archive for the ‘workshops’ category

secret, secret

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

secret belgian bound book
at the end of april i learned a new binding technique at minnesota center for book arts: secret belgian binding. it took me a few tries to get a comfortable tension and understand the sewing order, but once you get going it goes pretty quickly. i’ve got plans for more, and they’re on the list…

(sorry to put styx in your head. i’m still trying to get it out of mine.)

paste paper

Monday, March 7th, 2011

paste paper workshop
on saturday i took a paste paper workshop at minnesota center for book arts. i had no idea what paste paper was, and i didn’t try too hard to figure it out beforehand — i wanted to be surprised by something new.

paste paper workshop
and it was really fun! the gist: you make paste with corn starch, cake flour, or methyl cellulose, and mix in color (we used acrylic paints). then wet down a large sheet of paper, and brush on the paste.

paste paper workshop
and then you make patterns! we used combs, nubby soap dishes, grouting tools, and a ton of squeegees that were cut apart. we mixed and swirled and got messy.

paste paper workshop
i’ll admit that it was tough to let those little imperfections go… a smudge here, a crooked line there… you can start over as many times as you want (it’s a lot like finger painting), but in the end i accepted that it’s better to love your “happy accidents” and move on to the next sheet.

paste paper workshop
i now have 25 big sheets of paste paper! you’ll see more of them in book-form some day. and i’m thinking that making paste paper would be a really great outdoor summer pARTy activity.

paste paper workshop
a bonus to my day: finding my burst journals in the center’s gift shop!

nyc : sea cliff

Thursday, December 16th, 2010

getting started

covering board with bookcloth

covering board with bookcloth

the accordion photo albums!

everyone is paying close attention to what i have to say!

me showing different styles of stab binding

stabbing holes

small journals

after spending last friday in manhattan, patricia and i headed to sea cliff, long island for the weekend. saturday i taught 2 bookbinding workshops at red bow studio: accordion-fold photo albums and japanese stab binding.

i love going to the studio. it’s a happy place. and i love seeing everyone’s work evolving into their own. the little touches… the flourishes they add… it’s such a treat to see what people take from my teaching and create something new.

bookbinding workshops in december on the east coast

Wednesday, November 17th, 2010

i’m heading back to manhattan and long island in december, and i’ll be teaching 2 bookbinding workshops at red bow studio on saturday, december 11. if you’re in the area, join us!

make this photo album!
make this photo album!
workshop 1 : accordion fold photo albums create 2 photo albums! in this workshop, you learn how to cover bookboards with book cloth, and how ribbon placement can change the page count and binding of an accordion fold album. you will have a variety of bookcloth colors and and ribbons to chose from. we’ll make a large photo album that can hold 8 4×6 photos (black paper used within), and a mini photo album that can hold 8 photo-booth sized photos. cost: $40 per person, time: 2 hours (10am-noon)

make these journals!
make these journals!
workshop 2 : stab-bound journals we’re going to create an over-size journal (9-1/2 x 12-1/2 inches) that can be used as a sketch book, and we’ll also make a smaller journal (6 x 4 inches). we’ll be binding both books using the centuries-old japanese stab binding technique (it’s not as violent as it sounds!). multiple punching guides and thread will be provided for both journals, allowing you to create books that are completely you. the over-size journal covers will be cardstock, which will be available in a variety of colors, and the interior pages will be white (30 pages total). the smaller journal covers will be made with handmade paper, made in minnesota by cave paper, and the interior pages are off-white (25 pages). additional journal kits will be available for purchase after the workshop. cost: $40 per person, time: 3 hours (2-5pm)

space is limited to 10 participants per workshop. to register, contact patricia at red bow studio: call (516) 676-4324 or email theredbowstudio at gmail dot com.

ps. taking the long island railroad from manhattan to sea cliff is super-easy! take the lirr from 34th & penn via the oyster bay line. i did it myself in october and i was in sea cliff within 40 minutes.

polaroid transfers

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

doors: brugges, belgium
doors: brugges, belgium
polaroid transfer created 2003
photo taken 1998

with the news that polaroid will stop making film after they’ve got enough in stock for 2009, i wonder if i should start stockpiling film? i still like taking photos with my polaroid camera, and even though i haven’t made polaroid transfers in a few years, it’s something i’d still like to be able to do. i recently found some great slides from the 70′s.

i won’t detail instructions on creating polaroid transfers here, because it’s been so long since i’ve done it. essentially, you take a slide and project it onto the polaroid film using a vivitar or daylab daylight instant slide printer. then, rather than allowing the polaroid to develop, you peel it apart and transfer the emulsion onto the paper of your choice. the result is watercolor-like, but with amazing detail. and you can use almost any photo: i rarely shoot with slide film, so i chose my favorite photos and have slides made.

it’s definitely not a cheap hobby. slide printers can be hard to find, and can cost a couple hundred dollars. the film is expensive as well: a pack of 20 is around $24, and i’d imagine the film cost will go up as the supply dwindles. your best bet is to find a class and utilize the instructor’s equipment, expertise, and film.

for those of you in the twin cities, the minnesota center for book arts has a polaroid transfer workshop in april. i’d love to go and brush up on my skills, but will be out of town. for now, i’ll continue to contemplate whether or not i should go on a film buying spree.

is anyone else stocking up on polaroid film?

coptic binding @ mcba

Thursday, February 21st, 2008

coptic binding
last night i went to mcba‘s coptic binding workshop. i have taken it before, but it was over 3 or 4 years ago, and the binding technique never really stuck. i remember trying to teach jenn after a few glasses of wine and it was a mess! but i have book ideas for my etsy shop that involve coptic binding, and i’m itching to make them. i have the paper and ideas ready to go!

sue, the instructor, was great. she shared her knowledge, was very friendly & funny, and patient. i’m pretty sure she taught the first coptic binding workshop that i attended. buuuttt…

while the plan was to bind 2 books: one with 2 needles, the second with 4, we barely made it through the 2 needle binding. i think the process of covering book boards for 2 books and then sew them together was a bit too ambitious for a full class, which consisted of a lot of course-mates that were new to book binding. it took us a little longer than i think was expected to get past covering boards/folding signatures, leaving us with less than an hour’s time to devote to sewing/binding. we didn’t have time to explore the 4 needle technique. however, we did take some awesome curved needles home to experiment with!

despite my disappointment with not being able to spend more time on binding/sewing, i will still take mcba’s workshops, as i always learn something new from the instructors. last night’s valuable tip: teflon “bone” folders do not burnish your paper as much as traditional bone folders do. that’s big for me — i was wondering how to avoid shiny areas on my paper when utilizing the bone folder. (and frankly, as a vegetarian, my bone folders freak me out a bit – where have they come from?! please don’t tell me. but then, what does the production of teflon do to our environment? arg!)

and despite the little sad book i produced (pictured above, on the guillotine, awaiting its execution), i do feel a little more confident about coptic binding. i just will need to do a few more practice runs before i jump into the etsy projects!

small printed projects @ mcba

Monday, January 28th, 2008

painted fish studio tag
on saturday i went to the small printed projects workshop at mcba – what fun! the class size was small, and we each got to design and print a project. the workshop instructor was allison chapman, and i really enjoy taking classes with her. she’s taught me (and others) a lot of great stuff over the years.

allison called everyone a few days before the class and asked what we’d like to make. i decided to make a very simple business card for my studio/shop with only the studio name. once i started printing, i decided to turn my printed paper into tags for the books i sell in my etsy shop. i picked up some handpainted linen thread in the shop (the thread is painted locally by kinglet cottage designs). the picture above is a new book created this weekend, with my new little tag!

my printing is by no means perfect, but it is made by me! it’s not too bad for a first-timer with only a few hours to learn/set/print. i took pictures during the class, which can be viewed after the jump…


printed journal @ mcba, part ii

Friday, December 21st, 2007

wine journal
my wine journal is done! last night was session 2 of 2 of the printed journal workshop at mcba. we covered book boards with the paper we pressure printed and bound the printed signatures that were created at last week’s session.

the binding process was a tad frustrating, as it was a beginner course and i don’t want to be a know-it-all, but it doesn’t take me 3 hours to bind a book. i stayed and tried not to work ahead.

i liked the first session (printing) the best. i knew this was a beginner course going into it, but i was curious about the printing part. the only printing i know how to do is block print… i talked to allison, the instructor, and she mentioned a workshop she’s teaching in january, called small printed projects. i’m going to sign up! while i love letterpress and typography, there are so many artists out there that do it so beautifully… it’s not something i have the time to focus on. so i’ll just dabble.

printed journal @ mcba

Friday, December 14th, 2007

pressure printing
last night was session 1 of 2 of the printed journal workshop at mcba. it’s been a while since i’ve taken a class there – mostly because my life was focused on less important things (like work), but also because the classes didn’t excite me (a change in management has resulted in new classes that look fab). this class is a good intro to printing for me, and a refresher on bookbinding.

we started by creating the art work for the book covers: we cut out label paper and attached it to a template for pressure printing. i hate being put on the spot to create! i had a glass of wine after work, so wine was on the brain and i created wine glasses. when creating monochromatic pressure prints, layers help create different tones, as the top most layer is closest to the paper. (jenn, if you’re reading this, and can further expound on the details of this type of printing in the comments area, please do so… we didn’t get a good explanation of how it all works – we just jumped in!) in addition to the wine glass, i added another layer to represent a half-full glass of wine, and a third layer as a highlight. the image above is the cover coming out of the press. more after the jump…


minnesota center for book arts : spring workshops

Saturday, November 10th, 2007

i went to the mcba book arts festival today. i saw some familiar faces, and wonderful letterpress and book arts. a new addition this year was aesthetic apparatus, and i was really tempted to buy a poster they created for an october spoon show, but i wasn’t sure where i’d put it. i feel terrible when i don’t buy things at fairs/festivals, but i still love going and seeing what other artists are doing.

on friday, mcba released their spring workshop schedule. wow! really cool classes. typically the line-up has been very traditional: leather working, coptic stitching with wood covers, beginner book arts. the schedule rarely changed (with the exception of visiting artist workshops), and i haven’t taken a class there in over a year as nothing was exciting. but there have been changes at mcba!

today i was talking to a friend that works there as a class instructor and i mentioned that the spring schedule really looked fun. she then introduced me to their new workshop coordinator/manager. we chatted a bit, and it’s obvious that she’s bringing a breath of fresh air to mcba. the courses are filling up right away, and the response from attendees has been overwhelmingly positive. i’m really excited about some of the new spring classes: polaroid transfers, extreme boxmaking, assemblage, and more… check out mcba’s complete schedule for more offerings.

ps: i also learned that a december workshop i signed up for only has one registered participant: me. it’s called printed journal and the workshop offers a taste of letterpress printing and book binding in a lined, hardbound journal project. it’s a beginner-type course, but i want to try letterpress in a beginner setting. and i really like the instructor, so it’ll be a fun class. but only if more people sign up!

art you can eat

Friday, November 9th, 2007

my current food obsession is japanese noodles. veggie tempura udon from tanpopo noodle shop in lower town st. paul is the ultimate comfort food – it reminds me of chicken noodle soup stuffed with saltines (which isn’t haute cuisine, but it does remind me of winter days as a kid).

anyway, the last time we were there, shane noticed the table card had details about their sushi workshop. they offer small, intimate classes on sunday afternoons in their kitchen. i’ve made sushi with my sis a few times, but to make it with a sushi chef would be an amazing experience. the cost is high ($80) but you are learning from an expert and making lots of sushi. it’s on my list of things to do soon…