I had the opportunity to travel to Nashville a couple of weeks ago (where the weather was balmy) to work with a variety of students interested in papermaking and book arts. My first stop was at Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, where I worked with the Printmaking students of Cindy Marsh, a colleague I met at a College Book Art Association meeting a few years back.
Cindy has one of Mark Lander’s Critter beater’s, and this was my second short chance to work with one. I enjoyed figuring out how to use it as I adjusted the roll and beat a batch of cattails for our workshop.
Next up was printing an edition of 25 broadsides on handmade cotton paper that I’d brought from my studio. Austin Peay has an AMAZING selection of wood type in their print shop. I spent an entire day setting type, letterpress printing (with the help of a student) and redistributing type. The text has to do with my father’s journey through Alzheimer’s.
After three jam packed days at Austin Peay, I headed to Nashville, where I taught two workshops at the Nashville Public Library in which we created two envelope book structures. The library is a spectacular building that hosts numerous events. I got to attend a reading by T.C. Boyle and peek in on an amazing marionette puppet play.
I visited the Special Collections Library at Vanderbilt University, where they had a lovely little book show featuring many of Janus Press‘ handmade paper editions. And I’m pleased to annouce that soon they will own a copy of my book, Alpha, Beta, ….
And finally, I had a lovely visit with Beverly Plummer, who calls herself the oldest living papermaker (I think she is!). She showed me some of the test papers she made with John Cage for his edible book project.
It is amazing when you have a focus, how many places there are to see in a place. I missed Hatch Show Print (and the Country Music Hall of Fame) this time, but look forward to checking them out the next time I’m in Nashville.