custom bookbinding and unique papers

Autumn has arrived in North Carolina - the nights are cool, the maples are bright yellow, and there are more options for participating in holiday sales venues than I can possibly do.  As Thanksgiving nears, I am filled with gratitude for my art, my choices of livelihood, and the people who continue to support me.

In this newsletter I will talk further about marbling, recent book creations, and opportunities for you to learn or observe the activities that bring me joy.

Last month I told you I was would be spending two weeks at the John Campbell Folk School improving my skills and knowledge about marbling.  I am now a major fan of Regina and Dan St. John of Chena River Marblers - they are truly master marblers extraordinaire!

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Marbling is a hydroprint process.  Pigment is floated on thickened water, manipulated in a variety of ways, and then picked up by paper treated with a mordant.  I am sure that explanation is not clear for most of you, but I would be delighted to help you learn this amazing process that has been around for thousands of years. (See my Workshop tab for classes and exhibit schedule.)

The first week at the Folk School was led by Regina who taught acrylic marbling. While I certainly came away with a shopping list, a wish list of new and improved equipment and materials - who doesn't end a workshop with such a list? - the great thing was that I also learned methods that I have been able to implement immediately.  With a few changes in how I approach applying paint, I have made significant strides in the quality of my designs.  I am looking forward to continuing to expand my skills and artistry.

The second week was led by Dan and focused on the Golden Age of marbling, the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  We worked with water-based pigments that we mixed ourselves and then created patterns that depended on the addition of substances.  One of my two favorite patterns, the shell pattern, relies on the addition of a few drops of walnut oil.  The other favorite, the tiger eye pattern, e - relies on a much less benign substance.  The tiger's eye requires use of potassium hydroxide, a very caustic substance, to create radiating lines from the center. I will be working to solidify the science and art I learned in this class.

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I have so been so pleased with the new quality of my marbling that I have submitted a few framed pieces for sale as wall art.  You can see this work in Winston-Salem at the Associated Artists show, The More the Merrier, on display at the Milton Rhodes gallery and at Deck the Halls at the Sawtooth School for Visual Art.  If you would be interested in having a piece of your own - to incorporate into your own art, to hang on the wall, or to wrap packages - let me know what colors and patterns interest you... (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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Last month I reported on my new paper press.  I now have a newly refurbished antique book press also.  It is truly a great addition to the studio, and I am so impressed with my friend Mike who is capable of building new old parts.

Thank you for reading to the bottom!  In gratitude for my loyal followers, I am offering gift certificates - useful for any of my products and services - with a 15% discount. This offer is available through December. You email me saying you want a gift certificate, in any amount you specify.  I will create a tangible certificate for you to give as a gift and you will pay 15% less than the face value.  Send me an email for more information.

Anne Murray
Bookbinder and Papermaker

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