Friday, July 23, 2010

Artists Book Workshop at Idyllwild Arts

Just finished up a wonderful week of Artists Books (image & structure) with Laura Wait, and it was fantastic! These photos are awful—please forgive me—but I just took them tonight in my kitchen under horrible lights because I promised a friend that I would send her jpgs this evening. I'll take better ones later and re-post when I have more energy.
It was a great class and I so appreciate learning from Laura, a great teacher who gave of herself unselfishly throughout the week. She's an experienced book artist and also does the most amazing encaustic art; I hope you will visit her Web site.
In class we learned all about paste-painting with our own hand-cut stencils (not the U on the smallest book pictured above, that was a found item!) and rubber stamps, combs, etc. I have wanted to work with paste paint for a long time, and taking a live workshop gave me the inspiration I needed. I also learned to love working with BFK printmaking paper. It's quite thick, like 140# watercolor paper, and really takes a beating! Loved the painting sessions. We made about 10 sheets of hand-painted paper (painted on both sides) and several book structures.
My favorite book is pictured above, a big handmade book bound with wrapped linen cords. A fun way to bind a book, quite time consuming but very easy if you take it in steps. Honestly, if you're good at making jewelry you'll have no trouble making artist books. The same types of skills are required: patience, creativity, willingness to take things step by step, attention to details, fine motor skills, and careful craftsmanship.
We also explored a variety of ways to wrap paper covers, sewing bound books over leather straps, and a basic coptic stitch. A fun week at Idyllwild Arts, but exhausting! I'm so glad I took this class.
Happy wrapping,

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