Saw this post written by someone whose writing I’ve enjoyed for years. It fits so well with my post from two weeks ago, Courting Inspiration, that I couldn’t resist reblogging it here.

Written by Steve Morris:

I’ve never thought of myself as a confident person. Yet sometimes people ask me where I get my confidence from, so I must be projecting the illusion of confidence at some level. I don’t feel confident right now. I feel vulnerable.

via Where does confidence come from? — Blog Blogger Bloggest


Susan Joy Share

I’ve gotten stalled mentioning this interview because I wasn’t comfortable with just writing “Listen to this interview.” So silly. I’m over it.

Listen to this interview!

You’ll hear Susan and me talking to each other on the porch of the Book Arts studio at Penland in North Carolina, about a month ago.

Also, here’s the link to the video that I reference during the interview:

Thanks, Susan Mills, for, so far,  posting 123 interviews at Bookbinding Now.



Show & Tell Days at Penland

September 2, 2017




Helga’s Jacob’s Ladder Box

Yesterday was the last full day of instruction for our Books and Boxes class. Towards the end of the day we looked at what each other had done.


Although Susan Share demonstrated a huge number of projects  (with some assistance from me) the signature piece for this class was what Susan refers to as the Jacob’s Ladder Box, which opens in two directions, revealing different surfaces.


Ben’s Jacob’s Ladder Box, reveal 1

Not only are these book kinda magical, but they also provide the opportunity to practice many skills, such as box building & covering,  hinging, adding shelves, as well creative decision making.


Ben’s box, reveal 2


Barbara’s books

The number of sewn books that were made in class this week surprised both me and Susan. Everyone seemed to love sewing books. We sewed books on tape…


Louis’s tiny coptic sewn book, with origami slip case

… coptic bound books, button-hole stitched books, link stitch books on pleats, and long stitch.

Mixed in with the larger, more technical projects were ones that could be started and finished more quickly.


Phyllis’s books

There were accordions with numerous kinds of hinges, laid out in a variety of ways.


Dawn’s accordion cube in the foreground, Susan M’s green and orange accordion pop-up in the background


We also made a book and box structure that was invented by Hedi Kyle, an enclosure based on the iron cross fold, twist boxes, template boxes, and probably a few more things that I can’t remember at the moment.


Kate’s books

That was yesterday.

Today, Saturday, at  11:00 am the entire Penland community converged in what is called the Flex room.


All the studios set up a display of work that’s been done this week.


Iron Studio



Glass Studio


Textile studio


Tim’s work from Drawing Studio


Book made in drawing studio (I stopped in and helped a bit with the sewing of these books  in this class)


Screen Printing studio


Oh, here I am back at the Book Arts,: Rivers’ Jacob’s Ladder Book



Clay Studio



Alchemy  Glazing workshop, Clay Studio



And I’ve left out a number of other studios, but this is all I can do tonight.

Classes are over for this session at Penland. The campus is mostly empty.  My flight doesn’t leave tomorrow until 8 pm, so, yay! Susan and I get to have the book arts studio all to ourselves for a few hours tomorrow.



I had no idea of what to expect when I got here, so everything about my first time here at Penland has been a surprise,. I certainly didn’t expect people to be working in the studios everyday from early in the morning until late at night. The photo above is the of the screen printing studio at about 11:30 pm.


After the first day of instruction, which felt cocoon-like, things started to expand.

Rather than all of the instruction coming from Susan, the evening seem to be about people working on their own projects as well as teaching new skills to anyone who showed interest. We’re each helping each other not only with skills, but also ( when asked) with opinions. It gets very exciting.


Then there’s been visitors, both from other studios on campus, and even from artists who live in North Carolina. In the photo above, that’s book artist Carol Norby on the left talking with Susan Share. Carol actually came by to meet Henrik Drescher who is the instructor in the studio above us, and he brought her down here to meet us.


Book by Carol Norby

Book by Carol Norby

Carol brought by a number or her books and we wouldn’t give her any choice but to show us everything she brought.

Henrik's studio space and students

The photo above is the drawing/painting studio. There’s been a comfortable amount of back and forth between our two studios. It’s probably indiscreet for me to go in and take photos of people’s work here, since it is not my class, so…


…Tim, if you ask me to remove this picture from my blog, I will comply. While talking to the artist at this desk I realized that he is someone whose work I had come across a few years ago and had been thoroughly enchanted by. I was over the moon to actually meet him. Something about his work completely resonates with me.


Meanwhile, back in the book arts studio Helga had an enlarged copy of the template Ed Hutchins had included in an extraordinary box/accordion/pop-up with flaps catalogue that he designed in 1996. Helga has been looking at this template for a year, trying to recreate Ed’s book. Since Ed is a friend of mine, I sent him photos of what Helga is working on and he sent back an appreciative response to her efforts, as well as thoughts of how to proceed.

Last night’s slide show feature Susan’s work. For the first time I saw this video documention of a solo show of her work.


Everyone was completely wowed by this video.

Here’s another video, meant to be a reminder for the class here, referencing how to make an origami slip case. I may be redoing this video, or rotating it when I get back home., but wanted just want to get it posted for now.


Tomorrow is the last full day of working here in the Penland studios.


Susan M’s book/box

Work is continuing to be made. Tomorrow I’ll be taking lots of photos of pieces made by the awesome/inspired/talented/determined/creative/enthusiastic/generous/spirited/ dedicated people who have been working in this room this week. What a week!

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