I just returned from another sejour at Shakerag Workshops in Sewanee, Tennessee. The class was the stitcherly book taught by Jody Alexander, a California based book and mixed media artist. As always when attending class at Shakerag, the week was filled to the brim. Not just from all the knowledge shared in the classroom, but from the exposure to art, nature, gourmet food, and numerous interactions with the other students and the faculty.
In our class we explored the book as an art form, by developing narratives along with artistic expressions not always associated with more traditional bookmaking. We learned how to combine textiles, paper, and found objects with various stitching and binding techniques. We tried image transfers and stamping and by the end of the week each of us completed a book.
Mine was a homage to the women in my family who without doubt put me on the artistic path I am taking now. It was useful to focus on content, as well as the technical solutions while putting together the project. I will do a more detailed post about the book, later in the week.
So I return home much richer than when I left. My classmates were wonderful, kind, creative, and funny. Jody Alexander was an amazing teacher—calm and patient, but also innovative, generous, and supportive (you can learn more about the workshop from Jody's perspective in her blog post here). And then there was the influx of ideas and inspirations stemming from interactions with other workshop participants and teachers, each and every one bringing something new and unique to the mix. I love going to Shakerag. It is a magical place that attracts magical people.