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!
I regret that I will not be attending Chapel Hill's Festifall the first weekend in October. Last year the festival was rained out and this year I chose to be a last minute substitute instructor at the John Campbell Folk School. I have looked forward to Festifall and hope that third time is the charm next year. This past week I have been having tremendous fun with 6 students who came to the Folk School to learn "Action Bookbinding: Pop-up Books and Cards". While this is not a style of bookbinding I do regularly, it has been great fun to share what I know and to watch the students take off with their own ideas. We did flag books, 2 types of tunnel books, accordions, several varieties of pop-ups, origami books, and more! Each student went home with 10-12 structures..
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'.
What with ending my former professorial job and actively gearing up for summer exhibits, classes, and other art-related activities, I completely missed sending out a May newsletter! But I am delighted to be a full-time professional bookbinder at this point in my life!
I'm excited to be offering a week-long bookbinding camp June 13-17 at my studio in Winston-Salem, NC. We will learn a different bookbinding technique (folded books, French linked, Romanesque, longstitch, and clothbound case binding) each day. Sign up for a single day or the entire week - there are 3 spaces still available.