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Hedi Kyle to speak at Focus on Book Arts

Focus on Book Arts logoI recently found out that Hedi Kyle will be speaking at the Focus on Book Arts conference this June! Her informal address, Four Decades Under the Spell of the Book, will be presented on Thursday evening.

I am so excited – I have great admiration for Hedi and her contribution to the world of book arts. I took a workshop with her at the Garage Annex School a number of years ago (pre-blog) and it was fabulous.

Here’s the blurb on Hedi’s talk from the FOBA website:

This talk begins in the early 1970’s when extraordinary developments concerning the book and its future life took place. Today, craft people and artists are turning to the book, recognizing its role as a carrier, a container, unique as an object of unsurpassed function. Hedi Kyle will share her experience and participation in the movement to rediscover the book, recalling early experimental stages in book conservation, paper making and book art.

As if the FOBA conference weren’t already cool enough, this talk makes attending that much more special.

You can read more about the event on the FOBA website.

Mad Scientist workshop

A few years ago, I took an awesome workshop with John Brickels, a Vermont-based ceramic artist. It was his Mad Scientist Workshop and it started at 3:00 a.m.

Yes, you read that right. We were working in clay in the middle of the night. That’s what mad scientists do.

We also wore lab coats while we worked. I loved it!

Clay is a bit out of my comfort zone – the goal was to make clay robots. John made it really easy to get to work. He prepared large clay tubes for us to use and had lots of templates for cutting out gears and nuts.

Being me, I decided to make a bookworm bot. I used one of the tubes for his body and put a gear on his head for a hat. He has screws for eyes and nuts going down his back. Oh, and he’s got a belly button. That was absolutely necessary.

Here he is, busting out of a book:

DSCF0178-001

DSCF0179-001

We worked on our clay robots for a few hours. After we were done, we marched down the street in our lab coats to a local diner where we ate robot pancakes. It was awesome.

I’d love to be able to attend the workshop again, but next time take my niece and nephew to join in the fun. I think they’d have a blast.

If you ever come to visit my studio, you’ll see that bookworm bot has a prominent perch on the windowsill in front of my work table.

If you’d like to learn more about the workshop, check out the video below – it will entice you to travel to Vermont and take the workshop yourself!

Worktable Wednesday

Today I worked on another custom order baby book. This one is a photo album and has heavier weight pages.

Photo album covers and pages

The cover of the album is covered in green bookcloth and each folio of pages is wrapped in a brightly colored paper. This is not only decorative, but it also serves to add space between the pages for the addition of photos.

Punched photo album pages

The album was bound in a double needle coptic stitch, which allows the pages to lay flat when the book is opened.

Handmade coptic photo album

I used six different colors of waxed linen thread for the binding, to add more punches of color.

Handmade coptic photo album

Handmade coptic photo album

I have some more work to do to complete the book – I’ll be doing some custom collage work on the inside pages.

Book Arts at Haystack 2015

The Haystack Mountain School of Crafts has a bookbinding offering during its fifth summer session from August 16 – 28, 2015 – Paper Engineering: Making Pop-Ups and Sculptural Books with Carol Barton.

The workshop seems fantastic, as you can see in the description below:

Discover the magic of the sculptural book through explorations of three-dimensional and pop-up forms. Participants will learn a variety of pop-up structures, beginning with simple cut-and-fold pop-ups and progressing through a series of more complex glued constructions. The workshop will also explore sculptural bindings, the carousel, and tunnel book formats. A lesson on adding lights to pop-ups will be included. Slide shows of historical and artist-made books will be presented. An ideal session for anyone who likes to play with paper.

I’ve taken a workshop with Carol before and I highly recommend working with her if you have the chance.

By the way, Carol has a new book, Land Forms and Air Currents. The accordion book stretches over 150 inches when fully opened and incorporates scans of her original watercolors with floating pop-up additions. It’s really lovely.

Many thanks to Carol who granted permission for use of her photos!

Worktable Wednesday

Today I worked on a custom baby journal. I love custom orders!

Journal covers and pages with punched holes

It was bound using a double needle coptic stitch with waxed linen thread. This type of binding creates a braided effect on the spine.

Coptic binding in process

Coptic binding

The cover paper is a handmade paper by Richard Langdell. It has wildflower petals in it – it’s quite elegant.

Handmade coptic journal

Handmade coptic journal

Babies seem to be really popular this time of year. I have another custom baby book that I’m working on, that one being a photo album. Stay tuned to see the progress of that one!

Book Arts Improv: Grand prize winner

Book Arts Improv logoWelcome to the grand prize drawing of the Book Arts Improv!

Just in case you’ve forgotten what the prize is, it’s a set of books that includes one each of the four books created during the Improv:

And now…the envelope, please:

Random number generator

Congrats to Marcia! Again!

Marcia won week #2, so she already has one of the books in the collection. As I mentioned before, if the grand prize winner has already won one of the books earlier in the month, then I’ll send the remaining three books in the set. Another drawing will then be held for the remaining book.

What that means is that I get to have another drawing for a copy of Godzilla, Extreme Couponer.

And Godzilla goes to:

Random number generatorCongrats to Tracy!

This concludes four weeks of bookmaking wackiness.

I’ll be contacting all the Improv winners so that I can make arrangements to get your book(s) to you. For those of you who didn’t win, you’re in luck! Some of the Improv editions are larger than three, which means that I’ll have books available for purchase. I’ll keep you posted on when that happens – they’ll be listed in my Etsy shop.

If you’d like to see the books up close and personal, give me a call and we can set up a studio visit – just give me time to clean. I’ll also have them on display during Open Studio Weekend in May.

Many thanks to everyone who participated in the Improv – it wouldn’t have been possible without your suggestions. I had lots of fun!

Book Arts Improv Book #4: Fabruary

Just to remind you, here are the themes I was working with this week…

  • An embarrassing way to die: spoonful of nutella stuck in your mouth
  • World’s worst message from a fortune cookie: HA!!!!!
  • Fill in the blank: A ______ walks into a bar… porcupine

It was funny how this week’s Improv book came together. The wheels started when I learned about Teddy Bear, the porcupine who predicts Super Bowl winners. Yep, he’s a real thing.

Then I found out that World Nutella Day is in February. That’s when it hit me…the Super Bowl is also in February. I did some more research and found a bunch of fun celebrations that all take place in the same month. I had my theme!

Here’s the final book of this year’s ImprovFabruary (because February is fabulous):

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

Handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

The bookboard covers were covered with an aqua Nepalese Lokta paper. The structure is a pocket accordion book, which is constructed from one folded sheet of Speckletone cover stock. The end papers are also made from Lokta paper.

The images on the front of each accordion pocket were created using a linoleum cutter and Speedball Speedy-Carve. I also used some carving material I acquired from a Julie Chen workshop I took at Haystack, but I have no idea what it is. All I know is that I like it better than the Speedy-Carve (must find source). I hand-stamped the images using dye-based ink.

Hand-carved rubber stamps

The text was printed in Book Antiqua on laser vellum. The vellum was cut into cards that contain facts about the special occasions/holidays they reference.

Insert from handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

Since the vellum is see-through, I was able to stamp on the back of the accordion pockets and have the text show through the insert cards. Each pocket was stamped in red with the date of its designated special occasion.

Panel from handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

Panel from handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

Panel from handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

Panel from handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

Panel from handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

Panel from handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

I decided not to use one of the pockets for the colophon because I wanted to save them for actual content. I chose instead to attach the colophon to the reverse side of the accordion. I think it’s happy there.

Colophon from handmade artist book by Elissa Campbell – “Fabruary”

This book was printed in a limited edition of 3 copies.

By the way, don’t forget that I’ll be posting the grand prize winner on Monday. That lucky duck will win a set of books that includes each of the four books created during the Improv.

Good luck to everyone!

Worktable Wednesday

At this time, I’m a bit stumped for a storyline for this week’s Improv book. I’m not too worried because it’s still early in the week.

I decided to start off by carving a rubber stamp of a porcupine. This was a fun stamp to work on, although it had a lot of fine detail. Quills are hard!

In the images below you can see how the stamp progressed through the carving process.

Hand-carved stamp in progress

Hand-carved porcupine rubber stamp

Here’s the final stamp. I’m pretty proud of this one.

Hand-carved porcupine rubber stamp

Hand-carved rubber stamped image of porcupine

I’m not sure how (or if) I’ll use it in the final book, but it’s a start. I’m debating whether or not to make a Nutella stamp, but I think I need a specific purpose for it first.

Come back on Saturday to see how it all comes together!

Book Arts Improv: Week #4 Themes

Many thanks to everyone who entered the final week of this year’s Book Arts Improv!

Here’s this week’s winning entry…

random number generator

number 1!

Congrats to Velma!

This week’s themes are as follows:

  • An embarrassing way to die: spoonful of nutella stuck in your mouth
  • World’s worst message from a fortune cookie: HA!!!!!
  • Fill in the blank: A ______ walks into a bar… porcupine

The Book Arts Improv grand prize winner will be drawn on Monday, February 2nd – the prize is a set of books that includes one of each of the four books created during the Improv.

Everyone who has posted suggestions for the past four weeks will be entered into the drawing. If you have participated in the Improv for more than one week, each week’s post will count as one entry – if you’ve been following me for four weeks, then your odds are better.

Come back to see this week’s completed book on Saturday and find out who wins the grand prize on Monday!

Book Arts Improv: Call #4

Book Arts Improv logoWelcome to the final week of the 5th Annual Book Arts Improv!

In case you’re new here, in a nutshell, the Improv is a four-week stretch of improvisational bookmaking. Depending on the content and complexity of the book, an edition of three or more will be created each week.

Here’s the last call for suggestions:

  1. An embarrassing way to die
  2. World’s worst message from a fortune cookie
  3. Fill in the blank: A ______ walks into a bar…

To participate in the Improv, just comment on this post with a response for each of the three categories listed above. I’d like to keep this suitable for all audiences, so please, nothing offensive.

I will accept suggestions until 5:00 p.m. EST on Tuesday, January 27th. On that day, one entry will be selected at random and not only will that person’s suggestions be used for that week’s book, but the winner will also receive a copy of the book.

This week is also your last chance to get an entry in for the big prize – a set of books that includes each of the four books created during the Improv.

Everyone who has posted suggestions for each week will be entered into a drawing (one entry per person, per week). If you have participated in the Improv for more than one week, each week’s post will count as one entry – if you’ve been following me for four weeks, then your odds are better.

One more thing – if the grand prize winner has already won one of the books earlier in the month, then I’ll send the remaining three books in the set. Another drawing will then be held for the remaining book. Hopefully that all makes sense.

Good luck to everyone!