27 April 2015

Three Sketchbooks in Six Hours with Jennie Hinchcliff

We made Three Sketchbooks in Six Hours...yes, we did!

Jennie's class samples

Jennie Hinchcliff is an extraordinary teacher. She was the most recent guest instructor in Wishi Washi Studio and she arrived with a bundle of class samples and an equal amount of enthusiasm! We had a mixture of beginners and experienced bookmakers in Wishi Washi Studio that day and Jennie made one and all comfortable, happy and laughing - even though we were on a tight schedule to get all of our work done.

My view while working - lines and grids

As the workshop title stated - we made Three Sketchbooks in Six Hours. They were all non-adhesive, exposed spine bindings that were variations on the Longstitch binding.

My completed books - count 'em - three!

 There were lots of links, chains, wraps, and crossovers. So much fun and satisfying to complete so much in one day!

Jennie also has a rubber stamp company, called Red Handed Rubber Stamps, and we got the opportunity to see her stamps in person, try them out and purchase them. Check out her retail distributors here and see line sheets of her stamps here. These are a few that she brought to Wishi Washi Studio:

Red Handed Rubber Stamps by Jennie Hinchcliff

Much Thanks to Jennie for the fun and fulfilling day in Wishi Washi Studio.

Rhiannon Alpers returns as our next guest instructor teaching the Drum Leaf Binding. The class is full but let me know if you want to be on the waitlist - this will be a fun one, too, with another stellar instructor!


13 April 2015

Wishi Washi Studio in Japan

What a wonderful time I had in Japan! It almost seems like a really really really really good dream now. One that I did not want to end.

Sakura in Kyoto

I posted lots of photos on Instagram and then shared a portion of those on Facebook - so check out those links if you would like.

But, I also wanted to include some here for those of you not connected to IG and FB. 

We started our trip in Tokyo and visited book artist Yo Yamazaki's atelier for tea, snacks and book arts sharing.

Japanese-English dictionary rebound by Yo Yamazaki

Yo is a talented, generous and kind bookbinder and teacher. He will be teaching at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts this summer.

Yo Yamazaki's atelier

Later that day we visited Jimbocho - an area in Tokyo filled with book stores

Rare book store in Jimbocho, Tokyo

The next day we visited Amuse Museum that has a large collection of boro textiles.

...where you are not only allowed to photograph the collection but are also encouraged to touch!

Next stop Kyoto where we stayed at an apartment in the Nishijin area and this was our view...for a week!

One day in Kyoto we shopped - guided by my friend and talented book artist, Kyoko Matsunaga:

paper store in Kyoto

needle store in Kyoto

needles at needle store in Kyoto

Some of my purchases that day: fabric to make a dress, handmade thread snips and paper thread

While in Kyoto we visited numerous temples, the Toji Temple flea market, and the Arishiyama area. On our last day in Kyoto we visited Orinasu-kan - a foundation for the promotion of hand woven textiles.


Master weaver at Orinasu-kan

We took the train back to Tokyo just in time for me to give a talk to the Tokyo Bookbinding Club at the Hibiya Library and Museum. What a wonderful group of people - and they took us out for a delicious meal later that night - we ate the kind of food that we would have had no idea how to order or eat without their guidance. Such a treat!

Hibiya Library and Museum in Tokyo
On our last day in Tokyo we found ourselves shopping, again...

Sekaido art supply store - Shinjuku

Sekaido art supply store - Shinjuku

It was hard to say goodbye but I hope to return again.

Arashiyama area, Kyoto

Arigatou gozaimasu, Japan!

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!