Archive for the ‘Handmade books’ Category


September 25, 2014

It’s more than obvious by now that the exhibit is now open. I’ve mentioned it on more than one occasion. Suffice it to say, that finally, on viewing, all of us in the group are quite pleased and happy to see how the folks at Meredith displayed our work.

All My Relations by Cheryl Harrison

All My Relations by Cheryl Harrison

It has been a while since I’ve had a chance to view Cheryl’s work. It was good to see it and it affirmed its strength and her skill.

What Remains by Peggy Clover

What Remains by Peggy Clover

There’s much more than meets the eye with so many of these pieces. They tell stories, life stories. It’s heart work, so they are not always what they seem. In viewing them again, in this context, it’s all I can do.


considering the season

December 13, 2013

When did the season begin? Was it last week at the Carrack, going to an exhibit where a friend had a piece on display? Those handmade books were (quite the eclectic collection) inspiring.


Or, maybe it was at the  Joel Lane (oldest house in Raleigh). Maybe. I certainly enjoyed the simplicity of the greenery, sipping a cup of wassail and the sounds of a dulcimer.


Or maybe it was gathering with some very favorite people for a potluck luncheon and “gift exchange,” which is more of a “clean out the ‘junk’ from your studio and share” it!   We have a lot of fun with this – not to mention the food. I baked some bread.


A commission/ special order is complete. It’s wrapped and soon to leave the studio. It’s also a gift.

Now, I’m considering the Gunma silk that made its way to my studio earlier this year (summer? Fall?). It has been waiting and I’ve been thinking. Things of this quality and beauty feel quite precious. Explorations are finally afoot. We’ll see what comes.


handmade books at Pullen Arts

January 18, 2013

handmade books

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Last night a friend and I ‘braved’ the rain and wind (and anticipated snow) to attend a reception at Pullen Arts Center. Work by Kathy Steinsberger and Jennifer Lee Mahaffey were on exhibit.

I think each book offered a different world to explore – visually as well as in content. Both Kathy and Jennifer took time to explain their pieces and show different ones to us – much appreciated and a heartwarming experience.

I got home just as the storm picked up – first sleet, then finally the snow. We only received a slushy dusting of sorts that led to some icing this morning. Now the sun is out.


April 13, 2012

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

I wish there had been a few moments when I could have documented (just a little) the main exhibits at the Block. The paintings and photographs are well worth lingering over. Anyone viewing them will be rewarded, I think.

I was there, obviously, for the book exhibit in the glass case (2nd floor). Janine’s display is elegant, needless to say. That’s what she does.

Ian Finley, our 2012 Piedmont poet laureate was also there to give his first reading of the year. It was a substantial introduction to his work – which means he uses words so well and made me want to explore Thomas Hardy again.


April 3, 2012

A video about IMPRINT has become available and interviews with Susan Brabeau and Ron Flory are the first people you’ll see. After watching them, I’m even more intrigued with this exhibit and can’t wait to see it.

Lastly, Janine LeBlanc, curator of “Here and Now – There and Then,” is interviewed about the handmade textile books exhibiting in the glass case.


It Rained Ashes

April 2, 2012

It Rained Ashes II (B)

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Three small hand made books, two of which were completed over this winter and early spring, are finally on display at the Block gallery in downtown Raleigh. They are showing with the IMPRINT exhibit in a glass case along with roughly 15 other books made by friends who also love making books.

I haven’t seen all of them, but I know that they hold significance to each maker. I’m looking forward to seeing all of them in this display context. The opening reception is Thursday, April 12th from 5 pm.

I’m just realizing that maybe I meant to describe or explain the book here and didn’t.  I’ll just have to save that for a different entry.

Tsukiji w/Furoshiki

March 9, 2012

Tsukiji w/Furoshiki
Originally uploaded by SOFennell

The event has been announced and it’s on the “Events” page as well, but thought since there are links…I’d just pass on the good word again.

Members of my Threads group are exhibiting some of their work (and I’m included), handmade books in a 2nd floor display case. The pieces are small and intimate, so they may require a closer look.

The opening reception is April 12 from 5-7 pm. Looking forward to this one!

Here’s the write up from Triangle Arts and Entertainment:

Here and Now – There and Then a grouping of handmade textile books in the gallery’s display cases, features artists Peggy Clover, Susan Oliver Fennell, Christine Hager-Braun, Janine LeBlanc, Linda Lowe, and Georgia Springer. The exhibited books look at the ties between emotions and home, and how this connection is altered by the passage of time and our memories.

Here and Now curator Janine LeBlanc earned an M.I.D. with a textile concentration from the College of Design at North Carolina State University. She is currently working as a textile consultant for the Gregg Museum of Art and Design where she recently guest-curated the exhibit Barkcloth, Bras & Bulletproof Cotton: The Powers of Costume.

handmade book

February 17, 2012

handmade book – 1

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Beyond the scarves, wall hangings and other things always in the making, I like to step away and work on something that’s even more personal. Fabric books are a medium that work, as I like books. This one is still in progress and I hope to complete it soon as I hope to include it in an exhibit coming up this spring.

Book Exhibit

February 27, 2010

Threads Book Exhibit 2

Originally uploaded by SOFennell

Finally, we (the Threads group) are on display at the Page-Walker in Cary. The opening was tonight. It’s really a small exhibit but a strong show of a collection of many interpretations of what a handmade book can be. They are made from an assortment of materials: hand dyed fabrics, handmade papers and recycled materials. They are elegant, inventive, whimsical and from the heart.

Fabric books & other pieces

February 20, 2010

Prickly pear - Fabric book by Janine LeBlanc

I had no idea you were working on a website, Janine.  Great job!  Love the visuals, especially your fabric books!

Over the past few years, I’ve had the privilege of witnessing how some of Janine LeBlanc’s elegant pieces  evolve.  There are hidden stories in the imagery that she sometimes prints or dyes on silk, then adds the threads by hand or machine – quilting or embroidery.   Sometimes text is included, sometimes another clue is there to lead the viewer in.  I find that between the stitches and folds there’s not only mystery but a fine wit.

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