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Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking & Learning at Bookworks 13

Sunday afternoon was the first walk-through of Bookworks 13, the annual CBAS exhibition at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County. Eight CBAS artists discussed their pieces in the show with library visitors. A big THANK YOU! to CBAS members Nancy, Janice, Jeanne, Paula, Carol, Peg, Veronica and Cecie who shared stories about what led them to create their books, the messages they hoped the books would convey and information about materials and processes. Visitors had good questions to make it a lively conversation.

The exhibition is a feast for those who love book art, with everything from scrolls to accordions to star books to traditional book structures and much more in between. There are fine bindings, altered books and even a Jacob's ladder. Content ranges from the personal to the political to the universal.

Thanks to the library staff—Jeanne Strauss-DeGroote, Kate Lawrence, Cindy Benesch and the graphics department—for again delighting us with the installation.

If you could not make it to the first walk-through, you will have another chance to hear from different artists at walk-through number two, Sunday, August 26, from 2-4 p.m. in the atrium space at the library, 800 Vine Street. Bookworks 13 closes on September 2.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012





“What a wonderful workshop - and such splendid folks to spend two days with.” 
“Want to give everyone a big THANKS for their grounding influence in my life as we stitched our way thru history this weekend.”  “You all created a great environment for intense learning.  I'm exhausted but so proud of all that was accomplished.  Amazing to me that so many different skills and techniques were learned!”

These are a few of the comments from the participants at the “Stitch in Time” workshop with Indianapolis book artist Bonnie Stahlecker, an unqualified success and really energizing learning experience for a dozen CBAS members.  


From the moment we walked into the room and saw how carefully the room had been set up and everyone's workshop kit prepared, we knew this was going to be a great workshop experience.
During the course of two non-stop 9-5 days that went like lightning, participants learned the history of and made 7 historical book structures: a tacket binding (the most ancient binding form), an Ethiopian variation on Coptic stitching bound in beautiful red oak boards, herringbone stitching on goatskin supports, raised double cord binding with packed sewing, French sewing and catch stitch sewing - both on linen tapes, and a longstitch book.  For a group where it’s not uncommon to leave with one or more unfinished projects, the fact that all of us finished all 7 structures was extraordinary and a testament to how well organized and perfectly timed Bonnie’s workshop was.

The Art Academy’s Community Education room was an ideal, light-filled setting for the workshop, and everyone was thrilled to learn that the Art Academy has offered the room for regular meetings of the CBAS Study Group.

Thanks to Cecie Chewning for keeping track of reservations and for hosting a post-workshop pizza and salad dinner; Jo Diamantes for taking care of all the details including set-up and providing that essential ingredient - snacks!; Janice Kagermeier for hosting Bonnie during her stay; Bobbi Vallery for making arrangements for us to use the Community Education Room at the Art Academy; Bonnie Stahlecker for a perfectly organized, enjoyable and truly inspiring workshop; and most of all, an enthusiastic and eager-to-learn group of CBAS members for putting their all into learning an enormous amount of information in just two days.

And now it’s time to practice all those stitches we learned!

Monday, June 11, 2012


Dianne snaps a photo of one of Alice Balterman's books
Tuesday, June 5, was the big day for photography of all the pieces that will be in Bookworks 13, the annual CBAS exhibition at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 800 Vine Street. Library Liaison Jeanne Strauss-De Groote had reserved a meeting room for the photo shoot and had all the books ready on rolling carts. Intrepid artist, photographer and CBAS member Dianne Dennis again donated her time and expertise to snap images for a CD that will be available at the end of the exhibition. Jo Diamantes and Cecie Chewning worked as Dianne’s assistants to help the day go smoothly. It was truly a team effort. The entries this year are outstanding. They will be installed in the library’s first floor atrium on Monday, June 11, and the exhibition officially opens to the public the following day, June 12. Up throughout the summer, the exhibition closes on September 2.

Packing up the equipment

NOTE: Be sure to mark your calendar to attend one or both of the walk-throughs of Bookworks 13 on Sunday, June 24, and Sunday, August 26. Artists will be on hand from 2 until 4 those afternoons to talk with the public about their books.