this time last year, i began weaving together many of the threads from my different loves: smallness, dyeing, spinning, weaving, simple looms, vellum, stitching, story. the first book i made was my exemplar.
peter verheyan at syracuse university and the brodskys bring an expert in the field of library, conservation, and book arts to syracuse university library for a weekend lecture and workshop. two novembers ago chela metzger came and presented a wonderful talk about the field of library and conservation science. the workshop was on medieval and early modern stationer's bindings. working with chela was eye opening, the simple, functional, and exceedingly elegant bindings were the equivalent of ring binders today-simple, cheap, easy to make, simple to store; but mostly they did the job well, unlike a three ring binder. chela took us through the process of making a secondary tacketed binding, using paper for textblocks, vellum for the binding, tacketing the sections into the binding, and making typical closures. this teaching stewed until a first book came along, actias luna, a book made using many of these techniques, but my own sensibility. the materials are linen case paper, my overbeaten daylily paper, a beaded moth, and waxed linen thread. the text, a poem, was written in ink on white gouache applied to the pages.
then came three small shifu books, and there are a couple more in process. the thing that ties together all of these books, artists' books, is story. each one is a narrative of an event, or a time, or a learning, or even a poem. they are ways to frame the exquisite or mundane experiences in a mechanism that provides the reader a personal glimpse, a haptic adventure into book. for me this is when spinning, weaving, dyeing, textiles meet paper, words, and books. what more could be better?
spring walk, sewing detail
i posted this on sunday, and some of you get a notification of that. i really don't understand how that works, but i withdrew the post. then, today, i reread it. i hope i haven't shifu-booked you to tears. feel free to skip this-