I’m dedicating this blog post to a Shanghai friend called Sibylla (who has a great blog by the way)…who I must, must, must get in contact with soon. She, like me, has a love of paper and during my time in China, she shared with me her vast knowledge of her travels and experiences of crafts and arts in Asia…her practice of ink painting. Below (7th photograph down) is a photograph of a selection of papers that she gave me just before I left to take home that I now use to show workshop participants in the UK the types of papers produced in China. I love paper…and make my own conceptually-embedded paper (example shown here)…and there’s nothing like feeling a homemade paper between your finger tips, rubbing its texture and form between the skin, smelling its surface and seeing its opacity when held up to the light. I hope to get back to more of this kind of making once my PhD is finished…and to facilitating more workshops.
So workshop time again, this time with Milton Keynes Arts Centre. I facilitated a bookbinding workshop with the centre back in November 2013…you can read about that workshop here. On Saturday 9th August 2014, I was lucky enough to go back to the thatched roof 17th Century barn complex on the outskirts of Milton Keynes to work with three adults – Janet, Dianne and Paul – teaching them my “go-to” method of sewn-bound bookbinding. Usually I run workshops with eight participants, but that day, it was only with these three lovely individuals. (Thanks for coming!) It was actually particularly special as I got to work more closely with each person and also give them a little more creative freedom, such as choosing the size of book they wanted to create…usually I am non-stop trying to keep track of everyone and have a stock size of book for them to create to save time. I might put forward smaller workshops in the future as I felt that it was a much more relaxed and beneficial format to the day. Here are images from the day and the beautiful books they produced.
The next workshop I’ll be doing is a Paper-Cutting Workshop evening at Leicestershire Craft Centre in Market Harborough on Thursday 13th November 2014. If you want to find out more take a look here, or get in contact. It would be great to meet you! I’ll hopefully be doing more workshops with Leicestershire Craft Centre over time. Watch this space. In the meantime, I’m sorting out my studio stock, materials and tools. The recent workshop made me realise I’d run out of a few things and also did not have a sense of what was there to use, and what I needed. This weekend, a rather large number of plastic tubs and boxes were bought…a HUGE mess made…organised chaos right now…and a very random, specific, shopping list written. The bookbinding suppliers Ratchfords will be getting a call tomorrow…
Great writeup Rachel! Looks like good fun!
Thank you Paul, love your new initiative! Let’s keep in touch. R