Bari's Boston Report

Dear Everyone ~

Last weekend, I taught two bookbinding workshops in Boston at the studio of my dear friend Angela Liguori. Here are some highlights (and the lone low point!) of my time in Boston so far.

First, The Parcel Vanishes! I had shipped ahead a very large, very heavy, very precisely packed box with all the materials for both workshops. It was scheduled to arrive at Studio Carta on Wednesday, but pursued a mysterious path of its own for two days, finally arriving at 4:30 on Friday afternoon ... after I had gone to Dick Blick and Paper Source to purchase replacement book-board, decorative papers, etc. The missing shipping clerk's knives were actually my biggest anxiety. You can't just buy these knives at any hardware or art supply store, so I had racked my brain trying to figure out what we could use instead ... and improvised that butter knives would do the trick in a pinch. Happily, the shipping clerk's knives and their companions materialized in time. Whew.

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Angela is the consummate hostess, and her tiny studio has beautiful everything, from natural light to towers of chromatically arranged spools of ribbon, twine & cord. The beribboned backdrop beyond the table with colorful cover papers at each student's place ... reminded me of a kaleidiscope. It was slightly intoxicating—as I hope you can sense from Angela's fabulous photos.

Saturday's Buttonhole Stitch workshop had seven students— the largest class I've ever taught, in the smallest space. We were shoulder to shoulder, happily working in unison, and the mood was calm, focused, and incredibly congenial. Angela magically served up espresso and iced Pellegrino. Several people commented that they spend so much time on the computer, that making something with their hands they can actually touch is so satisfying. (As you know, this is a big theme with me.) Everyone was thrilled to be taking home a completed book and their essential bookbinding tools— and I am delighted to be shipping a much smaller box back to Chicago.

Cat Bennett, who will be teaching at my studio in Chicago in two weeks, was one of the five students in Sunday's Longstitch workshop. As she was folding down her signatures, she smiled and said that now she understood why xacto blades, which she had suggested, couldn't have filled in for the shipping clerk's knives. Later this week, I will take a field trip to Cat's studio and will report!

Beatific in Boston, Bari