Last summer when Center for Book Arts asked for virtual class proposals I didn’t submit any. When they asked me about classes I said no, I didn’t have the equipment or the skill to teach on-line. I suspected my internet wouldn’t let me teach via zoom. They were willing to feed me information and hold my hand through my transition to this world. It’s been so cool.
The technical chops are just a piece of this journey. After teaching some very fun professional development classes last August I decided to take some time to think long and hard about what I most wanted toteach. It was during a conversation with my friend and fellow book artist Susan Joy Share that my thoughts came together.
I have a strong attraction to Zhen Xian Bao, aka Chinese Thread Books. I have made so many that I now feel ready to be more creative with the structure. What rose to the surface was wanting to make these structures within a community of people who were both fluent and fluid with the basics of these thread books. If only I could work with people over several months, maybe we could get really creative together.
I ran the idea past my friend Susan. She encouraged me. Then I asked her to teach it along with me. She said yes! Next, we pitched the idea of the class to CBA. They had no idea if people would sign up for a 12 week class, but they accepted the proposal & listed it on their site.
I was going to try to promote the class this on my blog but never got the chance because it filled so quickly. Can’t begin to express how happy this made me.
Pre-pandemic I taught two-day, in person, Zhen Xian Bao workshops, which was wonderful, but there is so much information to fit into two days that saturation sets in. In a twelve-week zoom workshop, techniques, ways of seeing, examining tools, and entertaining out-of-the-box possibilities can happen a little at a time. Teaching from home lets me bring participant on a long, deep dive into structures, skills, and explorations.
Having Susan to plan with and teach with makes me feel like the luckiest person alive. The class started this past week. The class felt good.
Okay, so that’s the big teaching news in my life.
I still have a couple of one-session workshops that I can promote here on my blog.
I’ll be teaching a two-hour zoom workshop, with The Center for Book Arts, on February 24, on the three hidden boxes version of the Zhen Xian Bao. Again, I hope to do more than show people how to do something. I want to talk about possibilities, get people to see that the skills that I will be showing them can be used in many different and unusual ways. The link https://centerforbookarts.org/classes/three-hidden-boxes
On Monday, March 29 I will be teaching a two-hour workshop on the French link stitch on accordion pleats. This is a well loved stitch that has lots of applications. It’s most often used with book tape. Sewing on an accordion makes sense to me with this stitch, and it not a typical way of working. I’ll be sending people strips of this gorgeous epic black Neenah linen cover paper, a selection of papers for the book block, lengths of colored thread, and needles. I an anticipating it was be a relaxed and satisfying couple of hours.
It’s all such a mystery, seeing how all of these ideas will fly on zoon. Onward.
PS Below is the video I made to about offering the Zhen Xian Bao and Beyond Class. Am thinking that if Susan and I decide to offer the class in other venues, I can reference this.