Tuesday, July 26, 2011


Each year there is an exhibit of artists' books at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo, California. This year's exhibit, "Artist's Books 2011," is happening now, continuing until August 26th. Included in this exhibit is a little green book that I made. It is a small book, an edition of 7, bound using a dowel-spine structure with all materials being recycled, reclaimed, repurposed, etc. The content is also green.

This little book recognizes the achievement of Canada's Green Party, successfully electing Elizabeth May, the first Green member of parliament, earlier this year. The pocket on the inside of the front cover includes a business card (from my local Green Party candidate, Thomas Trappenberg) that lists the principles of the Green Party. The remaining content recognizes the Green Party's acheivements and also questions why green principles are not already part of other political agendas.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Using leather for patchwork

It starts as a pile of leather pieces. I sort it and match it and plan out the pattern. Then I sew them together to make covers for journals. Finished covers... Finished journals...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Witherstone Gallery, Lunenburg, NS

Earlier this year, a new gallery opened in Lunenburg, NS, called Witherstone Gallery. Artist, Shawn Orne, conceived and established this gallery to showcase local artisans. Shawn has created a beautiful space in the heart of Lunenburg's unofficial art district, on Lincoln Street. This little part of Lunenburg has several galleries and art studios clustered together so it's a great spot to visit if you are in the area.

There is an amazing group of artists showcased at Witherstone. Alongside local artists such as Shelagh Duffett, Daina D. Scarola, Marina Smith, Sarah Morton, Sharon Hodgson, Mike and Sherry Goede, Julia Williamson, Shawn Orne, and more, I am thrilled to have my work on display here (part of the display shown here on the right). The next photo (below) shows another angle in the gallery where you can see the work of some of the artists mentioned previously.

Recently there was a Street Festival and Artwalk in Lunenburg so I was there with my work, set up on the sidewalk outside Witherstone Gallery. I was making books and had some work on display. Set up beside me was another one of Witherstone's artists, Anouk. She is here (photo below, in the pink) with several of her amazing paintings displayed on the sidewalk near the gallery. Anouk's work is amazing, you can see more on her blog at anoukwolse.blogspot.com.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Guest Blogger Lexi Janezic, Letterpress

Lexi Janezic is a mixed media artist (drawing, painting, collage) and prospective book artist living in Kansas City, Missouri. We met this year at Paper and Book Intensive, where Lexi was attending as one of the Nell Meldahl scholarship winners. You can visit Lexi's blog at thegreywoman.tumblr.com.

As part of my continuing efforts to tell everyone about all the PBI classes, even the ones that I didn't take, Lexi agreed to tell us about the Letterpress class that she did with Jean Buescher Bartlett.

I started PBI 2011 having no knowledge of what to expect from this pleasantly unique event. The idea of having workshops strictly devoted to the art book and paper was as foreign to me as astrophysics. For the past year I have lived in a world where I felt I needed to be either an artist or a conservator, it was strange to think that I would be able to meet people that defined what it is to straddle the line between these two very different paths so seamlessly. It was a tremendous relief from my conscience as a creative individual, who had initially felt that it was impossible to find a happy medium between the two worlds.

From talking amongst my fellow PBIers, it became clear that Jean Buescher Bartlett (Blood Root Press), is well respected in the PBI community, and upon telling people I was taking letterpress with Jean, was overwhelmed with the consensus of people who wished to take letterpress printing with Jean at some point in their lives.

I have wanted to take a letterpress class since I first saw and felt the texture of impressed text on paper. This was a subconscious desire initially (seeing as I was a lass of 8 or so), but upon further investigation it was knowledge that became apparent as time went on, and intended to attain it at some point in my life. PBI was the perfect opportunity to become familiar with a medium I wanted to covet as much as my own.

From day one, we were setting type and printing, and of course, mulling over how to translate our own creative ideas and energies into the book form. To get the ball rolling, Jean had us write down nouns, adjectives and adverbs, place them in a hat, and create sentences based on the words chosen. The sentences produced from these found words were beautifully articulate, most having the intellectual ambiguity most poets can only hope for. Shortly after the completion of our sentences, the text was assembled into one poem, typeset, and placed in a galley in the press with appropriately arranged furniture. Following the typesetting, the printing process was introduced along with all the experimentation involved with newsprint packing, paper proofing, and finally, fine quality printing (+/- a few fingers). A typically long and tedious process cut down to its bare essentials.

The book shown here was designed and created by Jean Buescher Bartlett; the type was set by the students in this letterpress class. Photos by Ah-Ram Park.

Jean supplied us with a plethora of information on letterpress process, simple book structures, text, concept, and how these things can be made to manifest themselves together as one.

Photo by Ah-Ram Park.

In between people using the press, Jean introduced us to the book structures, all of which were simple and easy enough to interpret with something made with pages printed from letterpress. These books were primarily held together with PVA, which allowed for a wider margin of error for the expected inconsistencies in printing.

Of the vast range of information I was introduced to in this class, what was of particular interest to me was Jean’s creative process, specifically on the things that inspire, inform, and translate themselves to create her work. This presentation was filled with book layouts, hand drawn notes and fairy tales of yore. What was most striking to me about this presentation was the range in the types of work shown, most being small detailed hand-drawn illustrations and found media.

This class was a pleasure to take. Jean is a down-to-earth and patient person, and knowledgeable to boot about all things press related. Not only did Jean provide me with enough epiphanies about life and art to last me for quite some time, it provided a perfectly balanced technical and creative outlet tailored to our own artistic needs and wants.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Guest Blogger Elizabeth Sanford, Tunnel Books

Elizabeth Sanford is a watercolor artist who was seduced several years ago by the book arts. She is fond of flexicubes and teaches at Watkins College of Art, Design & Film in Nashville, TN.

Elizabeth's website is currently being remodeled but be sure to look for the revised version of elizabethsanford.com this Fall. Elizabeth has kindly agreed to tell us about the tunnel book class that she took at PBI this year. Thank you, Elizabeth.

I love Andrea Dezso's work (www.andreadezso.com), so when I saw that she was teaching a tunnel book class at PBI, I had to sign up! We learned 3 tunnel structures: the Jennifer, the Stephanie and the Luminitza.

My favorite was the first one, the Jennifer, so I spent most of the workshop on that one. It's a structure that Andrea invented that involves sewing the panels to the accordion sides so that they almost float. If you look carefully, you should be able to spot the silhouette of a bird (a yellow-billed cuckoo) in the front panel; there's another hiding in the branches on the second panel.

I started cutting these panels with an x-acto knife but switched to a scalpel in the middle of this model, and it was so much easier! I got mine from the PBI store run by Nancy Morains (here's her website: www.colophonbookarts.com/binding.html). I'm also interested in trying the kind of Olfa knife with carbon steel blades that Andrea uses.

The other 2 approaches are based on commercially printed books. The Stephanie is adapted from Winnie-the-Pooh's Pop-up Theatre Book (1993). The panels are attached with tabs at the top and bottom, and it folds flat. Here's my model in the open position:

The Luminitza is a 4 layer pattern based on a German book published in 1878. Here's Andrea's diagram, which reveals some of her humor:

I'm currently working on a more complicated version of the first model. Here are the 5 panels:

I'm planning to have more space between the panels this time so it will be easier to find the creatures that are hiding in the woods.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Origami animals

I just worked through a brief origami addiction. Made some fish...

Some crabs...

And some frogs...

Maybe I can get back to the books now!