Now celebrating its twenty-third year, Paper & Book Intensive is a working sabbatical for practitioners and motivated beginners in the book arts, papermaking, and conservation. Daily class sessions are combined with lectures, discussions, and shared meals, to promote unusual levels of exchange and inspiration. PBI 2006 is an opportunity to visit northern Indiana and the dunes of Lake Michigan with the possibility of enjoying the site of metropolis Chicago.

The program consists of two sessions. During the first four-day session participants will take two classes – one meeting in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The second session classes will meet all day for four days, making a total of three classes for the event. Specialized class supplies as well as appropriate equipment and working environments are provided as part of the program.

This year, PBI will be held at the La Lumiere School located in La Porte, Indiana. The school is conveniently located about an hour drive from Chicago, near the southern edge of Lake Michigan.

session one
session two
la porte

Session One

Making and Sharpening Knives
Jeffrey S. Peachey

This class is an intensive introduction to one of the most basic human tool making activities – crafting an edge tool and keeping it sharp. Participants will be provided with the materials, instruction and equipment to make several knives of their choosing, and to sharpen any type of edge tool they bring with them. The specific needs of bookbinders will be examined – paring knives, lifting knives, spokeshaves and board shear blades. A wide variety of sharpening systems will be available for experimentation. Examples of Jeff’s knives can be found on the Book Arts Web.

The Nag Hammadi Codices: Early Single Quire Bindings
Julia Miller

The purpose of the class is to learn about early single quire structures and touch on the use of such structures up to the present. The class will make a replica binding of one of the Nag Hammadi codices, a group of single quire bindings dating from the 3rd/4th century, using a variety of materials including paper, leather and papyrus. Time permitting, the class will make a second replica binding of a 16th century Spanish quire binding. Slides, models and handouts will supplement the lecture and benchwork.

Playing it by Ear: Intuitive Image Making in Artists’ Books
Laura Wait

How do you start making an artist’s book? In this session we will participate in the process of making an artist’s book with an intuitive approach, using multiple techniques to create a full-bodied colored image, with the possibility of incorporating words. Emphasizing the work of the hand and body rather than computer generated imagery, a series of low-tech printmaking processes such as stencils, pochoir, and collograph will be explored; handwriting and paste painting will also be examined as vehicles for personal expression. Covers will be printed and painted in order to include them as an integral part of the process, not as an afterthought. Page design, book structure, word development, and organizing concepts for imagery and text will also be considered in the creation of these fluid, intuitive books.

Western Style Papermaking: Artist and Technician
Tom Balbo

This workshop will explore the use of both basic and sophisticated tools used in simple sheet formation in the western tradition. We will use various fibers: cotton and linen rag, half stuff, cotton linter, abaca, and flax, to understand the effects of beating times in a Hollander beater, and the pressing of papers either by hand or under a hydraulic press. We will also explore a variety of drying techniques including surface or loft drying, and drying under pressure with forced air. Most importantly we will discuss the relationship between a well-made sheet and its application. From a book paper that folds, to a sheet that needs sizing, to a paper that is the artwork itself, from a simple screen mold to an elaborate laid mold, from a paper couched on felts to a sheet that is couched directly onto a table, from a poured sheet to a vat dipped one, many variations will be experienced. Participants will gain an appreciation for when and where specific types of equipment and techniques are best incorporated for a successful outcome. A playful mind and a little science can go a long way.

Japanese Woodblock Printmaking
Richard Flavin

Using the traditional tools and techniques to create contemporary examples of this ancient Japanese art form, participants will each create a color woodblock print in an edition. The number of participants will determine the edition number for exchange, and each member of the class will receive a treasured finished portfolio.

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Session Two

Back to Basics: Paper from Plants
Cecile Webster

In this class we will make paper from various readily available plants. It is meant to be an adventure in selecting and processing various plant fibers (bast, leaves, and grasses) to form sheets of handmade paper. The possibilities are endless! We will cook, rinse, beat, form, couch, press and dry sheets made from a number of different plants. The colors, textures and character of the papers will vary. Each participant will learn the techniques for transforming plants into paper and will take home a collection of sample sheets.

A Case for Multiples: Demystifying Production Bookbinding
Priscilla Spitler

Immerse yourself in a four-day intensive workshop harnessing the spirit of production binding, and overcome the dread of repetition through the use of jigs, set-ups, and teamwork. Beginning with a prototype binding, students will have an opportunity to see an actual book edition completed by participating in its development as a whole, operation by operation. Fast yet refined techniques for case binding, the champion of structures for edition work, will be taught from 1/4 cloth to full cloth covers, with both flat and rounded spines. Students will be encouraged to develop a prototype and plan for their own production projects.

Creative Play: Monoprint and Monotype for the Book
Cathy Hunt

While learning the techniques of monoprint and monotype, participants will create one-of-a-kind books. Utilizing primarily water-based media, including recently developed inks, participants will explore the myriad of possibilities that are available for contemporary books using both press and hand printing methods. Techniques taught will include the subtractive print, the traced print, painting and drawing for print, stencils, chine colle, and drypoint.

Medieval Illumination for Contemporary Artists: Reclaiming the Dynamic Legacy
Karen Gorst & Sybil Archibald

Join us as we explore the rich wellspring of medieval illumination techniques and processes. Students will learn all the steps in the process while completing at least one small illumination. The techniques covered will include five or more traditional gilding techniques, working with animal skin parchment, making pigments from raw materials (such as earth, malachite stones, insects, and plants), making paint with multiple binders (such as glaire, gum arabic, and egg tempera), and traditional painting techniques on paper and parchment. During the medieval period, each step in the illumination process was saturated with spiritual and alchemical meaning. Medieval artists, aware of this symbolism, had a profound connection to their materials and artistic processes. This workshop will give contemporary artists the opportunity to reestablish the connection, and redefine their relationship to their materials. This added depth of experience greatly enhances artists’ abilities to fulfill their visions.

Reconstructing a 9th Century Bookbinding: The Book of Armagh
Martha Little

Only the wooden boards remain as evidence of how this 9th century manuscript recounting the life of St. Patrick was bound. Working backward from the holes, tunnels and other clues, and reviewing the binding details of intact examples from the same period, we will create our own interpretive model. We will try our hands at such interesting historical techniques as the herringbone link stitch reinforced with thin double cords that represent the transition between unsupported and supported sewing. We will delve into triangular lacing channels, stitch endbands through round leather tabs, make braided leather strap fastenings with metal clasps, and cover with leather. Finally, we should be in a position to evaluate the mechanics created by the combination of elements used to construct this book. The original boards were found with a leather satchel of the type used in medieval Ireland to suspend manuscripts from pegs in walls. Instructions and a pattern for building this polaire will be provided, in case time permits any further experimentation.

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Cecile Webster is a retired medical research chemist, who discovered papermaking about ten years ago and became addicted to it. Her passion is making paper from plants. Cecile studied with Marilyn Sward, Andrea Peterson, Amanda Degener, Bridget O’Malley and others. She currently works in Conservation at the Ryerson and Burnham Libraries of the Art Institute of Chicago, and in the paper studio at Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts. She has taught plant fiber papermaking at Columbia College (Chicago), The Oak Park Conservatory (Oak Park IL), Forest Park Middle School (Forest Park IL) and the Paper Studio (Tempe AZ).

Jeffrey S. Peachey is a maker of custom bookbinding tools and the owner of a New York City-based studio for the conservation of books. For more than ten years, he has specialized in the conservation of books and paper artifacts for institutions and individuals. A consultant to major libraries and university collections in the New York City region and nationally, he has been the recipient of numerous grants to support his work. A well-known teacher, Peachey also provides conservation-focused guidance to students in art, archives, and book design programs.

Julia Miller is now a book conservator in private practice, after being a senior conservator at the University of Michigan Library for ten years. Her focus has shifted from bench conservation to making models of historical bindings and the description of historical binding structure and style. She curated ‘Suave Mechanicals: Early to Modern Binding Styles’ at the University of Michigan Special Collections Library in 2003.

Priscilla Spitler specializes in edition book and boxmaking. Originally a printmaker (BFA, California College of Arts & Crafts), Priscilla studied bookbinding at the London College of Printing. From 1982-1986 she was edition binder at the Palace Press, Museum of New Mexico; in 1987 she left to attend a master class in design binding with James Brockman (First Institute of Fine Binding & Conservation, Harry Ransom Center, University of Texas at Austin). From 1987 to 1995, she was in charge of production binding at BookLab, Inc. until she established her own Hands On Bookbinding studio, now located in Smithville, TX.

Laura Wait is a book artist known for her mysterious layers of textured color and rich image surfaces. She makes unique books and small editions using painting and printmaking techniques, especially monoprinting, collographs and woodcuts. Her 20 years of experience as a bookbinder and conservator in the English tradition is reflected in her finely crafted bookworks, including leather design bindings and medieval style modern wood bindings. She holds certificates Printmaking and Bookbinding from Croydon College of Art, England. Her books are in many private and public collections including the Library of Congress. Laura lives in Steamboat Springs, CO, and has taught workshops throughout the country.

Tom Balbo has a BA from Baldwin Wallace College and an MFA from Syracuse University; he was also a Fellow at Syracuse University. He is a full-time studio artist whose work is in many collections nationally and internationally. He has been making paper for thirty years and has a studio and gallery in Cleveland, OH. Some of Tom’s work can be seen on his website at Balbogalleries.com.

Cathy Hunt is an artist working primarily in print media and book arts. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the School of Art at the University of Houston where she manages the printmaking program and facilities and serves as the graduate advisor. She is a partner in Fiocat Press, which specializes in collaboration with authors to develop small editions of artist’s books.

Karen Gorst is a freelance calligrapher/manuscript illuminator, has exhibited nationally and internationally. She has conducted workshops at Penland School of Crafts, Center for Book Arts, NYC, The Cloisters, The Pierpont Morgan Library, The Huntington Library, CA and for numerous museums, schools and libraries. Ms. Gorst received a Certificate in Art from North Carolina School of the Arts, a BFA from Cooper Union and studied with Hermann Zapf, Sheila Waters, Jeanyee Wong and others. President of The Society of Scribes, NY, from 2001 to spring 2004; she was on the faculty of the School of Sacred Arts from 1983 to 1992. Ms. Gorst and Ms. Archibald are currently co-authoring Lapis & Gold: Unlocking the Secrets of Medieval Painters and Illuminators, a 21st century treatise that reclaims lost medieval art techniques for contemporary artists.

Sybil Archibald's innovative and spiritual work challenges the viewer out of complacency. Her dynamic art has been exhibited nationally and internationally and is in private collections throughout the United States and Europe. Ms. Archibald has brought her unique vision and technical expertise to workshops, lectures and demonstrations at museums, libraries and schools throughout the NY area, including the Cloisters, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the NY Public Library and the Museum of African Art, SOHO. Ms. Archibald's forthcoming book, written with Karen Gorst, Lapis & Gold: Unlocking the Secrets of Medieval Painters and Illuminators is a groundbreaking guide to the methods, techniques and spirituality of the medieval artist.

Martha Little is a book conservator and bookbinder in private practice. Her early training was with Jane Greenfield, who instilled in her a love of historical structures, and with Roger Powell, conservator of many early manuscript treasures of the British Isles, including the Book of Armagh. She has been conservator at Yale University and at the University of Michigan, but now is based in Petaluma, California, the former chicken capital of the world.

Richard Flavin, who has been a long time resident in Japan, first studied woodblock printmaking at the Tokyo University of Fine Arts. He is a frequent instructor of woodblock printmaking and Japanese decorated paper at PBI, and he exhibits his artworks and teaches throughout Japan as well.

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Tuition & Housing

Tuition for the PBI 2006 program, including room & board, workshops, class supplies and materials is $1,175. Detailed travel arrangements will be made after acceptance. Participants should plan to arrive before 5pm on the afternoon of Saturday, June 10th, and depart on the morning of Wednesday, June 21st. Housing will be in comfortable dormitory-style buildings.

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The Nell Meldahl Work-Study Scholarship

Nell Meldahl was an inspiring PBI instructor and conservator of Far-Eastern art who passed away far too early in her career. Her family and friends, friends of PBI, and the PBI auction have set up a scholarship fund in her honor to aid those who cannot afford PBI tuition. These awards are based on financial need and merit/motivation. This year we are able to award two Nell Meldahl half-tuition work-study scholarships. To apply for a work-study scholarship: In addition to the regular application materials please send a current resume, a paragraph of why you want to attend PBI, samples of your work (slides, prints, treatment reports-enclose a SASE if you want them returned), and explanation of financial need. Deadline for work/study application is Friday, March 3. Scholarship applicants will be notified after March 17th.

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It is assumed that applicants will have special interest and experience in book arts, bookbinding, conservation, papermaking or associated areas. However, PBI welcomes applications from all interested individuals of all levels of experience. Space is limited so early application is encouraged. Applications will be accepted through March 17th. Upon acceptance, a $587.50 deposit* is required to reserve your place, with the balance due at registration upon arrival at the site. A PBI Co-director will be happy to supply a letter of support to applicants seeking funding and/or time away from employers.

To apply for PBI please send the following information to Steve Miller via email or on a single 8.5" x11" sheet of paper:

We will not process applications that do not have prioritized class selections made. Every effort is made to give participants reservations in their preferred classes. Upon acceptance, you will be notified of class placements.

* Please note that after application, and upon acceptance, participants will send a deposit of $587.50 (half the tuition) no more than three weeks after the date of the acceptance letter. The deposit is non-refundable if a participant withdraws after April 15th.

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La Porte, Indiana


La Porte is in a convenient location: a half hour's drive to the east is South Bend and about an hour and a half to the west is Chicago and Lake Michigan.

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William Drendel is a Chicago designer and book artist. After attending the Art Institute of Chicago he began studying traditional bookbinding at the Newberry Library and subsequently with Scott Kellar. For five years he was director of the Columbia College Chicago's Center for Book and Paper Arts, where he now serves as the Gallery Coordinator. He has taught workshops around the country and in China. His work has been exhibited both nationally and internationally and is in collections both here and abroad.

Maria Fredericks is Drue Heinz Book Conservator in the Thaw Conservation Center of the Morgan Library, New York, NY. From 1998-2005 she was Head Conservator at Columbia University Libraries. She has been a professional rare book and library conservator since 1986, and has also worked at the Library of Congress, the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, the Winterthur Library and the Huntington Library. She is an active teacher of bookbinding and book conservation, and has been involved with PBI since 1983 when she attended as a participant for the first time.

Cathy Hunt is Clinical Assistant Professor of Printmaking and Graduate Advisor at the University of Houston. She teaches classes and workshops on all aspects of printmaking as well as the book arts, with an emphasis on artists books. She has collaborated with artists and authors on artists books and chapbooks – most recently for a chapbook of The Whore’s Child by Richard Russo. She serves on the Board of Governors of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Steve Miller is an Associate Professor at The University of Alabama, where he is Coordinator of the MFA in the Book Arts Program and teaches letterpress printing and hand papermaking. He is Chair of the Advisory Board of the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking in Atlanta. He is currently printing a book of poems by Billy Collins, Diseno/Design, illustrated by Cuban artist Carlos Ayress Moreno.

Pamela Spitzmueller is the Chief Conservator for Special Collections in the Harvard University College Libraries where she directs the Special Collections Conservation Lab in the Weissman Preservation Center. Pam previously has worked in Rare Book Conservation at the University of Iowa Libraries, the Library of Congress, and the Newberry Library in Chicago. Her special interests are book structures and book sewing in particular. She makes one of a kind books, has exhibited widely, and sometimes finds time to teach workshops.

Eileen Wallace is the proprietor of Mile Wide Press and specializes in limited edition and commission bookbinding and box making. She teaches a course in artist's books at Columbus College of Art & Design in Columbus, OH, and has also taught at The University of Georgia's Studies Abroad Program in Cortona, Italy, Washington University in St. Louis, MO, and Penland School of Crafts in Penland, NC. She currently lives in Chillicothe, OH and works at the home and studio of Dard Hunter, renowned papermaking scholar and proprietor of Mountain House Press. She holds a MFA in Book Arts and a MLS, both from The University of Alabama.

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Contact Information

Please send all regular & scholarship application materials to:

Steve Miller, PBI Co-director,

The University of Alabama/School of Library & Information Studies
Box 870252
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0252

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