Saturday, June 18, 2011

New blank books for sale!

I'm very excited to say that Vespertine in Carrboro is now carrying my handmade blank books.

Margarite & I fell in love with the Vespertine location in Pittsboro when we were first considering moving there. We were exploring the downtown area and found this narrow little storefront selling local handmade jewelry, soaps, screenprinted t-shirts, prints, knitted goods, etc. Quirky stuff in exactly our style. I won't say that it was the reason we decided Pittsboro was the place for us, but combined with delicious lunch and beers at The City Tap... well, PBO started to look pretty darn good.

In the meantime a second Vespertine location has opened in Carrboro, and that's where you'll find my books. It's a small selection so far, but I'll be adding more all the time. There are a few small coptic-bound journals like the ones shown above, some Japanese stab-bound ones, and one weirdo that I invented myself that I just call the "star journal":

When the materials and the inspiration come together just right for a special book, I like to honor that by giving it a name. This one is called 'Rodanthe Pier dawn patrol':

The color of the book cloth and the wave pattern on the endsheets take me back to summer morning surf sessions in the Outer Banks when the rising sun turns pitching waves translucent green, and the dark blue ocean is corduroyed to the horizon...

In any case, stop by Vespertine in Carrboro to check the books out for yourself. Even if it's not one of my books, I guarantee you'll find SOMEthing there you'll like!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

New local book arts group -- Triangle, NC

I've been an absent blogger for a while, but not for lack of activity and news to report. The past couple of months have seen some exciting developments. For one, I'm finally making progress on a new artist's book project with Steve Addiss that's been in the planning stages for several years now. I'll have a new post about that soon, with photos.

The other most exciting thing has been the founding of a new local book arts group in the area -- the Triangle Area Book Arts Group.

Last year when my library helped to host a series of book arts events at UNC and Duke, two themes kept coming up. First: there was a ton of local interest in book arts and a multitude of practitioners. Second: we were all working individually, with only sporadic contact with each other and no network for sharing news, questions, or expertise.

After the series of events wrapped up, I stayed in contact with the people who expressed an interest and together we have started this group. There are several components. First we have a Google group which serves as an email listserv for all members to share news and plan events. Second, we've been meeting monthly to discuss the direction of the group and follow up on event planning. And third, we've been planning workshops and other activities outside of the monthly meetings. In April Lisa Gilbert taught a workshop on how to create the mysterious Secret Belgian Binding. And last month Mary Yordy and Bryant Holsenbeck taught the group techniques for making paste paper.

Along with the meetings and workshops, we are planning more public presentations to raise awareness of book arts in the local community -- demonstrations, exhibits of our work, etc. It looks like our first foray into that area will be at Frank Gallery in Chapel Hill, where three of us will discuss our work at one of their TGI Thursday artist talks in July. It's tentatively scheduled for Thursday, July 7th from 5-8 p.m. -- I'll post the details when it's 100% certain.

In the meantime, if you're in the area and are curious about the book arts scene, please feel free to check out the Google group and get in touch! We're a very friendly group open to all areas of book arts interest and skill levels.

And if you've read this far, here's a glimpse of the new book:

More soon!