My new best friend is my Dremel stylus. At the Art and Soul Retreat in Hampton, VA, I learned how to use it and that it’s more than “just a drill”. I took two book arts workshops with Daniel Essig who uses the Dremel to drill holes in mica which we used to create our books. I was skeptical at first about getting my own Dremel, but my potter friend Gail assured me that I will find more uses for it than I can imagine. And I’m sure that’s true. So at the end of my trip, when I picked up my checked luggage in Memphis, I was quite relieved that my Dremel was still there and my bag was tagged with this lovely red sticker from TSA.
One can only imagine what TSA officials were thinking when they saw this going through security:
Now, about the workshops. The two day workshop was “Book of Mica” where we learned of the properties of mica, both in its natural state and as a composite. Mica is a naturally ocurring mineral also known as bookstone. In our class, each student created a book with at least 5 pages of mica and a front and back cover. Many of us inserted a collage or pictures between two pieces of mica to give the imagery a “haunted” or ghost like effect. Here is Daniel’s mica book which he showed as an example:
Daniel was a very generous and patient teacher with all of us. Anyone interested in book arts and wanting to explore the properties of mica would greatly benefit from a workshop with him. He is also a talented woodworker and sculptor.
In my own mica book, I cut out a window in one of the pages, then drilled holes at the top and bottom of the window to anchor down my warp of black perle cotton. I then used the warp to weave a weft of paper strips cut from a picture which I covered with a small piece of natural mica.
Daniel also showed us the steps for sewing a decorative centipede stitch, which he calls a caterpillar stitch.
The evening workshop addressed the herringbone stitch bound on a book with paper signatures and mica covers. We had the opportunity again to insert images between two thin sheets of mica for both front and back covers.
The mica book that we constructed during the two day workshop had a different binding. We used four needles to create a coptic stitch.
Being a handweaver, I found that I really enjoy the stitching and binding process of creating a handmade book. I purchased some books by Keith Smith to inspire me to be more adventurous with my bookbinding stitches. And it will give me a reason to use my beauty of a Dremel stylus.
Filed under: book arts, Handwoven, Memphis, Weaving | Tagged: Art and Soul Retreat, book arts, bookbinding, coptic stitch, Daniel Essig, Dremel, handweaving, herringbone stitch, Keith Smith, Memphis, mica, mica book, woven |