Sunday, February 17, 2013

New Equipment and Tools!

 I have been away from my blog since before Christmas and New Year's holidays. Unfortunately I spent most of January sick in bed, and will not bore you with the details. My loving husband took wonderful care of me and I am back amongst the living! Lots happening in the studio however!

Lying Press, Plough and Tub set up in the Studio-different views

In November I received my new lying press and plough from Murray Wright of Deep River, and in December I received my new tub, created by Craig Stuart of Deep River, for the lying press. All three are shown here. I had to order the plough blade from England but it works perfectly. So pleased that Robert Cornwall of Bookbinding Supplies in Enlgand was willing to sell me one that he manufactures for the ploughs he makes.  Murrary used a strip of walnut for the guide, and when Craig was making the tub, he used a piece of walnut for the top of the lying press tub. This walnut piece screws in and out to allow for adjustments in the placement of the lying press in the tub. Craig also added some additional parts, including a lovely drawer on the bottom and lockable casters. The drawer is perfect for holding small tools and the casters allow me to move the tub around in the studio. When I go on the road for classes I will also be able to take it with me for demonstrations. Both of these talented craftsmen will be making these items for custom orders in the near future. I am helping to set up their websites during February and March and will keep you updated as to when they can accept orders.

Piercing Cradle by Craig Stuart

I was also blessed to receive this lovely piercing cradle by Craig Stuart. My dear friend Michael Babcock of Interrobang Letterpress had posted his newly created wooden piercing cradle on Facebook. When I saw this I realized that it made so much sense. I have been forever remaking mine from book-board over the past several years. Craig used a piece of offcut wood that has a lovely knot in it and makes the piece so beautiful to view. The surface has a gloriously smooth finish. Works very well for all sizes of books. It is a little over 13 inches in length. He also added small feet to the bottom for steadiness on the workbench. I am so blessed to have these tools in the studio!

In the fall I was notified that my artist's book, "Dance and Believe" had been accepted for the Contemporary Book Arts Show at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.
"Dance & Believe"

This small book, approximately 3" x 5", is in the collection of Nora Waddell of Deep River and has been graciously loaned for the show. This book was created using hand made paper, letterpress, rubber stamp, and embellishments for the interior. It is a multi-signature book with hand marbled papers for the cover. This book reflects my firm belief that if we were all dancing in the Light of God, life would be much better in the world!

The Contemporary Book Arts in Eastern Ontario exhibition opens on March 1st. Check out the poster to the right for more information. As soon as Queen's University updates their website for the event, I will post a link here.

I am participating as a member of "The Ottawa Press Gang" for this exhibition. This is a group of letterpress printers, book artists, and bookbinders in Ottawa. We gather every couple of months in Ottawa to trade information about our studio projects, talk about upcoming shows, and discuss technical issues we run into in our studios and shops.

I currently have four unique books on the desk, creating the structures and adding the text and illustrations daily. I will post photos when the books are complete showing the process of creating. Currently I am working with 19th century printed music for illustrations as well as adding letterpress elements and affixing 3-D embellishments. I also have four restoration projects on the bench and must get to finishing them before I leave for Iowa in March to teach for The Catfish Letter Arts School in Bettendorf, Iowa.

Those of you who have been asking about classes in the States, here is your chance. I will be conducting a one day workshop on March 20th in Bettendorf, Iowa. We will cover "Creating a Single Signature Manuscript Book."  This workshop will show you how to size and create your pages, create  a dummy for text layout, line your pages for calligraphic text and illumination, assemble, sew, and cover the book.  I will also have on hand several other book structures and will distribute directions for creating them.  Please check out The Catfish Letter Arts School page on The Art Legacy League website. If you email me at and sign up for the course, based on the link to my website here, you will receive 15% off the list price for the course. This offer is limited TO THE FIRST TEN PEOPLE who sign-up, so do not delay!

As I prepare to leave for my afternoon shift at Valley Artisans' Co-op here in Deep River, I am reminded of the joy I feel for the community in which we live. My creative life is always charged by the members of the co-op as they share the joy of what they are creating in their studios. I am so blessed to have folks here who are so interested in my work as well as their own.

It is very cold and crisp out today with amazing, bright sunshine. My heart soars like a hawk when I think of the ideas I have floating in my head. I know that my studio will be waiting for me when I return home and that my creative soul will continue to thrive within its confines. I am so very blessed to be here at this point in my life when my entire being exists only to create!  I know that with each breath I take, each book I create, that all will be well, and all will be well, and with the grace and peace of God's light and wisdom in my life, all will be well.