Like many people, this time of year finds me creating many greeting cards. For weeks I’ve been cranking out cards with the same design—to speed production—for friends and family. As a short break from said design, I wanted to make something a bit different and I recalled how a bookbinding stitch I’d seen in Ricë’s most recent book, Destination Creativity. Ricë’s book is really great because it introduces you to several projects that instructors typically teach at art retreats. But if you can’t make it to a retreat, you get the experience brought to you, through the book, without ever having leaving your home. One of the workshops featured in the book comes from Daniel Essig—book artist extraordinaire—and it’s for something he calls the Centipede Stitch. He makes these centipedes “crawl” across the covers—and sometimes bindings—of his books and instructions for making the stitch are in the book. I recalled thinking that if modified just a bit, the centipede could actually become a tree and so I gave it a try, following the instructions to the letter, except for spacing out my rows of holes so that they spread from one end to the other instead of remaining parallel.
This is a great example of how a wonderful instructor like Daniel can teach you a technique (and I’ve taken classes from him in person and I highly recommend you do the same if you get a chance) but then how you are not limited to using that technique in the same way that they did. There are so many ways to take what you learn and go in your own direction to create in a way that is unique to you.
You might find inspiration for making cards in a jewelry book, ideas for making jewelry in a book focused on hand embroidery or new techniques to try in your art journal from a book on basket weaving. If you’re stumped for ideas for your own greetings this season, check out the workshops in Destination Creativity and see where your imagination travels.
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