Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
We feel very far from home, yet Vermont is comfortable. Weather is mild, the bread is home-made, the cheese is rich and local, the artists’ book community is alive and WE HAVE FAMILY HERE!
The Bailey Howe Library on the University of Vermont campus arranged for us to park the caravan in front of the steps of the building, which is always the best way to show up to a library! We got lots of interested visitors to the caravan and then it’s easy to get the books inside to show the librarians. No parking meters, no crowded streets! A bunch of people came to the talk Peter gave, including my cousin Jean who has a few of our books and wanted to catch up on our book-art-ish news and see our latest books.
Vermont Book Arts Guild is active with meetings or workshops every month, shows annually and parties where food is often involved! They hosted us for a workshop on Saturday in a large bright room next to a church with a steeple!
(Vermont earns the “cutest villages in the US” award). We stayed with Jill and Harold in a small village by Lake Champlain, parked next to a crabapple tree abundantly decorated with deep red, shiny apples!
And every garden and road shoulder is verdant for Vermont! Flowers are everywhere....
Friday, August 20, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
We left the Catskill Mts with their picture-perfect pastoral villages on Monday morning, and reached New Haven, CT for a meeting with librarians in the afternoon. Yikes it was hard driving in the city....
Friday, August 13, 2010
Part way through our broadside collaboration with fellow printer and fine binder Don Rash he said, “How does this compare with other collaborations?” I had to think a bit. For one thing, I was completely at home in his print shop even though we were printing on a 1900s Morgan and Wilcox Washington hand press instead of a Vandercook press like ours at home. Another thing: Don is very relaxed about what he likes and voices his pleasure when he is happy with the printing results and that is fun. Still another thing: I felt like I was in the sauna for 12 hours yesterday as we printed the broadside on damp Moravia hand made paper in his shop!!!
The paper came from another Pennsylvanian who joined into the collaboration, Pavel Repiski of Atlantic Papers. The fact that the paper was made in Moravia was double perfect since Peter first met Pavel in Moravia at the Velke Losiny paper mill and also many Moravian Brethren are settled here in northern PA.
Hot and humid, humid and hot! But you know what is really standing out in my memory right now? I like thinking about how many friendships we have made and how much we have learned about printing because we have worked in so many studios with so many artists in the prime time of their craft-lives. Don has been bookbinding for over 30 years and his artistry and craftsmanship are outstanding. He designs, repairs and teaches fine bookbinding (this includes leather, boxes, tooling and more!) in his studio in Plains, Pennsylvania. Next door to his studio he owns a house that is available for students to stay in for a very reasonable cost. I highly recommend Don for any binding student.
The class in Don Rash's studio:
Off to another community: Treadwell, New York, in the Catskill Mountains. Peter is teaching a bookbinding class here today and I am catching up with office work. We are staying and teaching at the Bright Hill Literary Center, a center where art and literature are combined in a lovely setting in a small country town in the green woods. You can take classes, attend readings (which include open mikes, the best!!) read in their library or see the current art show in the gallery. Residencies are available for artists and writers too. Bertha Rogers is the powerhouse behind all this and she reminds me how much one person can do if they love what they are doing and care about their community.
Wagon Paloma in front of the center:
Peter teaching the class today in Treadwell:
I started this posting when the weather was in the 90s and humid, but today I am happy wearing my sweatshirt and also socks! We knew that if we paid 3X what we should have for new fan blades (we broke both our fans by leaving them plugged in while driving - no, not on – and they jumped onto the floor and turned themselves on and burned out….) to be mailed to us by second day air that the weather would cool down….
And now, after the workshop, we get to have dinner from the garden in this wonderful house on the hill: Bertha and Earnie's porch, fresh corn, Whitlock Red wine, cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden....
Do you want us to send an email to you when we have made a new post? The easiest way we have thought to do it is for you to email us. We will then make a group email to send out announcements to. We can't figure out any other way to contact you as my followers....
Thursday, August 12, 2010
We’ve had a magical week
We arrived last Friday at the Pennsic Wars, which is a production of the Society for Creative Anachronism. We really hadn’t planned this visit, but Peter had been in contact with several gypsy wagon owners and they said they would be here. Now this was a good chance to see some wagons all in the same place! The Pennsic Wars are like the Renaissance Faire (Peter and I participated for 20 years or so back in the 70s – 90s), they re-create a time period in England (mostly), but the SCA concerns itself with the medieval time. A big part of their activities have to do with fighting, i.e.: swords, foils, shields, bows and arrows.
So here we are. In the middle of the 11th century with 10,000 people wearing linen sheets and armor, carrying weapons and PARTYING non-stop! We had fun. I painted and Peter photographed all the gypsy wagons we could find. We camped with a group that welcomed us in and fed us and took us touring around the site. Something we have noticed on this trip: We feel like every person we meet is the most interesting and friendly person in the world and we are dear old friends. So nice.
We spent the next night at friend Marty from Santa Cruz parent’s house in the country near Pennsic, where he just happened to be there because of a wedding. We ate dinner from their garden then visited in the firefly and cicada evening. I picked enough green beans, squash and tomatoes for the next few days. Yum.
The next day as we drove east on the Interstate 80, Peter saw a sign for Penn State University. He thought, we’ve sold a book to them before! I was napping and the next thing I knew, we were on the way to an impromptu meeting (actually, this is not usually a concept in a librarian’s world) with special collections librarian Sandra Stelts. The library is under construction this summer (this is happening ALL OVER), so she wanted to come down to the gypsy wagon at the loading dock and see our books there. We were happy to oblige because it would save us hauling all the books inside. What a nice meeting it was! We sold books (quite a few!), people dropped by and smiled and inquired about the wagon (as per usual) so our detour off the highway was a highlight of our day. And in an email she said, “Your visit was the highlight of my week! So glad that you followed your impulse and called from the highway. I felt when I got back to my office that I'd BEEN somewhere, even if we never left the library's parking lot! The caravan is a charming little world of its own.”