Small Craft Returns to the Trumbullplex: Bookbinding Class and Puppet Show


When the sun is bright, the air is warm, and the leaves are on the trees, there’s no better place than the Trumbullplex. So on Saturday, May 10, we’ll return there for an afternoon of crafty fun with our friends. We’ll learn bookbinding skills, as we create recycled journals with Leslie Gauthier of Gingerly Made. We’ll laugh at the antics of some cuddly critters, as Blair Ellis and Momo present a delightful all-ages puppet show. And we’ll share free coffee, tea, and homemade vegan marbled banana bread. The spring has been slow in making its way back to Michigan, and we’ve been a little slow in making our way back to the Trumbullplex. But that will make it all the sweeter when we do return, like the chorus to an old familiar song.

 Leslie Gauthier

Leslie Gauthier

By the cold light of text on a screen, we can more clearly see the book as a strange and lovely object. It’s no surprise, then, that we’ve been getting more and more requests for a bookbinding class. At this event, we’ll practice bookbinding basics, by making journals and sketchbooks from recycled paper. You’ll leave with a great way to carry notes and sketches, plus some new ideas for making strange and lovely objects of your own.

We’ll provide everything you need, free of charge, but for a truly unique book, you can incorporate some of your own materials. The covers will be made from thinner sheets of cardboard (cereal boxes work well), and the pages from recycled paper (this is a great chance to clear out your stash). Tools will include hammers, awls, and embroidery needles, so feel free to bring those along, if you have them.

 Leslie Gauthier

Leslie Gauthier

The scruffy pout of Jon Snow, and the brilliant hues of a sugar skull. The steam from a solitary cup of tea, and the tangled embrace of two cuttlefish. Crafter and illustrator Leslie Gauthier explores a variety of subjects, but her work is always instantly recognizable for its sharp wit and confident line. She’s fluent in many media, from painted canvas to embroidered felt, giant murals to little zines, and her Gingerly Made table is a hit at craft shows and comic conventions alike. We’ve enjoyed Leslie’s company at past Small Craft get-togethers, and we’re glad to have her teaching this month’s bookbinding class.

 Blair Ellis and Momo

Blair Ellis and Momo

Blair Ellis and Momo rescue discarded plush animals from thrift store dumpsters, and transform them into adorable hand puppets and marionettes. The city where their puppet show takes place is made of cardboard, and inhabited entirely by rabbits, but in most other ways, it seems strangely familiar. Like all the best family entertainment, this works on a couple of different levels. Kids will enjoy interacting with the cute and sassy bunnies. Adults will pick up on the thought-provoking social critique. So while you’re welcome to bring children to the puppet show, you can also have a good time watching on your own.

 Photo: Anne Hayman

Photo: Anne Hayman

We often like to remind our friends that the Trumbullplex has been fostering independent creativity in Detroit for more than twenty years. (Decades longer, if you count its previous incarnations hosting a theater company and a sculptor’s studio.) That’s one reason why we keep coming back: to be a part of that long and colorful tradition. Settle into this cozy little hideout, and you’ll feel that history all around you, like a faint current in the air. And when we slide open the big garage door, you’ll also feel the fresh breezes of a new spring.

Small Craft Returns to the Trumbullplex
Saturday, May 10
2:00 – 6:00 pm
Trumbullplex Theater
4210 Trumbull

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