Born and raised in Long Island, New York, Adele Sanborn received a BFA from the Rochester Institute of Technology and moved to Boscawen, NH in the early '70s. She and her husband dairy farmed together until 1984 when Adele started the Concord, New Hampshire graphic design firm of Cornerstone Design. In 1990 she opened the retail store, Caardvark in downtown Concord, NH. Then in 2005 she traded in some of her retail talents to spend her time pursuing her calligraphy and papermaking full time at her studio, The Paint Box, in Webster, NH. Needing a larger and more visible location, Adele moved her business in 2015 to TWIGGS Gallery in Boscawen, NH, where she has a new expanded retail space selling her work as well as other artists and uniquities from antique collections and other unusual sources.
A self-taught folk artist, Adele has been a member of the League of NH Craftsmen since 1975, juried in papermaking, photography and calligraphy. Trained as a technical photographer, Adele was delighted to discover alternative ways of developing photos, including Polaroid transfers and Lazertran copy material. "It's created a great way to combine my photography with my love of calligraphy," she explains. She works from TWIGGS, her hill top studio in Boscawen, NH, where she combines a love of lettering, paper and photographic images into framed messages celebrating life and its possibilities.
She is guided by Edward Johnston's eloquent quote: "Our task is simply to make good letters and to arrange them well." Many pieces incorporate her own handmade paper as a surface for calligraphy, whose texts are drawn from sources as varied as traditional Shaker songs, Lao Tzu, and Winnie-the-Pooh. "I like to transform the written dimension into lettering art and then accent the verse with watercolors, my own photos, or natural found objects," she says.