Monday, May 11, 2015

Margaret Beech, Traveling Book Artist

   Margaret is NORBAG’s most prolific non-local member. She has been participating in all the monthly exchanges ever since she joined in 1998. OK, she may have missed one or two exchanges but they were due to postal mishaps and not because she forgot to make a book. Now this might not seem all that difficult, but Margaret lives in York, England so advance planning and preparation is essential to make and mail books in time for our meetings in Northern California. Besides keeping up with the monthly NORBAG exchanges Margaret also participates in her local book art group, Quarto. And she is always willing to share her love of book art and calligraphy with others. She has visited Humboldt County four times and taught at NORBAG workshops and then continued up the coast to attend workshops at the Newport Paper Arts Festival. Recently she shared with us some photographs and information about her latest trip to New Zealand to visit one of her daughters and her family.  It’s pretty clear that Margaret loves to share her craft and that her grandchildren and their school mates appreciate it as well. Here is Margaret’s description of her visit.

   "On my recent visit to our daughter in New Zealand I was able to pack in four book arts occasions ! In Auckland I met up with old calligraphy and book arts friends at the home of Hillary Barnes. This was the third time I had been able to spend time with NZ book artists. As ever, much sharing of ideas and techniques, laughter and a wonderful afternoon tea !

  Once at our daughter’s home in South Island, I spent an afternoon with my grandson’s class (5 and 6 year olds) teaching them how to turn pieces of copy paper into small books.  They were very attentive and couldn’t wait to put their own content in their finished fold books.

 It is so sweet that Margaret's grandson, Daniel,
 is so protective as he shares his Oma with his classmates. 

   Two days later I was working with my granddaughter’s class of thirty 8, 9 and 10 year olds. The evening before my granddaughter Jessica had insisted I show her what I would be teaching so she could be my assistant in class. She even insisted in writing out the instructions before she went to school the next day ! In a very busy afternoon each child made one unit which consisted of a folded card with an explosion fold inside. That evening Jessica helped to create what was probably the longest book they had ever seen. This was  truly a Crazy WOW book.
A happy group showing off their WOW fold books.

   The next evening I hosted a ‘Fold Paper, Make Books’ evening to raise funds for the school’s PTA. Everyone who came was fascinated by the display of my books and how a few easy folds can turn a flat sheet of paper into something much more interesting.

   It was great to be able to take my hobby on holiday with me, and share with so many other people what I do."

   Thank you Margaret for sharing your holiday adventures with us. We would be happy to show more personal stories of NORBAG members who teach, have mini play-dates, or exhibit their work. Please send jpg photos and information to either Bobbie or Bonnie so that we all can find more ways to share our craft.

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