I am teaching Experimental Editions an 8-week intensive workshop in the letterpress studio
of Penland School of Crafts in the Spring 2018. The class will run from March 11-May 4th. The focus of the workshop will be creating meaningful content through experimentation. The course will cover the basics of letterpress printing and binding for editions and portfolios. Presentations, readings, and prompts will spark conversation and support individual practices and goals. The deadline to apply for scholarships is November 28th. Information to register can be found here. Non-scholarship registration will run until the class is filled.

Students of all studio backgrounds are encouraged to register. We will be looking at letterpress and artists' books within the context of contemporary art and writing. Historical examples of experimentation with text and publishing in the Dada, Fluxus, and Conceptual Art movements will also be explored. While gaining a firm understanding of traditional techniques, we will look at how artists use sound, video, and performance in tandem with the book, and ask how can craft be used to resonate and amplify the concepts in our work.


Class Description of Experimental Editions from the Penland Catalog

Class Description of Experimental Editions from the Penland Catalog


 :: Marianne Dages, 2014 ::

:: Marianne Dages, 2014 ::

These prints were made with earth collected in Penland, North Carolina during a short residency. The earth, a mix of mica, sand, and soil, was arranged on a letterpress printing plates and exposed to light to create a raised surface to accept ink. The plates were then printed, the resulting images reminiscent of the stars.

Blog Tour

Amy Tavern

My friend Amy Tavern, a jeweler and artist, tagged me to participate in a Blog Tour and to tag three blogs that I like to read. Amy is one of the reasons I started keeping a blog. I was inspired by her commitment to her blog, and the way she posted about her process and artists that inspired her work. I've been keeping this blog since 2009 and if you go back to the first posts, you will see what feels like a completely different person to me now. That's what's so fascinating about these things, they're records of our transformations as people and artists.

I love reading artist's blogs, I subscribe to dozens of them and read them every day like a morning paper. These three blogs, I selected because they combine images of process and work with insightful musings on daily life and all the highs and lows of being an artist. They all also happen to be people I have known at some point through Penland School of Crafts.

Millions of People Happy - Michelle Moode

Michelle Moode is a printmaker and bookbinder who lives in Spruce Pine, NC. Her work feels like an ongoing collection of ephemeral visual experiences and thoughts. I recently spent two weeks with Michelle at the Paper Book Intensive, making paper, books, and generally having an incredible time. Her blog is a mix of process and personal reflections.

Sawdust and Tomatoes - Christina Boy

Christina is makes gorgeous furniture and sculpture, primarily in wood. I got to know her when we were roommates for two years at Penland as Core Fellowship students. She is originally from Germany and lives in rural Virginia with her husband. Her blog includes images of her process and wood shop, and also lots of envy inducing images of things on the farm that she and her husband grow, can, and eat.

Jean Fitz's Weblog

Jean is an artist and educator who lives in Chicago. I met her in a class at Penland six years ago. She makes graphic novels, which are funny, honest, and truly unique, and somehow coaxes the most amazing Photoshop work out of middle schoolers I have ever seen. She is also a fearless traveler, and those experiences are recorded in her blog.

Via Penland

Mr. Shane Darwent, bookbinding by Kathy Steinsberger

If you're in North Carolina, there's a great show up in Raleigh at Rebus Works Gallery featuring photographer Shane Darwent. The show's name is Via Penland. Every year, the gallery features one artist connected to Penland School of Crafts. This year, they featured Shane and his collaborations with five book artists, including myself.

Via Penland

This show represents over a year of travels and residencies, which are beautifully documented on Shane's blog. Shane also put together a great slide show of the opening, which you can see here.

My collaboration with Shane, a portfolio of five collages/drawings on his photographs housed in a box.

Some of Shane's hand-colored photographs

It looks like it was a great opening, I wish I could have been there! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you were there. I'm so glad I got a chance to do this collaboration with my fellow former core student, Shane. Thank you Shane!


There are time tested hallowed traditions one must follow while a Core Fellow. As per these traditions, I have moved out of my studio and bedroom at Penland to make way for a new group of Core Fellows, and left huge piles of crap in my wake.

I don't really like saying goodbye. It's hard and yucky and awkward and sometimes you have to do it twice or three times which is even worse. But it has to be done. So.

Goodbye studio.

Goodbye witty light switch.

And goodbye dearest, sweetest nerds. I will miss you all so much.


Printing was just murder today... HA! I did print a whole bunch of new cards that I'll be taking pictures of soon. Feathers, wrens, hellos, congrats, thank you''s, more robocops! Lots of new things.

My boyfriend and I also got the stomach flu, luckily offset by two days so there was no competition for bathroom territory. This was an experience I wish on no one. No one. I spent most of Thursday night curled up on the bathroom floor reading Nintendo Power, which is perfect reading material for coming in and out of consciousness. Tough questions, real answers.
Like this one,

Q: If you could play your Nintendo anywhere, where would it be?
A: I would play it on a mountain of money so then I could buy more Nintendo games after!

Awesome! Thank goodness we're both feeling great now. So great...why...It makes me want to SING!
(thank you, Henry, for this video)


My roommate Joshua gave me that beautiful mug.

This last week, I've been working in the letterpress studio. All by my lonesome with a thermos of coffee, some snacks, and Pandora radio (lately Hall & Oates and Psychedelic Furs). I'm making new work... recipe and holiday cards, postcards, and gift tags. My goals this winter are to branch out with my color palette and work more practically and efficiently. It's good, I'm learning a lot and making things I'm excited about. I love working alone. At my own pace.

Last weekend, Jason, Wes, and I went to Knoxville to get off the mountain and see the drawing show that Rachel Clark had been so kind to invite Beth, Mark, Jason, and I to take part in. The show was called Seven Times Standard and each artist submitted seven drawings. Thank you Rachel, for inviting us and for your hospitality.

Mark Warren's wind drawings. Take a look at his blog to see more.

This is one of the drawings I did. A bit Pythonesque.

Knoxville was a refreshing breath of car exhaust and concrete. God I miss the city. I liked how industrial it was, with railroad tracks crossing the downtown, and garages at every corner. I got to visit Yee-Haw Industries, but was too shy to ask for a tour. I did get a nice nuthatch card though.

Rave to the Grave, y'all...

Poster by Jason Burnett

Halloween is tomorrow. Here at Penland, this is kind of a big deal. We have a party and everyone dresses up in handmade costumes. So far I've heard whisperings that a paint by numbers cat, a half polar bear half bridesmaid, and Brian Wilson will be attending.

Jason Burnett of Cakeboy Industries made this fantastic silkscreen poster featuring local legendary blacksmith Elizabeth Brim (with a leatherface mask) wielding a chainsaw. So tomorrow, Jason and I will be cutting up trash bags and splattering fake blood everywhere to set the mood. The theme is "rave to the grave" so get ready to do just that.

If you're in the area, there will a contest for best costume and the Scream Queen and King will be crowned. And yes, prizes will be awarded!

A couple years ago, I went as a Ghostbuster.

the beer in the pocket is a nice touch

This year, I will be once again mining a classic early 80's piece of film, this time Scanners. I'm not cool enough to be Darryl Revok so I'll be Kim Obrist, the female character in the movie.
So if you see someone dressed as a drab Canadian with a touch of grey and a nosebleed, that's me. Happy Halloween!

A show, a press, and a giant floating stone head

It's been a little while, hasn't it? I've been busy, getting ready for the Core Show and so have all my dear colleagues. There's still framing to be done, but yesterday I finished my new deluxe business cards, so things are moving along. It's getting there.

There's also big news on the horizon...

Saturday, I'm picking up my new press, a 10 x 15 Chandler & Price. I'll post pictures after the move. A real bargain basement find. Literally. It's in a basement and yes, it's really a bargain. So this week, I'm gathering my wits and resources for the move. Any advice?

I know the press will need some work, but I'm beginning to feel like things are coming together. I have a hard time moving forward when I don't know what's coming next. Getting this press is making the future more concrete. A thousand pounds more concrete.

Oh, and I'm looking forward to watching Zardoz.

blue beautiful blue

My color of the moment seems to be blue. Grey blues, indigo blues, navy blues. For my last class of the summer, I took a weaving class with Janet Taylor, a textile artist and weaver. She makes beautiful work, and I must say, is one the sweetest, most generous teachers I've ever had. It was such a perfect way to end the summer...

In that class, I wove a scarf to look like graph paper. What originally inspired this project was a Shaker kerchief I saw in a book that was a simple grid pattern woven out of fine linen.

graph paper scarf :: handwoven linen and cotton

I did some weaving in college and enjoyed it, but never felt I made anything with a personal look to it. As simple as it is, I feel like this scarf does just that. I hope to spend more time in the weaving studio this winter.

Around the same time as I was making the scarf, my friend Erika also asked me if I would make a book using graph paper and goats. I think this is the most fun commission I've ever been asked to do. So good! I'm working on it right now and I'll give you a sneak peek in process.

in progress case bound book

And lastly, I saw this incredible mushroom while walking home yesterday, and I identified it. Done and done.

an indigo milky mushroom

Looking Back and Forward. One More Week...

Eileen Wallace :: Mile Wide Press

Bryan Baker :: Letterpress Poster

That's right, there is just one more week of summer classes here at Penland. There are many things to look forward to this fall. Less hustle and bustle, sweater weather, scarves, and an eight-week letterpress class with Bryan Baker,formerly of Yee-Haw Industries, continuously amazing. Speaking of amazing, I just finished a two week class with Eileen Wallace of Mile Wide Press. Eileen is a letterpress printer, book artist, paper maker and painter. Also, an incredibly talented teacher who's taught me a great deal of what I know. I can't thank her enough. I'll be posting images shortly of some new books.

I woke up last night having dreamed about being in a japanese paper store. It was a wonderful dream, directly linked to the following. I was looking at a Shinwa cutting ruler online right before going to bed. I covet this tool. I swear, good quality cutting edge rulers must be illegal in this country or something because I can only find them for sale in Europe and Japan. Secondly, I was talking to my boyfriend about how I am searching for graph and ledger papers, a topic I find breathlessly fascinating. Now it is time to clean my studio space. I have some books and drawings to make for friends...
I want this.

My roommate read my horoscope from Free Will Astrology to me yesterday...

"The Norwegians used to have a concept called svoermere, which meant something sweetly futile or deliciously unprofitable. While I can see the appeal that your particular version of svoermere has had for you, Gemini, I think it's time to think about moving on. According to my reading of the omens, you have both a right and a duty to seek out more constructive pleasures that not only make you feel good but also serve your long-term goals."

I take this to be a sign that it's time to walk off the mountain and start making it all happen. Good. I'm looking forward to it.

Collaboration with Amy Tavern

Amy Tavern and I collaborated on this piece of limited edition jewelry, a pin with a tiny, handmade paper book. The beautiful silver brooch was inspired by a piece of her grandmother's jewelry. Both the pin and the chain are handmade oxidized sterling silver. This Amy Tavern is good!
The Book Pin is now available on etsy in Amy's shop.
She also writes a fantastic blog that features the work of many other talented contemporary jewelers. It's inspiring for anyone interested in what's going on in metals these days.
Amy's a new resident artist at Penland School of Crafts, she will be here for three years. And that makes me happy. Because I get to see what she's doing.

Posters and Paper: Let's Drop Names

This week, I am taking a class with Mina Takahashi, who directed the legendary Dieu Donne paper mill in New York for many years and who pretty much knows everything. She's amazing. The class is being assisted by the Amy Jacobs, former core student and swell lady who is in the process of starting a paper mill at Asheville's Bookworks with Frank Bannon, another swell person.

I am learning a great deal about color and paper, including how to color paper with natural dyes. I'm also just learning how to do things right, which is incredibly satisfying, and will come in handy when I try to do this all by my lonesome this winter.

:: Paper I made last winter using scraps from the studios at Penland ::

:: Mina forming a sheet of kozo paper ::

:: Amy Jacobs ::

On a more neon note, my buddy ol' pal Jason Burnett and I just finished the poster for the 90's party this weekend.

This poster was precluded by the watching of Clueless...
:: Spray Paint, Stencils, and Letterpress ::

Ring Ring!

robin's egg :: enamel on copper set in sterling silver

sunshine :: enamel on copper set in sterling silver

yellow :: button set into sterling silver

daisy and cloud:: glass button set into sterling silver with red thread

These last two weeks, I took a little break from letterpress and making books and took a class with Bob Ebendorf. He's a big deal. He's got his own Wikipedia page, right here. I always wanted to take a jewelry class in college but never got around to it, but being here at Penland has been a perfect opportunity to indulge this curiosity.

When I make jewelry, I like to make simple things. Things that I would wear. I make rings because and earrings because they are what I understand best as a jewelry wearer. I hardly ever wear necklaces or bracelets.

These are just a few of the things I made, I'll post more when I take pictures.
Here's a sneak peak of some earrings and my haircut. They are mother of pearl buttons and sterling silver.

Say Hello To The Core Fellows

It's hot near the core...

Well, as you may have noticed, I haven't been taking many new pictures lately. I lent my camera out to my roommate, Wes, who's taking a digital photography class here at Penland. So I thought I'd take this time to introduce you to the nine people I live with, the core fellowship students.

From left to right:

Leah Frost - Leah makes whimsical kinetic sculptures. She has the cutest dog in the world, Boo. Boo will eat out of your mouth and wears sweaters sometimes.

Jessica Heikes - Jessica is from Kansas. She just got a haircut. She's also very funny and has lived in Alaska. That's impressive. She makes conceptual mixed media sculptures.

Jason Bige Burnett aka Cakeboy aka Cupcake - Fu... Jason does everything. Screenprinting, clay, sewing. We are planning to take over the world someday with our team screenprinting/letterpress posters.

Wes Stitt - has my camera. Wes is a video artist and sculptor. He has excellent taste in music and the same tonal range as Ian Curtis. His interests also include Dracula, the J. Peterman catalogue, and American history.

Beth Schaible - Beth makes books and letterpress and is going to the survive the apocalypse when all the rest of us are wondering when to plant our tomatoes.

Tina Boy - is German. You can make her laugh by saying things in German. She gets really red when she laughs. She makes excellent furniture out of wood and metal and also gives excellent hugs.

Mark Warren - Mark is the resident anemographer and dinosaur expert here. He enjoys vitamin B-12, cut-offs, and laser pointers. He says he can beat me in Nintendo RBI
Baseball but I don't believe him.

That's Me

Joshua Kuensting (not pictured) - was not at the party. He makes beautiful ceramics and built is own bed. He has a lot of Vietnam movies. We share a bathroom. He is probably also going to survive the apocalypse.