I recently was given the opportunity to take a class online that has previously only been taught in person. I was never able to take the in person workshop before because it was in Auckland, and unfortunately, that was just a bit too far for me to go. Then the pandemic hit and lockdowns ensued. I haven’t found too many positive things that have come from this nightmare we are all currently living in, but Liz Constable of Book Art Studios decided to teach her classes online for the first time ever, so I guess that was my silver lining.
Needless to say, I jumped at the chance to sign up for anything and everything she has made available. Her Dyed and Gone to Heaven class has led to my current obsession – hand dyeing papers.
I’ve always coffee and tea dyed a good portion of my papers, but her technique took me in a direction I never knew was even possible. I can’t divulge the process, it’s a highly guarded secret and you can only learn it by taking her class, but I can tell you it’s amazing and has taken my paper dyeing to a whole new level.
Here are a few examples:
Finding dyes has been more of a challenge than I expected. Apparently, tie dyeing has been very popular during this pandemic, so the supply of Rit and Tulip dyes at local craft stores is quite low. I have experimented with food coloring, both powdered and gel, as well as India inks and other inks as well.
I really love the results and I’m also super excited that Liz is teaching the second class, Dyed Again, online as well. I signed up for that one and I can’t wait to learn even more amazing techniques for turning ordinary paper into something extraordinary.
As artists, we all have other artists we look up to, learn from and generally admire. One of my favorites is Liz Constable from Book Art Studios. Not only is she an incredibly talented book artist, she is a great teacher and very generous with her knowledge.
I have always wanted to take one of her Dyed and Gone to Heaven workshops, but unfortunately, I could never figure out how to make that work since she is in Auckland and I am in Texas. Up until now, she has only taught in-person workshops, but the pandemic changed all that.
I was able to take both her coptic binding class and her dyed and gone to heaven class via zoom. They were great, and thankfully recorded, because I had to refer back to them more than once. I had done coptic binding before, but this is a new method that took some practice on my part.
Here are some pictures of one of my favorite books I made, filled with scrumptious, hand dyed paper, using a process that I’m sworn to secrecy not to divulge. If you want to learn it, you can visit her website and sign up for her next online class!
The books she created, completely by hand stitching, were gorgeous in their simplicity. Another thing about this process that intrigued me was that they were portable. This was something you could pack in a bag and work on while you were enduring your child’s weekly practices. Her techniques could also be used to create journal covers as well.
After watching her videos numerous times, I finally got out a fabric bundle I had purchased at Tuesday Morning and decided to take the plunge. Auditioning fabric scraps for inclusion and placement is more difficult than I expected, but I managed to put something together.
Now it’s time to thread the needle and get started.
I was fortunate enough to be gifted some very nice faux leather fabric samples a while back. At first I wasn’t sure what to do with them, until I came across a journal in a craft store that give me an idea of how to put them to use. This is one of the first ones I made.
I recently decided that it was time to make a few more. After sewing the covers together, I decided that I wanted to do something besides a plain cover, so I decided to create some vignettes on each one.