I mean seriously cool.
Peggy Skycraft has been making the most gorgeous marbled and painted papers since 1970. She is considered a master marbler and if you look at her work, you can see why.
I became acquainted with Peggy’s work when I worked at Paper Source in the mid-90’s. From the moment I saw her papers, I just wanted to dive into them, the colors were so rich.
Fast forward to 2 years ago. I was planning a trip to the 2007 Focus on Book Arts conference in Forest Grove, Oregon. As I usually do before I travel, I did a web search on bookbinding and paper resources near to the conference. It was then that I discovered that Peggy’s studio was within driving distance of the conference. After exchanging some Emails, Peggy and I spoke on the phone. She told me that not only could I come for a visit, but I could stay overnight in the apartment above her studio. I felt that the offer was more generous than I could have hoped for and we set a date for my visit.
After my conference, I drove out to Peggy’s studio. She and her husband Jack welcomed us with open arms. They gave us a tour of their lovely rural property and fed us dinner.
Then we got the tour of the studio. Holy crap. Her studio is so ginormous, I can’t even begin to tell you. I’m pretty sure that the square footage of her studio exceeds the floor plan of my whole house. I was so in awe of just being in Peggy’s presence that I was too shy to ask if I could take pictures of her studio. I become suck a starstruck dork sometimes.
After the studio tour ended, it was getting late. Peggy told us that she and her husband would be retiring, but we could feel free to go through her paper drawers and pick out what I wanted and we could settle up in the morning.
I’m thinking – Are you serious? How could I possibly even deserve the chance to go through your paper drawers? I am not worthy!!! So off they went. And I stood in the studio for a bit, stunned by what was happening. Then I came to my senses and looked at her paper.
I imagine that choosing amongst her papers is similar to being asked to choose your favorite child. It just isn’t fair. Unfortunately, a limited budget will always bring you to your senses. I made a pile of paper happiness for myself and went to bed.
The next day, Peggy and Jack made us breakfast. Even though I was there, it’s hard to believe that things like this really happen. Afterwards, I paid for my paper and we were on our way.
I will never ever ever EVER forget that trip. EVER.
Fast forward to June 2009 when I attended the Focus on Book Arts conference. Super-sadly, I was shut out of both sections of Peggy’s workshop New Techniques in Decorative Paper: Cold Batik Papers & Surface Magic (you snooze, you lose). I was totally heartbroken.
Although Peggy wasn’t part of the vendor fair during the conference, she did have a stash of paper in her car that she brought out for me. I bought 6 sheets of paper. Making choices was just as hard as it had been 2 years previously.