6.14.2007

The Penland Experience - Part 2

I'm still processing (what a clinical word that is!) my two-week book arts workshop at Penland. I signed up for the course because I wanted to explore content in bookmaking. I've been taking bookbinding classes for just over a year now, and I've concentrated on book structures. It seemed the way to lay a foundation in book arts, to build a vocabulary and establish a context. If you know me, it isn't news that I tend to be linear and incremental in my approach to things. So it seems that I've intuitively been developing a personal book arts curriculum over the course of the past year.

From the time I took my first book arts class -- at the John C. Campbell Folk School during a week's vacation more than two years ago -- I've been interested in the book as a whole, both form and content. I knew virtually nothing about artists' books at the time, and the more I learned, the more fascinating I found the concept and the books themselves.

It's too early to know how my own style will evolve. I love language too much to exclude words, so text will play a part. But what else? Who knows? I'm clearly attracted to paint and color and abstract forms. Art & Soul was a way to did my toe in this pool, in ways unrelated to book arts. The Penland workshop was a perfect next step, an opportunity to work on new book structures, but with an equal focus on creating imagery and working with paint.

Our instructor, book artist Laura Wait, has a bold, vivid style that attracted me to her work and to the class. She has a background in conservation, too, so she made it clear first thing that "books have to work!" In other words, technique matters. I knew at that point that I'd come to the right place.

More to come.

Laura Wait with one of her artists' books

Detail from another of Laura's books

2 comments:

Eero said...

Hi C,
Great description of Laura's work and approach. There is a book I love in regards to artist's books/journals: "Making Journals By Hand" by Jason Thompson. The author owns the Rag and Bone Bindery in Providence, RI. Not a lot of complex binding info, but great images of artists journals...inspiring imagery.
Love reading your posts: you write beautifully and so clearly!

E.

BookGirl said...

I own the book you refer to, E. It'some of my favorites. In my post-Penland daze I've been doing little but straightening up my studio and looking through my book arts books, including this one.