Guild of Book Workers’ Marking Time

Last November, I visited the Guild of Book Workers’ national exhibition Marking Time. If you happen to be in New Hampshire this week, you’ll be able to catch the show in its last days at the Dartmouth College Library in Hanover.

"Nest of Patience", handmade book by Kristin Alana Baum and Cheryl Jacobsen

"Nest of Patience" by Kristin Alana Baum & Cheryl Jacobsen

When I went to the show, it was actually for the opening reception (shows how long it took to write this!). It was fun to mingle with other bookish types outside of Vermont.

The show was wonderful. I loved this piece by Jody Alexander, Date Due: It’s Not A Popularity Contest. As the owner of two library card catalogs, I think it’s obvious why I’m drawn to it. I love the unraveling, fibrous page edges.

"Date Due: It's Not A Popularity Contest", handmade book by Jody Alexander

"Date Due: It's Not A Popularity Contest"

Another piece I was drawn to was December 1: The Hunt, by Alicia Bailey. Whenever I see a metronome, I’m reminded of the first time I attended a They Might Be Giants concert back in 1990. At that time they didn’t have a drummer, so they used a metronome to provide the percussion for their song Where Your Eyes Don’t Go. TMBG is my most favoritist band ever.

"December 1: The Hunt", handmade book by Alicia Bailey

"December 1: The Hunt"

The text block is made of tinted Tyvek and the color is really luminous.

Detail of "December 1: The Hunt", handmade book by Alicia Bailey

"December 1: The Hunt" - detail

I loved Claire Jeanine Satin’s use of transparency in Pentimento/Marking Time:

"Pentimento/Marking Time", handmade book by Claire Jeanine Satin

"Pentimento/Marking Time"

The funniest thing about the exhibition is that I took pictures of books by Susan Collard and Karen Hanmer – it turns out that I’m going to be attending their workshops at the Focus on Book Arts conference in June.

I must have been having a psychic moment.

Susan is teaching Wood Shop Basics for the Book Artist – this is going to be the perfect course for me to build on my Dremel skills. Susan’s interest in alternative materials is reflected in the book she had in the show, A Short Course in Recollection.

"A Short Course in Recollection", handmade book by Susan Collard

"A Short Course in Recollection"

Karen is teaching Biblio Tech: Reverse Engineering Historical and Modern Binding Structures. She not only had a piece in the exhibit, Celestial Navigation, but she also curated the exhibit.

Karen = Wonder Woman.

"Celestial Navigation", handmade book by Karen Hanmer

"Celestial Navigation"

My only complaint was that the books were in locked cases, so you couldn’t touch them or see them from all sides. This seems to be an ongoing struggle for book artists – there’s a need to protect work when on display, yet books are generally meant to be experienced through direct contact.

"Trilogy", handmade books by Ellen Wiener

"Trilogy" by Ellen Wiener

Have you attended any book arts exhibits recently and if you did, were there limitations on how you could experience the work?

2 Responses to “Guild of Book Workers’ Marking Time

By Ellen - 21 March 2011 Reply

I *loved* seeing this show when it came to the library in San Francisco. At the time I was able to make a special trip down (6 hours away), and it was worth it. Thanks for posting these pics! It was, however, indeed frustrating not to get to see more of the books, aside from the views in the cases. Nest of Patience especially left me longing to see more of the pages.

By Elissa - 21 March 2011 Reply

Ellen –

Wow! Your six-hour drive is commendable. I was lucky to have it so close to me.


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

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