classes 2020

Click on the title to learn more!


Brien Beidler | Making Finishing Tools: an Economical Approach
Students in this workshop will learn the basics of making finishing tools. For centuries, the primary way to finish or decorate a covered binding was to build up patterns and designs with an assortment of small decorative stamps set in wooden handles. Though primarily used on leather bindings, these tools can be used on cloth, paper, and even wood.

Beginning with brass stock, students will cut, drill, and file seemingly basic designs that can then be used to create a surprising range of patterns. They will learn to durably mount their newly cut tools into wooden handles. Thermodynamic considerations and tool blank fabrication options will also be discussed.

Finishing tools are expensive and difficult to find, so being able to make one’s own is an asset to any binder. In addition to potential savings, there is the added advantage of having a unique and personal catalog of tools. We will focus on developing tool designs that can be repeated in interesting ways to build up a variety of patterns.

Be prepared for a lot of hand filing of metal.

Brien Beidler is a bookbinder and toolmaker. From the beginning, Brien has been inspired by the structure and design of historic bindings and in his work, he seeks ways to create new compositions and syntheses from these historic precedents. He also cuts, carves, and engraves an assortment of finishing and other specialized hand tools for bookbinding and its related trades.

Over the last 10 years Brien has taken and taught a variety of bookbinding and toolmaking workshops and is an active member of the Guild of Book Workers. In the fall of 2016, he and his wife upped their roots in Charleston, South Carolina and set up shop in Bloomington, Indiana, where Brien works from his home studio with Wren, his curmudgeonly pup dog.

Drew Cameron | Pulp Printing in Handmade Paper
Pulp printing, a versatile and approachable image making process, uses finely-beaten, pigmented pulp to render imagery that appears to be embedded while also diffuse. This workshop covers techniques and production methods for this contemporary application in handpapermaking, including basic sheet forming, how to select and mix pigments, prepare fibers, prepare stencil screens, and produce multiple layered, colorful prints. Participants will have the opportunity to submit an image in advance to use during the workshop which will be used throughout the session.

Drew Cameron is an artist, hand papermaker, trained forester, and former Army soldier. He is a founding member of Combat Paper and has been facilitating workshops in which military uniforms are made into handmade paper, prints and books for more than a decade. The workshop has inspired the building of new paper studios and programming which includes the transformative and creative collaboration inherent in the papermaking process. Cameron’s studio work and printed editions are in numerous public collections and have been exhibited across the US and internationally.

Chika Ito | Edible Ink Making for Book Artists and Printmakers
Using edible ingredients (from coffee to dandelion roots to turmeric), participants will first learn basic ink making recipes and then explore the various possibilities for using both dry and wet ingredients. We will draw, paint, print, and make marks on paper, textiles and leather with the inks we create. There will be a lot of cooking! Each session, you will smell and taste (if you want) freshly made ink, and each of us will leave with a sample book full of edible colors at the end of this playful & experimental workshop.

Chika will bring materials from Japan and The Netherlands, and participants are also encouraged to bring colorful edibles from home to try out. While the focus will be on creating and trying out our inks, Chika will bring many printed examples to class and share ink recipes specific to particular printmaking techniques (silkscreen, etching, woodcut, monotype, etc.).

Chika Ito was born in Niigata, Japan in 1976. Her father was a Kimono dyer and she grew up with colorful textiles. Her passion though, was always for paper and books, and she decided to leave her family when she finished high school. She attended Southern Illinois University at Carbondale and received her BFA in Printmaking in 2000. After graduation, she moved to NYC and worked at Robert Blackburn’s Printmaking Shop, Lower Eastside Printshop, and the Center for Book Arts where she met many printmakers, bookbinders and book conservators. In 2005 she moved to the Netherlands and has run Atelier Chika Ito since 2009. She has experimented with non-toxic printmaking/drawing ink since 1999, and given many workshops at international Printmaking conferences and other institutions. She also does freelance conservation work on Japanese papers in museums and archives conservation laboratories.

Hedi Kyle & Ulla Warchol | The Art of the Fold and New Departures
This course is taught by mother and daughter, Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol, co-authors of The Art of the Fold, Laurence King Publishing, 2018—a step-by-step guide to making a broad selection of Hedi’s original book structures.

In the course of writing our book—and after hundreds of hours of folding, trying to capture the sequences with diagrams and text—it became obvious to us how networks of folds relate to each other and how they can be extended and modified, leading to a range of different outcomes. In this workshop we will explore the folding patterns chosen for the book as well as new discoveries / departures that capture ideas that came to us after we had made our selection of objects and structures shared in the book.

The interaction of mountain and valley folds is essential to the transformation of the flat surface into a three-dimensional structure as they allow the folded object to be manipulated in various ways, including in its collapsed state. Once our sculptural forms emerge, we will experiment with surface treatments applied to areas that reveal themselves. Through painting, writing, stenciling, drawing, collage, etc. we will add content, turning each folded object into a unique piece.

This course will also explore the limits and possibilities of the fold when using different papers, a broad selection of which will be provided. In addition to an array of finished pieces, participants will create a sample kit of foundational fold combinations for future reference.

Hedi Kyle is a pioneer in the field of book arts. As head conservator at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, and as an adjunct professor in the Graduate Program for Book Arts and Printmaking at the University of the Arts, she has trained and mentored a generation of conservators and book artists. Her one-of-a-kind book constructions such as the Flag Book, the Blizzard Structure, and the Fishbone Fold are widely known. Hedi is an honorary member of the Guild of Book Workers and a co-founder, with Gary Frost and Tim Barrett, of the Paper & Book Intensive (PBI). She is the recipient of the 2016 Distinguished Career Award from the College Book Art Association (CBAA).

Today Hedi lives with her husband in the mountains of the Catskills, in upstate New York, where she continues to explore and experiment with the hidden potential of form and materials.

Ulla Warchol trained as an architect at the Cooper Union in the 1980’s, and while working in the field, developed a multidisciplinary approach to structure. Her work is characterized by an open-ended exploration of materials and techniques in both large-scale works—interiors, buildings, and set design—and small-scale works—books, fabrication, and collaborations with artists. Ulla was the cofounder with Claire Weisz of Weisz + Warchol, an architectural firm located in New York City. She has been a guest lecturer at Pratt Institute, the Parsons School of Design, the City College of New York, and the University of California, Davis. Ulla currently resides in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, where she splits her time between her paper studio, her woodshop, and her garden.

Julie Smith | Think Inside the Box (and about how you will get in there)
Often in critiques or reviews of student work I’ll see a beautiful piece that does not lend itself to being shelved and immediately think “How does it want to live in the world?” And, almost always, my next thought is “You could make a really nice box for that.”

Using housing to control how a viewer comes to a piece of work or a collection of objects can be a powerful tool for setting a mood, adjusting the pace and sequence in which one encounters the work, and generally providing direction on how to approach a piece. Choosing the right box structure and closure can be a challenge, an opportunity with so much potential. The best boxes bring a kind of joy all on their own.

We’ll cover basic box construction and covering techniques and then focus on closures—from buttons, snaps, and straps to magnets and sliding doors. We’ll talk about unconventional openings and experiment with materials and coverings that will expand your options when designing enclosures for particular purposes.

Julie Smith is a bookbinder and box maker based in Iowa City. She has been teaching as adjunct faculty at the University of Iowa Center for the Book for the past 14 years and takes on occasional edition work. She is currently a conservation assistant at the University Library, overseeing the repair of circulating materials for the main library and seven branch libraries. She got her start in book work at the Newberry Library, first working in Special Collections and then the Conservation Lab. A community book art class at Columbia College inspired a move to Iowa City for the Center for the Book and she couldn’t bear to leave. When work is busy and she needs a break, she treats herself and makes boxes for the library’s miniature book collection or Dada archives. Or scarves and passports for stuffed animals. There is nothing she loves more than a well-designed and executed box. Or dogs. Or night swimming. Except maybe PBI.


Jeff Altepeter | Trad/Rad Calf
This class has an additional $40 studio fee. The decoration of calfskin will be the focus of this workshop. Participants may attempt to replicate a binding in a Trad style and/or simply take inspiration from the historic recipes and techniques to develop their own Rad creations.

Working on a series of plaquettes students will experiment and practice using organic dyes and chemical reactions based on 18th and 19th century recipes. Sprinkled, speckled, marbled, mottled… undyed calf will be transformed. We will use stencils to create classic panel designs such as “Cambridge Calf” or for more adventurous motifs. A focus on the use of salts of tartar, copperas and dilute acids will provide an opportunity to discuss the controversial nature of some of these techniques. Are they appropriate for period style rebinding? Why do they sometimes degrade badly while there are also many bindings still in good condition?

The foundation for our finished model will be an 18th century-style calfskin binding. Leather paring and covering, edge coloring, and blind tooling will be some of the additional aspects of this workshop. Options will vary to allow for all skill levels to participate.

Jeffrey Altepeter has been the Bookbinding Department Head at North Bennet Street School since 2007. He is an alumnus of NBSS as well as the American Academy of Bookbinding. As a full time bookbinding instructor he makes and use models of historic book structures—most often to understand the history of the craft; to gain an understanding of the functional differences between various structures: and to learn how to use the tools and materials. Recently he has worked on multiple projects that require replicas of historic bindings where the aesthetics have been a focal point. The use of traditional recipes and techniques provide the most authentic look. Jeff makes specialty bindings and boxes for a wide range of institutional and individual clients.

Colette Fu | (Introduction to) Pop-up Book Structures
Movable books were originally created to illustrate ideas about astronomy, fortune telling, navigation, anatomy of the body, and other scientific principles. Most commercial pop-up book publications today are geared towards children, but pop-up book structures can be used to make engaging works of art—from cards to animations to kinetic sculptures. Complex and engaging pop-up structures are created from a combination of basic mechanisms enhanced by play and imagination.

In this workshop, participants will learn the basic elements of pop-up paper engineering; then move onto more complex mechanisms including multi-level platforms and pull-tabs. We focus more on process than product, working with the technical aspects of paper engineering from scratch. Participants will learn how to effectively incorporate their own art into their structures to create unique pop-up books, cards, and works of art. We will also briefly discuss how a commercial pop-up book is manufactured and view examples of how pop-up is used in other formats.

Do not worry if math or measuring is not your thing; I teach ways to get around that. Experimentation, patience and practice is the key!

Colette Fu received her MFA in Fine Art Photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2003, and soon after began devising complex compositions that incorporate photography and pop-up paper engineering. She has designed for award-winning stop motion animation commercials and free-lanced for clients including Greenpeace, Vogue China, Canon Asia, and the Disaster Research Center. Fu’s numerous awards include the 2018 Meggendorfer Prize for best paper engineered artist book, a 2008 Fulbright Research Fellowship to China, and grants from the Independence Foundation, Leeway Foundation, En Foco, and the Puffin Foundation. Her pop-up books are included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Library of Congress, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and many private and rare archive collections. Her solo show “Wanderer/Wonderer: The Pop-ups of Colette Fu” was presented at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in 2016/17. In 2017, Colette created the world’s largest pop-up book at the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center measuring 14×21 feet. Visitors were invited to enter the book.

Tatiana Ginsberg | In, On, Of, Through: Layering Papermaking Techniques and Traditions
East Asian and Western papermaking traditions are generally approached separately, but interesting things begin to happen when you layer different fibers and sheet forming methods. We will explore the specific qualities of a range of fibers and how they interact and work in conjunction with image making techniques such as embedding, blow outs, stenciling, watermarks, and other processes. With this expanded vocabulary of papermaking possibilities, participants can create unique or edition-able finished works, as well as sheets that might later be drawn or printed on, used as endsheets or as cover papers. Some background in papermaking is helpful but not necessary.

Tatiana Ginsberg studied papermaking and book arts at the University of Iowa Center for the Book and received her MFA from UC Santa Barbara. In between she spent two years in Japan researching naturally dyed papers under a Fulbright grant. As Co-Director of Artistic Projects and Master Collaborator at Dieu Donné Paper Mill in New York City she works with other artists to make new work in handmade paper. She also edits the series Papermaker’s Tears: Essays on the Art and Craft of Paper for The Legacy Press. Her own work combines traditional and contemporary methods of papermaking.

Clay Harmon | Creative Printmaking Approaches Using Polymer Plates
This is an additional $40 studio fee for this course. In the four days of this course, participants will learn how to use commercial steel-backed polymer plates for use in relief and intaglio printing; working with continuous tone images and making photo-gravure prints from these plates. Polymer plates are a useful addition to the toolbox of book artists due to their durability, ease of use and low-environmental-impact processing needs. This course will cover everything from the composition of the plates to the appropriate exposure, processing and printing. Students will learn the wonder of making your own perfect relief negatives using the QuadTone RIP driver, scanning techniques and tips, making plates from digital photos and scanned artwork, and how to best expose and process polymer plates. Finally, we will touch on techniques such as chine-colle, a la poupee, and printing on non-standard substrates.
Clay Harmon is a print artist living in Asheville, North Carolina. A geophysicist by training and vocation, he has been making photographic art since the seventies. He became interested in 19th century printing processes in the nineties and has mastered platinum/palladium printing, gum bichromate and polymer photogravure.

His affinity for geometry expresses itself in his artistic interest in a photographic exploration of urban architecture. He has always been fascinated by things that hide in plain sight. The accidental and unintentional combination of architectural geometry and light found in mundane locations such as urban parking garages has been a fertile and unexpected muse for the last fifteen years.

In 2018, Clay wrote the book Polymer Photogravure A Step-by-Step Manual Highlighting Artists and Their Creative Practice which was published under the Focal Press imprint of Routledge Publishing. The book is a comprehensive guide to using polymer plates to create continuous-tone photogravure prints.

Barb Korbel | In Need of Closure
This class has an additional $40 studio fee. From the advent of bookbinding, there has been the need to keep the pages of the book protected within its covers by using some sort of fastener or enclosure, especially with pages made from materials that shrink and expand due to environmental factors. Fasteners were made in a variety of forms: ties, toggles, buttons, clasps, loops, and braids—some plain, some decorative, all functionally intended to keep the book closed.

In this workshop, students will look at images of fasteners from the Newberry Library’s collections to put them into historical context. Books examined range in date from the early 1100s through the 1700s and were published primarily in Europe with a few examples from the Americas also included. Participants will then construct two models – one with a limp paper cover and one with wooden boards – on which they will construct and attach a number of closures appropriate to the different book structures. We will work with materials from the period highlighted: paper, parchment, leather and wood. If time permits, students may also make a set of closures that include examples found in the University of Michigan Library.

Barbara Korbel is retired from a 25-year career as a Head of Book Conservation at the Art Institute of Chicago and, mostly recently, 9 years as Collections & Exhibitions Conservator at the Newberry Library.

She received her BA from Dominican University and MA from Northern Illinois University and has taught classes and workshops at a variety of venues including Columbia College, Haystack School of Craft, Hollander’s School of Bookbinding, Paper & Book Intensive, Penland School of Craft, and the Newberry Library. Her fine bindings have been exhibited internationally and can be found in several private and university collections across the country.

Throughout her career, Korbel maintained a studio practice that is now the focus of her day. Her time is divided between an exploration of the history of bookbinding – making historical models to help others understand their structures – and weaving, which is her contribution to a recently established collaborative business venture.