Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Studio Visitors

Today I had a group of six visitors from the Chicago area who are associated with the local Calligraphy Collective. All very talented calligraphers, they came to see the studio and I surprised them with a fun book project to make that required no sewing and no glue. This structure binds single sheets together with woven paper strips, making it a good choice for calligraphers who often have loose page projects. Designed by Elizabeth Steiner and found in her book Woven and Interlocking Book Structures (with Claire Van Vliet) as Gioia, for teaching purposes I renamed it My Checkered Past in reference to the pattern of the woven strips. If you love books that feature incredibly clever feats of paper engineering, I highly recommend this one. 

My visitors chose their papers for the project, cut them to size, and then used the templates I had prepared to make the necessary cuts and folds in the pages and covers. For the weaving strips, we used Elephant Hide (no actual elephants were harmed in the making of the paper, however) and some chose to use Yupo, a synthetic paper that is very strong and smooth, making it a great surface for calligraphy, painting, stamping, and the like. Be aware that some media dry very slowly on Yupo, so do this well in advance of making the project.

Everyone seemed very pleased with their finished projects. Dancing broke out in the studio, lunch was served, and a good time was had by all! 

I will be teaching a two day, two project workshop for the Chicago Calligraphy Collective the last weekend in May, one of the few assignments I've accepted this year as I am taking a short sabbatical from teaching in 2009. We'll be doing a Japanese trio of books with custom slipcase, and a buttonhole book with a cut-out cover. I acquired some fabulous Japanese fabrics at the recent quilt show in Chicago and can't wait to turn them into bookcloth for the class kits!

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