Sunday, October 31, 2010

Altar books and the nature of letters

Yesterday was the third time I've taken a class with Sarah Shepley at Joy's studio and each class has been a unique experience. We do the same basic format but the variations are endless and the mix of people in the class is always interesting so it never feels redundant.  Every time I do this, I think how I need to do more of these on my own time at home and this time is no different but I mean it

Joy's space is peaceful and inspiring (just like it's owner) and such a special place filled with light, views of the trees, abundant species of birds at the feeders on the deck and, best of all, more art doodads than one could ever make use of in one day - or one week for that matter. 
This was the first time I had a vision of what I wanted to accomplish in one of these classes. 

Last weekend, while cleaning out the basement,  I came upon a stash of letters from Cathy, my best friend from med school and one of my dearest friends ever, most of them written in the summer between our freshman and sophomore years. She and I have just reconnected after a few years so it was all the more significant to find these now. They are an eloquent record of the intensity of that first year of school as well as the significance of our friendship. They pack quite an emotional impact for me. 

Letters. Epistles. Missives. Records of points in time. So marvelous now, in this age of ephemeral communication, to possess. We sent these pieces of our emotions off to the recipient and, for the most part, didn't expect to see them again. Just luck if they happened to survive moves, mold, moods.

These particular letters survived and I am so grateful. I made reduced copies of the originals and cut them up along with copies of illustrations from an anatomy text to make this book to send off to my old friend in hopes 

Sarah demonstrating

My work station

Right outside the window.

Finished :: outside

Finished :: inside

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