I was recently interviewed by For the Makers, Brooklyn’s inspiring resource for DIY projects. This month’s Veritas collection is focused on academia and old-school techniques – as you know, right up my alley! Check it out here.
August 19, 2014
August 18, 2014
The kettle stitch, which holds the tension along each signature and acts as the change-over for many bindings, is a persnickety little stitch until you get the hang of it. When learning the coptic or sewn-to-tape bindings a common problem is an incorrect kettle stitch that does not ‘lock’ the tension, or a kettle so successful it cinches the head and tail while the center of the spine bows outward. These diagrams illustrate how I execute the kettle stitch, along with a trick for regulating the sewing tension both along the spine and between the signatures.
On reaching the head or tail of a signature, I exit the last sewing station, make certain the thread is nicely taught, then clamp down with a forefinger on the fold about 1/2″ inside the last sewing station. The thread (and tension) is held firmly by this finger, and the end of the signature pops up just a bit. That tiny bit of extra space will prevent the kettle from cinching too tightly. I hold this position until the kettle stitch is completed with my other hand, locking the thread in place.
To execute the kettle stitch while holding this posture may seem acrobatic at first, but it can be easily done using the technique recommended in Non-Adhesive Binding, Volume III by Keith Smith. Having made certain to place the sewing stations a distance from the head and tail that is shorter than the length of your needle, its point will emerge from between the signatures and can be pulled through the loop in one easy motion. To tighten the kettle stitch keeping that extra iota of space, pull the thread straight upwards. And finally, release the finger that has been clamping your signature down all this while.
Another helpful technique is the french link stitch, which regulates the tension across the spine (between the signatures) by linking each stitch spanning a tape to its neighbor. The french link stitch is an extra step, but the herringbone-like pattern it creates can be a lovely addition to an exposed spine.
August 11, 2014
Just a quick note to say that you can now find me on Instagram, where I’ll be sharing a more informal look at work in progress, workshops, and other inspirations.
And I’ll be needing to collect lots of inspiring folks to follow, so drop me a line with any suggestions!
June 11, 2014
A guest book made of linen and antique crinoline fabric, dyed with walnut, black cherry bark, and indigo. Sympathy between fibers and colors.
June 6, 2014
This year the Natural Dyeing for Book Artists workshop I’ll be teaching at the Center for Book Arts has been expanded to a 2-day long intensive! We will be dyeing a variety of samples and exploring mark- and pattern-making on both paper and fabric, while learning the fundamentals of materials, mordants, and permanence. Natural dyes have so many applications in both fine binding and artist books, and a wealth of cultural history to consider. The weekend will be full to the brim, and I hope to see you there!
May 16, 2014
Sewing Seeds will be hosting STAINED, an event of sensory experiences through natural dyes, on Thursday, May 22. This fundraiser to support Sewing Seeds programs promises to be amazing! Read more about the incredible artists participating and purchase tickets here. Sewing Seeds just keeps getting better.
The program is also accepting applications for its summer residency now!
May 5, 2014
I will be teaching a few natural dye workshops at the Textile Arts Center in the coming months, the perfect time to learn the basics of mordanting, extracting, and dyeing as dye plants begin to sprout!
Book Arts 101 will be starting up on Sundays in May, and it’s a red hot staff pick this month. We’ll be covering bookbinding tools, terminology, and fundamental techniques, but also explore the opportunities for book and fiber arts to connect and inform one another. Check out all the upcoming workshops here, or visit TAC to sign up.
April 10, 2014
March 24, 2014
I spent an afternoon playing around with papers, inks, and best of all experimental additives for my upcoming suminagashi workshop at TAC. So much fun, and very relaxing, to watch the patterns build and gradually transform. Then to pull a monoprint of a split second in time, the forces and chemical reactions frozen in amazing, intricate, and surprising patterns.
TAC Manhattan Studio
26 West 8th Street
Monday April 7 & Wednesday April 9
March 17, 2014
I’ve moved into my own studio. IT’S AMAZING. Sorry I don’t have any photos of the actual space to share – not until it’s all arranged and settled into and I’ve finished sewing the awesome curtains – But I can share the results of my redoubled labor. I am so productive! Marbling papers, and using some to bind matching guest book & photo album sets.