NEW TIMES You use a lot of exclamation points. Are you excited?
ETTY KLINGER Yes. I’m definitely excited. I try to convey that in my writing.
NEW TIMES How many different classes do you offer?
KLINGER I didn’t actually count, but around 10. This is our first go-round.
NEW TIMES Are they more for adults, or can younger people take them?
KLINGER Mostly for adults, and mature teenagers. Anybody under 18 years old would have to have parental consent. We do hope to offer classes for a younger audience in the summer.
NEW TIMES Tell me about your encaustics class. In your experience, are people familiar with encaustic wax? Do you think it’s growing as a medium?
KLINGER Encaustic is a very old medium; it dates back to the 14th century. But I think there’s a resurgence in it, because you can do so many things with it, and it’s just such a flexible medium that a lot of people are interested in trying.
NEW TIMES Is it a relatively dangerous process? I mean, it’s hot wax. Would one have to use extra caution when doing this?
KLINGER I think that would be wise. I wouldn’t say it’s dangerous; I would say using caution would be a good way to go. I wouldn’t do this in a class full of 8-year-olds.
NEW TIMES Let’s talk about the bookbinding course. Do you think of it as an art form, or more of a craft?
KLINGER I would definitely view it as an art form. If you’ve ever seen handmade books, they really are very artistic and very beautiful. I think a lot of people don’t realize how accessible it is. It caters to a lot of different ages and sensibilities.
NEW TIMES I’ve seen art books made from bark and fabric and other weird stuff. Do you encourage the use of new and different media, or is it more paper and cardboard?
KLINGER For our more introductory class, she’s going to be keeping it simple, so that it doesn’t become intimidating. But as she does more workshops in the future, they’re going to get far more extensive. Once you get started, there are no boundaries with this.