I spent yesterday making a fun book at Annie Fain Liden's studio. I met Annie Fain a little over a year ago when I'd been making books for only a short time. To say that she's a multi-talented young woman is putting it mildly. In addition to making books and teaching book arts classes, she's an accomplished Morris dancer, plays fiddle and banjo --among other instruments-- and weaves and sews. She grew up in Murphy, NC, next door to the John C. Campbell Folk School, where her mother, Martha Owen, is the Folk School's Resident Fiber Artist. This spring, Annie Fain spent two months at Penland as the studio assistant in the weaving program and just returned from teaching a week-long book arts class at the Campbell Folk School. (That's AF to the right with Priscilla, one of my classmates, in the background.)
Locally, Annie Fain (it's a double name, like "Mary Jane" or "Ann Marie") teaches bookmaking in her studio and at BookWorks. She has an engaging, supportive and relaxed teaching style that makes working with her a pleasure. This session's project was a whimsical two-in-one coptic-binding book that opens via side-by-side "doors." Open, the book has the feel of an altar or shrine. We used book board for the back of the book, and covers from old books for the front covers. Part of the fun was deciding how to treat both the outer and inside panels of the book. One of the students opted for textural paper for the outside of the book and collaged the inside panels; another kept the covers pristine but used images on the inside back cover that created the effect of a stage; I used decorative paper for most of the book and acrylic paint and ink on the front covers.
I like the conceit of the book. Unlike a dos-a-dos structure, which also creates two books, but back-to-back, the side-by-side book allows -- in fact, encourages -- a relationship between the facing text blocks. I'd like to spend a little time deciding how best to use my book. But not too long.