During the summer months of this year, I spent many hours perambulating between my studio and my computer screen, creating a modern manuscript in a medieval style. The job inquiry came in late May, and the final artwork was delivered the first week of October. During those four months, I used just about every trick [...]


Window on the Work

by Cari on 10/15/2015

in Calligraphy

This is my mediation. Pen, ink and paper. And a pool of light. I’ve not been posting much, because of this, working. A young visitor to my studio took this photo the other day. I wouldn’t even quit working to show him around. So he took this, a window on my work. I usually don’t [...]


Binding up a Year

by Cari on 06/02/2015

in Book Art

My annual journal follows its own idiosyncratic year, not the calendar. But each journal is more or less a year. Last year I had prepared the signatures, but due to a dramatic reversal in my life I was not able to bind them right away. Instead I filled one section at a time. This spring [...]


I had a wonderful infusion of book art love over Valentine week. First, a brief but fertile visit to the Codex Book Fair. No pictures: too busy looking, absorbing, visiting. Then a few days later, a workshop about strip bindings with Claire Van Vliet at San Francisco Center for the Book. Again, no pictures: too [...]


The double spiral is a form I have returned to again and again. When casting about for a form to represent the lyrics for “Let Union Be in All Our Hearts,” I finally opened the flat files and pulled out my old folder of spiral templates. It felt a bit like coming home. I briefly [...]


Tools of the Trade

by Cari on 07/28/2014

in Calligraphy

These are the tools of my work for the last three months, while I completed six formal resolutions for a longtime client. It is very satisfying to return to the simplest form of my craft. Despite the myriad art supplies in my studio, these are what I begin with: pen, ink, paper. The newest indispensable [...]


Blessed Midsummer

by Cari on 06/22/2014

in Wheel of the Year

We are celebrating the heart of summer quietly around here. I have a little time between formal writing commissions to decorate my hearth altar. I am enjoying writing in my journal this year *before* binding the signatures together. A few pages are so much more portable. A little green gouache in a Speedball C-1 pen [...]


Bringing Back an Old Friend

by Cari on 05/21/2014

in Calligraphy

Last week I had my fellows bring out an old friend from deep storage and set it up in the back corner of the dining room. This drafting table for many years was my primary work surface. Several years ago, I switched it out for a wooden drawing table in the studio that is more [...]


The Light of the New Year

by Cari on 03/20/2014

in Wheel of the Year

Today is celebrated as the New Year by two circles of friends. My Mexica neighbors dance in splendid feathered regalia, to bring in Ome Tochtli, “Two Rabbit Year” on the Aztec calendar. And my Persian friends are celebrating Nowruz, which means “New Day.”  These are very old observances indeed; and being on the solar calendar’s [...]


This past autumn, I had the honor of being asked, by one of my long ago wedding clients, to create a new piece of art to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. I was asked to make it the same size as the original one, follow roughly the same layout with an arch of lettering at [...]