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The Painted Book… Guest Bloggers Karen Nelson, Claire Jones

December 13, 2011

Watching a Demonstration by Martha Cole

Blog: The Painted Book

What could be more intimate than to curl up with a beautiful book….touching it, savoring the pages, letting the words sink in, looking at the incredible artwork? Easy answer–creating the book yourself!

In mid-November, fourteen ladies spent five days with Martha Cole in a purely delightful workshop. No previous knowledge or book-making experience was needed to be successful in this venture. Time was spent in a mixture of happily painting with wheat paste not worrying about the “end composition,” to working with the detailed measurement of book construction without rulers or angst of 1/64 inch measurements.

Claire showing her handmade book

Martha guided us and continually assured us that each one of our books would be surprisingly beautiful creations as we played with color and texture, adding collage, photocopies or any other interesting bits of materials to the book. Measuring in “smidgeons and hairs,” we were able to bind our books, complete with headbands…..and without headaches in the process. Martha mentored us through all of our construction “dilemmas” and the artistic angels did their magic…..Each book was a truly beautiful AND finished creation!

A page from Claire's book. Wheat paste was used with acrylics.

“Encountering someone with such a love of books drew me into books in a new way. Usually I just pick up a book, get the knowledge and information I want and put it back…without realizing that a book could be such a thing of beauty,” Claire noted. “I walked out with a deeper appreciation AND my very own personally hand-created and bound book.”

Karen showing her completed book to the class.

“Martha Cole is a master hand-made book creator! Having always had a love for children’s picture books, I experienced the joy of creating a book with “wild abandon.” It was so inspirational to dive in with little (very little) knowledge of book-making and I knew within 5 minutes of class that Martha would guide me through the process. She demonstrated each step and gave us a wonderful handout of steps so that we could continue to create books in the future,” reflected Karen.  “Claire and I think that EVERYONE would thoroughly enjoy this class, no matter what their artistic level might be. If you love books, you’ll love Martha’s class!”

closeup of Karen's book

patterns made into the wheat paste on Karen's page.

Carol Burrows front cover

Sydney Hole's front cover

Watch for Martha Cole’s next course at our center in 2012.  Gail

2 Comments leave one →
  1. fibreisle permalink
    December 13, 2011 6:27 pm

    I wish I could have been there to see everyone’s books. It is nice to see what I can. I will probably finish mine in January when I get back home.

    • December 13, 2011 9:02 pm

      Hi Lisa, We can share some of those pictures with you when you get back. Yours will be terrific too. Gail

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