The daffodils and lily-of-the-valley are blooming in my front yard and the lovely tulip magnolia is bursting with bright pink blossoms. Spring is in the air and I am busy planning for summer craft festivals and teaching venues. The official start of spring is still two weeks hence, but it is certainly time to celebrate the return of the light and warmth!
I am on a bit of emotional high also due to having just returned from a week of teaching book and paper arts at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC. At the Folk School, I was part of "Arts and Crafts Week", a celebration of the American Arts and Crafts period from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time there was a strong resurgence of handmade crafts as folks were resisting the impact of the industrial age. I taught a limp leather binding style utilizing both handmade bookcloth from Morris print fabrics and goat skin leather to 6 students over 5 days. I included linoleum block printing as folks worked to create their books in the style of The Roycrofters, a group of craftspeople in Aurora, New York who were well known participants in the American Arts and Crafts movement.
After the 5-day bookbinding workshop, I also taught a weekend paste paper class. We focused on traditional paste paper patterns, more linoleum block printing, and stenciling as ways of creating decorative papers. We ended the session by making flag books with class samplers of the paste papers.
If you are not familiar with the Campbell Folk School, please explore their website. There is much to offer and I will be back on the 2017 schedule!
In January, I wrote about some of the custom binding requests I had filled. One of those I summarized in this manner: "I read that you created a 640-page journal for someone. I want one too. I'll be hand-writing my novel". I created a leather cover with longstitch binding that included 20 signatures of 32 pages each. My customer, the novelist, wrote, "The journal arrived today as promised and it looks beautiful. It's going to be a pleasure writing in it." I wish him all the best in his writing journey. I know I am biased but I believe it makes a world of difference to be writing one's ideas or to be creating one's drawings in a unique and hand-crafted book.
As always, please consider the list of events I have scheduled and come say hello at one of the exhibits or sales venues. I am definitely open to scheduling individual workshops. This month I am offering 3 workshops - 2 private, 1 public - that are scheduled simply because people asked for the skills. I enjoy teaching and am told I am good at it, so come find out!
Bookbinder and Papermaker