River Arts Studio Stroll this Weekend

Things are buzzing down in the River Arts District. Saturday and Sunday, 10 to 6 all the studios will be open. The District is walkable, but they'll also be a trolly making the loop all day if you'd rather ride. I'm upstairs in Northlight Studios, 357 Depot Street. Come on down!


Doug Baulos

Check out my friend Doug Baulos's work. He came by the studio a few days ago during a visit to Asheville from Birmingham, Al where he teaches in the art department at UAB. Being around Doug always gets my creative energy flowing. His unique view of the world and his ability to communicate this thru combining multiple materials is inspiring. Here's his flickr site for more images.

It's always a treat to open my mailbox and find something from Doug!


BookOpolis this weekend!

One of my favorite book events is this weekend at BookWorks. BookOpolis is 2 days of books and demos open to all ages- a very hands on event.

Below is my entry this year- TESSY DOG- an ode to my aging pup. Even though I'm really a cat lover I ended up with a dog that thinks I'm the cat's meow. She has influenced my work in so many ways and I wanted to capture that gratitude in a book. Thanks, Tess!


Willow Bark Paper Adventure- Part 1

Today I started on a paper making adventure with my friend Gwen Diehn. Gwen is one of the most creative people I know. She is fearless in her approach to making things. She'll try anything that interests her and she always has a ready laugh to accompany her mischief. This trait, of course, makes being around Gwen all the more fun. For the last 9 months Gwen and Laura Ladendorf have been collaborating on a small book edition for BookOpolis 2012. The paper they used for the edition is black willow bark paper that Gwen made in the BookWorks paper making studio. It is a lovely pinkish color with the desirable quality of being very strong- meaning it can handle printing/working on both sides without bleeding or strike thru even when using wet media. Below is Gwen and Laura's book, Faubourg nan main Bon Dieu (Neighborhood in the hands of the Good God).


Ever since Gwen showed me her willow bark paper and it's appealing qualities the idea of making some myself has been gaining steam in my spirit. I have never made paper before. I admire handmade paper, but until recently haven't had the desire to be part of the process. I guess a paper charmer has been secretly playing a paper flute in my ear the last few months because I feel myself drawn to making this willow bark paper. So, over the next few weeks (as schedules allow) Gwen and I are going to make PAPER! Here's what we did today-

Gwen gathering willow
spiders like willow too
stripping the bark off the branches

inner bark
jessie of the willows
stripped willow branches
I brought my bag-o-bark home and put it into a large bucket of water. There it will soak for a couple of weeks. The idea is to soften the bark so you can strip off the dark part. To make paper we want only the inner bark. Gwen told me that it's possible to use the outer bark, but if you do your paper will be freckled. We decided to make non-freckled paper this time.


New Studio

June 13th I moved into Northlight Studios. My friend and fellow artist, Wendy Whitson, and her husband, John Davis, recently bought a lovely old building on Depot Street in the River Arts District. Years ago the building housed a tannery. One of the photos above shows a section of the brick wall outside my studio that still retains a painting illustrating the correct way to take off a hide. Asheville Greenworks occupies the ground floor along with photographer, Laurie McCarriar. Wendy, (painter), Denise Wolcott (jeweler), and I have studios upstairs. Mine faces the street and is filled with light all day long. We are open Fridays 11-4 so please stop by if you're in the neighborhood.


Penland School of Crafts

I was recently at Penland School of Crafts teaching a class entitled BAG OF TRICKS. What a great time I had teaching and learning from the 12 lovely people in my class. We made cloth books, mastered 6 bindings and created heavy paper from paper bags and a collage technique to be used for book covers and pages. We took time to talk about keeping a journal practice and generating content for books. TINY MAILBOX even made an appearance. The 4th of July fell in the middle of the session so we constructed a big accordion book to march with in the parade. FUN!


news from your tiny post mistress

TINY MAILBOX was a hit! The sun shone most of the weekend and many curious people went thru the mailbox. I was preaching the word of SLOW MAIL complete with free postcards for everyone to take and send their own SLOW MAIL. Very satisfying! A big thanks goes out to Dan Cogswell and Mark Boyd who helped with set up, my friend Don G. who helped fund TINY MAILBOX, my ever supportive bookgirl Clara Boza for taking these great photos and to all those who sent me mail! A side note-Clara has a wonderful blog so check it out.



It's time! TINY MAILBOX goes on display this weekend. Please stop by if you're in the area. I'd love to show you my mailbox!

River Arts Studio Stroll
Sat and Sun, June 11 &12, 10 - 6
Cotton Mill Studio, 122 Riverside Dr.
Asheville , NC


Tiny Mailbox Update

My daily trips to the mailbox have been very exciting lately as mail for the TINY MAILBOX has been rolling in. When I was planning TINY MAILBOX I was so focused on the practical details that I forgot about the fact that all this mail would be coming to ME in my mailbox in large quantities! Silly, I know, but it's true. What a treat! I've even felt a bit guilty that, at least right now, I'm having all the fun. But, TINY MAILBOX will be up in a few weeks for others to enjoy and I'll be sending out a special something to participants after the show. Thanks so much to all who have sent in mail. If you're in the area please come see TINY MAILBOX.

Tiny Mailbox
River Arts District Studio Stroll
June 11 & 12
Cotton MIll Studio
122 Riverside Dr
Asheville, NC