Expressive Adventures in Book Arts

Monday, November 21, 2011

Tube City

Instigation for making tubes into books sprang from work by Michael Basinski on exhibit at 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland Oregon.  (This is a wonderful gallery to visit on line.)
Pam Wright dubbed this session TUBE CITY which turned out to be apt since the cylinder promoted architectural thinking.  Many of us found this approach freeing and exhilarating.

Karen Summerlin
Karen's book as arm torque
Josette Lee's dream inspired book
Pam Wright's tube within a tube
Pam Wright
Debbie Stone - Secrets, Dispose of Properly

Jo Renbeck - sliding center tube reveals additional text
Lorraine Hartin-Gelardi
Double click on any image for a slide show of the entire collection.

Monday, November 7, 2011


The theme was evening, though themes are never binding.  Our structural form was a simple four panel accordion.  Some of us played with ways to extend content across the panels instead of considering them as separate pages.  But mostly we all just submitted in delight to the beauty of the new papers on hand from Nepal that suggested the fading colors at dusk and the brilliance of late autumn sunsets.

Cait Johnson
Miriam Frishler
Susan Bissonnette
Angela Balletto
Debbie Stone
Jo Renbeck
Suki Dugan-Maltby
Debbie Stone
Carol Maltby

Saturday, September 24, 2011


In a recent dream, book makers were making circle books that had folding tabs around the edges.  While I obsessively worked out ways to align the tabs perfectly, the other dream book makers, uninterested in such precision,  focused on the September theme: HARVEST.  Each one made a collection of small things to glue on the tabs of their circle book: tiny scraps of paper or bits of leaves, shards of wood, even cracker crumbs.

The idea of making a harvest of similar things the focus of an artist book put me in mind of a book by Mary Howe that I recently purchased at her show in Salem NY at the North Main Gallery.  This diminutive but long accordion book called To Preserve Tomatoes spills forth one delicious tomato drawing after another. You can take a peek at this book and others by Mary Howe at  As you scroll down the page, you'll enjoy meeting Salem book artist, Ed Hutchins, on the way.  And when you have time, you can explore the entire Bookzommpa site, the blog another Salem area book artist, Paula Beardell Kerieg.  Such terrific book artists! 

Today our group met and delighted in Mary Howe's tomato book, and then set to work finding ways to turn harvests into books.  Some left knowing they wanted to continue working on what they had begun and promised to bring further developments next time.  I spent a lot of time trying to find the simple directions for making a paper box that I'd recently learned.  In the end I printed out complicated origami directions from the internet.  Debbie put them to good use in her book.  So many folds.  We were impressed.  Dianne joined us and made her very first book ever, a book about features of her garden.  We were impressed yet again. Karen and Karin went to town in great style with repeated shapes.  I played briefly with my dream book and avoided measurement obsession.

 Debbie Stone

Dianne DeGroat

Karen Summerlin

Jo Renbeck

Karin Lempke

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Remembering July

     Artist Books for the fun of it took a vacation in August and now I'm stretching my memory back to our July gathering.  It was hot.  We may have been wishing for rain.  We
valiantly tried to make do without air conditioning, but finally succumbed gratefully.
     The loose focus was TRANSPARENCY, as in air and water and how we could make things float off the pages of artist books.  We has some new clear acrylic sheets to use in our continuing exploration of pop-up forms which some of us found inviting.  Others chose not to use it.  Sadly, the photographs don't fully capture the effect of the transparent elements. Click on the image to enlarge and see a bit more detail.

Pam Wright

Susan Bissonnette

Miriam Frischer
Jo Renbeck
Debbie Stone
Karin Lempke

Monday, July 11, 2011

Memories of Summer Joy

Summer brings travel, and many of our numbers were doing just that, so our group was small in June.  As a result, we can show a bit more of the books that were made as we traveled back deliciously in memory to summers of our childhoods.  It was a delight to share our stories and watch them come to life on the pages of our books.  Ah, summer!  (Click on any image to get a closer look.)

Josette Lee
 This page of Josette's book of summer memories recalls a remarkable story of something lost and then found and the seashore.

Debbie Stone

Jo Renbeck
 Outside in the leafy night, under the brilliant moon, we dance with fireflies..

Saturday, May 21, 2011

More Pop-Up Adventures

Early on, Karen made a series of diagonal cuts in the crease of her paper and did a little folding that made an elegant and mysterious pattern.  As we all tried our own experiments we couldn't describe how we made things to each other in words, but grabbed scissors and paper to demonstrate instead.  There was a whole lot of snippin' going on and lots of fun and delight, as always.  And we were treated to Roberts glorious photos from Mexico as well!

Karen Summerlin's elegant, mysterious structure

Karen used a variation of the previous structure and pulled paper through cuts to create a winged pop-up.

Debbie Stone used thin strips of paper to create dimension and to bind her books.. 



 Jo Renbeck played with Karen's structure and added pin holes to make frogs.

Jo liked the tall cactus shaped like columns in Robert's Mexico photos.
Robert Leavitt

Robert adapted a pop- up structure to make this sun burst shape that casts shadows.

Library patrons stopped by to see what we were doing today.  Several asked, "Do you have to have art experience to do this?"  The answer is no. A lovely aspect of book making is that you can jump in at any level and enjoy the process.