I celebrated my 64th birthday on May 6. I love feeling young by doing activities I love and sharing them with others. I am excited this month to be telling you about the excellent papermaking workshop held last month, my trip to New York City, approaches to celebrating people and preserving family memories, and an update on ArtConnections, the newly formed artists' cooperative of which I am 25%. Surely there is something for everyone this month...
In mid-April, three students joined me and my good friend, Betty Kjelson, for a 4-day cotton rag papermaking workshop. Betty's 40-year-old Hollander beater is shown above beating blue jeans to a pulp. That violent metaphor began as a simple description of the process of turning rags to pulp in preparation for papermaking. Betty was a papermaker at the cusp of the rediscovery of papermaking in the 1970s. See an example of her artwork here.
Below is an example of one of the lovely papers with botanical inclusions the group made together at Betty's studio. Further below, on the left, Betty - who at 88 is still making paper! - demonstrates the process of drying a sheet using her vacuum table. And on the right we are back in my studio sorting some of the sheets made over the 3 days of pulling sheets. My students came from Florida and North Carolina with a variety of art backgrounds that stimulated much cross-pollination of ideas!
I ended April with a trip to New York City for a reunion of female cousins. While the trip itself had little to do with book or paper arts, I couldn't resist a trip to Kremer Pigments or resist sharing wall art...
Kremer was introduced to me by Dan and Regina St. John of Chena River Marblers. The company produces pigments in traditional ways. I am working at improving my techniques for old-world marbling and am beginning to collect some of these pure pigments to work with. My sister Patricia is in the photo with me (I am the one with the really goofy smile); sister, Martha, took the photo.
I want to give a shout-out to my daughter, Amanda, who is graduating from Gallaudet University. I am so proud of her! I imagine there is someone in your life of whom you are proud or wish to give tangible evidence of your love. May I humbly suggest the gift of a hand-bound book or repair of a very special volume?
- What better way to express your love than to take a small book and write out expressions of your feelings; the recipient then carries these words close to his/her heart
- I recently repaired a paperback book of poetry. It would have been much cheaper for my customer to replace the book, BUT... it was her husband's favorite book and he had recently died. Repairing that volume was a way to keep his memory close.
- Why have just a list of names in a guestbook? Ask guests at a wedding or at a graduation celebration to write out thoughts, good wishes, recipes for the future... Bind the pages together into a book that will be oft-revisited.
- Preserve memories of early childhood by binding together some of the pictures and stories your child or grandchild has written. What about grandma or grandpa sitting with child while each writes/draws together on a page; gradually collecting a lifetime of memories?
Bookbinder and Papermaker