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.
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.
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.
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.