We did it!

Category : book, craft

The artist residency programs that I run at the Center for Book Arts need support! We’ve been running an online campaign this summer to help raise funds to allow artists come to the Center for a year and take classes and hone a craft and use the studios to make new work. As of this morning we met our goal! (That means we actually get the money.)

Huzzah! I’m off to celebrate with some pie, but you can still give to the campaign until 7pm tonight. Here’s the link:


And here’s the video we made to promote the program:


Maker Faire!

Category : craft

From their website:

Maker Faire is a newfangled fair that brings together science, art, craft and engineering plus music in a fun, energized, and exciting public forum. The aim is to inspire people of all ages to roll up their sleeves and become makers. This family-friendly event showcases the amazing work of all kinds of makers – anyone who is embracing the DIY spirit and wants to share their accomplishments with an appreciative audience.

I’ll be representing the Center for Book Arts at the Maker Faire in the library at the New York Hall of Science on the second day, Sunday, September 26th from 10 to 6. You can find out more about the Maker Fair here.


Category : craft, type

I started redistributing the type from my book today; it’s sort of spring cleaning in slow-motion. Most of the students in the studio where I work skip this step; then we eventually have to sweet-talk some lucky volunteer into doing this for them. I’ve had many volunteers run away after spending a day redistributing. I’m good at driving them away, my mother always told me so. It’s easier when the students follow the rules and write down what type they’ve used; of course there are many who decide not to do so. Then I get to hunt down what it might be, which makes me feel like an exciting sleuth-type-person, like a type-nerd version of House, but which is probably not really what I’m being paid a salary to do, other examples of which include peeling the old dried glue out of old containers of PVA, organizing the instructor cabinet, sweeping all the tiny bits of paper off the floor near the guillotine. This is what I do on a bad day to soothe my nerves.

Me, I like redistributing; it’s faster than setting and give you a nice sense of closure. It’s rhythmic and mindless and makes me feel virtuous. I started cleaning my studio at home this week, and my closet too, all in honor of spring. Out with the old, in with the new.

On a completely unrelated note, I’d like to direct your attention to this.


Category : craft, food, language

I winged my way into these gigantic raspberry scones this morning. 

Also remade this, accidentally lost in the Great Data Erasure of 2009. It’s always better the second time around anyway. 

I’m reading The Craftsman, by Richard Sennet- I’ve only just started, but it’s great so far. He says many smart things about the social functions of workshops and authority, and how originality somehow gave artists less autonomy and more vulnerability. There’s also this: 

Workshops present and past have glued people together through work rituals, whether these be a shared cup of tea or the urban parade; through mentoring, whether the formal surrogate parenting of medieval times or informal advising on the worksite; through face-to-face sharing of information. 


I’m having one of those reading experiences that reaffirms what I already believe, in other words. I’m lucky to run a workshop in NYC; I love being able to bring a wide variety of people together to work in a social hub. Shared workspaces are the ideal solution for the making of impractical objects in a city where real estate gets in the way of starting things.