Sometimes all you need to make a piece of art is your imagination, along with a pencil, a ruler, and an old book. On Monday night, the Elkin Public Library held a class teaching adults how to make folded book art. The class was taught by Kate Ford and students got to learn how to create the craft all by themselves and were able to take their finished book art home to cherish.
“I was looking for an artistic activity for the adults,” said Kasey Nowalk, Library Assistant at Elkin Public Library. “Part of my hope was to get more art-related events in the library and I think this is a great one. Students use old recycled hardcover books and Kate teaches the group how to fold the pages in a way to make something you would want to take home and put on your bookshelf. It’s another way of getting people together in the library, learn something new, and become inspired to create. That’s part of the game. Tonight they’re making heart shapes all through the folding of pages.”
Kate Ford learned the art from her mother. Ford operated a store and taught classes in Iowa before moving to North Carolina about three years ago. Ford has done classes in King and this is her first time teaching in Elkin.
The room was packed that evening. The library also has a second class scheduled for July offering students a chance to learn the same heart shaped design.
“We’ve had a lot of interest in these classes,” said Nowalk. “We’ve had to have a waiting list for the first class because so many people signed up for the activity and we have a lot of interest in the other one. I think it was a good turnout. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. I love bringing a lot of these new programs to the library. I have a program for adults every single Monday this summer. We had a coloring party earlier this summer and had 30 people show up for it.”
One aspect that makes the craft so interesting is its accessibility for people and its little need for materials.
“Everyone has books around the house but not everyone has the money needed for some artistic projects,” said Kate Ford. “We look around and think ‘I want to create things but who could go out and buy all the supplies that you need to make art?’ Other than just having a book, all you need is your mind, a ruler, and a pencil; the simplest of things.”
While everybody got to make heart designs that evening, there is a sea of shapes available for people to make with their books. A lot of directions for these shapes can be found online according to Ford.
A lot of local residents enjoyed taking time out of their busy summer schedules to participate in the class and learn a new craft.
“I was very pleased with the class,” said Rosemary Connelly. “I’ll admit, I was a little nervous that my book wouldn’t come out right but I’m happy with the results.”
“It gives something for all of us to do,” said Kendra Hall. “I like seeing all of the other people who participated and being with a large group of students instead of a small group. I’m proud of my book and I’ve never made anything like this before. Plus I think it was awesome that we got to take it home with us as well.”
One of the things that Ford loves about teaching the class is the inspiration it can give to others in making their own art by hand and creating something they can cherish.
“Back in Iowa I realized just how so many women can be inspired by you sharing your craft with them,” said Ford. “I had been selling them at the shop and every time someone would buy one I always found myself thinking ‘oh it’s so easy, you can do it.’ Being able to share the art with them and the inspiration that comes with it is what I love most about teaching this class.”
Troy Brooks may be reached at 336-258-4058.