Saturday, May 11, 2013

Paper and Book Intensive

Sunday morning I'll be getting in my car and driving to Saugatuck, Michigan to attend Paper and Book Intensive. This one has been on the bookmaking bucket list for a very long time, and I feel incredibly lucky that I am going to attend. When you have a heavy teaching schedule in the summer it is hard to find the time to take a workshop or two for yourself, but all the forces came together this year to make it an ideal time to go.

Inside my car is assembled enough art supplies, clothing, inspirational books and collage ephemera, sketchbooks and art journals and bedding (yes, you bring your own... another first for a supply list!) to last for about 10 days.  I confess this is about as close to camping as I care to be, but I will be in company with some of the finest book artists in the country and I suspect the accommodations soon won't matter all that much. My workshops will include leather bindings (first time I will be learning how to pare and work with leather to cover boards), page design, and content/structure.

Back in the day, when I first began to make books, I was gifted with a copy of an incredible artist's book called Flight Into Egypt by Timothy Ely. It was big and beautiful and mysterious and inspirational, even though written in an unknown language to diagram a book that didn't quite exist. All these years laters, I will be taking a workshop with Tim Ely as we explore creating new language, markings, collage and drawings for a book to be constructed during these sessions.

Somewhere inside the car is my iPad and, if technical connections allow,  I hope to post a few times while I am away. Hope you will make a beautiful book or two yourself this week!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Society for Contemporary Craft, Part 2

Our second adventure at the Society for Contemporary Craft in June is this delightful 3D structure, a box making project with architectural features, posing as a building. Made of heavy binders' board and covered in a variety of decorative papers and bookcloth, the House Box can serve as home to a special handcrafted book or house an entire little library, as shown above.

About 200 miniature books fill this bookcase, all of them constructed during my travels this past year. I discovered that I could pack enough supplies to make 200 books in a very small plastic case that fits in my carryon or purse, and it passes all the current TSA requirements for tools (very small scissors) and supplies (less than 3 oz. of adhesive). It takes about 5-7 minutes to make one of these babies, so here are many hours of fun I can bring along in a small space.

As I make these books during our trips, I sign each one in the back with the date and location. They literally come from all over the world now, and I won't be stopping this any time soon. Once you get started, it is hard to stop. As you can see, I have made quite a few ......

See my previous post for information and links on how to register for classes. Hope to see you in Pittsburgh, where we'll get you started on your own delightful library!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Society for Contemporary Craft Summer Workshops

After last year's sabbatical, I am very excited to return to the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh to teach this summer. My summer workshops there date all the way back to 2004, when I still lived in Pittsburgh, and they have continued every year since (except for last year's hiatus), even after moving to the Chicago area in 2005. This will be our ninth summer program, and I am looking forward to seeing students who have been here since the beginning, as well as new additions in more recent years.

Shown above are the projects for our first offering, Five Books in Three Days, on June 19-21, 2013. We will make a writing pad portfolio, two decorative spine bindings, a sewing-over-tapes book stitched on a frame, and a wood cover triangle book with hand painted pages and covers. These include hard and soft cover offerings, decorative and concealed stitching, and a variety of sizes, shapes and materials to experience over the three days.

In order to cover this much ground in a fairly short time, most of the boards and papers will be supplied pre-cut so we can focus on learning the bindings. You'll also receive a collection of five detailed instruction manuals to supplement your classroom experience and allow you to recreate the projects at a later time. Class size is typically limited to 12 students.

A second workshop, two days in length, will be offered June 22-23, and I will post more about this project separately.

You can register for either or both workshops by visiting the Society's website (www.contemporary and selecting the studio catalog listings, or by calling the Education Director, Sherrard Bostwick at 412.261.7003 ext. 25. Hope to see you there!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

And We're Back!

After a lengthy (!) absence, I am back and ready to blog again. Thank you for your patience and your continued interest while I was away.

So many things have happened in the past few years ... lots of traveling (above in Sydney, Australia in February), a wedding (my daughter's), many book arts adventures, but the most awesome has been regaining good health and getting into the best physical shape I have ever been. Healthy eating and regular exercise have taken 60 pounds off my body and lots of annoying medical conditions off my chart, including type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure. All gone now.  Having cancer a few years back was my wake up call to make some changes and, if you haven't taken that call yet, I highly recommend it. I feel 20 years younger and have great energy during the day. But enough about me.

We're preparing to put in a new floor in the studio within the next month, a not so simple renovation as there is soooooo much stuff to move around. I spent most of the past winter reducing my supply and tools inventory, and will be having a giant artist's garage sale in early summer. As a result, there won't be any Book Arts Coterie classes here this summer, but we will return next year. I am hoping to do some classes here in the fall, and will post information as soon as the details are complete.

In the meantime, I will be teaching at the Society for Contemporary Craft in Pittsburgh in June, 2013, and encourage you to sign up for these classes if you need a fix. The Society is an inspiring, friendly environment to take a class, and we'll be covering a lot of project ground in the two sessions. As I update this blog in the next few weeks, I'll post photos of the books and box we'll be making during the five day span. Hope to see you there!