PBI 2009


Now celebrating its twenty-sixth 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 2009 is an opportunity to visit Western Michigan and the dunes of Lake Michigan.

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 Ox-Bow located here outside Saugatuck, Michigan, near the shores of Lake Michigan.

Session One

William Drendel
This is a Book (but maybe not a Codex)

Webster’s dictionary defines a book as “a set of written, printed, or blank pages fastened along one side and encased between protective covers”. Students will be asked to suspend belief in Mr. Webster's definition as the only valid one. After reviewing some traditional forms, we will delve into unknown territories with other possibilities. By reworking these formats and perhaps combining them, we will make new and sometimes startling discoveries. Nothing will be sacred, and one will be limited only by one's own imagination. Come break the rules!

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. He has recently served as director of the Columbia College Chicago's Center for Book and Paper Arts, and more recently as its 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.

Gabrielle Fox
Binding Dimensions: Shape, Size & Structure

Square books are appealing because they don’t automatically say what they are by their shape. They invite us to look, open and explore. Is it a novel or a how to? Tradition and industry have given us so many standards that are either slapped onto a text or just aren’t pleasing to use. Why aren’t all cookbooks published in landscape format, which would make them much easier to use in the kitchen? If a book is twice the size does it need to be made twice as strong? When is a flexible cover more useful and resilient than a hard cover? We will explore what works and why, and make bindings that you find add to the content and use of the book rather than simply cover or offer protection. Bring your ideas and questions, and together we will make books with bindings that are truly part of the book. Supplies and materials will be provided, but please bring any materials, texts and examples that will add to the class.

Gabrielle Fox is a bookbinder in private practice in Cincinnati. She received her BA in English Literature & Writing from the University of Cincinnati before traveling to the UK where she received her Diploma in Fine Binding and Conservation at Guildford College of Technology. She binds and conserves old and new books of all sizes and often travels to teach bookbinding or care for private and institutional collections. Her work is in many public and private collections and many of them are miniature books. Gabrielle is the author of The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books.

Jerry Marciniak
Origami Intersection(s)

Be prepared to challenge cognitive abilities, fingers, and patience as we journey through centuries of paper folding forms from the ancient to the modern. Participants will be led on a journey of folding sequences to develop the spatial skills needed to take on a number of independent study challenges offered throughout the week. The Yin's and Yang's of the shifting concerns inherent in changing scale, the density of paper and other materials will be addressed throughout the week. Any paper can be fair game for folding so consider bringing along old books, prints/drawings and anything your imagination conjures up.

Jerry Marciniak began folding paper at the hands of a six-year-old in a Chicago Public School, later graduating to study with Chris K. Palmer, an internationally renowned master of Geometric paper folding. Jerry states that "Origami really helped me on my journey as an Abstract painter and improvisational finger style Guitarist." Jerry is currently developing integrated curricula incorporating paper folding into early childhood education, following the vision of pioneering preschool educator Friedrich Froebel, who developed the idea of kindergarten as learning through creative play.

Barbara Mauriello
The Puzzle Box

Remember those puzzle blocks you had as a kid which, when tumbled around, told different stories on their surfaces? You will be making a set of your own story blocks: small paper cubes painted, printed, stamped, collaged, calligraphed, stitched -- the image-making is up to you -- to record a personal narrative. We’ll build a sturdy box to hold the cubes in place (when they are not being played with!) Everyone’s boxes will share the same dimensions but the contents will be unpredictable and idiosyncratic. A lesson on pochoir, a technique of painting through stencils, will inaugurate our studio days and present one option for painting the blocks. Please think about this project and gather your materials and inspirational sources; too many ideas are better than none.

Barbara Mauriello is a bookbinder and artist who lives in Hoboken, NJ. She is on the faculty of the International Center of Photography and The Center For Book Arts, and also teaches at the Penland School of Crafts, Haystack Mountain School of Crafts, the School of Visual Arts, and other arts centers around the country. In 2000 Barbara published a book, Making Memory Boxes, (Rockport Publishers).

Beck Whitehead
Painting Books

Discover image and design techniques used to create handmade paper for bookbinding, printmaking, or as an end in itself. Surface, shape, color and texture can be used to expand the possibilities of any art technique that uses paper as a base. Participants will be challenged to create a set of papers for a simple fold book. Demonstrations and discussion will include fiber selection and preparation, pigmenting pulp, sheet-forming options, making and using stencils to create images with pulp, and creating decorative patterns. This process can be used to create multiple sheets for an edition or one-of-a-kind images. Beautiful sheets will evolve as you explore hand papermaking.

Beck Whitehead is a graduate of Trinity University and The University of Texas at San Antonio, where she received her MFA in 1980. She has taught papermaking since 1988 including workshops at Arrowmont, Pyramid Atlantic and Haystack. Her work has been exhibited around the country including Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts and the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking. She is the Chair of Paper & Book Arts at the Southwest School of Art & Craft in San Antonio, Texas and is on the board of Hand Papermaking magazine.

Session 2

Paul Denhoed
Variations in Japanese Papermaking Traditions, Tools, and Techniques

Participants will investigate the myriad possible variations in making simple, non-decorated kozo papers, in the Japanese manner. At each step of the process, there are choices to make; we will look at how these choices affect the quality of the finished papers. Through shared exploration in materials chosen, processes undertaken, and tools employed, we will wind up with an annotated portfolio of many varieties of kozo papers for later reference. Basic nagashizuki sheet-forming experience will definitely be helpful, but is not required.

Paul Denhoed has been residing in Japan for the last seven years, researching Japanese hand papermaking, and studying with Richard Flavin, Shinichirou Abe, and Hiroaki Imai. Since April of 2008, he has been working full-time at Oguni Washi Papermaking Studio. In June 2008, he and his wife accompanied (as guides/translators) three papermakers from Japan to Toronto for the World Washi Summit, where he also lectured. He earned his MFA in Design from the University of Iowa, and Graduate Certificate from the University of Iowa Center for the Book.

Gary Frost
Structure and Action in Codex Binding

As books move us, we move books. Book structure and action responds to manipulation providing quick navigation, easy scanning, and a kinetic invitation to content. We will investigate this performance of the codex binding through study of historical prototypes; three bookbinding structures will be made during the class. Participants will resolve design problems for artistic innovation and book conservation practice.

Gary Frost is a book conservator and book arts instructor. He has taught at library schools at Columbia University, the University of Texas and the University of Iowa. He is an advocate for the continuing and future role of print books in the context of their screen delivery.

Audrey Niffenegger
A Writing Class (For Artists)

Words and images each have their own properties and powers. As book artists, we often need to use them together. So we encounter new problems but we also have many amusing new combinations and meanings to play with. This class is for both experienced and novice writers who would like to improve their writing and understand how to use it effectively in their book work. Using timed exercises, discussion, reading out loud, and critique, the class will focus on overcoming blocks, generating ideas, form and execution, and editing. We will also discuss various methods of publishing.

Audrey Niffenegger is a visual artist and writer who lives and works in Chicago. She received her BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA from Northwestern University. She is one of the founders of the Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper Arts, and teaches in the Center's MFA program in Interdisciplinary Book Arts. Ms Niffenegger's work is in the collections of the Library of Congress, the Art Institute of Chicago, the National Museum of Women in the Arts and the Newberry Library. She is also the author of The Time Traveler's Wife, a novel which has been translated into more than thirty languages; a movie based on the novel will be released in 2009 by Warner. Her visual novels, The Three Incestuous Sisters and The Adventuress have been published by Harry N. Abrams. She has just completed a graphic novel, The Night Bookmobile, which was serialized in the London Guardian. Her second novel, Her Fearful Symmetry, is a ghost story set in London's famous Highgate Cemetery. It will be published in October 2009.

James Reid-Cunningham
Pierced Vellum Bindings

Vellum stiffboard bindings were common from the 16th to the 19th centuries throughout Europe and often functioned as an alternative to more expensive leather bindings. This course will explore a hybrid modern structure utilizing historical elements found in early versions of the vellum stiffboard binding, but with flexible joints that create less stress on the text-block. This binding is sturdy and elegant, takes gold tooling well and is suitable for conservation re-bindings as well as for presentation and design bindings. Using this structure, students will create modern versions of the 17th century pierced vellum binding, with the design created by utilizing a punctured vellum cover revealing decoration on the boards beneath. This course will cover: lap link sewing on vellum tapes; back bead endbands sewn on twisted vellum cores; fabricating boards using a “floating board” structure; decorating the boards; constructing a stiffboard case; covering in vellum; creating a pierced vellum design; lacing on the case using vellum tapes and endband cores; tipped on pastedowns.

James Reid-Cunningham studied bookbinding at the North Bennet Street School in Boston, and is the President of the Guild of Book Workers. Formerly the Conservator of the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University, he is currently the Chief Conservator of the Boston Athenaeum. In 2006, he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the North Bennet Street School. He is the creator of design bindings and book objects that explore traditional bookbinding structures in conjunction with modern materials such as rubber, vinyl, and Formica. He exhibits his books nationally and internationally. His work and examples of pierced vellum bindings can be seen at www.reid-cunningham.com.

Shawn Sheehy
The Language of Pop-Ups

As the course title suggests, this workshop will explore techniques for building noun-like pop-ups (formal structures) and verb-like pop-ups (movement and/or animation for those forms). In the first half of the workshop, participants will begin by learning basic techniques and quickly move on to building a variety of versatile forms and lifts. Eventually, participants will produce a bound collection of 15-20 samples that can be used for further study and practice. In the second half, the workshop will provide opportunities for participants to explore their own pop-up ideas and ultimately develop and edition a simple collaborative pop-up book. Throughout the workshop, secrets of professional pop-up engineers will be revealed through examination of commercial books. Beginners are welcome.

Shawn Sheehy makes pop-up books. He is currently editioning his third deluxe limited-edition project, for which he serves as paper engineer, writer, binder, papermaker, printer and designer. He anticipates the 2009 trade publication of his limited-edition pop-up Welcome to the NeighborWood. He teaches community workshops locally at the Center for Book & Paper Arts in Chicago and has taught at the national level for such organizations as The Center for Book Arts in New York and BookWorks in Asheville. Periodically he teaches book arts courses on the graduate and undergraduate levels. He earned an MFA in Book & Paper Arts at Columbia College. He is a co-founder of Vespine Gallery in Chicago.

Tuition & Housing

Tuition for the PBI 2009 program, including room & board, workshops, class supplies and materials is $1,225. Detailed travel arrangements will be made after acceptance. Participants should plan to arrive before 5pm on the afternoon of Sunday, May 17th, and depart on the morning of Thursday, May 28th. Visit the Ox-Bow website for travel directions.

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. The deadline for work/study application is March 1st. Scholarship applicants will be notified after March 15th.

To Apply for PBI

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 to 65 participants so timely application is encouraged. Applications will be accepted through March 15th. Upon receiving an acceptance letter, a $612.50 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:

• Your name, address, all telephone numbers, and e-mail address.
• A brief description of your background and areas of expertise/interest.
• Your reasons for wanting to attend PBI 2009.
• When did you last attend PBI?
• A list, by instructor name, of your first through last choices of ALL workshops for each session, in priority order 1-5. Applications without this will not be considered.

PBI acceptance letters will be sent beginning February 15, 2009.

NOTE: 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 $612.50 (half the tuition) no later than two weeks after receipt of the acceptance letter. The deposit is non-refundable if a participant withdraws after April 15th.


William Drendel is a Chicago book artist and designer who began his art studies at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work, while based on traditional forms and techniques, tends to be very nontraditional. He has served as the Director and the Gallery Co-Ordinator of the Columbia College Chicago's Center for Book & Paper Arts. He has also taught workshops throughout the country and he frequently spends time as a guest teacher of book arts at the Academy of Arts and Design at Tsinghua University in Beijing. His work is in many important American and international collections.

Anna Embree is an Assistant Professor for the MFA in the Book Arts Program in the School of Library and Information Studies at The University of Alabama. She teaches courses and workshops in bookbinding, box making, and special topics in book preservation and book history. Anna has a strong interest in the physical and material aspects of book structures. She has collaborated with printers and papermakers on limited edition handmade books, and has exhibited widely. Anna is currently involved in international preservation initiatives in Havana, Cuba and Arequipa, Peru.

Maria Fredericks is Drue Heinz Book Conservator in the Thaw Conservation Center, Morgan Library & Museum, New York; from 1998-2005 she was Head Conservator at Columbia University Libraries. She has also worked in book conservation at the Library of Congress, the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, the Winterthur Library and the Huntington Library. She has taught workshops on binding structures for the Guild of Book Workers, the Montefiascone Project and PBI. Her current work is focused on the conservation problems of medieval manuscripts and their bindings.

Cathy Hunt is Instructional Assistant Professor of Art and Graduate Advisor at the University of Houston where she coordinates the printmaking program. 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 an excerpt from The Hakawati by Rabih Alameddine. She serves on the Board of Governors of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Steve Miller is Professor and Coordinator of the MFA in the Book Arts Program at The University of Alabama where he teaches letterpress printing and hand papermaking. He is chair of the Advisory Board of the Robert C. Williams American Museum of Papermaking in Atlanta. His book work is currently traveling with Tradition/Innovation: American Masterpieces of Southern Craft & Traditional Art, supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts. Steve is currently working with Cuban print- and papermakers on ongoing collaborative book projects.

Pamela Spitzmueller is the Chief Conservator for Special Collections in the Harvard University and College Libraries where she directs the Special Collections Conservation Lab in the Weissman Preservation Center. Pam has previously 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.

PBI Site Hosts for 2009

Barbara Korbel Barbara Korbel recently left the Art Institute of Chicago where she worked for 25 years, to accept the position of Collections Conservator at the Newberry Library. She holds a M.A in Art from Northern Illinois University, has taught at various venues including Columbia College, Penland School of Craft, and PBI, and enjoys working on historical models as a way of understanding the history of the book.

Giselle Simon received a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute in 1990 with a concentration in printmaking. After working as a lithography technician and mending books in the Linda Hall Library and Spencer Art Library in Kansas City, she started at the Northwestern University Library in 1992 as Conservation Technician. In 2001 she became Collections Conservator at the Newberry Library in Chicago and is currently the Director of Conservation Services there. She has taught bookbinding and conservation classes at Columbia College Chicago Center for the Book and Paper Arts.

Contact Information

Please send all regular & scholarship application materials to:

Steve Miller, PBI Co-director
MFA in the Book Arts Program
School of Library & Information Studies
The University of Alabama/Box 870252
Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0252

See you in Michigan! Horsey