Reubens and Shroobens

Paper studio windows!

Today’s title was the lunch menu one day last week…the food at Penland is luscious and there are always vegetarian options, helping me to easily keep to my self-imposed regimen. If you miss a meal (like I did this morning), there is a lovely coffee shop with sandwiches and muffins and art…always art.

There is so much I want to write about, so very, very much going on every day and every night, but no time to do it in, so I’m thinking mostly captioned pictures will have to suffice, at least when I remember to pull out the camera.

Paper outdoors,

paper indoors,

and the pulp painting has begun in earnest, along with watermarks, abaca, flax; we’ve been harvesting here and there; field-retted iris is soaking, and Heather has raided the stand of bamboo for leaves; jeans and linen have been made into pulp…

We are making tons of paper and a number of books, people work late into the night, and still: the class as a whole is enthusiastically putting on the first ever All-Penland Edible Books Festival next Friday evening, so watch this space! I’m excited. We all are. Meanwhile, the stack dryer and beater are running constantly.

Tomorrow, the absolutely wonderful Heather Bella teaches the 4-needle Coptic binding while I prepare the first three of an eventual nine pounds of what we’ve named Shawn’s Perfect Pop-Up Pulp, and then I pack and head back down the corkscrew road to Black Mountain; Mary will take me to the Asheville airport on Friday morning and I’ll fly to Philadelphia, where I’ll be met and driven to Wilmington, Delaware for this.  Old dear friends are driving in from Maryland on Saturday, and we’ll have a night together after the symposium, and I’ll fly back on Sunday; the incomparable Shawn Sheehy will have already arrived, and he’ll be teaching Monday through Wednesday…so maybe I’ll be able to blog about the symposium while 9000 other highly blogworthy things happen around me.

Patrick Dougherty is one of my favourite artists: he has festooned the porch of The Pines, also on the National Register of Historic Places, where the dining hall and the coffee shop are located.  Mary visited last weekend (and we had a sweet Full Moon Porch Party of our own) and at first she thought his work was an amazing growth of wisteria. Dougherty is from North Carolina; being surrounded with utterly astounding trees like the one below (just up the road from where I live), it’s easy to see what he initially might have drawn from…