Friday, December 30, 2011

Book Classes are Fun!

Hey! So here are the upcoming book classes I've planned for Winter and Spring 2012. They are fun, packed with information, and always have a great group of folks.

At Pullen Arts Center, Raleigh, NC (Call them at 919-996-6126 for information about registering)

Bento Box of Books - In Japan, the art of paper crafts, calligraphy, paper-making, printing and bookmaking are in the forefront of historical culture and everyday life. Washi (Japanese paper) has as strong an impact on art and literature as it does in architecture and religion. In this introductory class we will spend 6 weeks exploring Japanese culture through books and paper. The scroll, the accordion book, the butterfly book, the 4-hole pouch book, and the multi-section book will be taught. In addition to bindings, we will explore the arts of suminagashi (marbling on paper) and kumihimo (cord braiding). Each book will be small enough to fit into a section of a commercial luncheon bento box.  6 Tuesdays, Jan. 17- Feb 21. 6-8:30pm

                                                           Bento Box of Books

Coptic Book with Headband- Coptic bound books make great journals, drawing and sketch books, wedding and celebration sign-in books, and beautiful works of art. We will make a small coptic book with a beautiful exposed binding of chain-stitched linen, pastepaper on book board covers, and pages of mouldmade Italian paper. We'll finish the book with a stitched headband along the top and bottom of the spine. 4 Thursdays, March 22- April 12, 6:30 - 9:30pm

                                                  Coptic Book with Headband

Travel Journal - Travel has an element of the unexpected, of adventure and an awareness of something new. The travel journal has to be compact and sturdy, but also adaptable to change and the unexpected. Most importantly, it must be able to hold a variety of treasures safe. This class will make a softcover journal with pockets, fold-outs, windows, and a multitude of ways to incorporate memories and mementos into a variety of book forms. Fan books, stab books, rubber band books, tacket books, and pamphlet books will be made to tuck into the pockets and envelopes. We'll make paper buttons, and incorporate all types of papers for collecting specimens on your journey. Bring any maps or travel ephemera you would like to incorporate! Tuesdays for 6 weeks, March 27- May 1, 6:30-9pm

                                                 Travel Journal of Books

At Cary Arts Center, Cary, NC (Call them at 919-469-4069 for information about registering.)

The Perfect Book - The casebound, flat back book is one of the most common books seen in libraries and in homes. It is  a lovely book to use for any purpose but especially for diaries, special occasions, and a very special written story. For this class we will make the text block from mould made paper imported from Italy, then  cover a "case" (the outer cover) in beautiful commercial book cloth and decorated paper we made ourselves with paste paints. 5 Mondays, 7-9:30pm, April 16- May 14.

                                               A Flat Back Book, "Wang's Chinese"

Covers and Closures - This class focuses on unique and interesting covering materials for books as well as a variety of closures. For covers, we will explore book board with putty painting, recycled paper goods, textiles, wood, and handmade paper. Well will use simple bindings such as  the long stitch, tacket stitch, coptic stitch, and accordion fold. We will spend one day making a sample card of 5-10 closure options and complete 4-5 books. 6 Mondays 6:30-9:30pm, March 5 - April 9

                                                          Painted Linen Cover Book

So that's the plan... hope to see you!


Thursday, December 29, 2011


   With the New Year comes the most ignored list of the year.. The New Year's Resolutions. I loved reading about The Pillow Book, a journal of sorts written by Sei Sh┼Źnagona who was lady-in-waiting for the Japanese Empress Teishi around 1001 AD. It includes musings, poetry, sketches, and LISTS. There are 164 lists. (The best description I have found of The Pillow Book is at Perhaps you would enjoy reading about this very personal journal and the lady who wrote it. Meanwhile, I'm still writing my lists. Every day I start with my "To Do" list.... very mundane things like "water the garden, pull weeds for 1 hour, write next week's class handout, work on class sample books, use up the pastepaints, vacume..." But The New Year's Resolution list is different... it's about aspirations, about dreams, and sometimes wishful thinking (that diet?) In the past, the things on the lists have been pretty hard to imagine attaining. It doesn't matter if I cross off all the things on the list or not.  Eventually they might get crossed off.. But they are a record of my aspirations at the time.. a record of what I think would be the perfect life, of who would be the perfect me.

   Several years ago I came across my New Years Resolution List from 1995. I remember writing the list, crying (good grief!) and thinking "These are things I WILL NEVER ATTAIN, but I'm writing them anyway, just to see them." The list was:
New Year's Resolutions for 1995
1. Write a book
2. Travel outside the USA
3. Have my art in shows and be recognized
4. Learn to play the guitar
I still haven't learned to play the guitar, but realized in 2005 that I had achieved each of the others many times over!

Now, my big list of the year...

Kathy's New Year's Resolutions for 2012
1. Write in the blog once a week... communicate
2. Complete 52 books for Jenny's "One Book A Week" project... commit to a challenge
3. Join the local Literacy council... volunteer
4. Write more letters and support the USPS... honor the past
5. Figure out my IPhone... embrace the future
6. Write in the blog once a week... love my mistakes

What's your New Year's Resolutions list? If you're local to the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area, consider one of my book arts classes.. or some other sort of creative endeavor. I'll list the upcoming book arts classes in my next post. I promise!

Monday, August 1, 2011

What happened to July?

We all say that more and more.. "Where did the time go?" At the time, the present seems so permanent, so real, yet within seconds the clock has moved.. then spun full circle and the calendar has turned another page. What was now has become then. For me, writing seems to be the best way to keep the past with me.. to keep it present. I'm teaching a journaling and imagery class right now. The class is at the just- renovated Cary Arts Center in Cary, NC.. a 100+ year old school/ teaching academy... now art center and performance venue.

...Architecture is certainly another way to keep the past as a present, though it sometimes has a ghostlike quality.. The newly painted walls, now artsy greys and taupe, once institution greens and yellows, appear to be uncomfortable in their showy new finery.. like the too tight black patent leather shoes I once wore, and too starched white petticoats. But after only a few weeks, the classrooms are already cluttered with tempera paint jars, crafts supplies,  and drying finger paintings... the halls ringing with laughter and shouting. So the air is beginning to get the feeling of renewed energy.. of heart beating.. of life renewed.

We started class last week working with the idea of self. I read excerpts from a number of published diaries and biographies; Charles Darwin, Samuel Pepys, Agnes Custis Lee, Georgia O'Keefe, Dang Thuy Tram.  Reading the simply worded prose, imaging the daily tasks, lists, musings and insights of the world changers and the common folk was inspiring and also comforting.. Their days, that moment in time, was returned to me. I promise to write in my journal everyday (for awhile), even if it is only a word. Wonder if I can do it?... unlike time's passage, constancy is not my forte...

July also was spent with a trip to Penland and Burnsville, NC... to volunteer in the Penland School of Crafts' print studio sorting type and painting walls, and to work at a friend's studio and share how to sew the Belgian binding. I spent two mornings picking blackberries at my friend's beautiful mountainside home.. and couldn't help thinking of Brer' Rabbit begging to be thrown in the briar patch as my arms and fingers became scratched and poked with the cruel briars.. not me! but the berries were delicious and worth it.

Another trip was to the Rare Books Collection housed in Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill. This is a wonderful treasure, free to the public and open for anyone to visit and study their amazing collection of rare antique books.. some date back to the 1400's.. and many are quite special and all are unique and wonderful.  Currently there is an exhibition of books, "Meaningful Marks: Image and Text and the History of the Book". May 20 to Sept. 28, 2011 in the Saltarelli Gallery, Wilson Library. The head librarian, Claudia Funke has invited anyone to feel free to contact her for a visit, or just come by during operating hours.. also there will be free lectures beginning in September. And guess what? they too have a blog! It's

ok, time to head out for my walk.. and to drop off some Belgian bound books at the local chocolatiere.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

What's UP around Raleigh and NC this summer?

I'm just back from Penland, NC and the TRAC (Toe River Arts Council) tour of Mitchell and Avery County. I participated in the tour at Bringle Gallery along with Cynthia Bringle,  Edwina Bringle, Pam Brewer, and Susan Feagin. They had beautiful clay and textile work, I had the only books, but Susan's pottery had PRINT on it! I bought two pieces.. almost my whole income for the weekend..

We had 100 visitors on Saturday! (and about 10 on Sunday) Still, it was a lovely weekend meeting so many nice people. Some folks came by especially to find out about making books! So here are some upcoming classes for the summer of 2011. Call the numbers listed for information about how to sign up. There are some great classes on schedule for Fall '11,  so watch for them to post here in a month or so when applications are available.

At Pullen Arts Center:
105 Pullen Rd
Raleigh, NC 27607

Bookmaking – Leather Long-Stitch Book  
Age 16 yrs. and up. 
This class explores the long-stitch book by making a leather covered codex with three different decorative stitches: the cross-hatch, the long-stitch, and the link-stitch. The emphasis of this class is to explore the issues and criteria relevant in making a book using leather cover material and exposed bindings. Supply fee of $15-20 payable to instructor at first class.
Instructor: Kathy Steinsberger (2 sessions)  
$40  #108460 Aug 9-10 Tu-W  6:30 pm - 9:00 pm 

At Cary Art Center: 
101 Dry Ave., 
Cary, NC  27513

"Marvelous Marbling"
Marbled paper is a beautiful form of paper surface design where inks or colored pigments are floated on a medium to form a swirling pattern, then transferred onto paper. In this class we will experiment with the art of marbling on paper and textiles. A supply fee of approximately $35 is payable to the instructor on the first day of class. 
Instructor:  Kathy Steinsberger 

Fees:  $60(R)  $79(N)  (3 classes)
52631  Thu  Jul 7-21  6:30-9:30 p.m.

"The Decorated Journal and Coptic Bound Book "
Learn the art of bookbinding using the Coptic stitch. Coptic bindings date back to the 2nd century AD, and were developed by early Egyptian Christians (the Copts). Now Coptic bound books make great journals, drawing and sketch books, and beautiful works of art. You will make a medium sized Coptic book suitable for journaling and sketching, along with daily exercises in writing, paper embellishment, and surface design techniques. A supply fee of approximately $35-50 is payable to instructor on the first day of class.
Instructor:  Kathy Steinsberger
Fees:  $93(R)  $121(N)  (6 classes)
52435  Thu  Jul 28-Sep 1  7-9:30 p.m.

                                                             Mengei the Cat asleep at Bringle Gallery, Penland, NC

Enjoy your summer, and stay cool!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Paper button

So what ARE paper buttons? and what's the big deal? I don't know for sure what's the big deal, but someone told me paper buttons were a leisure lady's pass-time in the Victorian era. They would roll, laminate, collage, and assemble all sorts of paper scraps into buttons. Why? They must have loved the feel and look of paper just like me! I can't imagine them being used on clothing.. unless coated with some serious poly-goop.. but they might have been used in some paper sculpture, paper art thingy. Cool! or just made and collected in cute little boxes. Nice!

I've been making them to go in my books as closures for pockets and fore-edge flaps. I make them so they're flat; that way the book isn't so bulky and the pages nearby aren't pressed out of shape by some bulky paper button. I like to use my photographs. Since the paper buttons are only an inch or less square,  I can use just the pretty parts of a blah photograph.. or some bizarre shadow/design impression from a random cut up photograph. I remember where the photograph was taken, the day I took it, maybe some special thing like that.. My favorites?  a donkey in France, a dragon rooftop in Taipei, the grasses at Penland...

 Today I made a book with 3 sets of paper buttons. The book has a purple leather cover, so I was looking for paper button material with purples. I finally got to use my pictures of the masses of crosses in an 18th century cemetery in rural France. Creepy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

I am born..

So, today I have begun this blog.. golly. Why? well, to get the word out about paper and books arts in our small locale of central North Carolina.. to begin to move outside my narrow world and to hear from folks about what's happening in your area. To share a bit of our stories. My teacher George Kokis said, "Have courage." This blog is definitely out of my comfort zone. If I can figure out how to get back on, I'll post more tomorrow.