January 30, 2009

Welcome to the January 2009 Newsletter!

A compendium of news, knowhow and whatnot. All members of the Guild of Book Workers are welcome and encouraged to post comments.

This edition of GBW Northwest is chockablock with events, in time-honored newsletter tradition. Sophia Bogle continues to represent the promised "knowhow" with great care and patience, bringing us the third installment of her continuing instructions for making clamshell boxes. Warm thanks to everyone who contributed to this newsletter, and to those of you who participate by reading as well.

Susan Collard

PS My apologies for the bloggety-blog line spacing as this appears on-line, and my lack of knowledge or patience to correct it. Please consider it a chance to meditate on the joys of imperfection in our daily lives.

Focus on Book Arts Conference

The ninth biennial Focus on Book Arts Conference will take place June 24 through June 28, 2009, on the lovely Pacific University campus in Forest Grove, Oregon.

Patty Grass writes to tell us, "The course catalog is ready! It’s filled with class descriptions, financial information and a registration form. All this information can be found on our web page along with an on-line registration form, a downloadable registration form, and a PDF version of the printed catalog. http://www.focusonbookarts.org/ If you would like a printed version of the catalog contact us at:FOBA • 1928 21st Avenue • Forest Grove, OR 97116 503-357-7263"

The organizers have done a wonderful job of putting together classes and events to appeal to advanced book artists as well as beginning and intermediate practitioners. There are a variety of one- and two-day classes, and even a four-day workshop in hidden for-edge painting taught by Jeanne Bennett. Check it out!

Beginning Leather Bookbinding


An eight-Saturday intensive workshop with Don Glaister

For centuries leather bookbindings have represented high craft and elegance - a sense of the ultimate. To the bookbinder, leather bindings have been regarded similarly, with the added awareness that the making of these bindings requires special skills and techniques. This awareness has turned some to anxiety, fear and thoughts of doom.

This class will demystify the process of making leather bindings.

Participants in this class will learn to sew and construct a laced-in board structure, prepare and apply leather, and all the steps in between. They will also learn techniques that are readily applied to forms of binding other than leather, and will help to chase away those thoughts of doom.

The class will take place at The Windowpane Press, studio of BonnieThompson Norman in Seattle, on Saturdays (10-5) from May 30 to July 25,with breaks for holiday weekends, and will be limited to seven students. Tuition for the eight- Saturday class is $675 until April 1, and $725 thereafter.The cost of materials will be added.

While binding experience will prove helpful, it is not mandatory.

To enroll, or for more information contact Don Glaister: don@foolsgoldstudio.com, or call 206.567.5480.
An example of Don Glaister's work: The Poems of W.B. Yeats, with etchings by Richard Diebenkorn, Arion Press, 1990.

Visiting Artist Lecture--Tobias Lange

Thursday, February 19, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.

23 Sandy Gallery is very pleased to welcome Tobias Lange to the gallery for a presentation of his work and a discussion of his collaborations as a letterpress book artist. This lecture is free and open to the public.

Tobias will be at Portland State University as a visiting artist the week of February 16-21. We are thrilled that PSU is hosting this public event here in the gallery. Tobias comes to us from Hamburg, Germany following his lecture at the CODEX Conference in San Francisco. You can preview Tobias' work at his web site: http://www.ctl-presse.de/.

Location: 23 Sandy Gallery, 623 NE 23rd Ave., Portland, OR 97232, 503-927-4409. http://www.23sandy.com/.

Two books by Tobias Lange. Pictured at top: Yoko Tawada and Stephan Kohler, Ein Gedicht fur ein Buch (A Poem in a Book). Below: Onnisanti (All Saints).

Exhibitions Committee Report

Karen Hanmer

GBW Exhibitions Chair

The online submission form for the Marking Time exhibition is now available until March 1, only to those who filed an Intent to Enter form.

Jurors will be North Bennet Street School bookbinding instructor Jeff Altepeter; paper sculptor, book and installation artist, and teacher Melissa Jay Craig; and past Guild of Book Workers exhibitions chair, binder, and Bonefolder publisher Peter Verheyen.

Marking Time opens in May 2009 at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts in Minneapolis, and will be on exhibit concurrent with two special events there, the Fellowship of American Bibliophilic Societies Bibliophilic Tour and Symposium in May, and the MCBA Book Art Biennial in July. The show then travels to the San Francisco Public Library, where it will be on view during the 2009 Guild of Book Workers Standards of Excellence Seminar.

Detailed information on submitting work for jury, making a donation to support the Marking Time exhibition catalog, and a complete tour schedule are posted on the Guild’s website.

Centennial Celebration DVD Set Now Available

Karen Hanmer

GBW Exhibitions Chair

The Guild of Book Workers is pleased to announce the availability of the complete proceedings of the Centennial Celebration held in New York City in October, 2006. This is an eight DVD set which includes all the presentations made over the two day seminar.

There was no Standards Seminar held in 2006. Rather, the Guild held a celebration honoring our organization's 100th birthday. The focus was "The Art of the Book in America" and included a two day conference on the history of the Guild and bookbinding in the United States and numerous special events including the opening of the Guild's 100th Anniversary Members Exhibition and Retrospective Exhibition, and a dinner cruise around Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty.

The set is available for $100 plus $5 shipping and handling. An order form is available from the Publications page of the Guild of Book Workers website. Pictures and reviews of the Centennial Celebration are available in the December 2006 and February 2007 GBW Newsletter, also online at the Newsletter section of the Guild website.

Table of Contents:

Disc 1:

Betsy Palmer Eldridge, Opening remarks.

Sue Allen, 19th Century American Book Covers

Dr. Cathleeen Baker, 20th Century Hand Paper Making

Disc 2:

Barbara Kretzmann, First 50 Years of the Guild.

Don Etherington, 20th Century Book Conservation.

Sidney Berger, Decorated Papers.

Nancy Leavitt, Calligraphy in America.

Disc 3:

Martin Antonetti, 20th Century American Printing.

Richard Minsky, Development of the Book Arts.

Hedi Kyle, Modern Book Arts Program.

Disc 4:

Deborah Evetts, Modern American fine Binding.

Monique Lallier, Quebec Presentation.

Barbara Blumenthal, New England Presentation.

Disc 5:

Mindell Dubansky, New York Presentation

Don Rash, Pennsylvania Presentation

Jana Dambrogio, Washington Presentation

Disc 6:

Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler, Midwest Presentation

Priscilla Spitler, Texas Presentation

Karen Jones, Rocky Mountain Presentation

Disc 7:

Margaret Johnson & Signa Houghteling, West Coast Presentation

Priscilla Juvelis, Collecting American Book Art.

Disc 8:

Event Montage

The Grolier Club Montage

Spirit of NYC Montage

Assembling and Covering the Two Trays for a Clamshell Box

Sophia Siobhan Wolohan Bogle
Ashland, Oregon

Red Branch Book Restoration

Gather your Materials and Tools:
• Buy a small bottle of Elmer’s Glue. Dump out that glue and replace it with Jade 403.
• Low-tack blue painter’s tape is easiest to work with. But masking tape etc. work fine.
• Fabric tape measure
• Scissors
• A Four inch piece of Binder’s Board that is cut slightly off square by about 1/16th of an inch.

• Pencil

• Glue in a small cup-like container with a Flat Glue brush, maybe ½ inch
• Glue in a tray-like Tupperware container with a skewer poked through one end on which you will scrape the paint pad.
• Paint pad. The ones I use are white Styrofoam with green/white brushy pad from paint stores. I cut them in half and try not to breathe in the Styrofoam off-gassing that occurs when Styrofoam is cut. You could also use a roller or just a bigger glue brush. If you use these optional things you will not need the tray-like container necessarily.
• A board or flat something to put on the trays when they are assembled and something heavy to put on top of that. I had some fantastic powder-coated steel plates made for me in various sizes.
• A bone or Teflon folder.
• Damp rag in a bowl nearby for gluey fingers
• Waste sheets of paper like from magazines or anything really.
• 3M Stikit Sanding block and 150 grit paper or other sanding method
• Book-Cloth
• Misting bottle of water

Get Oriented:
The small tray consists of the base with three sides standing on top of it. The back side piece goes edge to edge along one edge of the base. It does not matter which one as long as it matches up exactly with the size. Then the two smaller sides go up against this back piece and do not extend any further than the edge of the base piece. You can set them up with stuff supporting them all to make sure it looks about right.

Glue the Small Tray Together:
1. You will assemble the tray in this order: back side piece, one smaller side piece and then the other smaller side piece.
2. First take the small bottle of glue and run a line of glue along the back edge of the base that the back side piece will be on. Use one finger to keep the line steady by running it along the edge of the base while you are gluing. Eventually you will be really fast at this. You only want a line of glue not a flood. Use a finger to rub the line in a bit. Remember the purpose of it is to help the side piece adhere better. Eventually you can glue all three sides of the base at once because you will be so fast at assembling.
3. Now put pieces of tape along the bottom edge of the base piece so that when the back side piece is set onto the base piece that you can pull the pieces of tape up to help hold the piece in place. Work on this so that the back is near the edge of a table. You don’t need to tape every inch of it. Usually three or four pieces is sufficient.
4. Now run glue along one long edge of the back side piece. Keep in mind how it goes together with the base. It will not be glued on the same edge as the base. Instead it is glued on sort of the “bottom” of the back side piece.
5. Put the two pieces together paying close attention that it doesn’t stick out over either end and also keep an eye on the middle. An especially long piece can start to bow out. Hold it in place for ten seconds or so and then pull the tape up firmly to the back side piece.
6. Now run a line of glue along one of the short sides of the base and up onto the back side piece too where the next side piece will be attaching.
7. Add the tape to the bottom of the base and also the back of the back side piece where it will be attached.
8. Run a line of glue along one long edge and one short edge of a side piece. Orient this piece so the glued edges are aligned with the base and hold in place for about ten seconds. Attach the tape firmly.
9. Now take a second and set the tray on the table in front of you with the back side piece flat on the table so that you can run a bone folder on the bottom of the tray pushing the base against the back side piece. Do the same for the side piece you just attached and be sure to rub the corners too. If there is a lot of glue squeeze out remove it with your bone folder or whatever. It is actually a good thing to have a bit of extra glue along that connecting line so don’t scrape excessively. It will all be covered up in the end anyway.
10. Repeat steps 6 through 9.
11. Now place the board or flat thing on top of the tray with a bit of weight and look to make sure you are not bending the sides in or out. Let this sit until thoroughly dry. Hours perhaps.
12. While that is drying repeat all these steps for the Large Tray.

Remove Tape and Sand:
When the trays are dry remove the tape. Be sure you do not pull up part of the board with the tape. Sand the following edges using the Stikit sanding block: Outside edges of the sides, the corners and the fore-edge of the base. Do not over-sand! Just knock down the sharpness.

Measure for the Book-cloth and Cut:
This is where you use the cloth tape measure. The cloth will need to extend from ½ inch on the bottom of the base up and over the sides and down back onto the base for another ½ inch. The ½ inch is not crucial and could be larger or even a bit smaller. The other measurement is taken around the sides with an extra ½ inch at least on either end. It is much better to cut too much so be generous. The cloth should have the same grain direction as the sides of the tray. I prefer the book-cloth called Canapetta which is an Italian cotton cloth with a paper lining. It is somewhat stretchable and somewhat cleanable if you get gluey fingerprints on it, more so than silk anyway.

Apply Book-cloth to Trays:

In order to adhere the book-cloth to the tray you will be gluing all three tray sides just on the outside part and setting one of the short sides of the tray onto the cloth you just cut out and sort of roll the tray to get the cloth onto the other two sides. The tray is oriented on the cloth so that there will be a ½ inch turn-in for the bottom of the base and at least a ½ inch turn-in for the fore-edge of the short side. Be patient with the first side attachment and keep an eye on the base turn-in line as you turn the tray to the next side. Use the mister a bit to relax the book-cloth. Pay close attention to the corners and watch for air bubbles. Use a piece of clean paper and rub through that with a bone folder or with a piece of wax paper or just your hand to really flatten the book-cloth to the tray. Let this all be dry before you make your cuts. The first one should be dry enough to cut by the time you finish the second tray.• Do not make the book-cloth wet. A light humidification is all that is necessary. If the Canapetta becomes wet it will release the paper lining and then you will have to re-do it or inject pva into the gap and rub it down. It is a real problem either way. • Do not rub Canapetta with wax paper as it will become shiny.

Make cuts:

The order is not really important so long as they all get done eventually.

1. Cut the two corners off the bottom of the base by pinching them and then cutting as flat as you can. Then cut as necessary so that there is no overlapping. This side will not show so you don’t have to be super neat. I like to glue these bottom turn-ins now to get them out of the way. Avoid squeeze out by being moderate in your glue application.

2. Cut the fore-edge “tab” lines next. On the fore-edge you will cut two straight-in lines that make a tab for each side (head and tail). Cut just shy of the edges.

3. Now make an angle cut for the flap just below the tabs you just created. The angle is cut so that when you fold that cloth over the cloth disappears into the crevice where the boards meet. You cut the angle so it ends just at a board’s width from the board itself.

4. Now take your off-square board and use it to draw lines with a pencil in 6 places on the book-cloth along the "top" of the tray. You are marking both back corner tabs and the fore-edge corners. Place the off-square just up to these areas and draw the lines to make it easier to cut a straight line with scissors. It is off square to help avoid cutting it too close to the edge. The tabs for the corners should wind up about ¼ inch wide.

5. Now cut the fore-edge corner flap into a triangle shape.

6. Go back to the corner tabs and with a bone folder poke them into place (no glue) and mark where it meets the base board. Trim the tabs so that they just come onto the base board by about 1/16th inch.

Final Assembly:
Now glue everything into place in this order.

1. Corner Tabs

2. Corner Triangles

3. Turn-in flap from the bottom (pull it into the crevice hard and flatten it well).

4. Fore-edge Tabs

5. Sides

6. Back

• Use the mister to help the book-cloth relax.

• Be sure to pull the book-cloth over tightly. No bags or bubbles!!

• Rub down thoroughly with a folder.

Maternal Legends

Laura Russell of 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland didn't send in a news item about the Maternal Legends exhibition which wrapped up January 3rd--presumably because she's too busily tending the future--so I'll have to take care of that for her. It was another well-received juried show of artist books, and the first time the gallery navigated an on-line submission process. Many GBW members participated, and happily someone talked her into producing a print catalog (available through the website). Another gallery first for the book arts! Although the delicious cookies put out by Laura to lure my husband to First Friday events precluded the chance to handle the books on opening night, as a rule they are always wonderfully accessible to gallery visitors. Juror Cara List chose Karen Hanmer's book, Reunion, for the Purchase Prize, and so a copy of that superb and moving work will now be part of the artist book collection at the University of Oregon. Congratulations, Karen!

Calls for Entries


Entry Deadline: March 18, 2009
Exhibition dates: June 19 – July 23, 2009
Woman Made Gallery, Chicago

Long before “interactive” meant sitting in front of a computer, artists were making books, toys, games, installations and other work that invited participation from the viewer. For this exhibition Woman Made Gallery is seeking work that the viewer will handle, play with, modify, or physically interact with in some way.

Open to artwork in all media, except electronics, by women artists from the international community. (Computers may only be used as a tool in producing the physical work.)

Juror: Karen Hanmer

Online and downloadable entry forms available here:

For additional information contact exhibits@womanmade.org

Society of Bookbinders International Competition 2009

(unabashedly cribbed--though not verbatim--from the GBW California Chapter newsletter:)

Following the success of the 2007 Society of Bookbinders International Competition, entries are invited for the next competition, which will coincide with the Society's Conference at Warwick University during August 2009.

We have made some changes to the competition this year. There is no longer a registration fee, which we know caused many people without sterling bank accounts a problem.

Anyone can enter--members or non-members, whether in the UK or overseas. Categories include fine binding, restored/conserved/period binding, complete book, and cased binding.

Registration deadline: May 15, 2009
Entries must be received by June 1, 2009.

Competition Organizer: Stuart Brockman

Please feel free to attach your registration form to an email and send it to StuBrockman@aol.com

Information and registration form available at http://www.societyofbookbinders.com/events/events_frames.html

More Events! And a Beloved Institution!

This newsletter, Jessica Spring of Tacoma runs away with the prize for bookish event-gathering. Several of these will be around for a few months, so those of us who don't live in the Seattle-Tacoma still have a little time to plan our getaways. . .

Exhibit #1 is at the Experience Music Project in Seattle through July 16, 2009.

From the EMP Website:

American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print illustrates the fascinating fusion of art with popular culture and music history. Featuring the work of one of the nation’s oldest operating printing shops—Nashville, Tennessee’s Hatch Show Print—the exhibition highlights the uniquely American posters produced to advertise everything from vaudeville shows, state fairs and stock car races to the Grand Ole Opry, Elvis Presley and Herbie Hancock. Founded in 1879 in Nashville, Tenn., Hatch Show Print is still a working letterpress and design shop, creating posters today using the same letterpress methods as yesterday. American Letterpress: The Art of Hatch Show Print features historical and contemporary posters and original wooden print blocks—some never before seen by the public.

There's also an exhibition of the illustrator-author David Macaulay entitled David Macaulay: The Way He Works at the Tacoma Art Museum through June 14, 2009. Looks highly intriguing. Lots of special events and direct involvement from the artist in putting together the show.

And let's not forget the fifth annual Small Press Month Wayzgoose at King’s Books, Tacoma, March 1, 12–4pm. Jessica shared some great photos of this event with us last year (steamroller printing! how could we forget?) and it just looks like way too much fun.

If you can get to Berkeley February 8-11, you can do your best to take in the second biennial Codex International Book Fair. The Codex Foundation website boasts:The fair is rapidly becoming the “world’s fair” of the book as art and artifact. Over 110 artists from around the globe will be exhibiting what amounts to “a staggering panopoly of riches.” The accompanying symposium is sold out, but maybe you can pencil it in for 2011.

Or, if you're a PBI junkie, or have ever longed to become one, I bring the following tidings: The PBI Schedule is now on-line. In its 26th year, Paper Bjook Intensive (PBI) announces its return to Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, Michigan May 17-28, 2009. The schedule of the forthcoming event is now on the PBI website. Please check it out. (Thanks, California Chapter Newsletter).

Last but not least, Jessica Spring reminds us of the beloved institution promised in my headline: "Wessel & Lieberman is an amazing antiquarian bookstore in Seattle's historic pioneer square. They have ongoing exhibits on all things books, from photography to fine press plus a terrific blog of interest to bookish folks: http://www.wlbooks.com/cgi-bin/wlb455.cgi/index.html
If you're in Seattle, the store has a loft full of artist books and broadsides while the main floor has lots of Pacific Northwest history plus great books on typography, children's books, art and design and other ephemera. If you have to shop on line, the website is frequently updated and very navigable." (Ah, but even more enticing in person...)


And that's it for the January newsletter. (Please don't bump into last July on your way out.) I will probably call for entries again in April, in my continuing adherence to the relaxed quarter system. In the meantime I wish you all peace, prosperity, and ongoing success in your bookish endeavors.