Thomas Freese has studied arts and crafts in various locales, including institutes in the Southwest and Mexico. The list of crafts he works in includes calligraphy, eraser carving, rubber stamp design, and jewelry making. In this video segment, he demonstrates how to make an accordion-fold book and create calligraphy.
Accordion-fold books employ a special type of bookbinding created by folding paper to create distinct lines. The art of bookbinding is an ancient process that can be found in many early cultures and civilizations. It originated as a way to protect ancient writings. Today, it has evolved into a form of art in which the book itself is the art. Specialized binding artistically displays pictures, poems, landscapes, stories, flags, etc. Through the art of bookbinding, books become more than just words on a page.
In this segment, Freese also discusses calligraphy, a stylized artistic form of handwriting. Forms of calligraphy began with cavemen and continued to spread throughout the world, transcending both time and place. Around 1500 BCE the Chinese elaborated on this artful writing by creating an intricate technique using more than 1,500 characters. This beautiful “art of writing” soon spread to the western world. It is still very popular and continues to flourish as a respected art form.