For the past 6 years, i have traveled up to visit my mother’s dear friend Elspeth. When i was a little girl, Elspeth took piano lessons from my mom and often times, she would leave me with a pile of books. Elspeth was something of an enigma to me. She had her PhD in Library Science, traveled the world on her own, married the love of her life late in life and together, they had built a beautiful home in the Olympic Peninsula, where she raised Irish Setters and did “book things”. I didn’t really understand until recently what those “book things” were. I knew she had a printing press in her basement and I had seen beautiful books, hand bound from local poets, writers and artists all around her home but she was still something of a mystery to me.
Now I consider Elspeth my own dear friend. I travel up to visit her 2-3 times a year and each time i leave her beautiful property, i have a new sense of inspiration and renewal. This weekend was no different. While working on some brochures for her incredible women’s retreat center, Hypatia in the Woods, Elspeth asked me to stay Sunday afternoon for lunch with her Olympia Book Arts Society.
How could i resist? I am so excited that i stayed!! About 5 times a year this group of brilliantly creative men and women gather to work on a Book arts theme. They also bring projects to share that they are working on separately, like Patricia Chupa’s handmade book featuring movable parts that will be on display as part of the Hand2Hand Book Art Exhibit in Seattle this month. I know i am a little dramatic at times, but it was so beautiful, it almost brought me to tears.
Our project was two fold. The first thing we did was create a 6 word sentence. Next we made small books with beautifully crafted papers and stamps placing one word on each page. There were 8 people in the group and we ended up with 8 fantastically different pieces of art. Mine is titled “Toes”. My sentence read: The mud was warm and squishy.
Their second project is ongoing. The group is creating a bound book full of each member’s imaginations around a specific letter. Each letter will be used eventually. The group has just completed E and is working on F for their January meeting. Because they asked me to be a member, i get to work on the letter F as well!! I AM SO EXCITED!!
Here are some of the “d” and “e” pages. AMAZING!
This was exactly what i needed before the holiday season begins. We are also going to be creating Endless Cards in January, which are these fascinating cards that fold and fold and fold endlessly, with new images emerging each time you fold the card in a new way. Stay tuned, i have to make my template before the meeting.