Great news--in June I will be heading off to Santa, Idaho to spend about a week in the woods with Jim Croft, bookbinder extraordinaire, taking his "Wooden Boards & Clasps" class.
Jim and his wife, Melody (who describe themselves as "hippies"), grow their own flax and make paper from it. Melody also spins flax to make thread to sew books with, and Jim cuts and cures his own boards to use for wooden book covers. Whew! Not only that, he also makes his own bookbinding tools. If you've ever dreamed of leaving it all behind and going off to the woods to devote yourself to your art, Jim is a real inspiration. You can read more about him and his work here:
Idaho Center for the Book Website (pdf file of article on Jim Croft)
University of Idaho website (article about an exhibition of Jim Croft's work)
I grew up on a farm in Northern Idaho, and it's an absolutely beautiful place (mountains, trees, fresh air, crickets chirping, horses (see photo above), etc. -- well, ok, lots of mosquitoes, too!), so I'm really looking forward to spending some time there. Plus it sounds like a great bookbinding class.
Jim describes the accommodations at his place as "civilized camping" so I'll be packing plenty of flannel and mosquito repellent -- hope it doesn't rain, as June in Northern Idaho can be a bit nippy. But really, even if it does, I'll be too happy to care!