Tuesday, February 09, 2021

Sumi Suite-A Road Not Taken


Sumi Suite. I'd call these one of my roads not taken. I thought this would lead to a whole set of accordions with sumi ink and brush photographed in various settings but this is all that happened. If I've learned anything in the past 40+ years, it's that all time creating is time well spent whether it leads to the results you planned for or not.

Friday, February 05, 2021

Winter Creative Recycling Project-Prayer Flags


Creative Recycling! Plastic bags are not as plentiful in Newburyport as they once were but if you have some around, you might want to make prayer flags. I made the cord by tying together narrow strips cut from plastic bags and stapled the flags around them. This photo is from 11 years ago. When I first started teaching simple bookmaking (30+ years ago), a few participants (adults) said that their books would never be as nice as mine because they couldn't do calligraphy. So I stopped using using calligraphy tools and styles in any lettering I did. My goal in all the projects I share for making is to have them be accessible and barrier-free in every way I can think of.

Monday, February 01, 2021

Celtic Spring 2021


May the lengthening days

awaken the promise within.

Lettering was done with Calligraphica Crystals and Hiro/Leonardt Blue Pumpkin #40 nib on ivy Canson Mi-Tientes. Photographed in front of a rhododendron.

February first, the midpoint between the winter solstice and the vernal equinox, is the first day of spring in the Celtic calendar. 

Friday, January 29, 2021

A Quote for Kamala

 "And so, lifting as we climb, onward and upward we go, struggling and striving, and hoping the buds and blossoms of our desires will burst into glorious fruition ere long." From "The Progress of Colored Women," an address given by Mary Church Terrell in 1898 to the National Association of Colored Women on its fiftieth anniversary. 

I am in awe of Mary Church Terrell. She was brilliant and determined and worked for women's rights and social justice throughout her long (1863–1954) life.  Biography: Unceasing Militant: The Life of Mary Church Terrell by Alison M. Parker. 

Lettering done with Hiro/Leonardt #40 nib (Blue Pumpkin) and Calligraphica Crystals from John Neal, Bookseller on inkjet paper printed purple to match Kamala Harris' inauguration coat.

Monday, January 25, 2021



I lettered this quote for a friend's funeral but feel it speaks to the moment we are in. The lettering was done in black on white with a Speedball C-5 nib and inverted to white on black in Photoshop.

Thursday, January 21, 2021

A New Day

 The timing was perfect yesterday. I was able to go to Plum Island to write in the sand at low tide and then watch the inauguration. Today I wrote out the concluding lines of Amanda Gorman's amazing poem "The Hill We Climb."

The New York Times has a lesson plan for studying the poem as well as the complete text.

Monday, January 11, 2021

Bookmaking with Children: Why Use Recycled Materials?


From makingbooks.com:

I like to use recycled, or more accurately repurposed, materials in my workshops and at home. I use brown paper grocery bags, cereal boxes, and used paper that has writing on only one side. I made the change to be more respectful of the environment and reduce consumption but the benefits go way beyond that.


We live in an instant culture filled with manufactured objects. It is not the children's fault that they expect their paper perfect and think nothing of asking for a new piece when theirs has a wrinkle. Using grocery bags, cereal boxes, or paper that they have used before makes them aware of the paper they consume.


And there are other positive effects as well. When they start by cutting a paper bag, the paper is already uneven so it takes all the burden of precision away. I find it lightens the spirit of the whole process. In addition to consuming less paper, they learn to look creatively at the things they discard. 

Making books with repurposed materials has a different aesthetic. Because we don't start with plain paper, there are often traces of its former life showing. I feel this brings life and vitality to the finished book. 

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