2019 Spring Workshop &

Annual General Meeting

April 12-14, 2019 - Asheville, NC

CLAS is pleased to present 

Versals – Convention to Invention

Workshop with Peter Thornton 


The Versal letter has served us well for 400 to 500 hundred years - acting beautifully as a signpost to the reader simply by its size, form and colour. We shall start by using the pencil to produce its characteristic form before moving on to pen and gouache paint to explore some of the many variants that were used in early medieval manuscripts. We will then re-examine the Versal letter, making small adjustments and modifications to so they become perhaps more relevant to our times and needs. A feature as we proceed will be using the subtlety of water colours and enclosing the letters in boxed shapes to give ourselves another area - à la Adolf Bernd - to please and satisfy the eye. Throughout our time together will be many progressive exercises that will help when practicing at home.


Peter tells us that this workshop “is the surprise result of much work/play over the past year or so here in my studio. Originally started as preparation for the Seattletters Convention, it seems to have grown to become a rewarding workshop on basic practical skills and thoughtful invention/creativity.”


The Annual General Meeting (AGM), held at the same time, is a brief meeting to update members on behind-the-scenes happenings and to help us plan future events.


Registration information will be sent in early spring. In the meantime, if you have any questions contact Patricia Minard, CLAS Workshop Chair.




Save the Date

Eleventh Annual CLAS Retreat

January 14 - 18, 2019

Seabrook Island, SC

Please join us to . . . unwind, experiment, share, work on a personal project, walk on the beach, practice, read, rest and rejuvenate in a peaceful remote setting where you can immerse yourself in the activity of your choosing.

Retreat is open to members only.

For more information about the retreat, contact Patricia @


2018 Fall Workshop October 12-14

CLAS is pleased to present


A Workshop with Anne Murray on October 13 and 14, 2018

Have you ever looked at beautifully marbled paper and wondered, “How do they do that?” Have you ever tried your hand at marbling and thought, “Wow! It’s difficult to get the effects I want! I need some help with technique.” And then, have you ever thought, “I would really like to make a book that uses marbled paper and opens flat” or “Gee, calligraphy on a marbled background is really effective!”? If the answers to any of these questions are “yes,” then have we got the weekend for you.

On Saturday we will learn the magic of marbling paper with acrylic paints. Marbling is the ancient art of floating paints on top of thickened water (size), manipulating the pigments into patterns, then transferring the pattern to an object by gently placing the object on the surface.  We’ll be introduced to the materials and methods as we create both traditional and contemporary patterns. Each student will end the day with many decorated sheets suitable for a variety of further artistic purposes as well as resources for continuing to learn and create.

Patty Pape calligraphy on Anne’s marbled paper.

On Sunday we’ll use papers created on Saturday as we make and decorate a hard-cover book with a Coptic binding. The earliest known codices – books with folded sections sewn together - date from the second century of the common era from within Egypt and use a linked stitch we now call Coptic.

This exposed stitch binding allows the book to open completely flat, making it ideal for sketching, calligraphy practice, written journaling, and lots of other uses. We will learn the multi-needle Coptic stitch, which allows for a variety of pattern variations. Beginners will focus on the basic stitch while more experienced students will be able to focus on more complex patterns.

** All levels of experience are welcome. Come as you are. **


Hosted by the Coastal Calligraphers, our workshop takes place the weekend of October 12 - 14, 2018, at the Brunswick Electric Membership Corporation (BEMC), 795 Ocean Highway W (Hwy 17), Supply, NC 28462 (near Southport, NC).


We begin Friday night (October 12th) with a gathering at the BEMC about 6 o’clock. We will have a light supper and catch up on our colleagues’ news while looking at samples of marbled papers and their uses and books made with Coptic bindings.


We will open each day at 8:30 am. Formal workshop hours for Saturday are 9:00 am to 5 pm, with a break for lunch. On Sunday we will again begin instruction at 9:00 am, but will close by 4:00 pm to allow for clean-up.


The instructor will provide ALL necessary materials. Instructor will provide Arches Text Wove paper both for marbling and for interior pages of the book. If participants so desire and it is easy to transport, they may wish to bring their own bookbinding tools. Participants may also wish to provide their own favorite papers to include in the text block. If so, know that we’ll be making books that are 7 ¼” tall and 5 ¼” wide. Cost of materials is included in the registration fee.


Lunch (sandwiches and salads) will be served at the workshop: there will not be time to go out for lunch. If you have special needs, please let us know on the registration form and we will try to accommodate you.

We will have a pot luck dinner on Saturday night. Accompanying persons are cordially invited to join us for both this and the Friday night gathering.


Participants are responsible for their own lodging arrangements. There is a hotel near the venue: Holiday Inn Express & Suites Southport–Oak Island, 3400 Southport–Supply Road SE, (Highway 211), Bolivia, NC 28422. Phone (910) 253 – 9100. A coastal area scribe may be able to offer lodging; please indicate your interest on your registration form.


Workshop enrollment is limited to 12 because of the equipment required for marbling. Registration is taken in the order postmarked on or after August 27th. Any registration mailed before August 27 automatically goes on the waiting list. Mail your check (payable to CLAS) to Liz Simmonds at P. O. Box 250, Black Mountain, NC 28711. E-mail confirmations will be sent in early September. The cost of the workshop is $197 per person for CLAS members, $227 for non-members. This amount includes the materials fee of $37.


Anne came to bookbinding in 2006, learning her skills from classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School, the Sawtooth School for Visual Art, Asheville Bookworks and the Penland School of Crafts as well as from books and individual practice. Particularly well-known teachers include Steve Pittelkow (pamphlet stitch and marbling), Jana Pullman (historic bindings), Dan Essig (Coptic stitch and wooden covers), and Jim Croft (Gothic style).  She loves making books that are historically accurate in style and materials, and especially those made of materials created "from scratch" -- hence the need to develop skills in paper making, marbling, creating book cloth, and woodworking! At heart, Anne is a teacher, finding pleasure in sharing her passion. She periodically offers classes at her studio (ArtConnections in Winston-Salem, NC), the Sawtooth School for Visual Art (Winston-Salem, NC), the John C. Campbell Folk School (Brasstown, NC), and many regional arts councils. See more about Anne’s work on her website,


To be fair to all and to allow for delivery of your mail, we will enter registrants into the workshop in the order of postmarks on registrations mailed on and after August 27th. Workshop fees are only refundable if your space is actually filled.


Contact Liz Simmonds at or (828) 230-3986 and/or Patricia Minard at or (828) 989-1592.

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Name:  _________________________________________________________________________________



Email:__________________________________________  Phone(s) _______________________________

Use this space to note any food restrictions – we cannot guarantee we can accommodate, but we will try. Also let us know if you would like to be housed with a local resident – again, no guarantees.

Is there anything else we should know?


Workshop fee: $197 CLAS members     $ _____________

                         $227 non-members)     $ _____________

Make check payable to CLAS and mail to Elizabeth Simmonds

P.O. Box 250 · Black Mountain, NC 28711