Tag Archives: book arts

40 Years of Work: Peter and Donna Thomas

Peter and Donna are book artists from Santa Cruz, California who started their business in 1977. They completed their first book, “The Three Cedars,” in 1978. 2017-18 marks their 40th anniversary, which will be celebrated in libraries across the country with retrospective shows displaying from those libraries own holdings.

Beginning in August of 2017 Donna and Peter will be traveling to visit those shows as “Wandering Book Artists”. They will also be meeting with community-based and academic book arts classes, teaching book arts workshops, and working with fellow book and paper artists to create collaborative artworks.

Donna and Peter will be coming to Boston!
Where: North Bennet Street School, 150 North Street, Boston, MA
When: Wednesday, October, 11 at noon

For those unfamiliar with their artistic practice, Donna and Peter make their own paper, letterpress print or hand render the texts, illustrate, and hand-bind their books themselves. They make both edition and one-of-a-kind books that combine the precision of the fine press aesthetic with the structural exploration and artistic creativity found in contemporary artists’ books.

Peter and Donna have written this about their past trips:

“We drive a pickup truck pulling a “Tiny Home on Wheels” (which is featured in a book by the same name published in 2014 by Shelter Books). Our tiny rolling home is a finely crafted wooden travel trailer, built in 2009 using local sustainably harvested woods, and decorated with Donna’s colorful folk art painted designs. Although the trailer is our home while on the road, more esoterically it is a physical artwork, and metaphorically it embodies our ideas about the changing nature of the physical book in the digital age.

People always stop us, wondering what it is, and if they can look inside. When conversation turns to what we are doing and what exactly is an artists’ book, we use our rolling home as a metaphor saying, “When people see, or look inside regular RV what do they think? Usually nothing, or, “How practical.” But when people see our caravan they get excited, curious, inspired – something magical always happens. Commercially produced books are like regular RVs, practical and full of information. Artists’ books are like our tiny home on wheels. They inspire imagination, wonder, excitement and do the many wonderful things that art works do.

On campuses we open the door and invite in visitors. The conversations often are about living in small spaces and making do with less, what it means and takes to live a creative life, what or who is an artist, and what is a “book artist”? We keep a blog documenting our travels and conversations as wandering book artists which you can find at: http://www.wanderingbookartists.blogspot.com/

 

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Volunteers wanted

Volunteers Wanted: Help Girl Scouts Earn Their Book Artist Badge

The New England chapter of the Guild of Book Workers is looking for volunteers for our Girl Scout event this year. Once again we will be partnering with the Girl Scouts of Eastern Mass. offering programs for Cadette scouts (age 11-14) to earn a Book Artist badge while also offering a program for younger scouts.

The events will be held Saturday March 25th at Camp Cedar Hill in Waltham, MA. We will run a three-hour program for Cadettes in the morning from 9:00-12:00 and then have a two-hour program for younger girls from 1:00-3:00. You can volunteer for just one program or make a day out of it and do both!

For the Cadettes we will do an introduction and then five stations that the girls will rotate through which may include printing, accordion folds, a pamphlet, origami book, a scroll, decorating paper or a collaborative book, depending on the interests of the volunteers. Each rotation will last for about 30 minutes. For the younger girls we will do some similar programming in a shorter time frame with only four rotations.

If you have a book arts technique or project that you’d like to see done with the girl scouts please make some suggestions.

You do not need to be a member of the NEGBW to volunteer. If you would like to volunteer, please contact Todd Pattison at bookandtile@att.net.

The Marbler’s Apprentice

Image

Chemically Altered: Historic Paper Marbling
Garrett and Gretchen Dixon from The Marbler’s Apprentice
North Bennet Street School, Boston
Monday May 14, 2012 at 6:00 pm

The New England Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers will sponsor a presentation by Gretchen and Garrett Dixon from The Marbler’s Apprentice.  This is another installment in our lecture series hosted by North Bennet Street School.

The Dixons specialize in historic marbling, particularly 18 century and early-mid 19th century papers.  They utilize the water color pigments and techniques that were in use from the introduction of paper marbling in Europe in the 16th century through the 19th century.

During this special event we invite you to bring your one or two of your own examples of historic marbled papers– we all have  interesting papers in or on bindings that are either typical or unusual.  The Dixons will devote some time to examine and discuss the papers you bring and hopefully we will all learn from the sharing.

In addition, Garrett says he will “discuss the history, patterns, and fabrication techniques for the group of what I refer to as chemically-altered patterns of marbled paper:  Stormont, Shell, Broken, Romantic, Schroetel, Tiger eye.  These patterns all involve the use of chemical additives to the watercolor paint in order to achieve their effect.  These patterns were popular from the end of the 18th century through the 19th century.  We will show examples of the patterns, both original and our reproductions, and discuss some of the difficulties encountered in trying to decipher the old recipes.”

There will be a wide selection of papers on hand to peruse, and samples available for purchase.

This presentation is free and open to the public.  Directions available at nbss.edu.

Kathy Walkup at Smith College

Barbara Blumenthal kindly passes along this invitation:

McGrath Lecture by Kathy Walkup
Monday, March 26, 2012 at 4 pm
Mortimer Rare Book Room, Neilson Library
Smith College, Northampton MA

Kathy Walkup will present a lecture about women printers, past and present, entitled “Your Hands will always be covered with ink! Nuns, widows, mavericks & other passionate printers.” Sponsored by the Mortimer Rare Book Room and the Book Studies Concentration at Smith College, the annual McGrath Lecture in Book Arts honors the memory of local printing legend Harold P. McGrath. A reception will follow.

Ms. Walkup is the director of the Graduate Book Art Program at Mills College in Oakland, CA. Her teaching and writing focus on nineteenth-and twentieth-century women printers and the history and practice of typography.

For more information: Mortimer Rare Book Room, Smith College (585-2906 or mrbr@smith.edu)

Members in action and in the news

Barbara Adams Hebard sent along the following press release of likely interest:

Announcement of upcoming O’Neill Library exhibit and related events at the Burns Library

“Precious Poems in Precious Packaging: Irish Poems Printed and Bound by the Traffic Street Press” exhibit will be on display March 1- April 30, 2012 on Level Three in the Thomas P. O’Neill Library at Boston College. The Traffic Street Press Irish Poetry series, a collaborative project with Dr. Thomas Dillon Redshaw of the Center for Irish Studies at the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota, includes selections of poetry by well-known Irish poets. The books were printed and bound by Paulette Myers-Rich at The Traffic Street Press.

During March, in honor of Women’s History Month, the John J. Burns Library will host two related events.  Anna Shepard and Heather Stevik, North Bennet Street School bookbinding students, will present a slideshow about their hand paper-making internship at Cave Paper, and will show examples of their work in the Irish Room at the John J. Burns

Library on March 6 at 4:00 pm.  The second event, on March 16 at 11:00 am, will feature Fionnuala Gerrity, a graduate of the North Bennet Street School Bookbinding Program, who will give a presentation about her artist books, as well as her conservation internship at the Burns Library; the talk will also take place in the Irish Room. The exhibit and events are free of charge and open to the public. Space for the events is limited; please RSVP one week prior to them. Directions to the Chestnut Hill Campus can be found at this link:

http://www.bc.edu/a-z/maps.html

Curators:

Kathleen Williams, Irish Studies Librarian, and Barbara Adams Hebard, Conservator

John J. Burns Library website:

http://www.bc.edu//libraries/collections/burns.html

Traffic Street Press website: http://paulettemyers-rich.visualserver.com/

Cave Paper website: http://cavepaper.com/

North Bennet Street School website: http://nbss.edu

Other member news…

Sam Ellenport and Harcourt Bindery were featured in an article in the Monitor.

Check it out here:

http://www.csmonitor.com/Books/chapter-and-verse/2012/0222/In-an-age-of-Kindles-Harcourt-Bindery-sticks-to-tried-and-true-book-methods

All Shook Up: Interplay of text and image in the flag book format

Flag Books

A workshop with Karen Hanmer

March 10-11, 2012

North Bennet Street School, Boston

 

In this two-day workshop, students make two styles of flag books and experiment with adding text and images. For both styles a sample is made from kits provided by the instructor. A more finished book with students’ imagery and hand written text is made in one or both styles as time permits. Students explore different spine and page dimensions, direction of motion and the selection of images that are most successful for flag book styles. Students have the opportunity to experiment with complementary and contrasting text and images and learn a tidy, non-adhesive method of covering boards and using a jig to facilitate quicker, more precise assembly. Before creating books using their own text and imagery, we review and discuss books by other artists and the importance of prototype construction and critical thinking at the onset of a project. While this is not a computer class, digital printing and using Photoshop templates for pages, covers and spines will be demonstrated.

 

Please see nbss.edu for more information and online registration

deFINEd BINDINGS

deFINEd BINDINGS: 26 bindings of the Pictorial Webster’s Dictionary

October 5-29, 2011

The New England Chapter exhibition opened at the Bromfield Gallery last Friday evening in conjunction with the Guild of Book Worker’s annual conference.  The opening was well attended… which is quite an understatement as those in attendance can attest.  We hope you all can make it over to see the exhibit before it closes on October 29, but there are two other options.  The bindings will travel to San Francisco this winter to be displayed at Chronicle Books (specific details will be posted on the chapter blog, of course).  And whether or not you see the exhibit at one of the exhibits you will want to purchase a copy of the catalog!  The catalog is available from blurb.com for $32.

We would also like to announce the prizes awarded for a few of the bindings.  We had hoped to award these at the opening reception but the crowd was overwhelming.  The prizes were sponsored by Chronicle Books and North Bennet Street School.  Chronicle offered three awards for design: 1st prize to Patty Bruce, 2nd prize to George Sargent, and 3rd prize to Deborah Howe.  North Bennet awarded Mark Esser a prize for “exquisite craftsmanship” and offered a prize to Sonya Sheats for “best binding structure.”  The North Bennet Street School awards were beautiful handcrafted candle boxes which should make nice tool boxes for the winning binders.  The Chronicle awards were generous gift certificates for Chronicle Books.  Congratulations to the winning binders and all those in the exhibit, the feedback about your work has been phenomenal.  And we would like to once again thank all of the binders who submitted work for consideration.  Space limitations forced the jury to eliminate many wonderful bindings and we hope to see many of those exhibited elsewhere in the future.