[Alyson Kuhn] Rachel Hazell is a book artist and have-punch-will-travel teacher of book arts. London-born Hazell, who currently lives in Edinburgh, has grand plans for 2012. She is scheduling a bookbinding workshop in a different part of the world each month. January’s was in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire; March’s will be on the Summer Isles in Northwest Scotland. And February’s — aptly titled Colour of Love — begins today in the Napa Valley. I’ll be right there — writing about paper engineering, stitching and all things Valentinear.
Hebden Bridge, a former mill town, has become an artistic hub. Hazell first visited the area in 2010, to teach at the Arvon Foundation, a British organization that teaches the myriad benefits of creative writing.
Beth Nicholls, one of the participants in Hazell’s Hebden Bridge workshop, is the founder of Do What You Love creative retreats. Hazell taught at the first Do What You Love retreat, in Richmond, Yorkshire, last spring. Nicholls posted a series of “papery goodness” photos taken at Hazell’s workshop on her blog. She writes, “There is something about white linen thread against textured white paper that I just love, don’t you?” The Travelling Bookbinder herself transported the thread, the paper, and many other tools and materials to the workshop via train (a four-hour journey from Edinburgh).
Fiona Pattison hosted the Hebden Bridge workshop weekend in her converted barn. Pattison recently worked with Hazell on her PR, including the new video (below). Pattison’s company, Happy4PR, helps individual craftspeople to raise their profiles.
One of Hazell’s “star tools” is her Japanese screwpunch, featured prominently in The Travelling Bookbinder’s new video.
Hazell is already booked for this June’s Yellow-Lighted Book Festival, held by Hereward Corbett, the proprietor of eponymous bookshops in Tetbury and Nailsworth.
Hazell has been documenting her predisposition to see books in everything for more than two years already. Her shot above (number 855 on her Books In Everything one-photo-per-day-blog) of Venetian glass button sample cards was particularly appealing to her because of the shadows and — of course — the way that the cards resemble pages. Speaking of Venice, the city will be the site of Hazell’s October workshop.
On the eve of her first U.S. workshop, Hazell reaffirms, “I believe that everybody has a book inside them, and I will travel the world to get them out. I am looking forward to workshops that will take me from remote Scottish islands to a Tuscan hillside, and even Japan. I revel in the serendipities of paper-folding and chocolate scoffing [charming British equivalent of scarfing] with like-minded people. I’ve met book lovers and paper-obsessives all over the world — we’re all on the same journey.”
Hazell will be posting news from Napa Valley on her Facebook page.