Looking Forward: Teaching

Zhen Xian Bao, Paula Beardell Krieg

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.

Not your typical Zhen Xian Bao

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.

Expandable Hexagonal Boxes

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.

Hidden Boxes, partially open

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

French Link Binding

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.













8 thoughts on “Looking Forward: Teaching

  1. I love working on Zhen Xiang Bao books. I’ve been practicing with your YouTube videos for months. Ruth Smith’s books are on their way to me now. I just learned of this set of classes tonight and read with great excitement until I saw the class IS FULL😢. Will you offer it again? Please? I live in waaayyy northern MN. We have an excellent center for book arts-MCBA, but they’re 5 hours from me. And…distance matters not now, anyway. Sigh. Is it possible that your center is recording the classes? Is it possible to pay a reduced rate and receive a copy of what you’re doing? In any case, will you please consider putting me on a list if you put another set of classes together for these magical pieces of art? Thank you! Stay safe. Stay healthy. Live with ease. Lorrie Oswald Grand Marais, MN

    On Sat, Jan 16, 2021 at 8:33 PM Playful Bookbinding and Paper Works wrote:

    > Paula Beardell Krieg posted: ” Zhen Xian Bao, Paula Beardell Krieg > > Last summer when Center for Book Arts asked for virtual class proposals I > didn’t submit” >


    1. Hi Lorrie, we were all surprised by the response to the class! I think that Susan and I will want to see how it goes before we start thinking about offering it again, but when we make a decision I will try to let you know. I am thinking about talking to the Center and asking them to start list of people who want to be contacted if we offer the class again. I will let you know about this.
      thanks for asking!


  2. Hello, I am interested in your class, but would like to use my own papers. Would it be possible to know the dimensions of the pieces in order to do this? Thank you, Charline
    Sent from my iPad


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