Dear NBG Community,
I woke this morning to white-crowned sparrows singing while the local radio newscaster announced that today will be 4 minutes 16 seconds shorter than yesterday. Oh, yes, I thought, we're 2 weeks past summer solstice and our days are over 21 hours long, but the light is incrementally decreasing. I have been contemplating this dynamic place we inhabit, 64° North. We live here because it is a dynamic place, an ever-changing composition of seasons, weather, plants, animals, colors, scents, and sounds. For the past four months we have been trying to orient ourselves in our familiar landscapes while Covid-19, an unfamiliar intruder, sabotages our navigation.
In early June, when Fairbanks hadn't reported any new Covid cases for almost a month, the NBG Board had a thoughtful discussion about the possibility of starting in-person classes in our studio. Then more positive cases began to be diagnosed throughout Alaska and our borough and the probability of holding classes in our narrow studio evaporated. Corlis and Laurel are still planning to teach their Eco-Printing Class at Corlis' studio,
much of it taking place
with Covid protocols in place (see info below).
Some good things are happening online: Mary Maisch taught a successful gelli printing class via Zoom last week and the Set Book Group has also continued to meet via Zoom. Our July Program Meeting will be held on Zoom on July 18. (Please see details of each of these activities listed below.)
I am constantly seeking solace in many places: a trail through the birch forest, books, music, telephone calls with friends and family, my home studio space. Sometimes comfort comes in unexpected places. I was recently inspired by a request in the North House Folk School Newsletter from Grand Marais, Minnesota. Like us, they are trying to figure out how to navigate these precarious times. Since they have large outdoor spaces, they are able to host classes in the open air. In their list of "what to bring", along with a water bottle, hand sanitizer, and a face mask, they listed Patience, and went on to say "we are excited to welcome you to campus and share in the joy of learning, but we know it will require all of us to bring an extra measure of grace and compassion for one another as we navigate this new reality."
I offer a nod of gratitude to the morning songs of white-crowned sparrows, to the "extra measures of grace and compassion" being given, being received. I hope to "see" you at our July 18 Program Meeting.
ZOOM PROGRAM MEETING
Foldable Pocket Book
with Susan Campbell
Saturday, July 18
Everyone on the Zoom Note List will receive the Zoom link
to attend the meeting; join the list here.
Join us on ZOOM for the July Program Meeting.This will be the first time we've tried this format for a program meeting and we are excited to provide this opportunity for our NBG community. The meeting will begin with some announcements and highlights of Guild activities that have taken place online during the past couple of months. If you'd like to make a book for the #areyoubookenough challenge, we'd love to see it. July's theme is SEA. Please let us know here if you'd like to share your book at the meeting and we'll put you on the agenda.
For our hands-on activity, Susan Campbell will teach us how to construct a simple foldable book (pictured above). You can join her by having these supplies ready to go:
*1 piece of lightweight paper, 2 ½" x 20" (It looks best if your paper is double-sided with a different color or print on each side.)
*1 piece of plain paper, 2 ½" x 20" to fold into an accordion (green paper in photo)
*2 pieces of plain paper, 2 ½" x 4 ¾" for pages (tan paper in photo)
*waxed linen thread, 8", for a 3-hole pamphlet stitch
*Tools: cutting mat, ruler, X-acto knife, bone folder, scoring tool, awl, needle, scissors, and a piece of scrap foam core to use when piercing holes with awl.
Eco Printing and Dyeing on Paper
with Corlis Taylor and Laurel Herbeck
Saturday, July 11 10am-4pm
Location: Corlis Taylor's Studio
748 Gaffney Road, Suite 104
Members $75, Guests $85
Join us in this fun and exciting opportunity to learn Eco-printing with plant materials and natural dyeing with dye extracts to make gorgeous, unique papers. Instructors will provide paper, dyeing equipment, plant material and dye extract; but feel free to collect from your own garden or woods. Leaves, berries, bark, flowers and other plant materials, such as onion skins, can be kept fresh for several days in gallon sized plastic bags. Rusty items such as nails and old metal objects make interesting design elements as they leave imprints on the paper.
Much of this workshop will take place outdoors; we will follow Covid protocols of social distancing,
hand sanitation, and wear masks.
This class is limited
to six participants
so each person may work at their own table.
Please bring the following:
Notebook or journal, pencil or pen, scissors, apron, towel, heavy rubber gloves, personal face covering, plastic grocery bags (to take home wet paper), and plant materials (if available).
Backyard plants: roses, marigold, delphinium leaf, birch, chokecherry leaves, geraniums, nasturtiums, fireweed (flowers and leaves) any other colorful flower, plant, or berry.
Payment in advance is most appreciated.
Checks may be mailed to
Northwoods Book Arts Guild,
Suite 205, 3550 Airport Way, Fairbanks, AK 99709
#Are You Book Enough
Theme for June: HUMAN
June Challenge Book: Human Family
About this book Ashley writes:
What a month it's been. Many people have written such eloquent words about social justice and the state of our humanity, it's been humbling to read and learn from others. My original idea for this month's theme felt like it would miss the mark so instead I decided to make a small book containing Maya Angelou's beautiful poem "Human Family". My favorite part of the poem is repeated three times, such a gentle truth, "we are more alike, my friends, than we are unalike". I bound this book using my daughter's hair; she thought the idea was creepy at first but came around in the end.
#Are You Book Enough
You're invited to participate in the next book challenge! July's these is "Sea" and August's theme is "Mountain." Make a book that responds to the theme and post your creation on Instagram: #areyoubookenough. Send photos of your challenge book to us here, we will share them in the next newsletter.
Questions about the challenge project answered here.
NBG Community Outreach Project
Book Repair at the Literacy Council of Alaska
Think about the books in your life- new books, old books, books you've made, books you've given away, books you've received as gifts, your favorite books from childhood, the books you read and reread. When I think about books, I am amazed at the myriad ways they are woven through my life. I smile when I imagine the lively conversations we could have, sharing what we love about books.
It's this love of books that inspired Margo Klass to initiate NBG's community outreach project with the Fairbanks Literacy Council. For the past seven years, a dedicated group of NBG members (4-6 people), has been meeting twice a month, September-June, to repair books that are sold in the Literacy Council's Forget-Me-Not Bookstore or to online buyers. Vintage books and rare books of value that are expertly repaired can garner higher prices. Some of the repaired books have been sold to libraries, museums, and book aficionados in Alaska, the lower 48, and overseas. For the past two years, the group has been doing "repair for a fee" on books that Fairbanks' residents pay to have restored. Income earned from these archival repairs supports the work of the Literacy Council.
Guild members involved in this beneficial outreach also gain valuable skills that enrich their lives as book artists. Since 2013, NBG has sponsored two workshops focused on restoration and repair. In 2014, Artemis Bona Dea led a workshop organized by UAF Rasmuson Library. In 2019, NBG welcomed Juliayn Coleman, a professional book conservator from Book Island Press in San Francisco. Juliayn's workshop was made possible with the support of several sponsors, including the Alaska State Council on the Arts and The Literacy Council of Alaska.
For a few months this past spring the Literacy Council was closed when the Covid-19 virus halted most in-person activities in Fairbanks. When they reopened last month (with appropriate social distancing protocols in place), the NBG Book Repair Volunteers were back at work (wearing masks) repairing books, giving them a second life so they can be held in new hands, loved by new eyes.
... AND OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
Fish Skin Binders
Peter Verheyen, leader of the Book Arts List Serve, has had a long term interest in binding with fish skin. In his Pressbengel Project
he explores the tradition of making fish skin parchment. He is about to launch an on line exhibition of book artists who use fish skin in their work. It can be seen
NORTHWOODS BOOK ARTS GUILD
Eco Printing and Dyeing on Paper
Saturday, July 11 10am-4pm
Corlis Taylor Studio
748 Gaffney Road, #104
Saturday, July 18 1-3pm
Letterpress Chapbook Project
Set Book Project
Next Program Meeting
Saturday, September 19 1-3pm
Book Challenge: Weathered
Learn about and support Northwoods Book Arts Guild!