I am a craftsman and artist working out of my home in NC. But before that I was living in Beverly, MA working at an art store, applying to internships, and considering an MFA.
Finding the right school after receiving my bachelors’ was not an easy decision. I was looking all over the country and Europe to find a program that would teach me the hand skills I was looking for. And at first I thought I wanted an MFA, but when I found North Bennet Street School in Boston it felt like I had entered an entirely new world. Where had all of these people been all of my life…?
In printmaking I learned that many of my most beloved works of art were actually printed by a master printer and their apprentices, not Picasso. And when you start to understand how difficult pulling a consistent stone litho print can be, well… you start to see art as more about the process than the ego. It is the process that you learn at NBSS, along with a greater understanding of your materials. And of course a 2-year program can in no way teach you all that is out there.
And so I went and graduated from the bookbinding and restoration program. I think most graduates can attest to the fact that you never want to leave. The relationships you cultivate with your shop mates can function like an extension of your own thought process. Especially when it comes to restoration. There are countless different ways to approach a project, and sometimes the hardest part is simply choosing. So when I decided to move to NC with my husband, we were not only losing our facilities but also our community.
I’ve tried to imagine what it would have felt like to build up a studio without the internet. The amount of blogs, forums, and photographs out there are countless. And they have helped me so many times when I thought I reached a road block. In many ways these sites have taken the place of my old peers. And I appreciate them greatly.
I am not extroverted by nature, but I do feel a profound need to share what I have learned. I want to give back, and I want to learn more, all at the same time. I guess that is why I feel I am finally ready to write a blog. I hope this information proves helpful, and further connects me to the ever growing field that is bookbinding and printmaking.