custom bookbinding and unique papers

The daffodils, lilies-of-the-valley, and tulip magnolia in my front yard are all in full bloom - spring has arrived early to North Carolina!  In this newsletter I am honoring the Romanian celebration of March 1, while inviting everyone to my spring open studio, sharing my recent creative activities, and celebrating new venues for art.  Come explore with me!

The following is excerpted from a blog I kept while living in Romania from Sept 2012 to July 2013.  You can find the full blog


March 1 in Romania is a wonderful celebration of the coming of spring.  Here in Bucharest, I started noticing the red and white colors and the trinkets (martisoara) for sale about the middle of February. 
My student, Corina, explained the significance: tradition held that boys would tie a red & white string around the wrist of a sweetheart on March 1. As long as the string stayed on through the end of March, they would be lucky in love.  Of course as these things do, the symbolism and the celebration grew.  Now, many trinkets can be purchased - from cheap manufactured things to lovely hand-made items - and they can be given to almost anyone as a symbol of luck in the coming season or year. The red and white colors symbolize the contrast between cold and warm weather, death of winter and new life of spring, old and new...  And so I send to you, today, virtual martisoara wishing you good luck in the coming year!

              pexels photo 91923                  IMG 2141


Spring also puts me in mind of spring cleaning and throwing open the windows and doors - both literally and metaphorically.  You are invited to my OPEN STUDIO on Sunday, April 9, from 1-5 pm.  There will be DEMONSTRATIONS - of binding, repair, marbling, and maybe even papermaking; lots of CONVERSATION about what a bookbinder does and how I do what I do; REFRESHMENTS; and DOOR PRIZES (must be present to win).  The focus is on demonstrating and telling folks about what I do - so please let anyone you know in the Winston-Salem area know about it.  I would love to see fresh faces!

Studio address is 632 Laurel St., Winston-Salem, NC 27101.  For further information, please send me an eThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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                 metal embossed book cover                       IMG 2131

I participated in two workshops in February, expanding my own knowledge base while having fun creating!  From Anne Cowie - painter, calligrapher, and teacher - I learned more about color theory and paste paper. Look for some of this information to seep into my marbling workshops.  Visit Anne's website for more information about her work and teaching. (My paste papers are the bright magenta and purple ones in the foreground above.)

I also returned to the Campbell Folk School (Brasstown, NC) to learn Repujado, or metal embossing, from Sherrie Avitan. Creating the designs and images was definitely fun and I like my results, but I won't be investing further in the materials necessary to add this skill to my repertoire at this time.

One advantage of visiting the Folk School was being excited about the new Book Arts studio that is almost ready for occupancy.  In fact when I met with Dea Sasso, resident artist for Book & Paper Arts, she was busy selecting and ordering furnishings to be delivered this month.  Please do consider taking a class at the Folk School - it is a wonderful place to nurture your creative spirit. I will be teaching 2 classes there in 2017 - a weekend in June and a week-long class in November.

I would like to introduce readers to two additional venues that are new to me.  The Stokes County Arts Council is in the process of completing a lovely new building that will house visual and performing arts, as well as classroom space where yours truly will be teaching in the future.  Designers of this building relied on natural materials whenever possible and are furnishing it using the work of local craftsman. An excellent addition to the community of Danbury, NC.  Readers based in and around Greensboro will want to know about Shelf Life, a store for new and used art supplies (exchange your extras for new materials!).  Owner Cassandra Liuzzo is a delightful person who will guide you well as you search for just the right addition to your creative supplies.  I am currently scheduled to teach marbling there - see the schedule under the Workshop tab of this website.

                                               Folk School BookArts studio Feb 2017

      Arts Place of Stokes     IMG 2124

"Make new friends, but keep the old..."  As the song says, I don't want my excitement for new venues to completely overshadow my past relationships.  Please do view the schedule for offerings in Asheville, NC, Galax, VA, Winston-Salem, NC, and even Cleveland, Ohio!

Anne Murray
Bookbinder and Papermaker




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