Back to Skool… Sketchbook Skool that is…

I recently signed up for Danny Gregory’s Sketchbook Skool. I didn’t feel as though I wanted to go through the basics so I signed up for the Storytelling course. Led by Koosje Koene this class focuses on using your sketchbook to create rich, meaningful art to document your lives stories. There are six artists teaching in this class and I’m looking forward to Mattias Adolfsson whose work I admire. I have a penchant for drawing machines in my journals and Mattias’ often created incredibly complex machines in his work which are complicated and rich in detail.

I’m already through the first week and one of the assignments was to create a manual for something that illustrates how it works so I illustrated how I refill my Lamy Safari fountain pen. Here it is.

Filling a Lamy Safari

Filling a Lamy Safari


Teaching the Coptic Stitch (Better)

I’ve been teaching the Coptic stitch a lot lately and I’ve been thinking about how to teach it better. When it comes time to teach the stitch during the class everybody gathers around to watch and that’s where the problem is. Everything is too small. with a half-dozed or more people gathered around looking over my shoulder it’s hard to see what’s going on. I’ve tried doing things like sewing with two different colored threads but at the end of the day, nobody can get close enough to see what’s going on during the demo.

I’ve decided to scale up and build a demo rig so everybody can see what’s happening during the demo. I just started working on it today and I hope to have it done soon but here’s what I’ve got so far, I hope to have it done by the end of the week.



Worn by Time: A Coptic Bound Art Journal

Art Unraveled has been going on for the past week or so and it’s been a great event. This past Saturday the Shopping Extravaganza took place and a wide variety of artists and vendors where there selling everything from handmade journals to stencils. Classes start late on Saturday so everyone has plenty of time to shop and I had just enough time to check everything out before teaching my class, “Dug from the Ruins: A Polymer Clay Art Journal”.

Today, I taught my class titled “Worn by Time: A Coptic Bound Art Journal.” In this class, students use Milk Paint to transform ordinary oak boards into a 3″ x 5″ journal. The morning was spent drilling holes for the binding, building up layers of color using Milk Paint and the distressing the surface to reveal those layers and simulate the look of wear and age. For many, the Coptic Sewing is hard to learn so the rest of the day was reserved for sewing demonstrations and hands on help with the binding.

Students finished their books by setting a small image into a bezel and attaching that to the cover and then installing a simple closure that was fabricated from brass. It was a great group of students and their books turned out exceptionally well. I hope to see them again in the future at other events.


A student distresses the covers of their journal in the “Worn By Time” class.

Art Unraveled 2014

Art Unraveled is an annual retreat held every summer at the Embassy Suites in Phoenix, Arizona. The retreat features something for everyone – book making, painting, mixed-media jewlery making metal work, journaling fiber arts sculpting, assemblage and more. This year, I’ll be joining an amazing group of instructors like Traci Bautista, Michael deMeng and The Journal Fodder Junkies when I teach at Art Unraveled. I’ll be teaching three book making classes; an inlaid wood book, an oak book that’s been painted and distressed and a polymer clay book. You can preview the classes and see the completed books on my classes page.

InlaidWoodBook-1   WornByTime-1  AUPolymerSample-1

If you’re going to be joining us at Art Unraveled and what to sign-up for my classes, you can do so at the Art Unraveled website.

Gelli Printing Class

Yesterday I taught a Gelli Print class at the Occasional Artist in Glendale. AZ.  The Gelli plate has turned out to be an invaluable tool for quickly and efficiently creating monoprints. While I do make mono prints for display, I’ve been using the bulk of what’s created with my Gelli plate as a base for other artwork. As an example, I recently began construction of a new journal and I’m printing on several pages with the Gelli plate before they are bound into the journal.

The goal of the class I taught was to introduce students to the Gelli plate, explore some techniques of getting great prints and in general just to play and discover. At the end of the class, each student used a print or two to create their own personalized cahier. Here’s a picture of the cahiers created by Cindy, one of the students in my class.

Gelli Print Cahiers

Gelli Print Cahiers

Upcoming Class: The Sculptural Journal


I’ll be teaching a class on creating a polymer clay art journal at Jerry’s Artarama in Tempe on Saturday, September 14th from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM and Saturday, October 12th from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM. In this class you will be creating a unique one of a kind 3” X 5” art journal using Polyform Super Sculpy. You’ll learn how to properly condition the clay for use, utilize simple objects to create surface textures and then create micro-sculptures or use mold made elements to provide the main elements for your journal. You’ll finish the covers of your journal by adding character and a patina of age by painting them with Matisse Acrylics and create a book block for your journal by sewing it to a leather spine, and then attaching the covers.

The class is $65.00 and includes all supplies except for two sheets of Fabriano Artistio paper which students will be required bring/purchase. You can find more information by clicking here.