Twined Bindings

In 2007 I was invited to present at the Guild of Bookworkers Standards of Excellence seminar. Book artists are asked to share something innovative, which is no small feat in a medium that is marked by innovation. I began by looking at two traditional arts that were prevalent in my eastern Oregon community; rawhide braiding and Plateau basket weaving. The exploration into rawhide work let me to employ vellum and Cave paper, two tough materials that can stand up to rigorous manipulation. Joey Lavadour, a revered member of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and master basket weaver, had piqued my interest in twining many years ago. We spoke about the widespread use of twining across different cultures, including by my European ancestors who used the technique to create tapestries. I’m thoughtful with my design work, steering clear of appropriation. It is this “change direction the moment something begins to look familiar” approach that yields the results I find most satisfying. This structure has been taught in workshops at Atilier 6000 in Bend, OR, Oregon College of Art and Craft, the Focus on Book Arts Conference, and this year I’ll be teaching it at the Sitka Center for Arts and Ecology.