Saturday, May 26, 2007

CBAS: An Afternoon of Papermaking

An "arty" collage of several photographs of most of the people who attended this get together at CBAS member Margaret Rhein's papermaking studio, Terrapin Mill. Several people from the Indiana Book Group made the 100-mile trip to spend the afternoon with us in what was described by one attendee as "paradise," referring to our hostess's beautiful garden and koi pond, a tiny bit of which is visible in the background of this photograph.

Before getting down to the fun of papermaking, we had two important pieces of business, getting to know each other and lunch! We gathered on the deck and those who brought book-related materials, and books they had created, shared them with the group.

The potluck lunch was fabulous!

Margaret, beginning her demonstration, the skylight above shining a spotlight on her presentation. We will be using mini papermaking frames, not the larger one she is holding.

Top left: Couching the very wet pulp onto a felt. A mini frame can be seen in the shadowy foreground.
Top right: Showing how to create an embossed effect.
Bottom left: Bottles of colored pulp.
Bottom right: Drawers of hand-dried plant material, most from Margaret's garden, which she uses in her paper and which she generously shared with us.

Everyone is really concentrating on creating their own unique mini works of art.

The final step, stacking all our felts and pressing out excess water.
Top left: Stacking felts.
Top right: Board placed on top of stacks and waiting to be pushed into the hydraulic press.
Bottom left: Pumping the press. Note the water flowing out.
Bottom right: Removing damp paper and placing on blue paper towels for transportation home and drying.

VoilĂ , paper!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Folk Typography

Flickr is a wonderful photo sharing website. Many of the photos are organized into groups or pools. This one, Folk Typography was created to gather together photographs of surprising, original letter forms created unselfconsciously by people who are not designers, typographers, calligraphers, or graffiti artists-- in other words, people outside of all traditional schools of typographic influence.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

CBAS Study Group: Alice Balterman's Altered Books

Everyone loves to visit artist studios and Alice Balterman's studio, the site of the CBAS study group's May meeting, was no exception. The well-know Cincinnati collage and altered book artist shared examples of her work and suggested some techniques we might use if we wanted to try altering a book. Alice said she saves everything, pictures, postcards, paper, letters, stamps etc. How she keeps track of it all is a mystery but she always finds just what she needs when she needs it.

Two other group members, Ruth and Nikki, shared examples of their work and explained their altered book processes. Nikki is still working on her first book, a fairly large one and suggested that first timers start with a small book. She also suggested sewing or gluing pages together to reduce the number of pages that need altering. Ruth found a Japanese book on dogs and some band-aids in different shapes and colors (some printed with doggie images) in a dollar store. Inspired, she cut and arranged the band-aids into dog shapes and was on her way to creating her humorous altered dog book.

Our three talented book artists, Ruth, Alice and Nikki.

A table with some of the many books Alice has altered. The open book is Ruth's. She has a wonderful sense of humor.

Alice's work area and some of her tools and supplies. She works on one project at a time, finishing one before starting another. Wish I could do that.

Here, we looked through a selection of books from her library and wrote down titles of books we would like to add to our libraries.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Exhibit: Hand Bookbindings, Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious

The craft and art of binding books by hand was vividly chronicled in an exhibition at Princeton University’s Firestone Library. Entitled Hand Bookbindings: Plain and Simple to Grand and Glorious, the exhibition ran from November 10, 2002 through April 20, 2003 in the Library’s main gallery. While conventional wisdom holds that books cannot be judged by their covers, visitors had a chance to do just that from the most humble of volumes to the most luxurious; from the monastic manuscripts of the twelfth century to the special editions of the twentieth.

Now that the exhibition has run its course, it has been turned into an online display of over two hundred beautifully photographed bindings, divided thematically into twenty-six categories. All the photographs can be enlarged and for even closer inspection, there is a magnifier (the square in the lower right hand corner of each book). Simply click and move it over the area you want to view.

The twenty-six categories:
Introduction - The Early Codex and Coptic Sewing - Early European Sewing and Board Attachment - Later Sewing And Boards Labor-Saving Methods And Materials - Endleaves - Endbands - Edge Decoration - Clasps, Furniture, and Other Closures - Blind Tooling - Panels And Rolls - Gold Tooling - Binding Waste - Aldines - Italian Bindings - German Bindings - French Bindings - British Bindings - Temporary Bindings - Onlays - Bindings For Collectors - Binders' Marks - Modern Conservation Binding - Large And Small, Fixed And Portable - Embroidered Bindings - Bindings From Early Americ - Twentieth Century English And American Bindings

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Exhibit: Bookworks 8 (LitChick Blog)

The Cincinnati Book Arts Society (CBAS) is holding its 8th annual exhibit of traditional and contemporary handmade books in the Atrium of the Main Branch of the Cincinnati Public Library from May 2 to June 25. Check out this blog for more photos: LitChick: Art of the book celebrated in new exhibit.

Pictured Artist: Margaret Rhein

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Exhibit: Bookworks 8 Opening

Family and friends turned out today, for the official opening reception for Bookworks 8, Cincinnati Book Arts Society's (CBAS) annual book arts exhibit. It's a highly recommended visit and, if there is a copy of the artists' statments around, I encourage you pick it up and read it. It will enhance your enjoyment of the exhibit.

Dr. Sylvan Golder and his wife, Faith, study daughter-in-law Margaret Rhein's See Me, See You, one sheet books created from prints of primates made during a monoprinting workshop.

Cecie Chewning's Too Much Information, is her creative and humorous response to the piles of unsolicited catalogues she receives in the mail on a regular basis.

Karen Hanmer's Bluestem was inspired by Willia Cather's My Antonia: Everywhere, as far as the eye could reach, there was nothing but rough, shaggy, red grass ... And there was so much motion in it; the whole country seemed, somehow, to be moving.

Beth Belknap Brann, London Underfoot: A Pure Photographic Alphabet. In the summer of 2001, Beth spent a month in London, much of her free time walking through neighborhoods photographing random letter forms formed by accidental arrangements of materials on sidewalks and streets which she printed and assembled along with ephemera and notes collected and written during her stay.

Alice Balterman's Little Black Book is made from her storehouse of African-American Collections. Using only black and white prints, she collaged and assembled them in an old children's book originally entitled Seeing.

Cody Calhoun, Imagine. The whimsical imagery and text reinforce the belief that "when nothing is sure, everything is possible." Polymer clay and ATC's (artist trading cards), rubber stamped, collaged, and bound with coptic stitch.

Penny McGinnis, While I Slept. Inside each of the four pockets rests a soft cover book of the artist's poems on the four seasons. Handmade paper, Japanese 4-hole binding, embroidery.