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Posted by on Jan 25, 2013 | 3 comments

Studio Tour: Moonlight Bindery’s Handcrafted Books

Studio Tour: Moonlight Bindery’s Handcrafted Books

In a world that continues to go paperless and so many people reading on their ipads and e-readers, Katie Wagner of Moonlight Bindery holds on to a treasured past by honoring the ancient art of bookbinding, preserving family heirlooms and literary antiques, and upcycling everyday materials into hand-bound journals and notepads. During the week, Katie works for the Smithsonian Institution Libraries in what she calls her “dream job” as a rare book conservator. At home, she keeps a studio in the basement of her vintage Del Ray bungalow. The work is in her genes; her Danish great-great-grandfather was also a bookbinder. For private clients, Katie does the intricate work of restoring books like this 19th century Bible. And for fun, she makes modern and creative books by hand. Each one is made to last, crafted with extreme care using acid-free paper, cloth, and glue. She makes books from things as far-fetched as Legos, Shrinky Dinks, cork, and wallpaper. Katie says she can “make a book out of anything.” Katie sells her hand-bound books and journals...

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Posted by on Nov 12, 2012 | 0 comments

Studio Tour: Open Life Drawing Sessions

Studio Tour: Open Life Drawing Sessions

If you happen to stop by the Del Ray Artisans gallery on a typical Wednesday afternoon to see the current exhibit, you’ll get an eyeful for sure. Behind a black drape, in the main gallery, live models pose in the nude for a semicircle of artists and their sketchbooks. The two-hour sessions are on drop-in basis and are open to artists of all skill levels. You need to bring your own supplies, but they do not allow acrylics or oils. Artists are encouraged to bring watercolors or ink though. While I was there, I saw a man drawing on his IPad… Plenty of sketchpads and pens or pencils… A man ready to work with pen and and ink wash… And a woman who brought her standing easel, her charcoal, pastels, and pencils. She showed me an charcoal figure drawing she had done in a previous live drawing session. The models are paid professionals, found through the D.C. Models Guild registry, as well as through referrals from the Torpedo Factory...

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Posted by on Aug 22, 2012 | 0 comments

Mary’s Art Studio Sanctuary

Mary’s Art Studio Sanctuary

In a small studio in a typical Del Ray duplex, artist Mary Louise Marino explores written line drawings, an art form influenced by nature and Japanese calligraphy. Mary has a degree in graphic design and studied experimental calligraphy and lettering in Switzerland and Japan. Instead of brushes, Mary uses found objects, providing an organic, ancient-styled stroke. The paint she uses is gouache, similar to watercolor paint, but heavier and more opaque. Grassy implements create delicate, whimsical designs. In the studio, the house’s second bedroom, Mary keeps things tidy — she says it’s helpful to approach her artwork unencumbered by clutter. Bulk supplies are kept organized in this IKEA wardrobe and also on a bookshelf by the door. But when she actually starts creating something, she says: “I like to tear the place apart — pulling things from my cabinet and shelves, spreading everything on the floor, scattering things up on my studio table. It’s very liberating.” This past year Mary has shown her work at Del Ray Artisans (where she’s a...

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Posted by on Aug 16, 2012 | 0 comments

Studio Tour: Barbara King’s Portrait Studio

Studio Tour: Barbara King’s Portrait Studio

I found myself lingering the longest in Barbara King’s studio space when I visited her home during the 2012 House and Garden Tour. On the way out, I grabbed one of her cards to remind me of her beautiful portraits. Katie’s recent house tour post mentioned the studio space, but we saved a 360 view for this studio tour post. Barbara has a designated room to use as her studio. The space seamlessly flows from the kitchen to the living areas too, which makes it blend well into the overall decor. It’s hard to believe this room used to be a deck with wood paneling and a hot tub. The long white cabinet along the side window holds all of her art supplies. It was custom made for the King family at a previous home and though it looks like a built-in, it can actually move. It had to be slightly modified to fit this space. Her studio has abundant natural light that streams in from the east and...

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Posted by on Jul 13, 2012 | 0 comments

Studio Tour: Sue Henry’s Block Prints and Textile Designs

Studio Tour: Sue Henry’s Block Prints and Textile Designs

I wouldn’t mind going to work here every morning. Open, well-lighted, quiet, and colorful, Sue Henry’s studio space in the back of her Del Ray rowhouse is a perfect retreat and workspace. Sue initially envisioned the studio as a place where she would throw pots and make sculptures, to continue the work she studied in art school in Philadelphia. After she had kids, though, the studio space evolved into a printmaking studio where she carves linoleum wood blocks and prints her designs onto fabric. “I realized that my time would be limited,” she says, “so I decided to create textiles. I needed something that was more immediate, something where I could both see the results quickly and where if I left it for two weeks it wouldn’t turn to dust or dry out. Also, I have rough and tumble boys, and for all of our sanity I needed to make things that they couldn’t break.” Sue finds that carving the blocks gives her the same thrill as carving clay....

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