Mokuhanga: Traditional Japanese Water-based Woodblock Printing
Learn how to achieve multiple colors in a woodblock image with perfect registration through the traditional technique of Japanese woodblock printing. This workshop will be an introduction to the printing process mokuhanga, which uses water-based pigments (or sumi ink), a kento registration method, and is printed by hand with a baren. Participants will learn about tools, materials, and the carving sequence and printing methods associated with this process. All participants will have the opportunity to carve and print their own two-color woodblock images. One of the wonderful aspects of this process is that it does not require a press, or a large workspace!
Katie Baldwin produces artist books and prints under Queen Anne’s Revenge Press. She received her MFA from University of the Arts and served as Victor Hammer Fellow from 2011-2013. In 2004 she was one of seven artists selected to learn traditional Japanese woodblock printing from master carvers and printers at the Nagasawa Residency on Awaji Island, Japan. She teaches printmaking and book arts at the University of Alabama Huntsville.
Sacred Books of the East: From Palm leaf to Pecha
Sacred texts originating in India were often made on varieties of palm leaf. The long thin shape of the leaf influenced later manuscript traditions as Buddhism travelled through SE Asia and north to the Himalaya. We will have the opportunity to see into the world of these books with slides, video clips, and examination of a wide range of materials.
In the workshop we will make models of palm leaf manuscripts-incising, making ink, inking them, and then fashioning simple covers. Paper pulp will be cooked and beaten from several indigenous fibers; lokta, rechag pa, edgeworthia and saa or paper mulberry. We will collectively make a sampler of each paper. Several natural dyes from the area will be prepared, including an indigo vat, and materials will be dyed to make a Tibetan stitched binding on the last day. I will bring a selection of woodblocks that will be available for printing at off times during the week. Course Fee: $15.00
Jim Canary is Head of Conservation at the Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, and adjunct faculty in the Henry Hope School of Fine Arts teaching Book Structures. He began studying Tibetan language and culture in the early 70’s and has traveled extensively in the Himalayan region for more than 35 years researching papermaking and documenting papermakers, scribes and printers. He was a founding member of the Paper Road Tibet project working to research and revitalize Tibetan papermaking in Tibet and also worked with the International Tibetan Archive Preservation Project in Lhasa carrying out conservation work and training. When not traveling researching the book in Asia, he is on the road with the original manuscript of Jack Kerouac’s novel On the Road.
Carolingian Script —300 Years of Elegant Simplicity
Studying manuscript pages is an enlightening way to develop your personal version of a script. We will work from the best teachers—facsimiles of manuscript pages written by the hands of master scribes who wrote the same style day after day. We shall work primarily with a 10th century Carolingian script but also with both its predecessors and followers in order to see the subtle changes that occurred over time. The result will be a useful elegant hand for 21st century applications. We begin by reviewing Foundational Hand, followed by learning how to analyze an historical hand. We’ll look at the Tours manuscript that calligrapher Sheila Waters used to design the script for “Under Milkwood”. We’ll compare these fluid scripts with more refined versions referred to as Humanist scripts that emerged during the Renaissance in Italy.
We will continue with experimentation, stretching and pulling the shapes to invent new hands, making samplers of the variations, or settling on one version and designing a project around that. This workshop is appropriate and stimulating for all levels of calligraphers, beginners to experts. Our exploration will include design and layout principles as well, and will be used to create a small book.
The world of books and writing has captivated Annie Cicale since she was a child. After a short career as a chemical engineer, she turned to the visual arts, specializing in painting, printmaking and drawing. The visual qualities of writing became her subject matter when she discovered the expressive power of calligraphic forms. She finds that as she works, she is constantly trying to figure out how she would explain her ideas to a class. She has an MFA in graphic design and teaches calligraphy, drawing, and painting for calligraphy guilds throughout the United States and Canada, and has taught in Japan, Australia and Spain. She has taught at many of the international calligraphy conferences and co-directed the 2016 conference, A Show of Hands. Her artist’s books are in public and private collections, including Yale University. She is the author of The Art and Craft of Hand Lettering, a 2011 publication of Bloomin Books.
Pulp Ecology: Papermaking with Plants, Pigments, and Dyes
Delve into the world of papermaking with plants, earth pigments, and natural dyes. Students will begin will learn the fundamentals of papermaking (fiber preparation, sheetforming, couching, pressing, and drying), while also learning to manipulate the medium for different effects through beating time, amount of pulp used, and methods of dipping, pouring, and pulling sheets. While working with traditional fibers such as abaca, cotton, hemp, and flax, we’ll also forage for plants and investigate their properties for papermaking, eco-printing, and extracting dyes.
We’ll learn techniques for immersion and vat dyeing wet pulps with dyes such as indigo, logwood, and cochineal for a wide range of colors. We’ll fix dyes, see how to shift colors through use of natural mordants and assists. Additionally, we’ll manipulate dyed pulps on the sheets’s surface through mark making techniques, embed materials between sheets, and create thin veils to conceal and reveal existing elements. Once dry we’ll further work the sheets through natural processes of rusting, bleaching, and resist dyeing. Through these processes, each sheet will become its own work of art.
Anne Covell is a book artist and papermaker. She received her MFA in Book Arts from the University of Iowa Center for the Book. She studied Asian and Western papermaking techniques with Timothy Barrett and has taught courses in bookbinding, papermaking, and natural dyeing for the University of Iowa Center for the Book, and the University of Georgia study abroad program in Cortona, Italy. Additionally, she has taught workshops for the Morgan Art of Papermaking Conservatory, Pyramid Atlantic Art Center, Book Arts LA, and UCLA, among others. Her work has been exhibited throughout the United States and abroad and can be seen in over 35 special collections libraries and museums worldwide including the Yale University Arts Library, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the National Library of Chile. Currently, she resides in San Diego, California where she is building a Japanese papermaking studio and investigating Asian papermaking and cover-making techniques for use in conservation and book arts.
Durable Paper Bindings
Paper bindings have long been considered a workhorse in the book trade as publishers and booksellers sought economical ways to get printed books into the hands of an increasingly literate public. Paper can be a surprisingly durable covering material and, combined with the right structural components, can result in a well functioning book. This class will provide a brief overview of some popular paper binding styles from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries with images of historical examples, handouts, and a reading list. Students will then create two models based on historical binding styles with some modern structural adaptations: a stiff board case binding and a flexible laced paper case. Through demonstration and hands-on work, this workshop will cover variations on sewing methods, endsheet construction, endbands, and spine lining, all while considering how the materials and composition of the binding create the book action. Students will produce decorative paste papers, but may also bring their own decorative paper to cover one of the models.
Henry Hebert is a conservator for special collections at Duke University Libraries in Durham, NC. Before returning to the South, he worked and trained in conservation at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the Boston Athenaeum, and the Harvard Business School. Henry holds a master’s degree in library science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a diploma in hand bookbinding from the North Bennet Street School. He is active on the board of the Guild of Book Workers (GBW) and is a Professional Associate in the American Institute for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works (AIC).
Further Innovations in Pressure Printing
“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.
Barb Tetenbaum is a visual artist who works between printed artist books and text-based installations. She is known for her improvisational approach to letterpress printing (which is how she stumbled on the technique of “pressure printing”!). She founded her imprint Triangular Press in 1979, and has continually produced visual, conceptual and literary books. Her work is collected and exhibited both nationally and internationally. Barb is currently Professor and Department Head of Book and Print at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, Oregon.
Artists’ Housing: The Box as Story
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, in my homage to the great photographer Julia Margaret Cameron (see photo).
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!
The rest is up to you. Come with ideas, images, papers, a piece of text. Although the basics (boards, bookcloth, adhesives, hardware) will be in the studio, the more interesting materials will be either prepared or gathered by each participants—even without quite knowing their ultimate use. Think of your box as a story-telling vehicle, then decide whose story you wish to tell. And start packing!
Barbara Mauriello is an artist, bookbinder, and author (Making Memory Boxes, Lockport Publishers, 2000). She has taught at Penland, Haystack, and other sites throughout the country, and continues to teach in the New York City area. In 2015 Barbara set up a box-making workshop in a non-profit organization in Colombia, where she both advises and teaches. Her books are in many collections in the US and in France.
Wooden Board Binding, 13th-15th century
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! Course Fee: $40.00
Renate Mesmer, Head of Conservation at the Folger Shakespeare Library in DC., is a book and paper conservator with more than twenty years experience in the field. She formally trained as a master bookbinder in Germany and has pursued further conservation training at renowned institutions throughout Europe and the U.S. She has held previous positions conserving and restoring books, manuscripts, and art on paper at the University Library in Mannheim; the Speyer State Archives in Germany, and at the Centro del bel libro in Ascona, Switzerland.
Over the last twenty years she has taught and presented on a variety of conservation and bookbinding topics—Tips and Tricks in Book and Paper Conservation, The Use of Bleaching Treatments in Paper Conservation, The Use of the Suction Table, The Use of Cast Pulp Paper, Wax Seals—in addition to numerous bookbinding classes including Three Conservation Bindings, Der Edelpappband (German Paper Binding), and The Girdle Book – A medieval binding structure.
Considering Book Mechanics
The way a page turns as a book is read affects the narrative a book conveys. A book artist’s choice of materials and binding structure influence book action as do the materials and techniques a conservator chooses to repair a binding. In both instances it can be a challenge to find the right combination of materials and structures.
Participants will construct a binding with removable gatherings. This structure can be used to make a new book or certain aspects of the structure can be used to alter existing bindings. The structure allows gatherings to be removed for exhibition or to continue working out a thought. A new book made with this structure can be completed without pressing leaves with fragile additions or papers with undulations that reflect its manufacture.
From this starting point, we will work with other models to explore how sewing structure, spine treatment and board attachment determine a book’s mechanics. Sharing observations, participants will come away with options for articulating their vision, which are applicable to both conservation practice and artist book work. Course Fee: $20.00
Olivia Primanis is Senior Book Conservator at the Harry Ransom Center, UT Austin, TX. She began her training in hand bookbinding and book conservation with Jean Gunner in Pittsburgh, PA and founded The Bookbinder (1976-1984), which offered artists’ supplies and bookbinding services. In 1984 she moved to Los Angeles, CA and continued teaching and conservation bookbinding in a private practice. At the Ransom Center since 1990, she performs conservation treatments and participates in a wide variety of preservation activities. Her current research interests focus on how to avoid collateral damage from well-intentioned, minimally-invasive book repairs and 19th century photo album history and structure. Her favorite pastime is to explore the collections for unique and marvelous artists’ books.
East meets West Papermaking: Navigating the Seas of Pulp Painting
The session is to engage in a comparison of Eastern and Western traditions in sheet forming collectively, as a cue toward individual efforts. Investigate what has evolved historically over the last 50 years or so of incorporation of paper as medium, study examples of the sheet transformed by pulp painted flourishes, and enjoy personally directed custom production. Peter will share his mixed and matched hybrid approaches to preparation, formation, and lamination. We will work with multi-dipped, colored, textured, shaped, stenciled, sprayed, and basted papers, as well as other variations, with an eye toward the possibilities of pulp painted statements. A range of methods, tools and equipment will be shown, and we’ll see how modifications to fiber, water, color and finishing move forward to optimize particular qualities of our pieces in resolved statements.
Although some experience is helpful, the session is available for participants at all levels. It will demand an openness to experimentation, an interest in the physical craft, and the willingness to perhaps get a little wet! The goal: master what we utilize to resolve our vision in the paper. We’ll take away new perceptions and forge new relationships with our own work. We’ll “get it on paper!”
Peter Sowiski was born in 1949 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He received a BA in 1971 in Studio Art from Oberlin College, and an MFA in 1974 in Printmaking from Ohio State University. He is primarily known as a pulp painter, with work in numerous collections in America. Over the last forty years he has shown in over two hundred exhibitions, held over eighty workshop, lecture and visiting artist posts locally to internationally. Peter is an Emeritus Professor of Fine Arts at SUNY Buffalo State, where he taught from 1974-2007, did stints as Chair of Fine Arts, of Design, and received the President’s Award for Excellence in Service. He investigated papermaking in Korea, China and Vietnam, and was President of The Friends of Dard Hunter, Inc. He has worked at Abaca Press as chief screen printer since its inception in 1994. Since retiring, he continues working for Abaca press, and messing up his studio in Buffalo.