite since I stumbled over it (gosh I can't remember when....) so I'm looking forward to seeing what you get up to with 'superstition'.....

ps black cats here at the creek are known as capital 'T' TROUBLE! (just joking!!!!)

dinahmow said...

Hi, Ellen. Good to see you on board.
As to black cats and luck...well, our two are a bundle of fun. But I suppose you could stretch things and say it's unlucky to have black cats if you have white upholstery!(But you know that!)

Anna Mavromatis said...

Ellen, welcome!
I am so glad to see you here; can't wait to see how you tackle "superstition"...
All the best for the new year and this new adventure!

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

You're all so kind. This is such a great group! Thanks!

As for the black cat issue... for the record, I always sleep with my black cat. He wouldn't have it any other way. And when he wants to eat, he's definitely trouble!

Elisabeth Omdahl said...

I`m afraid black cats are trouble in norwegian too!
If crossing the street in front of you: spit three times very fast!

Angela said...

Welcome Ellen. I missed your post because its been so busy on here.

I didn't realise black cats were bad luck in the US. The are good luck in Ireland :-)

I love your Literary Cure - as you know I love it so much I even dreamt about it :-)

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

Thanks for the further input on black cats. That's the first I've heard about spitting as an antidote.

So it's the same in Ireland as the UK. Everyone in the US "knows" that a black cat crossing one's path is supposed to be bad luck. And so I was rather surprised some years back when I saw "good luck" cards in the UK with black cats on them!

Ah yes, Angela, that dream... still makes me giggle.

Amanda said...

Hello Ellen! Welcome! Here we are on Friday the 13th, thinking about black cats. Well in Australia I think that *traditionally* they are considered bad luck, but I seem to remember a black bubble gum from my childhood that was called "Lucky Cat" and had a black cat on the wrapper. Can anybody else remember that, or did I dream it?

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

I find it interesting that black cats don't seem to have a very strong negative nor positive connection to luck in Australia, at least in how I'm reading your responses(?). Online, the consensus, what little of it I could gather, suggested that they are supposed to be good luck in Australia, just like in the UK and Ireland. Definitely in Japan as well. The Germans divide it up--they are bad luck walking in one direction in front of you, but not in another. And in most of Europe, Asia and the US, they are bad luck.

If any of this even makes it into my book...! I still have no idea. Thanks for helping with the research though!

And I hope you all made it through Friday 13th ok.

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) said...

PS Amanda, I did find a mention of a black gum called Lucky Cat. You are not imagining it. It seems to have existed in the 70s. I didn't find a picture though (you roused my curiosity!).