In my first drawing class in college in 1967, my instructor said either “always carry a sketchbook” or “always keep a sketchbook.” I don’t know if anyone else in Keith Imus’s Drawing 101 paid much attention, but I did.  Over the past 50 plus years sketchbooks have developed into a most potent device for learning. […]

I came upon the following bothersome quote from Matthew Crawford. (Despite thoroughly enjoying the book, no author is perfect.) “Fixing things, whether cars or human bodies, is very different from building things from scratch. The mechanic and the doctor deal with failure every day, even if they are expert, whereas the builder does not. This […]

In 2016 I was asked to write an introduction to the catalog for an auction of Philip Smith’s work. Given the interest in my prior post about Philip, I’m re-posting what I wrote here. I am a romantic but not prone to great exaggeration. As I have studied deeply the history of books and their […]

“Creativity involves not only years of conscious preparation and training but unconscious preparation as well,” wrote Oliver Sacks in outlining the three essential elements of creativity, adding: “This incubation period is essential to allow the subconscious assimilation and incorporation of one’s influences and sources, to reorganize and synthesize them into something of one’s own.” In […]

It is possible to interpret this confrontation of script and stars.  Just as now and then a star emerges from the host—as a moving planet, as a comet—so also does a cipher, whose ideogram becomes intelligible to us, rise up now and then from the heap of incomprehensibility.  One could draw the conclusion that the […]

While in England on my NEA grant, I met Philip Smith – an encounter that spun into a lifelong friendship. Most bookbinding texts focus on journeyman work – the skills needed to begin the process and to contemplate mends, repairs and the conservation of rare works. During my self-propelled apprenticeship I found many books covering […]

Thoughts on this week’s workshop from Jenn Zahrt. (Thanks for letting me re-post this!) Pigment encrusted fingernails and stains on clothes (forgot my apron in Seattle)… exhaustion of the most perfect kind. A raw moonstone I brought with me screamed out to be on my workshop table and ended up finding a job on Tim’s […]