Friday, January 12, 2007

Musings from the January Workshop ...

The amount of creativity and hours of work the participants are putting into their projects is evident. The themes, the colors, the styles vary. Each altered book is a work of art bearing the marks of its creator.

Last evening, during our workshop at the Pottsville Free Public Library, we bartered ribbon, lace, old photographs, news clippings and other ephemera while we worked on our books. In other words, there was a lot of chatter and laughter.

Kathy Connelly is doing a music theme in her book. Her skills with watercolor (Kathy is a painter) are evident in her project as is her willingness to go "beyond the margins" of what is generally thought to be "art." Speaking of art, check out this project that took place in Harrisburg last year.

Helen Mills has a women theme going in her second book. Helen has no problem thinking outside the box and her interdisciplinary projects usually have us in a state of awe.

Madlen Piccioni left me breathless when she unveiled her second book, which has a World War II theme. Talk about creative! Maddie says she is not creative ... she's full of it!

Jodi and Cathy swapped and copied photographs. Jodi has a love story going in her book. We happen to love what she did with what I call "the blue flower" page. Her entire project is a texture lover's dream.

Cherie is doing an African-American narrative. Right from the get-go, the visual story pulls you in. Cherie is thinking along the lines of palimpsest because the book she rescued from the discard pile is a slave story.

Our newest participant, Barbara Shaw, is working a book based on Barack Obama. Barbara says he is a fascinating individual and we're inclined to agree with her.

We want to tell you want Bruce is doing as well. We are excited about his visions for a Celtic theme that employs his skills with stained glass and an incredible story that we dare not divulge at this point.

Me? Well, with "April Through August," my first altered book for this project, completed, I am working on a book about the 19th amendment to the United States Constitution. Oh, and I am using a discarded text from a book wherein a 1950s-era male author describes "what's wrong with women." You might imagine I intend to have a good time with this ...

We're planning a workshop for early February as we have to turn in our projects at the end of that month.