Paper and Book Intensive 2017

PBI logo 2017The Paper and Book Intensive just published their course descriptions for 2017 and the classes look amazing.

The three that interest me most are all taking place during the second session, which means that they’re all running at the same time. Which means that if I go, I can only pick one of them. Which means that…sadness.

Here’s what causing my current state of drool:

Artists’ Housing: The Box as Story with Barbara Mauriello:

This workshop is as much about content as it is about construction. The goal is for each participant to make a series of house-like boxes honoring favorite literary or visual artists. Basic box components will be translated into architectural forms, reflecting the spirit, ideas, and materials of the subjects. As we think beyond the notion of box as container, we’ll also consider the many forms of “house”: house as camera, for example.


We will begin with an exercise in the basics of boxmaking with some interesting twists. Building outwards from a tray, we’ll make doors that slide or pivot, construct a roof, insert windows, design moveable walls, add curves. We’ll discuss your heroes and by the end of the day have a pretty good idea as to how each of you will begin your series. The delight of this project is that no two boxes will be alike; the terror is that this workshop requires homework!

Wooden Board Binding, 13th-15th century with Renate Mesmer:

Wooden board bindings show various board shapes, attachments and covering styles. This model will be based on traditional binding styles from the 13th-15th centuries; representative of the period rather than one particular binding.


Participants will learn to sew a herringbone stitch on double-raised cords, how to prepare (file, chisel, and sand) and attach the wooden boards, and to add a primary (and possibly a secondary colored) endband. The model will be bound in full alum-tawed skin with metal clasps. Paring, making leather corners, covering and simple blind tooling on the spine will also be part of the class. To take full advantage, it is beneficial to have knowledge in bookbinding, especially in paring leather. The book will be approximately 16cm wide x 23 cm high x 5cm thick. Most importantly, we will have great fun working with these awesome materials: wood, leather and metal!

Further Innovations in Pressure Printing with Barb Tetenbaum:

“Pressure Printing” is a letterpress image-making technique that combines low-relief collage with relief-rolled surfaces to create quick and editionable prints. This class covers the basics of both pressure printing and the operation of the Vandercook Proof Press, and then expands to include techniques that use new materials and processes.


Participants begin with creating three-tone pressure prints from layers of sticker paper, then learn to print color separations within a single photo engraving. We will work with Speedball Flexible Printing Plates to create moveable discrete pressure printed shapes, and the Glaze Pen from Sakura, which facilitates the creation of fluid line work. Examples of the use of laser- and vinyl cut imagery, as well as strategies for using pressure printing as an animation process, supplement this class.

Oh man, that pressure printing class is calling to me. I attended Sarah Bryant’s pressure printing class at PBI in 2013 and really enjoyed it. She recommended a book by Barb Tetenbaum, A Guide to Experimental Letterpress Techniques, which includes a section on pressure printing.

The fact that I own this book is a sign from the universe telling me to take Barb’s class.

And there’s another thing – if I go, this would be my fourth year attending PBI. It turns out that the traditional fourth anniversary gift from 1900 – 1940’s was linen or silk. Obviously they’re referring to linen and silk thread, which is used in bookbinding. Another sign that I need to go to Michigan.

That’s my logic and I’m sticking to it.

If you’ve never been to PBI, then get thee to a computer on January 1, 2017 – that’s when the general application goes live. You have to get in there super-duper fast – classes fill up quickly. Alternatively, you could go for a scholarship – applications will be accepted starting on December 1st.

PBI will be held May 14-25, 2017 at Ox-Bow in Saugatuck, MI. You can view the full roster of workshops on the PBI website.

5 Responses to “Paper and Book Intensive 2017”

By daria wilber - 6 November 2016 Reply

I saw the course listings! I am hoping to be able to go this year…First I have to find a place to live. We are selling our home in Colorado and moving to Sarasota/Bradenton area. I am in in Florida now looking, looking, looking.

I love your choices. And the 4th Anniversary gift sounds wonderful!

These are my choices:

Session 1:

Mokuhanga: Traditional Japanese Water-based Woodblock Printing

Sacred Books of the East

Session 2:

Further Innovations in Pressure Printing…(*I don’t have access to a press so this may not be a practical choice for me*)

East meets West Papermaking: Navigating the Seas of Pulp Painting

We’ll see what the Paper Gods & House Gods bring!!!

By Elissa - 7 November 2016 Reply

Daria –

Ugh. House hunting is so icky. I wish you a quick and painless search. ?

Oooohhhh…it would be so cool if we both ended up at PBI in the same class! There would be an actual human body to go with your avatar. 🙂


By daria wilber - 7 November 2016 Reply

It would be cool!!! I had no idea my pic wasn’t showing. I think it will now. :)!

By Elissa - 10 November 2016 Reply

I just realized that I probably can’t go to PBI. My 25th college reunion is May 12 – 15, 2017. Boo.


By daria wilber - 10 November 2016

You will have a blast! The sale of our home fell through. It’s back on the market, had 2 showings yesterday.

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

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