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Editions – a coworking space for Seattle book artists

Sarah Mottaghinejad of Ink and Awl is establishing a coworking space for Seattle book artists – Editions (great name). It sounds like it’s going to be an amazing place – as a renter, you not only get access to equipment, but also to consumables like glue, thread, and ink.

She already has everything she needs to get it going right now, except for an etching press. And that’s where her Kickstarter comes in – Sarah hopes to raise $6,000.00 by October 30th so that she can purchase a press.

She’s got really cool rewards available for backers, like linoprints, custom letterpressed business cards, and a seat in one (or more) of her classes. And the bookbinder’s patchawesome.

Bookbinders Patch by Ink and Awl

She’s a bit more than halfway to her goal with just two weeks to go. You just know you want in on this.

You can learn more about the project by watching the video below.

You can also follow Sarah on Instagram to learn more about her work and the evolution of Editions.

Oak Knoll Books and their insane-o sale

Oak Knoll Books - October sale ad

Why do things always go on sale when I’m trying to be conservative with my spending? Damn you Oak Knoll Books!

For the entire month of October, Oak Knoll is offering 20% off all books about bookbinding. As of this writing, there are 1,202 books in the sale.

Dang – how are that many books about bookbinding? I thought I already had a big library…it looks like I have some work to do!

So what do I have my eye on? It’s those dang irresistible Suave Mechanicals (Volume 1 & Volume 2) books edited by Julia Miller. It’s hard to find them at a discounted rate and this sale is a great excuse to splurge.

If you’re looking to expand on (or start) your collection of Keith Smith books, then this sale is for you too. All five volumes of his Non-Adhesive Binding series are on sale, in addition to most of his other books. If you’re not yet familiar with his books, then get familiar – they’re really fantastic.

And if you’re looking for something else, feel free to ask me for other recommendations. Did I mention that I’ve got an extensive (a.k.a. overflowing) library?

Note: Many thanks to Oak Knoll Books for granting permission to use their image. And in case you’re wondering, I wrote this post all on my own – I have no affiliation with them either than as a happy customer.

Happy Letterpress Appreciation Day!

Today is Letterpress Appreciation Day, another one of those awesome holidays during which we’re not likely to be getting a day off from work.
 
Wood letterpress type
 
 The date of September 18th (9-18) was chosen for good reason – the standard height of wood and metal type is 0.918 inches. Quite nifty.
 
So how am I celebrating? Well, today marks yet another year of not using my own Kelsey 5×8 Excelsior Press Model U letterpress. I purchased it over 5 years ago. Bad Elissa.
 
It sits on my desk in my studio, taunting me on a daily basis. Use me…show me you care… 
 
Kelsey 5×8 Excelsior Press Model U letterpress
 
Maybe next year I’ll finally be able to say that I  gave it a go. 
 
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate (besides printing broadsides), why not get a Type High Tee Shirt? Not only is it produced by the folks behind the excellent film Pressing On, but it also gives you a guaranteed outfit for one day a year!
 

Letterpress type image by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on Unsplash

MUSUBU: Tokyo: California: Urawa

I recently found out via the Book Arts Listserv (thanks to Jody Alexander) that there’s a collaborative book arts exhibit involving the San Francisco Bay Area and Tokyo. The exhibit will be at the Urawa Art Museum, Urawa-ku, Saitama, Japan and runs from September 12 -24, 2017. The exhibit will eventually travel to the United States in April/May 2018, landing at the American Bookbinders Museum in San Francisco.

Musubu logo - book arts exhibit

This ambitious project was co-curated by Hisako Nakazawa (a founding member of the Tokyo Bookbinding Club), Jody Alexander, Keiko Fujii, and Akiko Takiguchi (curator at the Urawa Art Museum). It took more than three years to pull it all together – considering that this was a cross-continental undertaking, this isn’t surprising.

The exhibit, MUSUBU: Tokyo: California: Urawa, includes the work of  24 members of the Tokyo Bookbinding Club and 21 book artists that have connections to the San Francisco Bay Area. The Japanese word musubu means to tie, connect, or be bound by love or friendship. The use of this word in the title of the exhibit is perfect, as the project brought together two very strong book arts communities.

Here are the talented artists participating in the exhibit:

San Francisco Bay Area Artists:
Jody Alexander, Rhiannon Alpers, Elizabeth Boyne, Macy Chadwick, Lucy Childs, Marie Dern, Casey Gardner, Alisa Golden, Jennie Hinchcliff, Charles Hobson, Lisa Kokin, Bryan Kring, Hedi Kyle, Howard Munson, Hisako Nakazawa, Penny Nii, Felicia Rice, Judith Serebrin, Larry Van Velzer and Peggy Gotthold of Foolscap Press, Katherine Venturelli, and Kenneth Wilkes.

Tokyo Bookbinding Club Artists:
Yoko Bato, Keiko Fujii, Michiko Fujita, Sinki Fukuda, Mari Hatano, Fumiko Ichida, Masumi Inayama, Junko Inque, Hisako Kawashima, Rie Kondo, Yukari Kunii, Ikuko Nakajima, Hiroko Nakano, Amu Nakao, Eiko Nakao, Kunie Ogoshi, Maki Sato, Katsuyuko Sawada, Ariko Shibata, Keiko Suzuki, Yoko Taguchi, Hiroe Takahashi, Akiko Tsumura, and Maya Yamashita.

As I’ve mentioned many times before, I love love love Japan so much. I’m so thankful that I had the opportunity to visit the country last year. Checking out this exhibit would be the perfect reason to go back. It couldn’t be that hard to travel to Japan with a 3-month-old baby, right?

To learn more about the exhibit, check out Jody’s blog post.

And if you’re planning on going to the exhibit in person, here’s how to get there:

  • Address: 2-Chome, Nakacho, Urawa-ku of zip 330-0062 Saitama City, 5th number 1 Urawa Century City, the 3rd floor (Google Map)
  • Phone: 048-827-3215
  • Public Transportation: 7 minute walk from JR Urawa Station (West Exit); 8 minute walk from Omiya Station; 20 minute walk from Ueno Station; 25 minute walk from Shinjuku Station

Note: Many thanks to Jody Alexander for granting me permission to use her images.

Upcoming classes at Studio Place Arts

In the chaos that is new motherhood, I have somehow managed to schedule two bookbinding classes at Studio Place Arts in Barre, VT. Many thanks to my husband for taking on Anna while I teach.

Here’s the scoop:

The Paste Paper Photo Album

Handmade paste paper photo album by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof Designs

Dates: Saturdays, September 23 & 30, 2017
Hours: 12:30 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

In this workshop, you will learn how to create an elegant hard-cover photo album using bookcloth and paste paper that you’ll make yourself! This is a wonderful keepsake that can hold 4″ x 6″ photos from your recent vacation or family holiday gathering.

Different methods will be demonstrated to guide you as you create your own paste papers with vibrant colors. We’ll use methyl cellulose in a paste recipe that’s easy to recreate on your own. You’ll choose one or two of the papers to create your stab-bound photo album, but don’t worry – you’ll have plenty of paste paper to take home with you!

Each participant will leave class with a completed photo album, a collection of paste papers, and a basic knowledge of bookbinding and paste paper technique. No previous experience required – this is a great class for a beginner.

  • Cost: SPA Members $55.00 / Non-Members $65.00
  • Materials fee: $15.00
  • Tools (optional): Awl, bone folder, ruler, X-Acto knife or utility knife, cutting mat, scissors, pencil, glue brush, old credit cards or gift cards that can be cut into and used as design tools, plastic utensils, wood grain or other tools to create marks.

Peek-a-Boo Journal

Handmade coptic journal by Elissa Campbell of Blue Roof DesignsDate: Saturday, October 28, 2017
Hours: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.

In this workshop, participants will create a journal with a double-needle coptic binding, an intricate stitch that will be visible on the spine of the book. Not only is the coptic binding beautiful, but it also allows books to remain flat when opened. The book covers will include a cut-out window, which offers many opportunities for personalization – photos, pressed flowers, theater tickets – if it’s flat, you can use it.

Participants are encouraged to bring small photos, paper ephemera, and/or other flat items to both decorate the covers and include in the windows. Additional materials will be available for use during the workshop.

Each participant will leave class with a completed book and basic knowledge of bookbinding technique. Participants will receive a detailed handout and resource list for all materials used. Some bookbinding or sewing experience is helpful, but not required.

  • Cost: SPA Members $40.00 / Non-Members $50.00
  • Materials fee: $15.00
  • Tools (optional): Awl, bone folder, metal ruler, X-Acto knife and/or utility knife, cutting mat, scissors, pencil, glue brush

Note: Don’t feel obligated to buy any of the tools listed for either class. I’ve got enough tools to cover everyone.

For more information about either class, please feel free to contact me or Studio Place Arts.

I hope to see you in one of my classes!

Happy National Book Lovers Day!

Baby wearing an orange onesie and an orange hat

When I dressed Anna in this outfit today, I had no idea that it was National Book Lovers Day. What a lovely coincidence!

That outfit was the first onesie that Anna wore out of the hospital – it was much bigger on her then, as you can see in this post. I’ll be bummed when she outgrows it.

Enough ogling of the baby. Back to National Book Lovers Day.

Although the holiday’s birth date is unknown, Heavy.com reports that Google searches for the phrase “National Book Lovers Day” started in 2007. And since I always trust websites that I visit for the first time, I’ll believe what they’re saying. 

Yay for books!

So what can you do to celebrate? Here are some ideas:

If you’re curious to see how others are celebrating. check out #NationalBookLoversDay on social media (Instagram, Twitter).

Book Arts exhibits Perfect Storm

For three days in late July, there will be a perfect storm of book arts exhibits in Vermont. This sweet spot will take place from July 28 -30, 2017.

I’m so proud of the amount of creative talent we have in our jewel of a state. And the fact that there’s enough book art to fill three exhibits is just extraordinary. Yay Vermont!

Here’s the scoop:

  • Now through July 30th, the Creative Space Gallery is hosting The Art of the Handmade Book. You’ll encounter a wide range of methods at this exhibit, including hand lettering, painting, stamping, stitching, letterpress printing, and collage, as well as a variety of structures, including accordion books, Jacob’s Ladders, tunnel books, and altered structures. Featured artists include Rebecca Boardman, Elissa Campbell (that’s me!), Marilyn Gillis, Dorsey Hogg, Ann Joppe-Mercure, Jane Ploughman, Vera Ryersbach, Penne Tompkins, and Marcia Vogler. The gallery is located at 214 Main Street in Vergennes, VT.
  • The Book Arts Guild of Vermont‘s annual exhibit is going on now through August 31st at SEABA in Burlington, VT. CORRESPONDENCE: Bookworks from the Book Arts Guild of Vermont responds to the concept of correspondence in the modern world. Members and friends of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont use various techniques to convey a sense of communication between ideas and materials in work that can be ‘read’. The gallery is located at 404 Pine Street.

  • Opening on July 28th and running through August 26th is UNBOUND VOL. VII, an exhibit that pushes the boundaries of what a book could be. This juried show looks to explore this idea of “the book” and all the ways artists use that format as a way of exploring new ideas. The exhibit at the ArtisTree Gallery is opening in conjunction with the kick off of the Bookstock Literary Festival. The gallery is located at 2095 Pomfret Road in South Pomfret, VT.

If you feel like attempting the exhibit trifecta, then you should find the Google map below helpful as you plan your route. As you can see, these galleries are not close to each other. If you start up at SEABA and work your way south, the route (one-way) will take approximately 2.25 hours (depending on the time of day).

I have work in two of the three exhibits – The Art of the Handmade Book and CORRESPONDENCE.

If you take on this route, tell me all about it and be sure to take pictures – I’d love to feature your trip on my blog!

Introducing Anna…the future lover of all things bookish!

You may have noticed that I’ve been rather quiet as of late and there’s a good reason for that. On May 30th, my husband, Wiggum, and I welcomed a baby girl into our family, Anna Laurel Campbell!

She was considerate enough to wait to be born until after Open Studio Weekend and I will forever be thankful for that.

Baby wearing an orange onesie

Yep, her first outfit had a book on it. I’m a big, fat nerd that way.

Because she was born in New York, I couldn’t announce her arrival sooner because there was a 30 revocation period. Now that we’ve made it past that, it’s Anna Time!

Holy Moses, I love this little peanut. As of July 10th, she was approximately 3.62 bone folders long, YBFMY (your bone folder might vary). Yep, I put a bone folder next to her. I’m a big, fat nerd that way.

Swaddled baby next to a bone folder

If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you may have realized that this happened just before the Focus on Book Arts conference. Where I was set to teach a workshop. Twice. Timing = not good.

Teaching at FOBA was a year in the making for me and I was really proud of having been selected as an instructor. My husband and I made the decision that as long as there weren’t any medical considerations, I would attend the conference as planned. Nearly 20 people had signed up for the workshops and I didn’t want to leave them hanging. Thankfully, everything went smoothly (travel aside – oy).

Now I’m back home, trying to understand what my new normal is. I haven’t spent much time in the studio recently and I miss it. I would very much like to continue teaching, but I have to figure out how to fit workshops into my current schedule. 

In the meantime, I’m happy just staring at Anna and thinking about how lucky I am. 🙂

Worktable Wednesday

Wow. I have not done one of these Worktable Wednesday posts in quite a while! I wish I had some work in progress to show you, but my table has been used for a different reason lately.

The Focus on Book Arts conference is a month away. My original session of Three is a Magic Number filled up in two days and another one was added. Just to be safe, I’m preparing kits for a potential 24 students.

[start bookbinding workshop math here]

24 students x 9 books each = 216 kits. So.many.kits. Plus I’m preparing extra materials in case mistakes are made (and they do happen). Yowza.

[end math]

As you may have guessed at this point, my worktable has been the stage for many workshop prep activities.

I started out with approximately 17 pounds of leather. For whatever reason, it didn’t look like a lot after it was cut down. I will say that I loves me some piles, so watching the leather accumulate was very satisfying.

Then I decided to make one big pile out of it. Just because. It’s 15 inches tall.

One of my hides was hair on, so it shed a bunch as I cut it. It was like some dude visited my studio and shaved over my table. I had to use packing tape to get all of it off my cutting mat. This really is as gross as it looks.

Pieces of hair from cut pieces of leather

Next I cut and sanded sticks for one of the book closures. These were gathered on walks with Wiggum in the woods behind my house. Yes future students, you’re getting genuine Vermont sticks!

Sanding cut birch sticks

Supplies for each binding are being organized in separate bags and I ended the day inserting leather into them.

Bags with bookbinding supplies

Oh, and a few embellishments went in as well. Hello black suede cord!

Bags with bookbinding supplies

This is what a crate full of 216 kits looks like:

Crate full of bags with bookbinding supplies

And that’s as exciting as it got today. I’m hoping to get the kits completed by the end of this week so I can ship them out to FOBA. I want to make sure that everything gets to Oregon well in advance of the conference.

I will have to carry some stuff with me on the plane and that stresses me out. This would be the worst time for luggage to get lost!

Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Handmade leather journal by Elissa CampbellWelcome to the Spring 2017 Book Arts Guide to Vermont Open Studio Weekend

It’s time for my biannual rundown of the book artists participating in Vermont Open Studio Weekend (May 27 & 28). Some of these talented folks are also members of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont (B.A.G.), an organization of which I am a member.

I created the Google map at the bottom of this post which includes all of the studios to help you plan your travels. I wish I could say that the book arts studios are close to each other, but they’re not. Boo.

I’ll be referring to studios by both name and number – the number refers to a listing in the green Vermont Studio Tour Guide. The colors of the studio numbers in this post match the colored markers in the Google map. By the way, I’m studio #57.

There are several ways to get your hands on a map:

I tried to find the most direct route between the studios so you could avoid backtracking. This route starts at the northernmost studio and travels counterclockwise. Here we go!

The first studio is #30, Meta Strick – she is a Jackie of all trades. She does wonderful mixed media work, including dolls that have a book component. She has a great philosophy that you can make anything into a book – in fact, she recently presented at a B.A.G. meeting focusing on junk box books. It was sooo much fun.

Next stop is studio #2, Shelburne Pond Studios, where you’ll find Jill Abilock of Six Loons Studio. She creates one-of-a-kind work that is really inspirational. Her compelling storytelling and creative voice are enhanced by her innovative combinations of materials and structure. And the woman is a fantastic folder. In addition, she’s my partner in crime – we’re currently acting as the co-chairs of the Book Arts Guild Vermont.

#153 is Carolyn Shattuck, a seasoned printmaker and bookmaker. She often cuts up scrap monotypes and uses the pieces in her handmade books. For her, the book arts have been the focus of a body of work combining drawing and print assemblage techniques in three dimensional form. Many of her books include pop-up elements to set the scene for her deeply personal storytelling.

When you visit studio #58Kelly McMahon of May Day Studio, you get double the awesome – she’s both a letterpress printer and a bookbinder. I’ve seen her space and let me tell you – I have serious studio envy. She carves many of her designs in linoleum for her beautiful gift wraps (which are totally frame-able). She was lucky enough to intern at the San Francisco Center for the Book and packs a one-two punch, also being a bookbinder. Kelly’s studio is about 1.6 miles from mine.

Last stop on the tour is #48 – Ken Leslie. Ken often creates books in a circular format – a practice that developed out of his dissatisfaction with rectangular painting shapes. His themes frequently focus on natural cycles, such as day/night and the seasons. The size of his work ranges from miniature to really ginormous – you can walk through some of his books when they’re open.

If you go to any of the studios, please share your experiences in the comments below. And if you have pictures, I’d love to see them…you can even do a guest post on my blog!

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