Over the last few weeks I’ve been putting together some ideas for courses that I will be launching over the next few months.
These will include paper making, various book binding lessons and some meditative mark making sessions. But the first of these online sessions will be over the course of a weekend in the form of a making retreat. It will be entirely via zoom so you can join in from wherever you are. It will be live so those of you outside Europe will need to check your times to see how it fits with you! All the details are on my eventbrite page.
My plan is to enable each of those participating to put aside a weekend just for themselves to be creative.
It has been designed so you can enjoy making with some company and maybe discover some knew skills in the process. I recognise that allowing ourselves an entire weekend for this is a luxury but I think you are most definitely worth it. I will lead four workshops during the weekend in a very relaxed manner to give you space to explore. There will be plenty of time to go away and make on your own and some prompts available if you don’t find that all that easy to do. On the Sunday I will spend some time one to one with each of the participants to chat about what they are making and give some hints and tips, or just chat about the weather over a cuppa! Finally I will be sending out a little package of bits and pieces, including some of my handmade papers for you to play with too. I would love for you to join me. The first date is very soon 18th – 20th June and the second opportunity to join is 16th – 18th July both weekends will follow the same pattern.
So if you would be interested to make some marks with me that can become a range of beautiful artist’s books and keepsakes then book your ticket soon! There are only ten places available for each weekend so we can get to know each other and I can spend some time with each of you properly. If you are interested in being the first to hear about courses and other opportunities in the future then please sign up for my newsletter in the post above.
I am so looking forward to meeting some of you very soon!
Those of you who have been following my work for a while will probably already know about the #areyoubookenough challenge I take part in each month over on instagram.
Those of you who don’t it is a challenge created by Sarah Mottaghinejad from Editions Studios in Seattle where we are given a word to respond to in the form of some kind of book. I have been taking part for a year now and found it the most rewarding community and challenge to be part of. I thought I would catch you up on one or two of my submissions from the last few months…
For this one I thought about the fact that a machine needs instructions of some kind to work. So I made an instruction manual about how to make a book from used tea bags. I chose the tea bags because they are also machine made (and I drink copious amounts of tea so have plenty to hand!). I made the books using a sewing machine and covered the box that houses it all with pages from an Italian book about mechanics.
This book was made as a memory of a time after my dad had died when I would walk on the beach every day to find space to try and process my thoughts and feelings about what had happened. I started collecting shells on these trips without thinking about it. At some later date I realised that I was drawn to spiral shells that were broken open to reveal the inner workings. I found them so much more interesting than the intact ones. I recognised through this action of collecting that I was a bit broken open because of my experiences but that was ok and actually in some ways made me stronger and gave me a new dimension. My strength was visible not hidden away under a perfect surface. This time I collected snail shells from the garden and broke them so I could draw the shapes inside and the fragments left after they were broken open. The book is a decreasing spiral to echo the imagery inside. I used one of the shells as a clasp to keep the band around the book tight to protect what was inside. The words are random finds from an old book about sculpture.
When I first thought about the word human I immediately thought of the phrase ‘the ties that bind us’. This led to thinking about how we are so much stronger when we all join together and head in the same direction. So for this piece I used a left over scrap of material and spent hours sewing by hand lines of running stitch along the length of the material. I used every colour I had and because of the hand stitching each stitch is different. It represents us as humans and the diversity on our planet and celebrates that. The piece of fabric becomes very strong because of all the layers of stitching. It is wound round an old bobbin which represents the planet we inhabit. Again I used found text from old books to piece together some words to accompany the book/scroll.
If you are interested to see more of my creations for this challenge head over to my instagram page via the link at the top. This months word is ‘recycle’ if anyone fancies a challenge!