Book Arts Guild of Vermont workshop: Panel Books

Last Wednesday I attended the monthly meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. The big difference at this meeting was that I was in charge of the evening’s program. I decided to teach folks the Panel Book, the structure I learned during my summer workshop at the Garage Annex School with Julie Chen.

Below you can see my completed panel book, as I discussed in this post about Julie’s workshop.

Handmade panel book by Elissa Campbell

Panel Book-front span view

The panel book was developed by Hedi Kyle – a book arts innovator and all-around genius (I took a fabulous class with her about 2 years ago). The structure is a modified accordion book that has cut-out panels that swivel. This creates interesting possibilities for presentation – content can be viewed from either the front or the back when the book is stretched open, or it can be read in a traditional manner (page by page) when the book is closed.

A confession – I suffer from performance anxiety. I worried about this workshop for weeks. Well, ever since I agreed to do the workshop. It comes from a reasonable place – I really don’t want to do a sucky job. I managed to acquire the all-too-familiar stomach ache as I drove up to Burlington.

Supplies for handmade book workshop

Workshop supplies – neat at the beginning, at least

Luckily, my worst fears never materialized. Of course, I had a great time. I was surprised when I counted 18 people in the workshop. The beginning was easiest because everyone started in the same place. It was when folks started moving ahead of each other that I had to really hustle to keep everyone engaged. It was quite fun running around – it helped to burn off the nervous energy.

Handmade book workshop attendees

Busy panel book bees

I did some internet research on the Panel Book and was surprised that I couldn’t find anything on it with regards to Hedi Kyle. At the Book Arts Guild workshop I talked to Gwen Morey, owner of Stamp on It, a rubber stamp store in Essex Junction, VT. She told me that a variation of the structure had been used in the card world for years – they refer to it as a Swing Card.

Templates for the Swing Card were easy to find (thanks Google!):

It seems that the panels of the Panel Book move much more freely than those on the Swing Card. Decide for yourself – you can download my template for the Panel Book for your own use. The measurements are designed to accommodate a panel the size of an artist trading card (2.5″ x 3.5″).

Overall, I’m really glad I did the workshop. Even though I might complain, I enjoy being pushed to try new experiences, especially when I can share what I know with others. I’ve learned a lot from others in the Book Arts Guild and it felt good to finally give something back.

6 Responses to “Book Arts Guild of Vermont workshop: Panel Books”

By BookGirl - 10 October 2008 Reply

Congratulations on your class. I also have performance anxiety, and 99% of the time it’s completely unfounded. But it’s not an entirely bad thing. It ensures that you’ll be well prepared! Thanks for the template, too.


By elissa - 10 October 2008 Reply

If there’s one thing I’m guilty of, it’s being extremely well- (and over-) prepared. At least I already have materials ready in the event that I teach the class again.

Of course, the class will be different based on the feedback I received from participants. Always learning…

By Jackie - 30 October 2008 Reply

Pleased to have found your blog. I’m sure I will learn a lot from it.

By elissa - 30 October 2008 Reply

Hi Jackie –

Welcome! I just visited your blog and I love your felt work.


[…] ATAV meetings. The structure I decided to teach to the members was the Panel Book, which I had already taught once to the Book Arts Guild of Vermont back in October. There were only 4 people there, which helped […]

[…] book structure I chose for my workshop was the panel book, which I’ve done before in other workshops. All of the supplies were put on a cart and we […]

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This