custom bookbinding and unique papers

Autumn Greetings!

I was reminded this morning that the shortening of the daylight is a good reminder to slow down and to focus on what brings me joy.  The problem (if I can even use that word) is that I LOVE what I do and so I am very busy burning the proverbial two-ended candle while feeling very blessed with my life. However, once again time has flown by with my not taking time to connect with my loyal followers!  I do want to let you know what has been happening and what is new.  

                                       old world marbling class

As always, highlights of my continuing education are to be found at the John Campbell Folk School.  I spent the first week of October there repeating a class in Old World Marbling with Dan and Regina St. John of Chena River Marblers.  I had taken this class last year and was certainly excited about the work I did in the class that first time.  This year I went to dig more deeply into the materials and methods.  I want, as Dan has requested, to "carry the torch" of teaching these marbling methods from the 18th and 19th centuries.

Not only did I take more copious notes and practice styles more intently, but I returned home ready to invest in the materials necessary to be able to begin grinding my own water color marbling paints and to recreate in my own studio the type and quality of work I created there.  I was pleased enough with my efforts that I have several pieces at the framer, intending to display (and sell!) at ArtConnections.  Once I have everything set up and have had opportunity to practice in my own space, I will be offering classes in Old World Marbling in 2018.  Please let me know if you are interested. 

         pigment grinding materials              tiger eye 1


               wood cover SBB 16062                     wood cover SBB 16062c

Those of you who have marbled with me know that my nonpareil comb (a fine-toothed comb) is named "Mary Lou".  The simple fact is that the comb was created for a woman named Mary Lou who passed it on when she stopped marbling.  My sister, Patricia, found it and gave it to me.  Because I have, as one of my friends labels it, "musical Tourette's" and am frequently prone to break into song, there is usually one rendition of Ricky Nelson's hit every time I am creating nonpareil patterns...

So that's the background for this story I received from my new friend, Rebecca:

"One day, I was at the folk festival [National Folk Festival in Greensboro], minding my own business, touring all the craft booths. Then, I met this singer named Anne Murray. Next thing I know, this happened. Look what you've created!!" (Now see below her own collection of marbling tools created after taking the marbling workshop at Shelf Life in Greensboro.)


                            Rebeccas tools


I have recently repaired a number of bibles and other well-loved books.  You may be interested to know that I offer a number of options for covers.  While goatskin (as shown below) is popular for new bible covers, I also offer bookcloth and decorative paper bindings, just as I do in custom binding work.  I just wish I could remember to take more before & after photos...

                leather options b


During October, I spent one full week taking  Old World Marbling and  another 40 hours teaching the following workshops and or demonstrating my work:

          Taste of Bookbinding at Art Connections in Winston-Salem

          Introductory Marbling  at Art Connections

          Demonstration at Muddy River Art Association, Winston-Salem

          Papermaking workshop at Wilkes Art Gallery in N. Wilkesboro, NC

          Introductory Marbling at Foothills Arts Council in Elkin, NC

          Marbling at the Just for You Cancer Survivors Day, Winston-Salem

My recent workshop at the Foothills Arts Council in Elkin, NC was small in number of participants, but definitely not so in the creativity of their work!  I introduced the principles of marbling and they took off, creating patterns and combinations undreamed of by me.


                   Foothills class example 1                       Foothills class example 2a


Anne Murray

Bookbinder and Paper Artist

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