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Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair

This past weekend I attended the first (and hopefully annual) Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair. It was a spur of the moment trip, pretty much planned on the day of the event. The fair was the first stop on what turned out to be an awesome two-day tour of book arts destinations in MA and NH. I’ll be talking about those visits in other posts.

The fair offered exhibits, demonstrations, and a vendor fair that included a mix of book artists, papermakers, binders, letterpress printers, and antiquarian booksellers. The keynote address, Saved by the Cover: Rediscovering Amelia E. Barr, was delivered by book artist Richard Minsky. He started off with the following:

My name is Richard Minsky and I am a bookbinding addict.

I am so with you Richard.

The vendors offered wares that were tough to resist.

Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair

Northampton Book and Book Arts Fair

I was pretty disciplined, though. I had a mission – I wanted paper from Chena River Marblers. Since they weren’t going to be hosting their annual open studio sale this December, this was my shot.

Oh man, did I score big. Check out these beauties:

Hand marbled paper by Chena River Marblers

Hand marbled paper by Chena River Marblers

Hand marbled paper by Chena River Marblers

Hand marbled paper by Chena River Marblers

Hand marbled paper by Chena River Marblers

I love them so much I want to eat them.

[Cue quote from Where the Wild Things Are]

I also picked up this most excellent broadside by letterpress and book artist Melanie Mowinski. I’m not one for inspirational-type art, but this was different. The messages that got me were I can’t answer that for you only you can and Practice takes practice – these hold meaning for me as a teaching artist.

Letterpress broadside by Melanie Mowinski

By the way, you should get to know Melanie and her work. She founded PRESS, a letterpress studio and laboratory that works to educate and engage the public in the traditional printing process. It’s really cool!

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

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