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I've thought about that a lot lately, after seeing Phillip Smith when he
appeared here on his lecture tour. Unlike many in the book arts circle
here, I was unfamiliar with his work before attending his slide lecture.
Smith described the painstaking process he goes through, scraping bits of
dyed leather to create a palette of sort of pointilist bits that he uses to
create intricate images. He even uses the leftover itty-bittiest bits to
create a kind of leather sludge to use as fill!
His work is technically astounding, but to me it didn't seem like the
results warranted that kind of tedium. In short, it bored me, and after a
while, so did he, despite his obviously immense knowledge. It was a long
lecture. (Is he a sacred cow? If so, sorry.) The stuff of his that I liked
best was the more simple stuff, such as his Moby Dick binding.
I am not going on about this to disparage Phillip Smith, so much as to
chime in with those who already said that one never can tell what/who will
or will not be inspirational or pivotal to one's creative direction and
development. I'm sure many would find me and/or my work just as boring,
--Nani Paape "Life before death: Why wait?"