Monday, April 19, 2010

Introducing Amy Morris Pickens, Paper Moon Bookbinding

Want to get to know us Amys better?
Here continues a series of getting-to-know-you interviews.
Next up: Amy Morris Pickens of Paper Moon Bookbinding

How long have you been an artist, and how long have you been active as a business artist?
I’ve been a bookbinder for almost 20 years, although I’ve done different kinds of bookbinding over that time and have worked in libraries, different studios and for myself.

Are you an artist full time?
Well, I don’t have another job, but I wouldn’t say that I work full time. I work a lot, and aspire to be full time.

Who or what inspires you to create?
I am inspired to make books by the amazing assortment of beautiful cloth, paper and other materials out there. I want to have beautiful things available to me on a routine, everyday basis- not locked away in a rare book room or museum. I think everything from your shampoo bottle to your car to your pens and your checkbook should be a pleasure to look at, so I try to make ordinary things (journals, notebooks, albums, tags) that get beautiful materials into somebody’s hand everyday.

Describe your work space.

My new space (yippee!) is a downstairs bedroom in my house, into which I slid my heavy equipment: board shears, book press, guillotine, paper drawers, stamping press and workbench. It has windows that open onto my (very rural) yard, stone wall and dirt road. It has closets for all of my supplies and oddball tools, and a small couch for lunch and for the cats. It has lots of lights (adjustable-arm type and stationary), and a couple of folding tables hidden here and there to provide temporary work surface when I need more than the workbench provides. There are usually papers spread out in at least part of it, along with lots of very sharp pencils (I really love very sharp pencils) and cool hand tools.

What kinds of things do you like to do in your free time?
Garden, fix things, make things, re-do my house, write letters. I just started knitting a little, but I’m not good. At all.

What is your favorite handmade item, made by you or given to you?

My favorite handmade items are an oil painting done by the roommate of an old boyfriend, and a duvet cover made from heavyweight old flour and feed sacks.

What does being an Amy mean to you?

I didn’t use to like being an Amy because growing up there were so may of us (me, Amy Morello, Amy Spar, Amy Metzger, Amy Ingram…) but since I found out that my husband, had he been a girl, would also have been an Amy I’ve kind of warmed up to it a bit. Now I don’t mind.

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