End of Summer Greetings!
I have had so many wonderful opportunities this summer and will be letting you know the highlights. I am very pleased to announce that I am now officially a full-time bookbinder, having terminated my prior employment. This is an exciting time and I am so grateful for the support and encouragement of you all.
My first action as fulltime craftsman-entrepreneur was to take advantage of the wonderful opportunity I had been given to be a resident artist at Wild Acres Retreat, perhaps one of North Carolina's best-kept secrets. This beautiful property near Little Switzerland offers a serene location for art, science, and discourse to bloom. I am very grateful to the directors and staff at Wildacres for providing me with such a wonderful environment in which to create new books. I chose to focus on wood-covered books, partly in homage to the setting and also simply because they require more time.
I have long-appreciated a binding style known as "Secret Belgian Binding". While at Wildacres, I applied this binding to wood covers and am very pleased with the result! In one of the Universe's great coincidences, upon my return home I found this note in a newsletter from Ben Elbel, from whom I learned much during a class at Penland School of Crafts:
"The Secret Belgian Binding was made popular in the USA by Hedi Kyle, but she didn't invent it. She in fact learned it from a student while teaching a workshop in Ascona in the nineties. That student wasn't the inventor of the structure either and when Hedi asked her where she learned it from, she could only say that she thought it originated from Belgium. So Hedi Kyle went back to the United States where the structure became famous as the 'Secret Belgian Binding'.
It was only years later that Hedi discovered who actually invented the structure: it was Anne Goy, bookbinder extraordinaire of Swiss origin but living in Belgium. So the binding was indeed Belgian by nationality but no longer secret, and it was officially renamed 'Criss-Cross Binding'.
A new paragraph in the story of the Criss-Cross Binding was written at our meet and greet [in the Netherlands] when Hedi Kyle and Anne Goy finally met in real life for the first time." ~ Ben Elbel
My appreciation to Ben for passing on this bit of history and to Anne Goy and Hedi Kyle, who are among many bookbinders who have influenced my work.
I was honored in late July to be featured in the Winston-Salem Journal. The article was also picked up in August by the Greensboro News and Record. I was very pleased with the thoroughness of the article and the desire of the journalist to capture my passion for this craft. I hope you will take a moment to view one or the other version...
I will also be learning this fall - I will be expanding my skills in marbling while at the John C. Campbell Folk School in October. I will be learning from master craftsmen Regina and Dan St. John of Chena River Marblers in Amherst, MA. They have been doing this work since 1987, long before my own interest was picqued. If you have never looked into taking a class at Campbell, I encourage you to consider it - the campus is nestled into the far southwestern corner of NC and offers a wide variety of arts and crafts learning opportunities in a most conducive environment.
I will be teaching at Campbell next summer. I am also working on arrangements to offer a bookbinding class at Wildacres next summer, along with several other new venues.
Bookbinder and Papermaker