Focus on Book Arts Conference 2015

Focus on Book Arts logoThe Focus on Book Arts conference just published their workshop schedule for next year. Hopefully, I will be attending the conference for my fifth time (must save pennies).

This conference gets amazing instructors and this year’s batch includes Karen Hanmer, Jim Croft, and Barbara Tetenbaum. Now I just need to figure out which workshops to take. Registration doesn’t open until March 1, 2015, so I have lots of time to figure it out.

Here are some highlights from the roster of workshops:

Color Woodcut Printmaking with Pam Horne:

The connection between woodcut printmaking and the book arts dates to the 15th century. Explore this historic relationship through a hands-on experience of designing, cutting, and printing woodblocks. Utilizing a combination of Japanese carving technique and Western printing methods we will prepare wood blocks, cut imagery, and print three colors reductively with oil-based inks on Japanese paper. We will print the blocks on a small etching press. Hand printing methods and stenciling will be discussed and experienced. The workshop will conclude with making a folded book structure to house the prints.

I love carving rubber stamps and I think that diving into woodcuts would be a fun next step.

Surface Design on Metal Book Covers with Thomas Ashman:

Metals are some of the most enduring and beautiful elements available to book binders and mixed media artists. They add structure, texture, color, and no small amount of pure gravitas to almost any type of art project. In this course, students will receive an overview of several different types of metal and ways to include them in book covers. Students will learn many ways to alter the surface of metals. While making two 6″ x 8″ metal book covers, students embark on an exploration of several processes including torching, chemical and natural patina and rust, painting, stamping, engraving, creating texture, as well as grinding, cutting, bending, drilling, punching, and attaching of copper, brass, tin and more! Instructor will have all sorts of cool tools for you to try out as well.

I’ve worked a bit on metal in Jill Timm’s Amazing Dremel workshop and would love more experience.

Medieval on the Go: The Girdle Book with Karen Hanmer:

The girdle book is a medieval binding featuring a long extension of leather that could be attached to a traveler’s belt. The leather extension terminates in a decorative knot. In this workshop, students will construct a girdle book on the foundation of a typical Medieval binding: text block sewn on double raised supports; wooden boards shaped all around with special attention given to the inside spine edge to match the text block’s natural shoulder, then laced on and pegged; sewn headbands; covered in vividly-colored leather; strap and pin closure, simple bosses at the corners. This is a fast-paced workshop for students who already have some experience with traditional binding.

This workshop is just an undeniable gem. I want in.

The Focus on Book Arts conference is held every other year at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

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

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