Expressive Adventures in Book Arts

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