Jes Lee

Boxes to make and miles to paddle

I believe this week will be my last “non-crazy schedule” week for a while. Next week will start a new epic adventure. Tuesday, September 3rd I will be starting a part-time internship at the Hennepin County Public Library in their preservation department at the main branch in downtown Minneapolis. I’m so excited! I will being doing many jobs, some of which will include helping to repair old bindings and make new enclosure boxes to protect aging materials. So, like any nerdy over-achiever, I have been practicing my box making skills.
It is really nice to have my new studio space set up so I can make things!
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The boxes that are made at the library are a style of clam shell box. I’m not exactly sure what their specifications will be, but I have made clam shell boxes before.

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This one I made over a year ago in a class taught by Jana Pullman.

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I found instructions from a workshop I took from Jodi Williams last winter and started figuring out what I needed to make a mini box.

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Mini boxes are great, since the pieces are never too big, and you can usually use scraps from other projects to make them!

This past Saturday I decided John and I needed a break from yard works and house work. We took our kayaks down to Long Lake and had a lovely quiet afternoon paddling around. Somedays you need to just be somewhere quiet. Having a day like this helped a lot.

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Film developing at its best

Last week I developed my first rolls of film at my new studio set up in the basement of our new home. My studio set up sprawls across three rooms right now. A tiny room that is home to my enlargers and print developing sink (it does not currently have a water hook up), the laundry room with a nice tub sink, and another larger room that holds my printing press, type cases, cameras, and supplies. (More photos of the larger room in a future post.)

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My first developing trial was a success! I’m am still missing my film drying cabinet (coming soon!) but was able to improvise. Now to get out and take more photos so I have more film to develop! I am hoping to take myself on a photo outing next week.

The film I developed this time was from the 2013 Back to the 50’s weekend. It is a large car show that takes place every year at the State Fair Grounds, not far from the restaurant my parents own. I think it is one of my dad’s favorite weekends! He and a number of his friends participate, showing off their old cars and trucks that they have lovingly restored. We have a breakfast celebration early the morning of car registration, and I always take lots of photos for my dad. Old cars look so good in black and white, in my opinion! This year I was photographing with an old Yashica twin lens camera.


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me and dad

My car is a bit too young for Back to the 50s (it is a ’76), but I get to have it in a few photos anyway ;)

More exciting news to come soon!

The house on the hill

I mentioned in my last post (almost 1 month ago…sorry!) that John and I were moving.

It finally happened.

I survived.

Everything is starting to get settled.

There are not as many boxes anymore.

And we now live in this beautiful little house on a hill.

the house on the hill


With yards filled with day lilies and hostas…




and a large front window that looks out over the world…




front window


It all seems quite perfect!

We are working our way through the long part of settling in, but already it seems to feel so much more like a home. Our home.

Updates will be much more frequent now. I have a lot of things to tell you all about!

Until next time,


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