Perfect weather,a converted walnut mill in the south of France and five whole days devoted to making and filling books...that was how I spent a week of my holidays. It was as idyllic as it sounds- a well balanced and mixed group of characters, picture perfect countryside and an inspiring tutor.
Les Soeurs Anglaises in the Dordogne region played host to the book art workshop run by Rachel Hazell. It was a beautiful place to stay;generous,charming hosts who created an idyllic space in which to relax and work, exceptional food ( a cook book is in the making ) and an inspiring studio workspace.To top it all off,I had a room with its very own bath that looked out over the terraced gardens across fields to the nearby village- bliss!
A few mornings, I managed to get myself out of bed for an early run along quiet roads and back again, in time for a long soak in the bath before breakfast.
Between, running, swimming and eating, I managed to squeeze in a little book making...
The theme of the workshop was Dictionaries and Definitions: A Personal A-Z.. The workshop outline promised that we would learn 'unusual and beautiful bookbinding techniques, with humour and the luxury of time to experiment".
That last bit about the 'luxury of time' sealed it for me - for me the week was about spending as much time as I wanted on each stage of the book. Nothing done quickly or just for the sake of filling the pages: the focus was on the process rather the the finished product.