In Residence


Paul admired my outfit so much that he thought you should see it too:  long underwear, two shirts, hooded sweatshirt, plastic apron, padded vest, baggy green polarfleece sweatpants, and tartan wellies, and properly shrunken test sheets.

Now, post-holidaze, I’ve been working on my own work, at last. I’d re-beaten the fiber (that I found to have been underbeaten in August while I was at Jentel) around Thanksgiving, and then had no more time to even think about it till now.  That’s the teaching life. However, I’d stored the bucket o’ pulp just inside the back door of the basement, and that’s a cool enough spot to keep it refrigerated and fresh; it was.  No stank at all.



On the first, I finished clearing up the studio, which was still partially packed from Jentel (that’s also the teaching life), set up for papermaking, and made test sheets.  I had, at last, the right shrinkage, so I finished making the final cover sheets for (S)Edition yesterday, while still getting out to the woods and still getting some work done on various apps each day.  Today, I’ll continue to reconfigure my bindery/ clean studio so that it can receive the furniture from my old school office, which we’ll move on Monday, while the cover sheets dry.  My goal is to have all the production finished (dyeing, casting and embellishing the covers, casting the remaining stems, and beating the fiber for and making the rest of the final text sheets), and to get the new improved bindery set up by the time the semester starts.  Then, I’ll be able to assemble the final books in the warm bindery space a few at a time during the early part of the semester. That’s my plan (along with all the apps, syllabae, etc.)…it does seem do-able, even with a few parties thrown in.



My studios at home are small and cramped, and I need to spend a lot of extra time reconfiguring them for each task, each phase of any given project.  But they do work for me, more efficiently all the time, though I think longingly of all the residency studios, and back to the days of 3,000 square feet in Cleveland the entire time I work in them. 

A friend told me how lucky I was to have them…and that made me wonder: is it luck if it’s by design? I can’t live without studios, so I make damn sure I have them; I give up a lot to equip them and to have time to work.  Is that luck? Or determination?

In any case, it’s good to be reminded that I can effectively be in residence in my residence.  (Will somebody hit me over the head with that fact when it gets rough during the coming semester, please?  Thanks).



5 thoughts on “In Residence

  1. Those beautiful sheets, drying and cockling are delicious! So good to see paper, and beautiful pulp, especially since I have my mill hibernating this winter. Thanks–

  2. > Is that luck? Or determination?


    The drying sheets remind me of leaving a bunch of filo pastry out once without putting a damp cloth over the pile and being distracted by an emergency phone call. I returned to find this wonderful, delicate, book sculpture…. 🙂

    I think not having a real studio might have hindered me in the past, although I’m not sure — at some level, having a studio per se when starting out probably doesn’t make that much of a difference if you aren’t sure about what you’re doing in it.

    Since I returned from Don’s, I’ve found a much better way to work around the situation with our dining room table, two small portable “surfaces” I can set up for when I need to be cutting and pasting at the same time, and a bit of juggling for drying in winter.

    Come better weather, I can set up the latter two outside and not have to be moving things around so much, and that should help a lot.

    It all boils down to efficiency, and how one can improve both quantity and quality of the work. “Studio” is one, and “equipment” is the other: I may not have the former, but I’ve certainly been spending to accumulate (and use!) the latter….

  3. hilarious, b/c i was just quabbling w/a friend last night about if i should get one of those vests to work this month! she says i should. that looks like the outfit i’ll be wearing…except i’m not as well prepared.

    hooray for non-stinky pulp!!

  4. >Is that luck? Or determination?

    DETERMINATION. Definitely and without question. Ive gone so long without a proper studio space to work in let alone a place to keep all of my art supplies together in. My dining room has been my “studio” for the past two years, but three cats see to it that everything gets batted off the table tops, paw prints are added to EVERYTHING left on a flat surface and spills are inevitable if anything is left out unattended. Needless to say, my “dining room” looks more like a cramped refugee camp most of the time…

    I finally found a studio two buildings down from my apartment in the basement of a brownstone and will be giving up a LOT in order to afford it, but there really is no other way around it. It WAS luck that I finally found one *within* my general price range SO CLOSE to my home, but it was just as much determination to keep looking after months of disappointments! I tried working in a make shift space such as a cramped dining room with cats and a tortoise and I never got very far…I think this new, small but all for me, studio will be a god send.

    I also think sacrifice is part of the deal with creative types, and you clearly understand a lot about that. Working in cramped quarters where you have to rearrange things for each phase of each project really is a challenge, but your work is so beautiful and refined that clearly it’s a challenge you rise above and beyond to meet and conquer!!!

    Thanks for sharing the images, it really is inspiring to see that other people have similar struggles/issues and still manage to make the art that they want to…

Leave a Reply to Velma Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s