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Visit to Darmouth College’s Book Arts Program

Dartmouth College Book Arts Workshop signDuring one of my evenings of random internet wandering, I became aware of Dartmouth College’s Book Arts Program. The mission of the Book Arts Program encompasses the following:

  • Introduce students and other members of the Dartmouth College community to the craft of letterpress printing and hand bookbinding.
  • Promote an understanding of the art and history of the printed and written word.
  • Expose members of the Dartmouth College community to the rich library resources available to them for scholarly research into the history of the book.

The program offers free workshops (without a materials fee) for up to 8 students during the fall, winter, and spring sessions. So, here’s the part on their website that caught my eye:

Those interested in bookbinding may attend any of the free workshops offered during the term or drop by for an Open Bindery night.

I thought to myself, “Hey self, Dartmouth is only an hour away from you and you would call yourself ‘interested’, wouldn’t you?”

Um, yeah.

So I sent an Email to Deborah Howe, Collections Conservator at Dartmouth’s Baker-Berry Library to see if I could attend a workshop.

And so began yesterday’s adventure in – gasp! – New Hampshire. Yes ladies and gentlemen, I crossed the border.

I decided to attend Deborah’s boxmaking workshop because I really wanted to improve my technique. I figured if I could get at least a couple of tips from the workshop, then I would leave a happy gal.

Box created in Dartmouth College's Book Arts Program

I was quite happy to paw through someone else’s selection of paper. I’m not usually the flowery type, but I was digging the red. The inside and top of the box lid is covered in super-yummy red velvet goodness.

One of the gems I got from the workshop is that before you glue your boards together, seal the cut edges with PVA and let them dry.  Deborah said that when you start gluing the box together, you’ll find that the edges will stick better. It worked.

Tip achieved.

Overall, I had a rocking time – totally worth the drive. I hope to get back down there for the Piano Hinge workshop with Helen Kuncicky on February 23rd.

If you’re interested in attending workshops at Dartmouth, you can view their workshop schedule on their website. Be sure to let Deborah know if you’re interested on attending – if you’re not attached to Dartmouth, you have to get put on a waitlist (students get first priority).

2 Responses to “Visit to Darmouth College’s Book Arts Program”

By Dennis - 11 February 2010 Reply

Thanks for the great tip! Will definitely make a note of it!

By Elissa - 2 March 2010 Reply

Dennis –

I’m never one to withhold gems that I pick up in workshops. That one was so worth the 2-hour drive.

Elissa

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