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Posts by Jessica Pigza

Thanks, Mike Perry!

This past Saturday’s Handmade Crafternoon was the best sort of frolicsome fun, thanks both to our special guest artist Mike Perry and also to all of you who came out and went creative-crazy with the paper, scissors, and glue.

Mike Perry got the whole gang drawing and talking together within seconds of starting the afternoon with a series of timed, collaborative drawings. And the results? Impulsive and brilliant. And it wasn’t just drawings—some there 

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A Big Yarn Weekend in New York City

This weekend is a big one for yarn lovers, knitters, and crocheters—there’s both a Handmade Crafternoon devoted to knitting and crochet, and there’s also a weekend-long Yarn Crawl that’ll take you all over the city! Here are the details on both events:

About the next Handmade Crafternoon: Date and time: Saturday, October 10th, from 2:00 to 4:00pm Location: Stephen A. Schwarzman Building 42nd Street and Fifth Avenue Margaret Liebman Berger Forum (Room #227, located in the 

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December 12th's Handmade: Crafternoon.

Interested in quilts, handmade clothes, and what goes into the work of fabric and pattern design? Then mark your calendars to come to December’s Handmade: Crafternoon and meet some modern women of craft who work wonders with textiles.

Heather Ross, author of Weekend Sewing; Denyse Schmidt, author of Denyse Schmidt Quilts; and 

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November 14th's Handmade: Crafternoon.

November’s Handmade: Crafternoon will be all about paper and books! And really, is there anything better?

If you’d like to try your hand at some basic book making (both sewn bindings and not), origami, or other paper-based creations, please come along! Our special guest will be artist and maker Mike Perry, who will share his creative expertise on this fun afternoon. We’ll have lots of supplies on hand to share so that you can make your own handmade book!

Here are the details: Date and time: Saturday, November 14th, 

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October 10th’s Handmade: Crafternoon.

Maura and I hope that you had as much fun as we did at our inaugural Handmade: Crafternoon last weekend! If you would like another chance to meet fellow crafty library-goers, see books and magazines from the Library’s collection, and try out new creative skills, please join us for our next Handmade: Crafternoon in October.

On Saturday, October 10th, Sabrina Gschwandtner, author of KnitKnit, and

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Crafters, Time Is On Your Side.

Today's big news around the Library? Our newly expanded hours at a number of locations across the city, including my own home base, the Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, and the Mid-Manhattan Library right across the street. (Check out this announcement for all of the details.)

What does this mean for 

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Lacework from 1598.

These three images are all from an 1891 facsimile of a lacework pattern book first printed in 1598 called Nouveaux pourtraicts de pointe coupé et dantelles en petite, moyenne et grande forme.

I can imagine these lovely and elegant geometric patterns re-used in many ways: embossed on card stock, made into sunprints, and perhaps even stitched onto paper using the pierced and embroidered technique that we’ll be learning at

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All About Next Week’s Handmade: Crafternoon.

On Saturday, September 12th, Maura Madden (author of Crafternoon) and I will kick off our Handmade: Crafternoon series, and we hope that you can join us. This crafty gathering is free, and there’s no advance registration required. Here’s what’s in store for you that day: Two special guests will join us and share their approaches to crafting with unusual and alternative materials. Jessica Vitkus (author of

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A Wise Old Owl.

I’m often amazed by how paper sculptors--working with a practically two-dimensional material, and one that is treated as quite ephemeral--can create inventive and elegant sculptural forms. Artists whose work in paper I’ve been admiring quite a bit lately include Su Blackwell, who conjures complex literary scenes from book pages, and Yuken Teruya, whose tiny forest worlds created from discarded paper bags and rolls invite us to reconsider habits of consumption.

Would 

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Mark Your Calendar for Handmade: Crafternoons!

Calling all craft-loving, library-loving readers! Please join me and my co-host Maura Madden (author of the amazing guide to crafty gatherings, Crafternoon) for a new FREE monthly series called Handmade: Crafternoons! Each day we'll focus on a different handmaking theme, and I'll post details about them here on the blog in advance of the date. What's in store for you at a Handmade: Crafternoon? Each event will include an inspiring spread of books and magazines (especially vintage books 

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The Craft of the Book: Reading List.

This past Saturday I taught The Craft of the Book and, as usual, I had a great time meeting attendees and learning what brings them to the Library. My classes always include a little spread of books from the Library’s collection to give people a peek at what we offer. And below, as requested by a few of the students, I have listed the books shown that day (with links to the Catalog records for each). Thanks for coming! 

Paper cutting by Annye Allison

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The Craft of the Book: Saturday the 25th, 2:00pm.

It might be summer, but at the Library class is in session--craft of the book class, that is. If you would like to learn more about hand-press era bookmaking, come to the Library Saturday afternoon for an illustrated talk on the craftsmanship of paper making, printing, and bookbinding.

And I'll have some books from the collection to share too. It's a free class, and you don't need to register. And attendees get to take home a handy guide to the subject (pictured above, atop a great wood type specimen book that I'll have to share too!). This 

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The Craft of the Book--TONIGHT!

Interested in learning how books were made during the hand-press era? If so, please join me at the Library this evening for an illustrated history of the craftsmanship of paper making, printing, and bookbinding. I’ll be gathering some how-to books on book arts from our collections to share with you too, to help you get started making books.

There's no need to register, and it’s a free class—here are the details:

Wednesday June 10th, 6:00 to 7:00pm (classroom will open at 5:45pm) New York Public Library

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DIY for the Kindergarten Set.

Last weekend, as I sat and ate my lunch in Bryant Park, I had the unexpected treat of listening to Geoffrey Hayes read from his children’s comic book Benny and Penny in Just Pretend. The day’s readings and activities were linked to Children’s Book Week, which runs all this week. And I left the park thinking about children’s books that I loved when I was little—books that encouraged me to make, create, and 

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Lawyers for the Arts at NYPL.

Many New York artists and makers will at some point face the befuddling legal issues of intellectual property, copyright, and more. To help to answer your questions and set you on the path to being legal-savvy in your own creative work, NYPL’s Mid-Manhattan Library will present Ask the Lawyer: An Artist Career Development Lecture on Monday May 11th, at 6:30pm. This event, hosted by the Art Collection, is one in a series addressing the growing needs and concerns of New York City's independent creative workforce.

Presented in 

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Meet the Makers!

We're pretty excited at the Library today, because tonight is the debut screening of a documentary short of Design by the Book at the Brooklyn Arts Council Film Festival!

Design by the Book began life as a series here at NYPL, co-produced by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. It follows the experiences of five 

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American Textiledom.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been doing so much sewing at home in recent weeks (and therefore spending lots of time shopping for fabrics), but I’ve been feeling awfully textile-centric as of late. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve been I’ve been spending time getting to know a textile industry periodical called American Fabrics at the Library.

American Fabrics (and its successor,

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Easter Egg Dyeing, Inspired by the WPA Era.

I’ve been spending some time as of late with a 1945 book called Creative Hands: An Introduction to Craft Techniques, written by Doris Cox and Barbara Warren Weismann, who worked closely with the WPA Handicraft Projects of Minneapolis and Milwaukee in bringing the book together. Their book covers a broad range of crafts, from block printing to needlepoint, from soldering to button making. But the section that caught my eye last week was called Eggs in One Basket, in which Cox and Weismann offer egg-decorating techniques from 

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Cards for Easter.

Are you thinking about making some Easter cards this year? If you are, and if you are hungry for ideas, look no further than the Digital Gallery and its hundreds of inspiring vintage Easter cards. Here are a few of my favorites of the moment: Play ball, rabbits! 

Chicks who have wrecked their car!  And hens, doing what they do 

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An Artist Dialogue with Deirdre Donohue.

 Monday March 16th might just be the best day to visit Deirdre Donohue's art installation, Sevdah, at the Mid-Manhattan Library, because on that evening the artist herself will be there, in conversation with Bernard Yenelouis, curator and educator at the School of the International Center of Photography. This event begins at 6:30pm, Monday 3/16/09. I'm drawn into Donohue's work because of the intensity of the details that she creates using a traditional medium, embroidery, on a large scale. When I 

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