15 July 2015

Snake Book

This is a long overdue post so I want to give you a free tutorial!

I recently taught the Snake Book to kids at Camp Tannery Arts. This is the fourth year that I have taught at this Camp and every year I do something different. Each year I start out with inviting the kids to my studio and showing them some books from around the world made using different structures and materials. Each year I end with showing them this children's book from Japan:




And, each year I say "we should do this structure next year" and then I forget and come up with something different.






 Well, this year I finally remembered and this is the project that I taught the kids. The structure is called a Snake Book and it is a wonderfully dynamic book that can be read in many different ways and works great with images and words, or just images. This children's book tells a story, without words, of a little fish who gets lost and swims in and out of the holes in the structure, encounters many creatures, some scary, some funny, and then finally finds his/her parents at the end.





I love this book for its non-linear reading. It can be turned in a number of different ways to progress through the story. Book artists have utilized this structure to create very sophisticated artists' books, but it is also a great project for kids.

Here is how to make one:
 
 These are the materials you will need: a square piece of paper (any size but this is 12 x 12), pencil or pen, scissors, glue stick if you want covers, and two cover pieces if you want them (see end of project for cover pc. sizes).




Start out with your square piece of paper.




Fold the paper in half and crease.



 


Unfold paper and meet one of the edges to the center fold and crease, then unfold the paper and meet the other edge to the center fold and crease.




Unfold, and your paper should look like this with three folds and four columns.

 


 

Do the same thing in the opposite direction.








 
Now you should have a square piece of paper divided into 16 smaller squares.






Take a pen or pencil and draw a spiral on the fold lines like this (three squares up, two squares over, two squares down, one square over, and one square up):

 


Take scissors and cut where you have drawn that spiral.








 

Take one end of your Snake Book and start folding it back and forth accordion style.



 

You can call your Snake Book finished now but if you want you can create covers for it. If you want to do that cut them the same size as the small folded squares, apply glue to the cover and glue to each end of the snake book.






Voila, a Snake Book. I love the wonky quality of this book.





I've included this structure in many adult book arts courses that I have taught throughout the years but this is the first time that I have taught it to kids and I was so pleasantly surprised at how well they did. There is a lot of folding, creasing, cutting, and general direction following but they did great and had fun with it. I would say this is appropriate for ages 6 and up and possibly younger with some extra supervision.

Here are some pictures of them in action:









I can't wait to see what they do with the covers and pages: stories, words, pictures? I will find out later this week at the end of camp and might update this post with some shares.








Kids love making books! This is a perfect project for the summer when kids are home and out of school, or if you are teaching summer camp yourself. Please share!

Here are some other tutorials and classes for making books with kids:





Add beautiful covers with Orizomegami


Happy Summer!


 

25 May 2015

Boro Sampler Book Workshop - and more to come

I completed another season of workshops at Wishi Washi Studio with my Boro Books workshop.


Preparing my materials and tools for teaching
 

This is quickly becoming one of my favorites to teach since Japanese textiles are becoming a favorite subject of mine, particularly Boro textiles. 

I'm trying to learn everything I can about Japanese textiles since the history of Boro textiles is intrinsically linked to the history of Japan and the textiles created there.


Boro textile from my personal collection
 

In my Boro Books workshop (a.k.a. Boro Sampler Book) I share my modest but growing collection of Boro and other Japanese textiles so we can examine the stitching techniques up close.



My Boro Book pages in progress


Then we work on "pages" to re-create mending and strengthening techniques seen in Boro textiles. Students are encouraged to bring materials meaningful to them that can include fabric, paper, and other ephemera.



My completed Boro Sampler Book


The finished product is a book, bound with the Japanese side-sewn binding, that can be referred back to for future art or mending projects. It can be added to over time and even used as a needle book! (See post on a previous Boro Books workshop here)


Detail from my current series: KEEP: Modern Library


The Boro aesthetic has inspired my current series: KEEP: Modern Library that will be in my Rydell Visual Arts Fellowship exhibit at the end of this year. I look forward to sharing more of this series in the coming months.

I'll be teaching this workshop twice this summer at Cameron Marks in Santa Cruz on July 11th, and at Handcraft Studio School in Emeryville on July 18th. Come and join us for a day of learning and making!



11 May 2015

Drum Leaf Binding/Sewn Boards Binding with Rhiannon Alpers

The Drum Leaf Binding is a structure of many names and versions. It is also known as the Sewn Boards Binding and there are also ways to put it together with no binding at all.

This past Saturday Rhiannon Alpers, of Gazelle & Goat, visited Wishi Washi Studio and taught the sewn version which is technically the Sewn Boards Binding (attributed to Gary Frost) - she also discussed ways to create the structure without sewing that is called Drum Leaf Binding (attributed to Timothy Ely). Confused? Check out Karen Hanmer's description of the two structures here.


Rhiannon's Drum Leaf Binding/Sewn Boards Binding class samples


This a fabulous structure that is a nice, tight binding but is also extremely flexible.


my sewn boards binding in progress

Card stock sections are bound along with the textblock that eventually become the book's covers.




This contributes to the structure opening nice and flat


My complete Sewn Boards Binding

I tend to gravitate towards exposed spine bindings but I really like this structure for its compact and flexible qualities.



Rhiannon is a very thorough and patient teacher and it was so much fun having her in Wishi Washi Studio again. She also teaches classes out of her studio, Gazelle & Goat, in San Francisco. Check out her upcoming class schedule here.

My last Spring workshop in the studio is the popular Boro Books workshop. The class is full and there is a large waitlist, but I will be teaching it at two different locations this summer - see my previous blogpost for my Summer teaching schedule.

05 May 2015

Summer Teaching

So many opportunities popped up for me to teach outside of Wishi Washi Studio this Summer that all the dates got used up!
 So, there will be no Summer 2015 schedule in the studio but you can find me teaching out and about at the following venues:

***********************
The Stitcherly Book at Cabrillo SummerArts

The Stitcherly Book
June 5, 6 and 7th
10:00 - 4:00 each day



Crossed Structure Binding at Platetone


Crossed Structure Binding
June 20th
10:00 - 3:00
e-mail Lesley Patterson-Marx ( lesleypatterson@bellsouth.net ) to sign up and for more information
(also, there will most likely be a free talk the night before the workshop so following them on Facebook here is a good thing if you're interested)


Boro Sampler Book

Boro Sampler Book
July 11th
10:00 - 4:00
Cameron Marks, Santa Cruz, CA


Boro Sampler Book
July 18th
10:00 - 4:00
Handcraft Studio School, Emeryville, CA


and, if you have kids check out this art camp at the Tannery Arts Center - I'll be teaching a project during both sessions:



July 13th - 17th
August 3rd - 7th

********************

I will be working on a Fall 2015 schedule soon and will probably post that mid-July.


Also, I am available for private lessons or special workshops for small groups in my studio if you are flexible with dates - so let me know if you or your friends are dying to learn something - we'll work it out!


As always like me on Facebook and follow me on Instagram for current and constant updates and happenings!


Hope to see you out there!

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 had them 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.


Orinasu-kan

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!