Classes 2014

Session I

Line by Line: an Introduction to Gold Finishing
Samuel Feinstein

Feinstein-PBI PlaquetteLine-work is one of the most important, fundamental and versatile decorative techniques used on tooled bindings. This class will provide an introduction for beginners and a step forward for those who would like to build on their existing knowledge and incorporate tooling into their work. Lines can be used to create the simplest designs as well as the most complex in both traditional compositions and contemporary design bindings. In all applications, lines are tooled one line at a time.
>>>Students will learn to adhere gold leaf to leather plaquettes using B.S. glaire (British Standard) and line-pallets tools. There will be the opportunity to accent their final plaquette with small decorative tools, such as dots.
Other options for gold-tooling; using egg glaire, line fillets (wheels), decorative tools, and titling will be discussed. We will also cover the necessary equipment and resources for continuing to practice on your own.

There is an additional $20 lab fee for this course.

Samuel Feinstein is a private practice bookbinder specializing in fine bindings, gold finishing, rounded spine clamshell boxes, and new bindings in period style. He trained at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Class of 2012, under Jeff Altepeter and Martha Kearsley. He currently lives in Chicago.

Paper and Place
Ann Marie Kennedy

IMG_3411Exploring the natural landscape of Oxbow as a both a source of inspiration and papermaking materials, students will engage in the process of making paper by hand. Emphasis will be on practicing the skill of forming sheets of paper and conceptualizing how the finished sheets will be used in a variety of formats (book, print, drawing, etc.) as a way of directing the sheetforming process.
>>>We will choose fibers such as cotton, abaca and flax or hemp for their particular qualities. Local plant fibers, natural materials and walnut dye will be investigated to create color/texture and as a possible source of content. Students will also manipulate sheets through wet-collage, mixing fibers and double-couching; developing a palette of techniques to personalize sheets.

Ann Marie Kennedy is an artist and papermaker who creates works on paper, editions and artist collaborations out of her studio in Raleigh, NC.  From 2001–2004, she was a resident artist at Penland School of Crafts and teaches workshops nationally in hand papermaking as well as teaching full time at Wake Tech Community College. Her work involves the use of natural materials and fibers to create narratives about place and landscape. Her installations and works on paper have been exhibited in the Gregg Museum (NC), Asheville Art Museum (NC), Cantor Art Gallery (MA) and her artist books and editions are in many permanent collections, such as Yale University, Bucknell University, University of Iowa, Library of Congress.

Designing Toroidal Books: Follow the Fold and Stray No More!
Ken Leslie

Leslie-ToroidalsA torus is any shape with a hole in it—a bagel, for instance. Toroidal books have the advantage of being viewed in two ways—folded as page-by-page accordion book variants that return to their starting point, and fully opened, fully seen artworks. Fully opened they’re more like a painting, drawing or print and can be exhibited as such.
>>>One way an artist book is distinguished from a painting, drawing or print is the element of time—introduced by turning the page and controlling the order of what is seen. Toroidal books allow for that, while simultaneously presenting the option to dispense with that–not to mention dispensing with traditional ideas of most paintings, such as “Where’s the top?” Ideally, any artist book integrates its form & content, but these toroidal structures present some really unique possibilities.
>>>We’ll explore a variety of circular and rectilinear toroidal structures. Then each participant will design and produce an artist book that merges form with content. And because these structures start with just a single flat surface, the leap from one-of-a-kind book to printed multiple is an easy one. Materials for designing and producing large scale works will be provided, but participants should bring their favorite drawing or painting supplies for working out their ideas. Got a lot to say but can’t find the right form? Got some nifty forms but short on meaningful content? A torus might be just what you need!

Ken Leslie has specialized in making artist books on a variety of themes, including our place in the Universe, a layman’s theory of relativity, the battle between nature and technology, and, most recently, light and dark on and above the Arctic Circle. Leslie is Professor of Fine Arts at the Visual Arts Center of Johnson State College in Vermont, where he directs both the BFA and MFA programs. His exploration of Time and Space has taken him across the circumpolar Arctic, making and exhibiting his toroidal artist books in more than a dozen sites from Alaska to Baffin Island, most recently, in Northwest Greenland. He has received numerous honors for his work, including visual artist fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Vermont Arts Council and the American-Scandinavian Foundation. See Leslie’s piece created for the Vermont State House.

Printing in Relief
Ryan O’Malley

Ryan-face collage #4Relief is one of the oldest printmaking mediums and is undergoing a renaissance due to its versatility, affordability and graphic possibilities. This workshop will delve into the history of relief printmaking, and present various carving and printing techniques from medium-density fiberboard (MDF) including black and white and two-color chiaroscuro. We will view and discuss numerous relief prints from the instructor’s collection, and cover image-transfer methods, tool use and care, approaches for press and hand printing, ink mixing and modification, color registration and editioning. Additionally we will discuss the use of relief printmaking on textiles and in service to three-dimensional works and installations.

Ryan O’Malley is an artist from Laramie, Wyoming. He received his BFA in Printmaking from the University of South Dakota in 2002, and his MFA from Louisiana State University in 2005. After working as an artistic stonemason in Denver, Colorado he spent two years as Visiting Assistant Professor of Art at Davidson College in North Carolina. Ryan has toured extensively with mobile printmaking studio Drive-By Press and is currently the Assistant Professor of Printmaking at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. His work has been included in numerous national and international exhibitions, publications, portfolios and collections.

Three Case Styles for Three Bookbindings
Priscilla Spitler

SPITLER PBI 2006Twenty years after the first PBI edition of Three Bookbindings by Gary Frost, Priscilla Spitler returns to oversee the edition binding of a newly revised text bound in a case binding, the most efficient structure for edition work. Students will learn fast yet refined techniques of case binding bound in three styles: quarter, half and full cloth. Beginning with prototype bindings, they will then participate in the production of the actual edition from sewing to casing in, through the use of jigs, set-ups and teamwork, operation by operation. Class participants will leave with two blank prototypes and a bound text in a boxed set.

There is an additional $20 lab fee for this course.

Priscilla Spitler is a fine binder, specializing in book and box editions. She studied printmaking at the California College of Arts & Crafts (BFA 1975) and bookbinding at the London College of Printing (1980-81). Priscilla was edition binder at the Palace Press, Museum of New Mexico, Santa Fe, from 1982-86 and at BookLab, Inc., in Austin,Texas from 1987 to 1995, when she established her own Hands On Bookbinding studio, now located in Truth or Consequences, New Mexico.

Session II

More Than a Book, More Than a Box
Cor Aerssens

corThis workshop introduces students to innovative thinking and techniques in creative book and box work while building a structure designed by the instructor specifically for this PBI 2014 course. Students will all make a small, portable writing desk that also functions as a storage container for writing tools and for a book designed to work specifically with the desk.
>>>The class will begin by making a non-adhesive book sewn on vellum supports and attached to an inlay within the box. This, Aerssens calls the ‘floating book’. The box itself has two flexible lids, within which sits the book on its inlay. Beneath the inlay is a concave compartment for storing writing or drawing materials. The sides have angular corners and a beveled top. The box will be constructed from board with no additional covering materials added: just the sanded board. Meet its beauty. This workshop is for those drawn to innovative construction in box and bookmaking.

Let me lead you into my world! –Cor Aerssens

Cor Aerssens began his apprenticeship in bookbinding in Uithuizen, the Netherlands in 1971. He later trained and worked as a carpenter before returning to bookbinding and box making. He studied with Katinka Keus in Amsterdam and learned a wide range of techniques and approaches to bookbinding.
>>>Since 1992, Aerssens has specialized in box making in his own bindery. He gives workshops and courses in box making and newly created book bindings in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy, Sweden and the US. After meeting some great foreign bookbinders, including Hedi Kyle, he entered a new world of book and presentation structures; his playground for the future. His work is in private collections, institutions and his own exhibits. Cor lives in Warffum, the very north of Holland, where the world is flat, grand and windy.

From Pulp to Pages: Innovative Possibilities
Kerri Cushman

Cushman-StreetView500Explore the dynamic relationship between handmade paper and sculptural books. This experimental class will focus on forming innovative sheets of paper to be used as inspiration in creating unconventional books. Through stencils, shaped-sheets, embossing, double-couching, and stretching we will create surfaces that can be used for bookmaking. Methods for integrating concept, form, and structure will be introduced and explored. This creative excursion begins with exposure to low-tech papermaking processes; so along with your innovative ideas, bring your galoshes and a trusty bonefolder.

Kerri Cushman is a sculptural book artist with an MFA in Interdisciplinary Book & Paper Arts from Columbia College Chicago (2004). She is an Associate Professor at Longwood University in Virginia who teaches papermaking, bookbinding, and letterpress. Her sculptural artist’s books have been exhibited internationally and included in 500 Handmade Books: Vol. 1 & II, 500 Paper Objects, 1,000 Artists’ Books, and Hand Papermaking’s Fiber Exposed! portfolio edition. She is an active member of the Friends of Dard Hunter organization and on the Hand Papermaking board.

The Secret Ledger of Pepo Albizzi

Barbara Korbel

Korbel-IMG_1419This workshop will examine the structure of a 14th century archival binding from the collections of the Newberry Library in Chicago. In use from 1339 through 1358, the secret ledger of Pepo Albizzi contains partnership contracts, lists of landed property, notes on business affairs, as well as marriage and birth dates, and a record of relatives who died during the Black Death. Sewn on thongs, the textblock is laced into a vellum inner cover and tacketed into a Brazilwood-dyed leather outer cover. The thongs at the front of the book are woven into the outer cover and secured with lacework.  Those at the back remain unattached and accessible for the addition of supplementary sections. The same lacework also secures the outer straps, including one that holds a buckle to secure the book.
Participants in this workshop will work with familiar bookbinding materials including vellum, paper, and leather, and will be introduced to auxiliary processes needed to complete an historical model of the binding such as natural dye procedures and simple metal fabrication

There is an additional $30 lab fee for this course.

Barbara Korbel is the Collections and Exhibitions Conservator at the Newberry Library in Chicago where her love of historical bindings is satisfied every day. She has been making historical models for over 15 years as a way of tangibly understanding the evolution of bookbinding. Korbel received her MA in art from NIU and has taught workshops at a wide variety of venues including the Penland School of Craft, Hollander’s School of Bookbinding, University of Iowa, and Columbia College. Prior to her appointment at the Newberry, she spent 25 years as the Head of Book Conservation at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Pennsylvania German/Anabaptist Bindings in America before 1880
Chela Metzger and Erin Hammeke

mennoniteSwiss Anabaptist bindings are rarely found in Europe today, due to the severe persecution of Anabaptists during the 17th century. But many of these highly treasured books came to America in the colonial period along with their owners, and books continued to be bound in America by this religious community using their distinctive style. The Pennsylvania German used thick wooden boards, bold metal book furniture, punched metal date and initial plates, and beefy metal studded spine straps late into the 19th century. This work is unique for American bindings. The method of building a wooden-boarded binding without lacing on the boards is also surprising compared to the more commonly documented laced wooden board work. We will build a small full leather wooden board book using the structural and decorative techniques common to Pennsylvania German bindings. This will include the studded spine straps, individualized metal initial and date plates, and if possible, metal corner pieces.

There is an additional $30 lab fee for this course.

Chela Metzger took a history of the book class at Harvard’s Adult Education program in 1990 that altered her life’s course. Increasingly fascinated by historic book structures, she completed her Master’s in Librarianship then studied bookbinding in the two-year formal bookbinding program at The North Bennet Street School in Boston. She has worked as a book conservator at The Huntington Library, the University of Michigan Library, and the Winterthur Library. She has taught book conservation since 2000, and especially enjoys the challenge of teaching bookbinding workshops both in the US and abroad.

Erin Hammeke is a Senior Conservator for Special Collections at Duke University Libraries. Prior to this, she worked as a graduate intern for rare book conservation at the Weissman Preservation Center at Harvard University. She is a graduate of the Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record, University of Texas at Austin (2007), and she holds a B.A. in Fine Art with an emphasis on Metalsmithing from the University of Wisconsin – Madison (2002).

Impress Me: An Artist’s Approach to Embossing Leather for Books
Bonnie Stahlecker

Stahlecker-72embossed journal, red_8418-1This workshop will focus on using leather as an expressionistic material for bookbinding by way of embossment. Leather has long since been employed as a covering material for books and its adaptability makes it ideal for this purpose. To take advantage of the tactile nature of the embossment, the instructor designed this elegant book structure, using examples from history like limp leather covers and secondary tackets. Although historical techniques are used, we are not making historical models; rather an emphasis will be placed on artistic and contemporary designs.
>>>Participants will make two leather-bound books with embossed cover designs from a choice of colored leather. Dampened goat leather will be embossed using an etching press prior to being formed into a semi-limp wrapper. The wrapper will be further enhanced with painting and other surface treatments creating rich, deep colors. The text block, sewn using the French link stitch, has a lined spine and over-sewn leather headbands. It is secured to the cover with secondary tackets.
>>>After a discussion on multiple ways to generate embossing plates, each person will make four test plates. Platemaking methods will include linoleum cuts, puff paint plates and collagraph texture plates. These test plates will be used to illustrate the advantages of the different methods for embossing leather. For the first book the leather will be embossed using a lino cut made by each participant. The second, smaller book may be embossed by any of the four methods demonstrated. Other ways to bind books using embossed leather will be discussed. While this workshop is open to everyone, prior skill(s) in either bookbinding or linocut is helpful.

There is an additional $25 lab fee for this course.

Bonnie Stahlecker received her BFA from the University of South Dakota in 1981 and her MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984. While at these schools she was introduced to books as art, letterpress and intaglio printing, as well as bookbinding. Over the years, she has taken private bookbinding lessons and undertaken research on historical book models along with printing on leather. She now uses the skills and techniques on her sculpture pieces.
>>>Stahlecker lectures and conducts workshops throughout the United States. She has done residencies at the Frans Masereel Centrum in Belgium; the Banff Centre in Canada; Albion College in Michigan and the Auvillar Cultural Exchange Program in France. In 2013 she had a solo exhibition at Gallery 924 in Indianapolis, Indiana, along with other solo and two-person shows. Stahlecker is the recipient of the 1999 and the 2013 Creative Arts Renewal Fellowships.