Friday, July 21, 2006

The Start

My addiction to notebooks and subsequently bookbinding has been with me my whole life. It started with small stacks of paper stapled together, childish scrawls filling the innards. In high school it progressed to expensive spiral bound notebooks, which I filled with algebraic notations and terrible poetry; their pulpy covers covered in doodles and art. Sketchbooks filled with pencil sketches and ink drawing, covers made stiffer with stapled layers of card stock. Journal after journal decorated with collages yet filled with painful teen angst.

It wasn’t until college that I discovered decadent leather covers, smelling of fine upholstery and filled with thick cotton paper, deckled edges and the promise of adventure. Here in my second year I discovered the promise o bookbinding. T tease that with some study I too could bind myself an wonderfully artistic creation of leather and fine paper. I met 4 prominent binders from the North East and learned of more than simple stab and accordion bindings.

It was also here where my binding met a 4-year hiatus in learning and exploration. Bookbinding wasn’t seen as an art, and in a typical art school fashion I wanted to be ART and not craft. I chide myself daily for not sticking to my interests and following my heart and wonder where I would be today had I tried new techniques then. It is also here my first several attempts at binding failed in a miserable fashion.

It wasn’t until much later that I would purchase books on binding so that I could gather together my favorite papers to create the sketchbook of my dreams. I started by teaching myself basic bindings- simple pamphlet stitches and figure 8 stitches. Progressing to the Coptic stitch and lingering with it for years, learning many stitches and patterns. I then explored the long stitch and linking stitches and this I currently where I’m exploring today.

As often as I use my notebooks to journal and as a basis r my own art they are still a fundamental section of my exploration. Needle, linen thread and fine leather all bring to me a sense of excitement mingled with a passion for experimentation. Art is a means of exploration of senses and mind.

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