Handmade custom invitations & stationery
by Kristy Rice

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I don’t leave the studio very often…and when I do it is usually to hop a plane and travel far, far away.  This morning I hopped in the car, with the Indigo Girls blasting and headed into town to meet Mr. Don Rash, bookbinder extraordinaire, who lives right in my backyard, I recently learned.  Mr. Rash is known nationwide for his book restoration and edition binding skills.  The Momental team is working on a BIG project and we’ve been enlisting the help of local artisans to get the job done.  So this meeting today was all about incorporating some of our artwork into hand crafted books and all bound with a metal spine to boot.

My post today has less to do with our current book project and more to do with community.  I realized as I drove back to the studio today, just how important a creative community is for artists and craftspeople.  We must congregate and mingle together, leaning on eachother and uplifting our collective talents.  Artists without community are just adrift in a sea of “ourselve-ed-nes” and this can lead nowhere fast.

I stepped into this magical little home, unassuming from the road, except for this sweet little wooden sign hanging above the door.

I was greeted by Mr. Rash and metal artist, Jim Lennox, whose metal working skills are coming in handy these days.  Instantly I was at ease in this space after being greeted by two strangers with kind faces and a lot of creative energy ready to spend.

We talked details, measurements, materials and what not for nearly an hour…  Mr. Rash cats spent their time swirling around the drafting table and begging for attention.  I felt right at home.

We wrapped our meeting with small chit chat and excited anticipation for our collaborative creation to come in the near future.  I asked to poke around the studio a bit, unashamed in the moment at my obvious nosiness.  I just had to get a bit closer to all the pages, textures and tools I was unfamiliar with;  all stacks of books that could only mark the lifelong career of a very talented man.  I snapped a few shots on my phone to try and distill the experience.  These images are trigger for me to be mindful of the importance of congregation and the creative meeting of minds.

We must meet, mingle and pause in order to make something good and worth sharing with the world. 

We should do this often; get up, get out and go….

0 Comments

  1. Megan Lewis

    Loved hearing about Don Rash, and seeing the photos from his studio. I’m in awe of the work book binders do. I’m fortunate to get to work with skilled conservators and book artists in my job: it’s one of the best parts, in fact! Great to know this is going on in NEPA. – Megan (Kelley’s cousin)