Zhen Xian Bao

Between the lines of the Byline

Bound & Lettered, Volume 15, Number 2, March 2018
Bound & Lettered, Volume 15, Number 2, March 2018

Bound & Lettered, the magnificent journal showcasing calligraphy, artists books, and papercrafts, arrived in my mailbox this week, containing an article that I wrote, spanning six pages long, plus photos on both inside covers. Though it’s my name on the byline, when I look at this article that I am so proud of I also what to shout out loud thanks to the village that helped me out.

I had written to John Neal, the Editor of Bound & Lettered, last spring, with the idea that I wanted to write a short, like maybe a one page article, introducing people to the Zhen Xian Bao, a structure I had become enchanted with during the past year. I had already pretty much finished writing the article by the time I first contacted John. My friend book artist Ed Hutchins had encouraged me, had looked over my first draft, and made excellent suggestions to improve the flow of the article.

Tabellae Ansata, Volume 1, No 4,. Summer 2000
Tabellae Ansata, Volume 1, No 4,. Summer 2000

John Neal wrote back to me about the guidelines of submission, and he also generously provided me with an article about this structure that was written 18 years ago in Tabellae Ansata, the publication that Bound & Lettered has evolved from. Some of what was written in Tabellae Ansata was so surprising that I felt I needed to rewrite my article. It was such a great gift to have received this article, which was written by Gail Rossi.

As I was rewriting the article I also got to work creating new pieces to photograph. I’ve long admired the work that mathematician/teacher/artist Dan Anderson shows on his Open Processing page. I printed some of his images and made them into my version of Chinese thread books, aka Zhen Xian Bao.

Although I sent in many photos, the Zhen Xian Bao made with Dan’s papers was the one that was chosen to fill the whole first page of the article. Yay!

pages 36 and 37 of Bound  Lettered, Volume 15, number 2, March 2018
pages 36 and 37 of Bound Lettered, Volume 15, number 2, March 2018

Other pages had images that featured papers that came to me by way of my friends, Jane Duda and Laurie Cohen, both of whom know how much I like and use beautiful papers. My own stash had begun to run low, so it was a huge boon to me when these two friends separately thought of me when some piles of papers needed a new home.

How to pages for the Chinese Thread Book
How to pages for the Chinese Thread Book

Writing out directions can be tricky, especially if I am super familiar with what I am writing about. It’s so hard to know what is difficult for someone else to understand. I thought my tutorial for this article was perfect. I asked a few people to look at it. Mark Kaercher and John Golden stepped up. John actually asked his group of pre-service teachers to go over my write up. I got some excellent feedback, and made some much-needed improvements. Turns out my first iteration was not so perfect after all.

Before sending in the final article Ed Hutchins looked things over again, and my friend Julie Moline looked it over, too, and made edits using genius skills that fill me with awe and wonder.

Finally, in October, everything was submitted.

Next Dano Keeney, the graphic designer for Bound & Lettered, and John Neal , Editor, worked their magic on the layout and made some final improvements.

Two weeks later, it was in my hands.

Boxes made with Paper printed from Dan Anderson's Open Processing page
Boxes made with Paper printed from Dan Anderson’s Open Processing page

Article by Paula Beardell Krieg, with help from John Neal, Ed Hutchins, Dan Anderson, John Golden, Mark Kaercher, Laurie Cohn, Jane Duda, Jule Moline, and Dano Keeney. Now that’s a great byline.





2 thoughts on “Between the lines of the Byline

  1. Wow Paula, this is almost beyond you, if possible 😏! I really like to get this magazine and share it with my bookbinding and papermaking friends.


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