Monday, May 24, 2010

Coming Soon: Rockpile Bindery

In June I'll be working in the new studio/shop (which is looking great, by the way). Thinking about the change of location has led me through some symbolic transformations, with one of the ensuing considerations being my business name. I will be leaving behind my alphabet-inspired name whilst carrying my true love for all things abecedarian into my future ventures.

Many thanks to many friends, strategies of chance, and postmodern american poetry for counseling me through the selection of a new name. A logo should be forthcoming in the next few weeks,with some switching around of web pages as well. That's all for now. Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, May 20, 2010

R is for rockpile

Stay tuned...more to come on some changes and new beginnings!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Historically, an important element of my creative process has been getting myself caffeinated. More recently, though, I often wake up and drink green tea or even, um, decaf coffee. I miss the buzz, and I also don't miss it, you know? This is how I feel when I am pleasantly buzzzzzed:

I look happy, don't I? I have no real point here, except that coffee makes me feel crazy, happy, and creative all at once.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Are Crafters Edgy?

This is a question I'm coming back to a lot these days. To rephrase, or clarify a little bit, what I'm pondering is how I'm changing as an artist now that I'm settling down in Asheville. I got my BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago a little more than three years ago. I spent a while making drawings in my bedroom and sending out pieces of mailable art when I first moved to North Carolina after graduating, but I really felt like I hit a sustainable stride when I started making books, or, as I now think of them, Crafts.

So I've moved from Art making to Craft making, and it feels pretty great. And it's surprising. My printmaking teacher once angrily lectured our class that if we needed extra money, we should get a part time job, because he sure as hell didn't want to see us spending our time making prints to sell in the school's yearly holiday art sale. At that point, I saw no prospect of making money on making things unless I sold out bigtime.

But now I don't feel like a sellout, even though most of what I make these days has a retail destination of some sort. I don't feel edgy, but I still feel like an artist. Most of the time I feel like a creative person who makes beautiful things that lots of people happen to like looking at. That's not too bad, is it?

Monday, May 3, 2010

At the beginning of June, I will be unemployed. And to tell the truth, I really can't wait. The more I think about working for myself, making books and other pretty objects to sell, the less appealing it sounds to work for someone else on their schedule. I'm happiest waking up at the crack of dawn and sitting down with a cup of coffee to get started on the day's projects, enjoying the sun coming through the windows and stopping when the sun is starting to set. Working for myself and on my own terms feels so much less like work than the alternative!

I know that I'm facing a lot of hard work and a lot of uncertainty in the future, but I am looking forward to those long and golden days of early summer in a whole new way.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

So...I think I'm turning over a new leaf! Two posts in one day!

Here's what Leigh Anne and I have been working on. Stay tuned for new photos every day or two on the Dry Goods blog. We've started painting (a few shades of green, for now) and as we scrub (and scrub, and scrub) off the dust, the vintage beauty of this amazing space is shining through.

Read all about it here.

Spring Update

In the midst of working on a thousand other things, I am screenprinting the pages for a new set of weekly planners for spring and summer.

I've just finished the first one: a custom planner for a customer who bought one from me last year. I love the colors that she chose; they seemed too bold at first, but now that the book has come together, I think it looks great.

Stay tuned for more color choices in the coming weeks, and let me know if you'd like your own custom book. I'm using french paper, and it's beautiful. I surprised myself and ordered some of the Speckletone...For years I've resisted the "recycled look", but when I started printing on the white speckled paper, it didn't look nearly as crunchy as I thought it would. I really like it!

In other news, my Etsy shop isn't being updated much these days due to a few other big projects going on. I'll be moving into an amazing shared studio/retail/community space in about a month, and in the meantime I'm inhaling a lot of dust and splitting my fingernails cleaning it up. More news on that to come. Be excited!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Coptic Books

At the end of summer, I had a big rush in my Etsy shop for weekly planners. At the end of that rush, I started preparing for the holiday season. I spent many hours making books to order and making lots of my best sellers, all the while working at two jobs, hibernating, and trying to will the snowy Asheville winter to end...

Eventually I had to take a long break. It ended up being a break from blogging, etsy-ing, and even a break from making books for a while. When I started back up, the idea of making books to order, or formulaically binding four or five of the same book, just didn't seem too appealing. I decided to take a more tactile, process based, and, most importantly, more relaxed and enjoyable approach to
making things.

What was the result? Coptic bound books! I've kept my distance from this type of book for a while, because I seem to see them everywhere in Asheville. But once I started making them, I loved the process of "braiding" the spines, and I love that I can showcase the colorful waxed threads that typically take a backseat to other decorative elements in my books.

Just in time for spring (and I can't even believe that it's really here for good)!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009


another attempt at sharing my love for this most loveliest part of the artist's book: the colophon! i have found that when i collaborate on a book project, the colophon tends to be much more creative. take this one, for instance (a recent collaboration with 2 fellow artists):

this small edition of very pretty books includes reproductions of several drawings, with writings to accompany them.

and there's even a centerfold:

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

one of my newest ventures, born equally from of a general feeling of brokeness and a need for new creative tangents, has been to satisfy my urge for a new wardrobe by recreating the old one that i already have.

what began as a frantic cutting of sleeves five minutes before i needed to leave for work, several days in a row, has ultimately resulted in a few neat projects that i have really enjoyed showing off. and a coworker recently told me, upon seeing this dress, "dude, i would totally buy that for, like, fifty dollars!" well, neat!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday, January 26, 2009


Last week I sold a sweet little book (and one that it was hard to part with) to a very appreciative customer on Etsy. She wrote about my books on her blog! I love the photos that she took of the little dos-a-dos planner/journal. Neat!

In other news, I'm making a whole lot of new weekly planners, even though the new year has come and passed. Check them out on Etsy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

oh my goodness

I've been workin' hard on this book for the past two weeks. Truly a labor of love and a mind-expanding experiment, it's a custom order, and in its final form it will hold over three hundred Polaroid photos.

I'm going to take some more photos of the finished product when the sun rises tomorrow morning. Until then, feast your little eyes on these pictures of the work-in-progress.

Saturday, January 3, 2009


One of my favorite parts of making limited edition books is creating the colophon. Often prefaced with "A note on the type", the colophon page sometimes describes the history of the typeface featured, and I've seen a few that even explain a little bit about why the editors or author chose that particular font.

Survey your shelves for books published by Knopf, and take a look at their colophons. This publishing house apparently takes great pleasure in these little details.

An often overlooked gem in print: the colophon!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 8, 2008

the big crafty

yesterday i sold my wares at the Big Crafty ( i was pleasantly surprised by how quickly the time flew, and delighted in all of the kind words i heard about my work! the day was a great success, and since i've spent the last two weeks frantically preparing for the sale, i now have many new items to post on etsy for the holidays!