Taking a Break in Asheville then Finishing Up with the Samples Book

This is the view going over to Asheville the other day. The fog seems to love laying like whipped cream over the town of Franklin. We drove up to have an overnight stay with friends and ate wonderful food. It is hard to find anything but good food in that town. Loved spending time with friends, their cat and of course shopping for clothes.


When I returned to the very messy studio of putting things away from teaching the week before and trying to redo my old samples book, I got back at it. The new samples book is not as long as the old one and almost every single sample was re-pasted into the new size of 12″ x 12″ x 4″. I used some leaf contact printed cloth for the covers and printed paper for the straps. All the folios that were stitched in were colored with shellac and a walnut dye left from the previous week’s class. I couldn’t bear to toss it out so brought it home in jars.

I removed the beads from the long stitched spine of the previous book and attached them to the long threads of the new book.

Here are some of the interior pages. This book is packed. I wanted to keep all the sample techniques to use for myself in the studio and have as a reference for students if I teach this class again. The pages are not as pretty as students’ were last week but they are familiar to me and full of the information that I will need.


These are just a few of the pages. I was happy to see the end of this project. Over the past several years I would just stick more samples loosely into the back of the old book. It gave me a chance to really look at the work involved and realize again how much “documentation” is important to the way I work. Even though some of the samples look like a dumb idea, they were worth keeping. I learned a very long time ago that today’s “dumb” is tomorrow’s “genius”.

I liked teaching this class and have modified it a bit with a new title for the students of today….the ones I have more often than not, who want something “pretty” by the end of the week, not a bunch of techniques that they are not likely to use in their own work. For me the samples are the work. They are the product and will be what I count on later.

And then there was that glorious Snow Moon last night. My iphone does not do it justice but here it was waiting for us to come back home last night after dinner with friends.

Tomorrow is the meeting of the Art Group here and at the very least I will have two finished books to show them. Then I need to concentrate on getting ready for Australia and leaving home for five weeks. I am so happy to be going again.

When I return from down under it is back to those specimens with watercolor on gessoed boards. I think the big dragonfly will be next. While in Asheville I went to the art store to get new small brushes and a walnut ink colored very fine marking pen. It will make those tiny wing veins seem doable. All for now…..