Call me Pollyanna

26 students – making 4 journals in 2.5 hours was ambitious.

Pamphlets (4 1/4′ X 5 1/2′) showing the students
specifics of the journals they made – bound with
hairbands from Dollar Tree (100 for $1)

Monday was the first day of class. The 25 artists (we lost one – before the class started) began the first part of the day drawing a live model in charcoal. WOW!! All of them are very talented. A little intimidating I must admit.

Portfolio made to hold the 4 class journals
1 piece of rail road board – no glue or tape

Easy Peasy – email me if you want instructions.

They ate a quick lunch, did a fast writing exercise about their morning art experience and then came to me at 1:30 to make journals. This was a surprise to them – they weren’t aware they’d be making their journals (last year they were supplied store bought journals). Some embraced the experience – a few – not so much ;). They were all good students and tried their best.

Everyone did a great job completing the first three journals (1. Wrap around cover / Rubber band bound 2. Pamphlet Stitch 3. Stab Binding) before we ran out of time (thankfully, one of the other teachers took the supplies for the Accordion Journal to make during the week).

Teaching Notes:
Given the amount of time allotted to making the journals (did I mention it was 2.5 hours?)…

A lot of book and Internet references were included in my techniques pamphlet. Since this class was about providing a vehicle for their art work and not so much about becoming knowledgeable about binding books – this could have been skipped or kept until the end if there was time and/or interest.

3. Not all teenagers can read a ruler. This delayed progress just a little. Knowing this now – for a 2.5 hour class – I would have had ALL the material pre-measured.

4.  In theory, using push pins to make holes for sewing a pamphlet stitch makes sense for a class this size.  However, it can get a little confusing and frustrating in a big class when some have never used a template or a push pin.  Hindsight – I would have pre-punched the holes.

5. I like teaching/sharing. These kids are artists. They weren’t ready for a structured, fast paced lesson, on anything. Did I mention they’re also teenagers? I’ll find a method that reaches all levels at the same time.

I saw visions of my daughter in the class. She was one of the first students accepted when Dade County, FL started an advanced placement program for talented students. She was bussed to a school out of our district a couple of days a week to take art lessons that morphed into music and singing. She attended FSU school of music (member of their Jazz Pop Ensemble) then went on to graduate Summa Cum Laude in Graphic Arts from Atlanta School of Art. She has a Jennifer Nettles (Sugarland) quality to her voice (yes, Laura, you do).

The young girl sitting up front reminded me particularly of Laura. While listening to me teach – she quietly proceeded to forge ahead by reading the pamphlet and following the directions.
I’m more grateful than I can tell you that the path I’ve been on since I can remember (somewhere around elementary school) has finally led me here.

PS:  I’m finishing up this post sitting in my room at Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts (I’ll be here a week).  Tomorrow begins my class on “Books – Leather Binding Through The Ages” taught by Jana Pullman