I love combining writing and images, and have since my earliest artistic and journalistic endeavors (for more about those, click here and scroll down and over a few frames to the Literary Memoir). I also love the medium of the book. Books are meant to be touched and interacted with, which creates an intimate experience for the viewer the likes of which art on the walls can rarely achieve.
I’ve been interesting in learning how to bind books since I first discovered that that was a fine art medium back at the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts during a Pinhole Photography workshop my junior year in high school. My instructor was showing us samples of her photographic work that she had bound into book form, and I thought, “Forget pinhole photography, I want to learn how to do THAT!”
Unfortunately, I never made an effort to take a bookbinding class in college until my last semester, at which point I did not make it off the waitlist.
[Full disclosure: I was too intimidated to take art classes in college (with real art students!) until I came back from abroad with a broader perspective and a determination to take classes that really interested me as opposed to the ones I thought I should take. That was a mistake, and one of my biggest regrets from college thus far is not taking more art classes and exercising the creative part of my mind until the very end. Being intimidated by art students and/or afraid of receiving a low grade is a weak excuse. Shame on me.]
The good news is, I have decided to make up for my former failings in the form of a summer class in basic bookbinding at Craft Alliance. The class consists of a recently hired Wash U professor, two retired women, and me. So far it’s been a lot of fun, and after two classes I am now able to present…my first bound book!
I am thrilled, and hope that it will be the first of many.