i came home today from yoga and car maintenance (removing snow tires!) to the mail and this note from carol. i met carol blinn in the 80s through the mail. i saw a review about her book: Once Upon a Time, Book Two. i knew a tiny bit about letterpress printing, and the fact that this was funny, made by a woman, and about a duck blew me away. so i ordered it.
i read with delight the tale of sipper.
sipper is transfigured in this tale:she becomes three dimensional. and so, over the years i bought some of carol's books and all of the once upon a time series. and the magic that happened is that we became friends by correspondence. one day when i was traveling through massachusetts with hannah and ian, i stopped at one cottage street, and we met. she gave us the grand tour of her shop, a place not to be believed, magical, ian and hannah still talk about it. carol taught me to make paste papers at wells college, and there we also attended the summer book arts institute.
a few years ago i wrote a narrative about making an edition of handmade paper from birds' nests. i was struggling mightily with it, my graphic arts skills are less than rudimentary. carol offered help. i sent my ideas and text to her, she liked it and gave me some ideas. i still was stuck, this job was bigger than my skills. one day she gently said she would love to publish it. i would have to let her be in charge. that was a little scary, but i decided to do it.
24 nests is the small book, a booklet actually, with text, sample of the paper, sample of my record sheet, a drawing of a nest and an afterword by carol. the book, a slim story, became much, much more with her designing, editing, and afterword.
in the afterword carol writes about our friendship ("My file is bulging with little notes written in Velma's almost indecipherable script on her homey handmade paper. There are sheets of folded milkweed paper protecting a braid of horsehair from her beloved horse, Mist.") more beautifully than i could ever. but i can still say here in public that carol j blinn, as my students say, rocks! go take a look at her press: