BookWorks is in the works

paper sculpture by Ati Gropius Johansen

This fall I decided that instead of taking another full semester class at the Corcoran, I would pick out a short intensive workshop instead. I had my eye on Readable Gallery Books with Rory Golden at The Center for Book Arts in New York. In fact I have wanted to take this class since last summer when it first appeared on the schedule. I love the idea of creating large pieces that are more sculptural than a refined, precise rectangular book.But I ended up going to Penland instead. (And I was lucky enough to meet someone who teaches at The Center for Book Arts, Roni Gross.)

Sometime this winter, I received a newsletter from Asheville BookWorks. Once I saw the picture of the paper sculpture above, I gasped and got really excited. I would LOVE to learn more about sculpting paper. In cleaning up my studio last week, I found a lot of evidence of my failed attempts of creating some sculptures out of paper. But maybe I was just missing a key piece of infrastructure – wire!

Plus the description sounds amazing… and like a once in a lifetime chance.

This two-day workshop, taught by Ati Gropius Johansen, is based on the legendary Bauhaus foundation design course. Using simple materials like paper and wire we’ll create dynamic new forms. Ati is a graduate of Black Mountain College where she studied with Josef Albers and is the daughter of Walter Gropius, founder and director of the Bauhaus School of Design in Germany.

I studied Black Mountain College when I was in graduate school. Black Mountain College was a radical learning experience based on John Dewey’s philosophy on progressive education. According to the workshop’s co-sponsor Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center:

Legendary even in its own time, Black Mountain College attracted and created maverick spirits, some of whom went on to become well-known and extremely influential individuals in the latter half of the 20th century. A partial list includes people such as Willem and Elaine de Kooning, Robert Rauschenberg, Josef and Anni Albers, Jacob Lawrence, Merce Cunningham, John Cage, Cy Twombly, Kenneth Noland, Ben Shahn, Franz Kline, Arthur Penn, Buckminster Fuller, M.C. Richards, Francine du Plessix Gray, Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Dorothea Rockburne and many others, famous and not-so-famous, who have impacted the world in a significant way. Even now, decades after its closing in 1957, the powerful influence of Black Mountain College continues to reverberate.

Wow! Needless to say, I am pretty excited to have this opportunity. Plus the chance to spend the weekend with Alex. We need a little one on one QT before the baby comes. So I have purchased my train ticket and asked for hotel recommendations. My trip is starting to shape up. As long as the trip to Asheville also involves a few good meals, I am sure that we will have a great trip.

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  1. Renee

    I’m so glad that you’ll be able to take a class! Let me know how you like it. I’m still thinking about the papercutting class.

  2. Anonymous

    Please post something new. It’s been a week.

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