Dear NBG Community,
I was intrigued by September's 'Are You Book Enough' challenge, WEATHERED, and recently spent time immersed in creative focus responding to the theme. I can imagine many of you are finding respite in your creative work as we continue to retool our lives in these challenging times. Each week delivers more information, more questions, especially for those of you who are educators or who are parenting school-age children as this new academic year begins. Such weathering.
I'd like to share my artist book and poem, WEATHERED, as artifacts of my recent ruminations. It is a box book based on a structure originally designed by Margo Klass. I offer it in gratitude for all the ways that art, creating it and sharing it, can buoy us.
The world weathers us -
wind, water, sun and rain,
delight, desire, grief and longing
scour and scrape, a continual chafing.
We resist exposure, shield ourselves,
until the constant rasp of time reveals
our ragged edges, vulnerable to more
weather, more wearing away.
Slowly, sometimes, a gradual uncovering,
a measured reassurance that what once
appeared to be one thing is now another.
with Laurel Herbeck
Saturday, September 19
1:00 - 3:00pm
Everyone on the Zoom Note List will receive the Zoom link
to attend the meeting; join the list here.
In this program we will explore two Origami Pocket Folds - the Pocket Envelope Fold and the V-fold. Both are made from a single piece of paper and can be used as book pages in a variety of ways. Laurel will demonstrate how to make the pockets and show some examples of ways they can be used in books. Available here
are three handouts, one for each fold and one for the French Link Stitch used in one of her books.
Please have the following materials and tools ready for the activity:
Paper - copy paper, wrapping paper, lightweight painted paper such as Arches Text Wove, old maps or parchment papers. (Card stock is too heavy; consider anything that is origami-weight paper.) In the samples pictured Laurel used Arches Text Wove, copy paper, and Washi decorative papers.
Small pocket envelope: you will need a piece 4 ½" x 18"
Origami V-fold: you will need a piece 11" x 17"
AreYouBookEnough Book Challenge: Weathered
Clam Shell Box Casement
with Margo Klass
Saturday, September 12 10am-1pm
Sunday, September 13 10am-1pm
Follow-up work session:
Wednesday, September 16 4-6pm
Participants provide all materials
Members $80 Guests $90
Limited to 10 participants
All proceeds support NBG
The clam shell box is an elegant casement structure that provides protection and storage for books, objects and collections. Learn how to create this useful structure through step by step demonstrations while following along on a comprehensive guide. The casement will be sized to a book of your choice (size restrictions apply). The first two sessions will lead you through the processes of measuring, cutting, covering, and assembling the three basic parts of the casement. Videos of those sessions will provide assistance as you construct your own clam shell. The third session will provide time to review, answer questions, and share work.
A list of materials and other information will be provided upon registration.
Letterpress Studio Expands Its Type Library
It began with a question: "Bruce, what fonts do we have that are suitable for my chapbook?"
Last February, the Chapbook Project began with an invitation to members to write, design, letterpress print, and bind a chapbook of original texts. Five members (Elizabeth Jones, Mary Maisch, Rebecca Morse, Sue Sprinkle, Margo Klass, and Susan Campbell) joined Bruce Campbell, NBG's letterpress expert, to begin this creative endeavor. At one of their early meetings, Rebecca asked the seemingly simple question: "Which font," that initiated a journey down a "rabbit hole" that has led to a leap in our understanding of letterpress. Scrutinizing the Guild's numerous drawers of type, Bruce pondered what made a font suitable for her "text?" Google didn't give a clear answer. It took numerous exchanges with actual real printers to begin to know what the question meant, let alone the answer. He consulted Andrew Churchman, the owner of arguably the largest warehouse complex of type and printing "stuff," located in Indianapolis, Indiana (60 miles from where Bruce learned letterpress printing in 7th grade). Andrew explained that the offerings on eBay were best referred to as "pony" fonts and if we were planning to print pages of text we needed much larger quantities of type in a "book" font.
As the chapbook artists started painstakingly setting pages of type, inking, and printing, they discovered that some of our drawers of donated type housed mixed fonts. The remedy to this problem required a time-consuming effort, one that involved sorting, separating, and printing each typeface. The chapbook artists, along with help from NBG member Caroline Wolf, dove in and began to untangle and analyze our drawers of type. They discovered an online tool, Identifont, which revealed the interesting fact that one of our fonts, Caslon, has more than 70 variations. Whew! With that one bit of information, you can begin to see the complexity of the world of type.
After more research, email and phone correspondence, Bruce made decisions about what we needed to buy to fill in the gaps so we could assemble "book" fonts that would be useful for our current chapbook projects and for creative ventures in the future. This didn't happen overnight! Covid-19 has provided time for Bruce and other enthusiastic Guild members to wade deeply into the Northwoods Press type collection and try to answer Rebecca's question: "What fonts can I choose from to set a chap book?" Bruce's dedicated effort over the past months has expanded our type library and kindled some new questions:
Do we need more? And if we do, what?
During the past six months, Bruce has learned that "Northwoods Press studio is a fine, quiet productive alternative to rediscovering there really isn't anything worthwhile on TV. " He is willing to coordinate time for you to rediscover the art of Letterpress printing in small groups of two or three, wearing masks, following Covid protocols. You can contact him at 907-322-9221.
For letterpress aficionados, The Northwoods Press library now includes fonts large enough to set a page of type, as well as headings or titles in:
Cheltenham in 12, 14, 18, 36, 60, and 72 pt.
Palatino in 12 and 18 pt.
Goudy Oldstyle in 12 and 18 pt.
Goudy Italic in 10, 12 pt.
Stymie in 10 and 14 pt.
Kabel Light in 12, 18, 24, and 30 pt.
20th Century/Gothic in 10 and 12 pt.
Bernhard Fashion in 12, 14, 18, 24 and 36 pt.
Greetings Monotone in 10, 12, and 14 pt.
Plus a number of smaller fonts suitable for cards, greetings, or smaller printing endeavors.
#Are You Book Enough
Theme for August: MOUNTAINS
Ashley Thayer's August Challenge Book: Mountains
About this book Ashley writes:
I finished this month's challenge just in the nick of time!! It's crazy that this book is the only one I made in the month of August. Between the wonderful weather, house renovations, a rambunctious one year old and a daughter starting school remotely, there just hasn't been enough time in the day. This simple book was inspired by the majestic mountain landscapes we saw on our weekend getaway to Seward earlier this summer.
Materials are handmade pastepaper and Shizin papers; Coptic binding.
#Are You Book Enough
You're invited to participate in the next book challenges! September's theme is "Weathered" and October's theme is "Child." 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.
... AND OTHER ITEMS OF INTEREST
New Book Arts Exhibition:
All Sorts (No Licorice!)
Join Cynthia Sears, founder and director of Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, for a video tour of BIMA's current artist book exhibition.
Tim Barrett: The Story of a Papermaker
This video presents the story of Tim Barrett, retiring director of University of Iowa Center for the Book, MacArthur Fellow, and world renowned papermaker. Many of us have used his Iowa Case Paper as book covers and casements.
Book Artist in Desperate Need of Inventory Control
PAPERS FOR SALE
Cavallini and other deco papers - paid $4-6 - $3 each or lot of ten for $25
Shizen cotton rag papers, packs of 25 mixed colors, 9x11 - paid $20 - $12
Shizen cotton rag papers, various colors, 19x25 - paid $3-5 - $2
Khadi cotton rag suitable for covers, various colors, 22x30 - paid $5 - $3
Mary Maisch to pick up!
NORTHWOODS BOOK ARTS GUILD
Saturday, September 19 1-3pm
Book Challenge: Weathered
Clam Shell Box Casement
Saturday - Sunday, September 12 and 13 10-1pm
Wednesday, September 16, 4-6pm
Japanese Stab Binding
Sunday, October 11 Time TBD
Letterpress Chapbook Project
Set Book Project
Save the date:
NBG Annual Meeting
Saturday, November 14 1-3pm
Book Challenge: Recycle
Learn about and support Northwoods Book Arts Guild!