Today marked my third day of classes. I have been going almost non-stop, with my basic schedule being:
- 8:00 – last to roll out of bed – I am sharing a dorm room with 4 other ladies.
- 8:15 – get in line for breakfast at the dining hall
- 9:00 – 12:00 – class
- 12:00 – get in line for lunch
- 1:00 – 4:00 – class
- 4:00 – 6:00 – still staying after class – catching up and waiting for the dinner bell
- 6:00 – get in line for dinner
- 6:30 – go upstairs and check e-mail; take a walk
- 7:30 – 10:30 – go back to class and finish up any project I haven’t finished yet
- 10:30 – get ready for bed; check e-mail
- 11:00ish – go to sleep
Meals are served family style – we go through a line to get our drinks (or cereal for breakfast), then find an empty seat at one of the tables. You really need to be on time, because they have a routine: song or grace, trays come around with serving dishes, pass everything around. After dinner, someone gathers up the plates and takes them back to the kitchen. Only then will they hand over dessert. On the way out, you clean up any other dishes used. If you are late, you risk your table running out of food, and you have to go begging to another table or to the kitchen. Some people raid the vegetarian buffet.
I made a run to WalMart on Monday and came back with Diet Cokes. There is an ice machine adjacent to the book arts classroom, so I just bring one bottle down in the morning and one down in the afternoon. Of course, several people have told me how bad Diet Coke is for me. As if this were news to me… I promised I would try and give it up soon.
So far, we have made 2 books, with boxes or sleeves to put them in. First, however, we carve a block print to contribute to each classmate’s book. Monday, I carved a Mexican ex voto heart design into a block made of eraser gum like material. Tuesday, I carved an image of a little Mexican goat onto my first linoleum block. They came out okay, but I really have to learn to use a lighter touch. On both, I ended up carving away too big of a chunk in at least one place. So, being the perfectionist that I am, I took my paintbrush markers and very carefully added texture back to my prints.
We sign and number each one of our prints and collect a set from everyone in the class, including the instructors. So far, we have made a 5 by 5 inch accordion book with hard binding and a box with a top to put it in. Our second project was a 6 by 8 inch “stab bound” book, where we learned how to use a drill and how to sew the book together. I just finished the slipcase for the book tonight.
Tomorrow, we will make what is also called an accordion book, but it just refers to the accordion spine that you attach the pages to. For that book, the class decided on a theme: borders. We each made a border or letterhead for a 6 by 6 page. That way, the rest of the page is blank for journalling. I did a pretty fair flourish inspired by the borders on a Mexican amate painting I had. I really like it. The accordion spine was a pain to fold – I’ve done them before for my gift card books, but those were only 7 folds: this one was 13!
Okay, time for bed. I did not bring the cable to upload my photos, but I will upload them when I get home.