Sunday, November 4, 2012

Fresh Catch!

Where to begin... on a personal note I've just returned from a week teaching at Penland School of Crafts in the North Carolina mountains... Like sometimes happens in life, it was a perfect moment in time.
Quiet after the snowfall
Ten book arts students (men and women of all ages and backgrounds), my assistant Elizabeth and I gathered for introductions at the Penland Books and Paper studio Sunday night, October 28, 2012.
Through this door... so much fun!
The class was titled Once Upon a Time and included both book making techniques and writing.. with a few surface design/illustration techniques squeezed in... The first day we painted pastepapers... and wrote a batch of collaborative zines based on the process of an Exquisite Corpse. Zines are small self published editions of stories, articles, or other content-related information that are simply bound (such as by folding, staples, or pamphlet stitch) and reproduced by photocopier. An Exquisite Corpse is a method by which a collection of words or images is assembled as a collaboration where each collaborator adds to a composition in sequence. For our zines, everyone started their own zine then passed it to the right for their neighbor to add the next page of the story. With each new page, the zines were passed to the right and the stories continued by the next person.. until all 12 zines were done. I covered my collection of the 12 zines with pastepaper, sewed them with the pamphlet stitch, and strung them onto a macrame cord of waxed linen thread as this week's Book of the Week... Fresh Catch!
Fresh Catch of zines

The titles of the 12 zines of Fresh Catch are: 1. Once Upon a Time, 2. The Journey, 3. Penland in a Snowstorm, 4. Trees Stand Naked, 5. Been Zine, 6. The Little Old Lady at the End of the Road, 7. 24 is My Lucky Number, 8. Stretching My Brain!, 9. Craven Potters Crack Pottery, 10. A Clear Midnight, 11. Margin of Error, and 12. The Night of the Enchanted Guillotine.
The Night of the Enchanted Guillotine...
The zine Once Upon a Time begins... 
'One night while 
Luann was 

She woke to a 
shadow moving beneath
 her bed.
Page 2 & 3 of the zine Once Upon a Time
'...but the shadow 
was just her 
house slipper. 

Now that she was 
awake at 3 am, 
there was no going 
back to sleep.
Page 4 & 5 of the zine Once Upon a Time
'...For she realized there
 was only one
 slipper and 
so the other
 must be 
on the foot
 of the one
legged monster
 in the closet.
And so she
 asked him 
to give it 
back and
 he did if 
she gave him 
her pillow so
 she did and
 he turned into a 


So zines can be a bit fishy.. because they are usually fast and 'dirty.' That's why I strung them up and call the piece Fresh Catch!

Read more about Penland School of Crafts at and read more about zines at

My grateful thanks to Elizabeth, Sarah, Martha Sue, Louis, Kate, Pat, Savanah, John, Mary Ann, Jean, and Liz for your collaboration on this Book of the Week. It was an incredible week and I already miss you terribly!
Our Buladean...  valley of gold