23 March 2015

Wishi Washi Studio Goes to Japan

I'm going to Japan!

I bought a bunch of travel books


And, my really really really great friends sent me things to help me prepare for my trip

And, I even took a "Japanese for Travelers" class offered through my local parks and rec department!

This trip is 100% made possible by the Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship that I received.

This is a picture of Roy and Frances Rydell

Roy and Frances bequeathed their entire estate to support the arts in Santa Cruz County and appointed the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County to administer the fund. I am eternally indebted to Roy, Frances and the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.

Roy’s vision was “beauty in the home, in the garden and in the community.”  Thank you Roy and Frances. I'm taking you to Japan along with me...

I'm not sure if I will create a blog post while in Japan but be sure to join me on Instagram if you want to follow along...

16 March 2015

Coptic Endbands

I gathered with my students in Wishi Washi Studio this past Friday to put Coptic Endbands on their Coptic Bound books.

Coptic Endbands are a little tricky to learn, and to teach, but once you get the hang of them it is a very satisfying process with gorgeous results!

Coptic Endbands in progress

The endbands add what I call "strength and controlled flexibility" to a Coptic Bound book. Coptic bindings are known for their ability to lay flat but the binding can often be a bit floppy - especially if the first and last page are not glued down. The endbands can help strengthen the binding while still allowing the book to behave in a beautifully flexible way.

Next up in Wishi Washi Studio are workshops taught by Guest Instructors Jennie Hinchliff (Three Sketchbooks in Six Hours on April 25th) and Rhiannon Alpers (Drum Leaf Binding on May 9th). There are limited spaces available in those two classes - more information and sign up information here. What a great Happy Spring gift to yourself to come to Wishi Washi Studio and learn with these amazing teachers - join us!

Between now and then I will be going to Japan! More on that soon...

09 March 2015

Catching up! Codex, Tackets and Coptic

I have fallen behind on reporting on happenings in and around Wishi Washi Studio! So, here is a three in one post.

I participated in the Codex Book Fair & Symposium in February.

The Fair took place at the Craneway Pavilion in Point Richmond, California, in this stunning building

the exhibitor hall with windows everywhere

the Craneway Pavilion went on forever

with these stunning views

our view: stormy day with San Francisco in the distance

small, medium and large boats passing at all times

There were approximately 200 exhibitors from all around the world. The event took place over a span of four days and it was absolutely overwhelming! I saw friends, colleagues, and students from far and near and met many, many amazing people. My biggest complaint was that I wasn't able to meet and visit with each and everyone of my co-exhibitors.

A couple of weekends later I was back teaching in Wishi Washi Studio. Tacketted Binding is the first binding that I ever taught way back in the 1990's at Paper Source in Cambridge, Massachussets, what seems like a few lifetimes ago. 

Tackets on one of my artists' books: Worse Than Nothing

I had never taught Tacketted Binding in Wishi Washi Studio but I had a student request it and I'm glad she did - the class filled lickety-split and I ended up adding a second class that also filled. I was quite pleased to learn that there was so much interest in this binding.
class samples: Tacketted Binding

This is a historically based binding for which I have altered the materials to modernize it a bit. It is a great structure for artistic applications.

class samples: Coptic Binding

Last weekend I taught the tried and true Coptic Binding. Always a favorite as it is a beautiful and functional binding that allows the pages to lay flat. Journal keepers and sketchbook makers love it for that reason. I also teach this class online at Creativebug so you can take it anywhere in the world that you are!

Greek Coptic Binding with Coptic Endbands

This coming Friday I will be teaching students to add Coptic Endbands to their Coptic bound books. There is still space in that class so check it out here and join us if you can.

26 January 2015

A New Year in Wishi Washi Studio

Wishi Washi Studio is entering its fourth year at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz, Ca and I've just put out the Spring 2015 Workshop schedule.

Tacketted Binding Workshop taught by Jody Alexander

I have scheduled a number of great bookbinding workshops taught by me and guest instructors Rhiannon Alpers and Jennie Hinchcliff. Check out the schedule here and join us if you can.

Also, coming up soon is the Fifth Codex Book Fair and Symposium. I have previously attended the Fair but for the first time I will be exhibiting this year.


This is an International Book Fair and book artists and collectors gather here from all over the world. I'm looking forward to seeing some of my far flung friends and meeting new ones.

Hope to see you in the studio or at Codex!!!

15 December 2014

Boro Books

This past weekend I taught the last workshops of the year in Wishi Washi Studio: two separate workshops called Boro Books.

My samples materials and tools

If you have been to my studio lately, or follow me on Instagram, you know that I am enamored with a certain kind of Japanese textile called BoroFollow this link to learn more and see examples on my Pinterest board here.

In the workshops this weekend we made small sampler books inspired by Japanese Boro that contained Boro-like repair techniques on fabric or paper pages.

I brought in some Boro pieces from my collection to show the classes:

As well as some of my own Boro inspired artist's books and class samples:

My boro inspired artist's books in fabric and paper

We began by warming up and making some stitches and practicing some mending techniques on muslin:
muslin sampler by student Diane Ritch

I also threw in a little demo on image transfers and provided them with some hand carved blocks and stamps to print with:

Students transferring images on paper and fabric

I encouraged students to bring in papers, fabrics and threads that they wanted to work with. They practiced the mending and stitching techniques on their book pages in very artful ways:


Sampler pages in progress by student Cheryl Maruyama

Student Rene Chock used mostly paper with some fabric

At the end of the day we bound the pages into little books that the students can use as reference when working with mending stitches in their future artwork:

Some completed sampler Boro Books

As usual my students were not only talented but very generous bringing papers, fabrics and threads to share with one another, and me! I was gifted these gorgeous textiles:

 That wraps up another year of workshops in Wishi Washi Studio. I'll try my bestest to get the Winter/Spring 2015 workshop schedule up on my website by mid-late January.

Happy Holidays!

23 November 2014

Don't Buy - DIY!

My friend and studio neighbor, Angela Gleason, is having an event at her studio, The Jewelry Toolery, on Black Friday called Don't Buy - DYI. Anyone is invited to sign up and visit her studio that day (during your designated sign-up time) and make jewelry that you can then give as gifts or donate to be sold. All proceeds of the event go to charity. Win, win, win.
I've always been a big proponent of making holiday gifts and shopping local from independent shopkeepers and makers.

The last couple of years I had workshops in my studio for this exact purpose. A number of years ago I had heard about Plaid Friday that promotes shopping local and independent on Black Friday instead of visiting super stores. So, I called my Black Friday workshops Paisley Friday. We made cards, small books and other giftable items.

Plaid Friday started in Oakland, CA, but they encourage anyone to participate

I'm not able to have a Paisley Friday this year but you can still play along by visiting Angela's studio or by making something on your own.

If you are not in the Santa Cruz, California area you can still play along with me and my fellow instructors on Creativebug.

Make a gift-able photo album or scan and bind your kid's drawings into a book - great gift!

Creativebug is currently offering a free two-week trial to all of the workshops on their site so you can play along from wherever you are...in the world!

If you are in the Santa Cruz area then contact Angela at the Jewelry Toolery to sign up for Don't buy - DYI. Or, follow this link to play along with me and the other amazing Creativebug instructors (click on the Try Premium Free button on the homepage).

The Six-Pocket Keepsake book makes a great holiday card with pockets for stashing photos and notes.

A Creativebug subscription also makes a great gift!

I'd love to hear about what you make - please share...


I just found out that Creativebug has released a number of free holiday themed workshops:

Wrap your handmade gift with handpainted wrapping paper with my friend Courtney

Go check it out.

10 November 2014

Storage Book, take two...

We were quite fortunate this past Saturday to have Macy Chadwick come and teach in Wishi Washi Studio for the third time. She taught the enticing structure The Storage Book again. (See my previous posts on last year's Storage Book workshop and the
Hidden and Revealed workshop two summers ago).

class samples and one of mine

What struck me most this time around were the rich colors that everyone worked with. Macy gave everyone the chance to stain and color their white and off-white papers to suit their fancy

Then everyone set to work making all of those windows, pockets, slidey-things, spinning wheels, and gentle capture techniques that Macy teaches (see a better description of these in this post).

student work in progress

student work in progress

As usual, everyone did gorgeous work:

Macy played along, too

Sweet pocket with illustrations made by a student

More student work - I love all the layering

Thank you once again to Macy for a fulfilling day and we hope that she comes back again!