Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Book Arts Workshops Continue!

Calligraphy Broadsides made for workshop participants.
My latest all day workshop, Making Calligraphy Cards and Broadsides, was a terrific success. We had a small group due to some cancellations from illness, but overall, everyone worked very hard during the day. We covered the fundamental principles of design, talked about using design elements to create balance in calligraphic layouts, and how to apply the same design concepts used on large broadsides to smaller cards. In addition, everyone learned how to make their own envelopes using a handy little scoring tool from We R Memory Keepers. There are a number of You Tube videos that clearly show how to use this tool, and I suggest if you are interested you check them out.

While participants were working on their exercises during the workshop, I took some time to make some little "Broadside Strips" for each of them to take home. This photo shows a sampling of the ones I completed during the day. Each has two different alphabet styles, pen and brush calligraphy, and a variety of colour applied. Usually I do one major broadside for each class and have a drawing for the winner, but for this day, and the smaller group, this seemed appropriate.

We don't have enough folks to run the Intermediate Calligraphy Workshop on Saturday, April 12, however the weekly course, Pen and Brush Calligraphy for the Novice, has a good group already registered and will begin on April 9th and run for the next 4 weeks, Wednesday Afternoons, from 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. We still have a few seats available, so if you are interested you may register here on my page or email me with questions.

Book by Emily Diercks, my daughter!
The last workshop in the Spring Series is Making Soft Cover Books, and will be held Saturday, May 24th. The student will be introduced to the techniques and materials that may be used for making a variety of single signature and multiple signature soft cover books.  Instruction will be given covering basic bookbinding tools, materials, and terms, making a ribbon tied book, a sewn single and multiple signature book, and a soft cover accordion book. Instruction will also be provided on making mono prints for book covers using the Gelli Arts printing plate. Participants will take home their finished book forms, prints, and a course workbook.  We still have seats available for this amazing day long workshop, so register today!

Nancy's New Tile Saw
During the past month I have also been back in the studio attempting to cut stone and not feeling great about my results.  My serifs are a bit thick and my channels not completely even, so I will continue to practice. However, my new TILE SAW from Canadian Tire works amazingly well for beveling edges. I was able to get this saw last year on sale at a fabulous price. My countersink bit also does a fantastic job for making screw holes for attaching slate to wood. I will be preparing slate in the coming weeks for making small initial stones and number stones so that I can practice my cutting. Feels great to have the chisels sharpened and the table set properly for letter carving. My letter carving table belonged to Father Catich and was given to me after his death by Tom Chouteau from St. Ambrose. Each time I begin to cut, I look up at Father's photo, and here him telling me, "You'll get there Sadie, you are a plugger, just keep at it!".

This week the air is supposed to warm and the huge drifts of snow outside our home are supposed to begin to melt for real. The studio has already been warmer, and when the sun is out, there is real heat to it that warms my bones.  I have been blessed with some new electrical lighting in my basement studio which helps keep the atmosphere brighter, but I so long for Spring to be sprung!  I am anxious to be in the studio again in the early mornings and long to be on press in the next week working on new projects. It is warm enough now in the studio to being to print again.

As the days get longer and we make our way into the final weeks of Lent, I feel my heart once again opening to the richness of the love of God our Mother in my creative soul. I feel driven to create again in a way that was lost to me in the depths of the winter. My heart soars like a hawk and I know that with the coming of Easter, new life will be reborn in my soul, and that all will be well, and all will be well, with the grace and love of our Mother/Father God, all will be well.