Listening - watching
taking a moment
drawing the world
finding the way to connection
again and again.

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Two Brush Books

Last week I was teaching The Calligraphic Line at Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale NY.
We made books out of brushstrokes and then added some text to invite further insight.


This is a lively book form I learned many years ago
from the wonderful book artist and letterpress printer Clifford Burke.

Here is how it works -
First we wrote a large word with brush on a sheet of paper 18" x 24" .
When the ink was dry we turned it over and wrote another word filling the page,
then folded it down three times into a signature, cut the side edges open,
sewed the pages together along the spine and read our accidental sequence of marks.

I have added on to this process by inviting words - responding to the strokes in an intuitive way - placing the text to balance the marks - letting the narrative unfold mysteriously until
you reach the end. It always seems to resolve and reveal the moment.

Here is my accidental book . . .


We made some big brushstrokes and let them dry overnight.
The next morning we cut small windows in cover stock and picked out fragment squares
from within the strokes. These were pasted onto the panels of a folded strip of paper,
a cover was added, and then some words landed . . .

How I love to watch the creative process emerge
within a community of makers - food for the spirit . . .


  1. This is incredible, Barbara! I love it.

  2. is there instruction on how the folds are done? Or a video?

  3. Dear JT -
    The first book is a single section folded signature form.
    The second is an accordion.
    If you email me - I can give you more detailed instructions -
    It’s pretty simple !