Book Artists

Book Arts Summer In Salem 2013, Post #3

Announcement cards BASIS 2013There’s one more post about the Book Arts Summer in Salem 2013 that I want to write, even though summer has now given way to autumn. I guess this post is more about making sure I have a record of the show, as seeing it was like going down a rabbit hole…the more I looked in certain directions, the more there was to see.

Broadsides Designed by Shawn Sheehy for Onerios Press
Broadsides Designed by Shawn Sheehy for Onerios Press

For instance, Shawn Sheehy exhibited a number of broadsides which featured the writing of various poets. I knew that there must be more to know about this project, so googled the press that printed the broadsides, Onerios Press,, which led me to the Vamp and Tramp website, which OMG has gathered in one place more presses, artists’ books, miniature books, and broadsides (not mention new arrivals) than I will ever have time to sift through….though I’ve been working at it!

Sheehy notebook
Sheehy Notebooks

Another sort of rabbit hole were these notebooks that Sheehy set out on a table. He invited the viewer to look through them…I wanted to take them home.

Sheehy notebook, open
Sheehy notebook, open

Each page was filled, and I mean filled with notes, drawings, and plans, It was such a treat to have a peek at the inner workings of Shawn’s process of working. One thought that I kept having as I viewed the show was , ‘I wonder how this guy’s mind works?’ and here I actually got the chance to read through what he was thinking and seeing as he worked through ideas.

Carrot or Tree, a turn upside-downable accordion by Cathy Daughton
Carrot or Tree, a turn upside-downable accordion by Cathy Daughton

There are a few more images I want to add in here before I get to the final part of this post. Cathy Daughton made these whimsical, accomplished drawings for an accordion book, which, for me, successfully blurred the distinction between carrots and trees.

BASIS 2013 Susan Bonthron Workshop at North Main Gallery
BASIS 2013 Susan Bonthron Workshop at North Main Gallery

Here’s North Main Gallery full to the brim of participants in Susan Bonthron’s Pesky Bug workshop.  Susan did as much prep for this one workshop than I usually do for a full week of workshops: she wrote and printed up a book about various garden pests, and she created a veritable treasure box of items which we used to  make prints of slimy creatures munching their way through the crops that we evidently plant for their enjoyment.

Images printed for The Pesky Bug Book
Images printed for The Pesky Bug Book

We we each able to print up ten of our gardens’ worst nightmares, ranging from the all too real asparagus beetle  to the tomato horn beetle (a particularly enthusiastic tenant in my husband’s garden) . Fortunately, the booklet that we tipped these pages into provided us with tips for eviction.  It’s not pictured in the photo above, but Susan also included an image of the Fracking Beetle, which has not taken up residence in my backyard, At least not yet.

Now here are the final stars of the show, which I’ve saved for last because I noticed them last. Their names appear just inside of this catalog for the show.

Book Arts Summer in Salem: Veggies, Bugs and Seeds Catalog
Book Arts Summer in Salem: Veggies, Bugs and Seeds Catalog

In little letters, inside of front page,  you can find this line:


The catalog design is such a well done piece that I started looking for more info about  Joe Freedman and Ilisha Helfman. It was such fun looking into the work of this duo! If you want your socks knocked off, check out this blog post written by Nancy Ricciwho visited their studio in Portland Oregon. Links from Nancy’s  post will lead you to a plethora of highly diverse work done by Freedman and Helfman.  But it won’t lead you to Joe’s current (kickstart)   project, his GatorGraph which has nothing to do with alligators, but that’s all I will say about it because I wouldn’t want any understated description of mine deprive you of checking out this brainchild which surely inspires out-of-the box thinking. Oh, and if you are looking at the GatorGraph page and are feeling adventurous, click on the links to the projects that Joe has backed: he has a real eye for ingenious thinking.

Book Arts Summer In Salem 2013 catalog
Book Arts Summer In Salem 2013 catalog, inside

So, thank you Joe and Iiisha for a great catalog, and thank you Ruth Sauer and Ed Hutchins for putting together a memorable show. It’s been a journey. Now, one last look at my favorite piece in the show…

hawn Sheehy's pop-up featured in issue #3 of Vintage Magazine
Shawn Sheehy’s pop-up featured in issue #3 of Vintage Magazine


Book Art · Book Artists

You’re Invited

Garlic on Paste Paper by Paula Krieg
Detail of Hanging Book “Steamed Kale and Garlic” by Paula Krieg

This Saturday, July 21, 2012,, from 3:00 to 5:00,  there will be  a reception (art party?) at the North Main Gallery in Salem as part of the Book Arts Summer In Salem event.  Featured artists will include Johanne Renbeck ,  eight Salem area students, and me.

True to the nature of book arts, it was easier to take interesting photos of the pieces in the show than it was to take photos which actually gave  a good idea of what the works look like in 3-D.

Detail of “Rise Up From the Water” by Joanne Renbeck

The exhibition of Joanne Renbeck’s books, in the spacious gallery annex, includes some structures that reference traditional bookbinding, but most of the room is filled with ethereal, hanging, books  whose pages linger between opaque and transparent, offering different visual treats as the light plays with the surfaces while the viewer walks around the room.

On exhibition in the north wall of the main gallery are eight multi-dimensional tunnel books designed, constructed and editioned by students  who, this spring, worked with Ruth Sauer and Ed Hutchins.

Cordell’s Bike Race Tunnel Book

The subject for these books include “Fishing in the Rain,” “Welcome to Salem” “The Garden” and …..

Seth’s Washington County Fair Tunnel Book

…the Washington County Fair, which is the main event of the summer in these here parts.

And on the south wall of the main gallery are some pieces by yours truly. Most of the work that I created for this show reflected the fact that I like covering book board with my paste papers, that  I like tying knots and that I have been trying to think about certain foods more, after having seen a TED talk by William Li. Long and thin, and, technically accordion books, trying to take photos of them just didn’t work out for me, but I liked the photos of the details.

Most of the foods that I drew were locally sourced, from my back yard, though some came from Slack Hollow Farms, and a few from the from the grocery store.

Detail from my Parsley and Rosemary Book

I’ve also put together a table of some of the books that I use as prototypes for the classroom book arts classes that I teach.

It’s such a pleasure to be a part of a show in this remarkable gallery located in this lovely town.  Do stop in if you happen to be in the area.

Guaranteed, it’s worth the trip.

moving parts

BASIS: Pop-Ups at the end of the Summer

I’ve been pouring over these photos that I have taken of work done at a Book Arts Summer In Salem workshop, as well as pages from a very special book that created by students during this past winter while working at North Main Gallery in Salem, NY alongside Ruth Sauer and Ed Hutchins.

One thing I keep coming back to is how the dynamic energy of the students is so well aligned with dynamic paper structures.

There is something about putting a big pile of colored markers on the table, along with paper and instructions on how to make pop-ups that, well, just go together.

One thing that I have really noticed, and have been inspired by, about the pop-ups made by Salem youth (besides the bold colors, the whimsy and the energy of the drawings) is how well these young people grasp the concept of using multiple elements in the composition on their pages. For instance, in the page above, there are animals on three different levels.  Also, I am particularly enchanted by how the hats are layered and slightly intertwined and how they echo the tents of the landscape.

This boat is perched on a waterfall. The waterfall pops-up out from the page by being a basic box pop-up. But there’s more!
As the page opens the boat seems to  be teetering on the edge.

The Hidden V-Pop-up: Behind the Scenes of Going over the Waterfall

The secret behind the boat’s movement is the V-fold that the boat is attached to from behind , creating a diagonal movement when the page opens, so the predicament that this boat finds itself in seems tangibly real.

Slider behind a Box Pop-UP: Girls coming out of the Woods

Another way these students used the box pop-up dynamically is by making sliders that come out from behind the box.

It looks to me like the young artist here drew a tree or two on a separate piece of paper, created a landscape with a box pop-up, then cut out the trees that were drawn separately and, finally, added one to the box, the other to a slider element.

I so much admire the composition of these pages. It looks like there’s two pop-up boxes on this page,but what really makes this page striking to me is that the turtle (who had been upright and standing out on previous pages) is now upside down with just her little feet sticking up….and her crown floating away. The upside heroine with the splashes of red around her creates a bold and dynamic image.

I’ve put together an instructional hand-out for the two basic pop-ups, just in case you are now suffering from a touch of inspiration.
I’ll have this instructional sheet out in a day or two.

8 1/2" x 11" Book Making · Book Artists · simple book binding

Making Books with Ed Hutchins

This past Saturday Ed Hutchins presented a three-hour workshop as part of the Book Arts Summer in Salem event. Ed is the kind of book artist and teacher that I would recommend taking a workshop with no matter what it is he is teaching. So of course I signed up.

As everyone’s style of teaching is different I am pleased when I can be a student in a book arts class. Ed chose to show us how to make four different books using half sheets of regular copy paper. He offered Canson Mi-Tientes paper for the covers. The photo above, shows how Ed “set the table” for this class.

All the books that we made were sewn with a basic three-station pamphlet stitch. Even though these books look nearly identical in style, don’t be fooled by the outside covers…

We made a book with a pocket in the cover, and a book with tabbed covers, based on a Keith Smith design as well as a simple pamphlet .

Here’s the tabbed and folded cover in-progress. Ed provided a template for the tabbed cover, and even scored the fold lines to help facilitate the creation of this cover.

We also made a book with two groupings of papers sewn in onto separate folds….

…and to give the inside a raison d’etre, we added place holders for an image.

After we made each book, Ed made a point of talking about content. His message was ‘These are not to be blank books. You have lots of interesting things to say! ‘

He asked us to brainstorm on what we would put into the books. Here are some of the things that we and he came up with

  • poems
  • jokes
  • recipes
  • details of last night’s lobster dinner
  • leaf prints,
  • drawings
  • autographs
  • collage of a trip
  • a big eye
  • weather report
  • weather response
  • photos
  • family history
  • overheard conversations
  • rubber stamps
  • stamps harvested from our fan mail
  • phobias
  • what stood out about today
  • plans for tomorrow

Speaking of plans for tomorrow, my plan for tomorrow is prepare for the workshop that I will be teaching on July 30, as part of BASIS. In the next few days I will be starting to write about the structure, Hedi Kyle’s Blizzard Book, that I will be presenting. I am looking forward to having this excuse to make one variation after the other of these Blizzard Books!