Many people ask Port Washington resident June Burden what it's like to have an empty nest. She answers, "It was an adjustment having both children leave. But it was nothing compared to the adjustment of having children in the first place."
In her freed-up time, June takes art classes related to paper: print-making, collage, book binding, paper making, and box making. She considers herself an "emerging" artist and hopes to continue to exhibit her work.
June first began art activities when she volunteered for Art Day at Roslyn Trinity Coop Nursery School, which her daughter Erica, now 21 years old, attended. At the New School in Manhattan she registered for her first formal art class called Visual Diaries. Through this class she was introduced to the little known Center for Book Arts on 28th Street. As a former English teacher she felt more comfortable using a narrative form in her art.
Recently June made paper at a week-long studio workshop in Rosendale, New York, about a two and a half hour drive from Port Washington. The process of making paper involves using already made pulp or making your own from wood bark and other materials. Making the pulp also involves beating it. The longer you beat it, the more translucent it becomes. The pulp, which is quite watery, is then scooped up in a screen-like device called a mold and deckle, which sifts out the water. The resulting paper is laid flat and can be pressed and dried. In this workshop, June "interrupted" the process and the paper was shaped and molded like clay before it dried. For a catalogue to this place, the Women's Studio Workshop, contact wsworkshop.org, 845-658-9133.
For a list of workshops request a catalog from the following local art studio- Art League of Long Island in Huntington (www.artleagueli.org, 631-462-5400.) If you are like June and want to travel to different areas of the country, excellent workshops can be found in Aspen at Anderson Ranch (andersonranch.org, 970-923-3181), Deere Isle in Maine at Haystack (www.haystack-mtn.org 207-348-2306) and North Carolina at Penland (North of Ashville, www.penland.org, 828-765-2359).