Know When to Fold ‘Em workshop at Studio Place Arts – Day 2

Bookbinding workshop - Know When to Fold 'Em - Studio Place Arts, Barre, VT

Last night was day two of my 3-session workshop, Know When to Fold ‘Em, at Studio Place Arts. The class focuses on the versatility of the accordion book – while the basic folded form is easy and quick to produce, it can be adapted into more complex and creative books.

Class participants are creating four books: a basic accordion book, a panel book, a flexagon, and a flag book. In addition, the structures will incorporate the artist trading cards that will be created during the workshop.

Bookbinding workshop - Know When to Fold 'Em - Studio Place Arts, Barre, VT

Now that's my kind of work surface!

My class includes five wonderful, creative, and motivated women – just how I like it. They are really keeping me on my toes. Also how I like it. 🙂

In the past two classes, everyone completed the basic book structures. The next session will focus on content.

While I feel comfortable teaching bookbinding techniques, I’m struggling a bit with the content part. I think the art therapist in me is forcing me to be less directive – my stance is “All art is okay. Process is important as product.” I don’t think that type of approach is translating in the workshop setting and that more structure is needed.

I’m going to think more about how the different book structures can (and should) influence the content. I’ll also bring in more books for inspiration and technique ideas. I’ll think I’ll start the next class with a general discussion on creating content.

This is the first time I’ve taught this workshop and I appreciate that it takes place over three weeks. It gives me the opportunity to change the class in response to participant needs. It’s like a class is a living being and you can’t completely control how it grows.

I’m really enjoying being part of the evolution.

7 Responses to “Know When to Fold ‘Em workshop at Studio Place Arts – Day 2”

By Paula - 27 February 2010 Reply

Enjoyed reading about this workshop and the one at Frog Hollow. Would love to see you post more images of student work. Sounds very dynamic.

By Elissa - 2 March 2010 Reply

Paula –

Are you looking for photos of finished student work or more pictures of workshops in general? I’m happy to do both.


By Jane Davies - 1 March 2010 Reply

Hi Elissa. I would love to be taking your workshop, but I am on a deadline crunch – working on another collage book due at the end of this month. I struggle with book content. Love making blank books, but long to make structure-content connections. I’ll check your blog for future workshop. Meanwhile, how do you like SPA? I’m taking a workshop in encaustics there in April, and would like to teach collage workshops.

By Elissa - 2 March 2010 Reply

Jane –

I also struggle with book content and my production line is primarily made of blank books. I hope to spend more time on my creative work this year, with a focus on developing content. Isn’t this every artists’ struggle?

I love SPA. Sue Higby, the Executive Director, is really supportive and easy to work with. I’d teach more workshops there in a heartbeat.


By Paula - 2 March 2010 Reply

Thanks for asking for clarification! I loved the sample of the woven book covers from the recycling workshop: Makes me want to see more of the books that your students create while working with you. I will keep watching.

By Elissa - 4 March 2010 Reply

Paula –

Today is the last day of my workshop and I’ll try to get some pictures of completed student work.


By Paula - 4 March 2010 Reply

Thank you!!! I will look forward to it.

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