Open Studio Weekend – recap

Vermont Open Studio Weekend yellow signI have survived yet another Open Studio Weekend. Woohoo!

I now have 6 years under my belt. [pats self on back] I had such a great time.

I love showing off the paper in my flat files and when I see people appreciating the patterns and textures of the paper in my collection, it makes me so happy.

It’s fascinating to see how people react to an invitation to touch sheets of paper. Some people dive right in and others just can’t bring themselves to do it. I can see how some might find the paper too precious. I feel that way sometimes – especially when I have to cut a piece of paper I really like.

I can hear it now – nnnnnooooooo!!!!!!!

As was the case in 2008 (I didn’t participate in OSW last year), not many kids came. I asked someone why they thought that was the case and I was given a possible explanation. Parents are used to going places and being told that their kids can’t touch anything – perhaps that’s what keeps people from bringing their kids. Parents are so worried that something might get broken in an artist’s studio, they decide not to include their kids in a studio tour.

If that’s true, then let me say it now – I love love love to have kids in my studio! I make things out of paper. There’s not much that can get broken. Come over for a visit. A couple of my visitors were former students of mine. I was happy to see that I had properly infected them with the bookbinding bug.

Bookbinder Elissa Campbell in her studio

Demonstrating how to use a punching cradle

Something that was different about this year was that I had many more visitors who were interested in learning how to make books themselves. I told folks about the Book Arts Guild of Vermont and invited them to come to our meetings. We love having new people. I think that most of the success of the Guild lies in the great talent of our members.

I’ve found that when people come to learn about bookbinding, they often ask for recommendations on books they can read to learn more. I created a handout for folks to take with them – one side lists my favorite bookbinding texts and the other side includes places to buy bookbinding supplies. It makes me happy to know that I can help facilitate someone’s creative pursuits.

I really wish that I had more local resources to refer people to – sadly, Vermont isn’t a bookbinding supply hub. If you weren’t able to come by for a visit during Open Studio Weekend, no worries – you can schedule an appointment for another time. With enough advance notice, I can fit a visit in on most days.

Just give me enough time to clean and I’m happy. 🙂

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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