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MAY 2020 

Dear NBG Community,
Another month has passed in our radically changing world. Lengthening daylight, melting snowpack, and the sound of water dripping from my gutters seem to be more poignant this year as we welcome spring to the boreal forest.
I ventured over to Creamers Field a few times last week to revel in the return of trumpeter and tundra swans, Canada geese, and a variety of squawking ducks. Covid-19 has drastically changed the ways human beings can interact right now, but the natural world is thrumming with life. It reminded me of this quote:

"There is a hard truth to be told: before spring becomes beautiful, it is plug ugly, nothing but mud and muck... But in that muddy mess, the conditions for rebirth are being created."    ⋙ Parker Palmer

I am holding this metaphor as I contemplate what we are experiencing now, hoping that out of the "mud and muck" of this pandemic a new 'spring' will emerge for our community and world.

As we patiently navigate the "mud and muck", the 12 folks on your NBG Board have been busy envisioning ways to nurture the creative lives of Guild members. We recently had a Zoom meeting with 22 NBG book artists involved in the Set Book and Chapbook Projects. It was a great virtual gathering. We were all so happy to 'see' each other and share thoughts and questions about the books we are creating. Board members are now in the process of designing some basic bookmaking tutorials that can be presented via Zoom. Take a look below for news about Zoom Meetings and Classes.

As you work at home, if you find you need supplies (paper, glue, book board, tools, etc.), please contact Mary Maisch, our Paper Birches Manager, here.  Mary has generously volunteered to make arrangements to meet individual members at the studio and orchestrate the sale of supplies. Please remember to wear a mask and gloves when you arrive. We can't take credit card payments right now, so please bring cash or a check.

Take special care as you negotiate the "mud and muck" of spring breakup and the gradual reopening of Fairbanks' businesses. I hope to see you soon in a Zoom meeting or class.
Warmest regards,
Susan Campbell
NBG President
Stay Connected on ZOOM!
The NBG community is going on Zoom to help us stay connected, inspired, and creative. We will use Zoom for several kinds of gatherings:
  • meetings to drop in to see one another and share ideas
  • meetings to check in on progress of Chapbook and Set Book Projects
  • workshops to learn a new skill or technique
Zoom meetings that bring us together for sharing ideas and/or progress on specific projects will be offered without cost.

Zoom workshops will be offered with a suggested donation, but students may pay what they can and may assume full scholarship if needed. 

If you are interested, join the special NBG ZOOM NOTE list. You will receive messages about all events on Zoom and join the meetings and workshops of interest to you. While meetings will require no registration, workshops will require advance registration. You may unsubscribe from the NBG ZOOM NOTE list at any time.

The first two meetings, to be scheduled soon, will be designed to familiarize you with Zoom technology and sample how we'll use Zoom as a virtual studio.

Join the NBG ZOOM NOTE list 

By joining this list you will receive links to join:

Another New Type Cabinet!

Thanks to Bruce Campbell the Letterpress Shop has been reorganized to incorporate two new type cases - the one we reported on last month (under the drafting table) and another one, built and installed by Bruce on the far wall. The Bird Press (draped with a red cloth) now sits at the same ideal height as its neighbor, the Wood Press. The shop is ready for continuation of the Chapbook Project as soon as Guild activities resume. 

#Are You Book Enough
Book Challenge
Theme for April: Machines
Thank you to Ashley Thayer for sharing her creation for the April Challenge: Machines. About this book Ashley writes,  "Out of all the #areyoubookenough themes, I was most excited about the machine theme. I had this amazing three book automata structure in my mind, but after many failed attempts I realized I needed to start with something less fickle and came up with this simple machine that simultaneously raises and spins the book. I greatly underestimated the amount of planning that comes with making a functioning automata!!"  

Materials: Book board, wood dowels, wood circles, Hahnemuhle paper, antique marbled endpaper, page from book, leather, antique singer sewing machine escutcheon
Note from editor:
contact me here if you would like to see a short video of the book in motion.

#Are You Book Enough
You're invited to participate in the next book challenge! May's theme is "Break". Make a book that responds to the theme and post your creation on Instagram: #areyoubookenough. Send photos of your challenge book to us, we will share them in the next newsletter.

Questions about the challenge project answered here.

From the studio of Karen Hanmer
Biblio Tech
Reverse Engineering Historical and Modern Binding Structures

Karen Hanmer, well known bookbinder, is the mastermind behind Biblio Tech, a boxed set of structure models owned by many libraries worldwide. She wrote the book, Biblio Tech, to accompany the models. It outlines key features of twelve binding structures and provides references for further study. Karen has generously offered fellow bookmakers PDF files of Biblio Tech for downloading. The booklet prints out in three sections: two of 4 folios, one of 5 folios, 45 pages total. Print double-sided at 100% on 8.5 x 11" paper. Download  here.

katexic clippings
by Chris Lott
Katexic Clippings is a weekly(ish) newsletter for word nerds, bookworms and the incurably curious. Each issue explores all kinds of curiosities:
  • WORK: a concise, compelling work or excerpt
  • WORD(S): a wonderful word or fascinating phrase
  • WEB: a bijou suite of links
  • WATCH/WITNESS: a video, map, painting, picture, animation or other visual
Review Lott's memorable rambling about the meaning of colophon, originally aired on Northern Soundings here.

Subscribe to katexic clippings here.

The San Francisco-based  Letterform Archive  announces digitization of many holdings of the nonprofit museum and library dedicated to the history of typography and graphic design.  So far nearly 1,500 items of the 60,000-piece archive have been meticulously prepared for the online world. That means everything from a fifteenth-century Book of Hours to early style manuals printed for Apple are now available for careful examination from the comfort of one's home. Check it out here.

The Mark of The Maker
We highly recommend this exquisite video about Twinrocker Handmade Paper - you won't be disappointed! Watch it here

Cabinet of Natural Curiosities
Packed with careful illustrations of striped snakes, preserved creatures, and now-extinct animals, Cabinet of Natural Curiosities is an impressive natural history compendiums of the 18th century. Read about it here.

Drop Dead Gorgeous: La Prose du Transsiberien
North Bennet Street School hosted a special exhibition featuring the full recreation of an avant-garde book produced by Kitty Maryatt of Two Hands Press. The book, by poet Blaise Cendrars and artist Sonia Delaunay, Le Prose du Transiberien et de la petite Jehanne de France, was produced by letterpress and pochoir in 1913. It was a landmark achievement. Maryatt faithfully incorporates techniques and methods used in the original. Take a virtual tour of this important exhibit   here .

We look forward to the time 
when we can resume activities in the NBG studio:
Program Meetings
Studio Sessions
Letterpress Chapbook Project
Set Book Project
Letterpress Wednesdays
Open Studios
All our Outreach Projects


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