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2012 Penland School of Crafts Ornament of the Year

Margaret Cogswell's "Beloved Idiots"

This is the fourth in our series of annual Penland School of Crafts ornaments. We hope that each of these ornaments will capture and share the spirit of creativity that lives within the school’s community of artists and friends. So far we have had two ceramic ornaments and one glass. This year we are proud to offer a little something from the book arts world.

Penland School of Crafts 2011 Ornament
Created by Margaret Couch Cogswell

Margaret Cogswell is a mixed-media artist who lives in Asheville, North Carolina. She received her BA from Rhodes College, and continued her education at the Rhode Island School of Design, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, and Penland School of Crafts, where she was a resident artist from 2008 to 2011. Margaret’s work has been featured in several publications, and she is currently writing a book about book arts for Lark Books, expected to be available in 2013.

You can click here to visit Margaret’s website for more information and images of her work.

Margaret Cogswell's "Beloved Idiots"

“Book” is the structural form by which I tell stories. I define “book” broadly and the stories are often written in images rather than words. Using simple materials and techniques such as stitching, paper mache, paint, found objects, and cold connections, I create stories that are both intimate and public. I often employ humor and a child- like sensibility as a way to initially engage my “reader” with more sensitive or sophisticated content beneath the surface. Without sacrificing craftsmanship, the hand of the maker is always apparent in my work. This conveys my interest and appreciation of the rough, unpolished moments in our existence.

I made a crown a few years ago about village idiots. The text on the crown reads “Village idiots walk the streets in their own world. They have the freedom we long for. We turn the other cheek, open our hearts and judgment is suspended for a moment.” I often think of myself as a village idiot: a bit odd, a square peg trying to fit into a round hole world. I’m strange, but lovable – a beloved idiot.”

Margaret Cogswell's "Beloved Idiots"

Beloved Idiots
2-5/8” high by 2-1/4” wide x 1/4” deep

This little ornament book is a limited edition made exclusively for Penland School of Crafts, containing original pencil and gouache drawings on Rives BFK paper.  It is bound using a drum leaf binding.

$50 each, plus tax when applicable, includes gift box
 as pictured.
Shipping is via USPS, $5.35 for one or two book ornaments (shipping cost adjusted for more than two).

To order:
Please call the gallery at 828-765-6211 or email
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
You may also purchase a book ornament in person at the Penland Gallery.


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