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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Better Know a Board Member!

[This is the first in a series of profiles of CBAS Board members.]

Judith with a new 2nd Amendment variation
Judith Serling-Sturm was hoping there would be a book arts community in Cincinnati when planning to move here near the end of 2010, and she was delighted to find CBAS on the Internet. She sent us an email and soon received a welcoming email greeting from member Diane Stemper. We can claim Judith as one of our own from March 2011.

In previous homes in Washington, D.C., and Chicago Judith had been a freelance writer and a working book artist. In the late 1990s in D.C. she apprenticed to a person who owned a business producing handmade blank books. She was intrigued by exposed spine bindings where the effort of holding the content together was structurally important but could also be visually varied and very beautiful. After her apprenticeship Judith began to build her own business, working on special commissions for private clients. Having done substitute teaching, she was soon doing in-school and in-museum workshops using her book-making skills. When she moved to Chicago, she continued to learn more about book structures and became interested in artists' books. She was encouraged in her on-going experimentation with bringing together ideas, materials and techniques by taking courses at Columbia College's Center for Book and Paper Arts and sharing a studio with a painter/print maker. A CAAP grant (Community Arts Assistance Program) enabled her to devote energy to producing her first artist's book about a young boy's adventures at school. And an artist's residency at Blueberry View Artist Retreat in Riverside, Michigan, in the summer of 2010 enabled her to concentrate on a new series of artist's books focusing on Amendments to the U.S. Constitution, each one unique in content and structure.

What is Judith working on now?

Variations on the Amendments series

A Home series, base on interviews she has conducted about the very personal meaning of that word

A Halloween book (to be installed at her studio) that involves using PVA skins and collage among other things

Decorative cases, made from natural elements and found metals, to hold mezuzot

Judith's goal is to work every day at her art. She says her process usually involves trial and error. She throws away a lot in order to refine, refine, refine. What doesn't work still ends up getting her where she wants to be. She is always thinking about a happy marriage of structure and content.

She attends Art4Artists (part of Cincinnati Recreation Commission's offerings) and is working with the Taft Museum's ARC program (Artists Reaching Classrooms).
A studio wall devoted to the Home series
What has she enjoyed most about CBAS?  She values the opportunity to exhibit work in our annual Bookworks exhibition and the forum the gallery walk-throughs provide for listening to her fellow book artists discuss their work. She loves Study Group—a great way to meet those who share her interest, to learn new things and to "refresh" the skills that she may not use regularly. Being part of the group continues to be a great encouragement in her evolution as an artist. She will be leading a Study Group session for the first time in 2015.

What is Judith's role on the CBAS Board?  She heads the Programs Committee. That means she's responsible for a visiting artist or two each year and for lining up a speaker/program for the CBAS Annual Meeting in the spring.
An "Idea Bank" (rocks, twigs, bones, etc.) provides inspiration
Where can you find Judith?  She is usually hosting open house at her studio at the Pendleton Art Center on Final Fridays. It is a visual treat to explore what's there—past and current work plus a list of ideas for future projects. You can also see what inspires her.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Not to be Missed: CBAS at Tiger Lily Sale

You are invited to join us for the Tiger Lily Press Annual Print and Calendar Sale on Saturday, November 8, 11 am - 5 pm, at the Clifton Cultural Arts Center, 3711 Clifton Avenue. It's a great time to shop for holiday and special occasion gifts or just for yourself. You will find CBAS and Tiger Lily artists in the second floor auditorium, while the Autumn Air Art Fair will be happening on the main floor.

Remember: Tiger Lily Press produces a wonderful, limited edition, hand-pulled woodcut calendar with work by its artists only every other year. And this is the chance to purchase yours for 2015!

Weekend Workshop Wrap-up

Visiting Artist Beata Wehr (center, in stripes) gets us started
 A group of 15 CBAS members were hard at work and having fun during our September 20 and 21 workshop with visiting artist Beata Wehr. Saturday and Sunday were full of challenges and creativity as we were led by Beata to explore the avenues we might use to arrive at CONTENT for our books. Writing prompts and a discussion of design principles got us started.

There was time to share, time to work independently and time for one-on-one consultation with the instructor; all fitted together to make it a rewarding experience. Though not all books were completed in two days, our concepts began to take physical forms that will result in great finished books in the near future.
CBAS thanks Judith Serling-Sturm for heading the Visiting Artist Committee and tending to all those details that meant smooth sailing for the rest of us. And CBAS is most grateful to Annie Bolling for use of a space for the workshop. Thanks to all CBAS board members who helped with set-up and clean-up and who kept us nourished with delicious snacks throughout. Your fellow CBAS members salute you!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Upcoming Event—Next Weekend!

Cincinnati Book Arts Society invites you to a Meet-and-Greet Lecture with Beata Wehr, award-winning international book and visual artist and educator. Wehr will be speaking about her work and her process. The event is free and open to the public.

Friday evening, September 19, 7-8:30 p.m.
The Gallery Project
2718 Woodburn Avenue (Walnut Hills)
*street and lot parking available on and near Woodburn*

Paszport by Beata Wehr

Beata Wehr was born in Warsaw, Poland, and currently lives and works in Tucson, Arizona. Her advanced degrees include an M.A. in art history from Warsaw University and and M.F.A. in painting/combined media from the University of Arizona. She paints and creates artist's books, examining in her work ideas of home, place, time, transience and multicultural experiences. Wehr is currently an instructor at Pima Community College in Tucson and is available for workshops, private classes and critiques. See more examples of her work by visiting her website below.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Library Purchases from Bookworks XV

Congratulations to three CBAS artists—Janice Kagermeier, Lou Kroner and Margaret Rhein—whose entries in Bookworks XV have now been added to the fine collection of artists books at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County.

This year the accordion form was used in various ways to produce exemplary works. Jeanne Strauss-De Groote, curator of the Library's collection describes Janice Kagermeier's The Waldron as "striking" and "commemorating the life and destruction of a local Cincinnati Art Deco building located in Walnut Hills. The photographs and the text meld perfectly and the craftsmanship is beautiful."
The Waldon by Janice Kagermeier
The artist writes of her own collaged paper work: "This accordion book was made in remembrance of an apartment building in Walnut Hills, built in 1928 and demolished in 2011. It honors the former residents and the dramatic faces carved into the facade. One one side (shown) listings of Waldron residents during the building's heyday (culled from the Main Library's archival Cincinnati City Directories) are superimposed onto photos of the grotesque faces carved into its facade. On the other side, photos of the Waldron's demolition are visible in the background; in the foreground is a chronicle of building code violations during the then neglected building's final years."

Strauss-De Groote describes Lou Kroner's Don't Bug Me as "a very joyful and amusing little book made with one single sheet of paper. When fully open, the general shape of the book can evoke a small insect walking, creating a perfect harmony between the shape and the content."
Don't Bug Me by Lou Kroner
Lou's use of one sheet of paper for his book is most appropriate since he has recently taught how-to classes in the variety of ways to use this form, most recently to CBAS Study Group. His Bookworks XV entry was ink jet-printed on cardstock with decorative paper covers added.

Margaret Rhein's Memory Book—First Impressions was selected by Strauss-De Groote because it "is a beautiful accordion book containing very evocative printed images of abstract forms, witnessing the artist's rich imagination. The craftsmanship, also excellent, shows Rhein's talent in paper making and printing.
Memory Book—First Impressions by Margaret Rhein
 Rhein has a story to tell about her book that is made with her own pulp painting and water-based monoprints. She started with one of her old handmade paper collages from about 30 years ago. "I remember a friend mentioned that her husband had a paper punch for comb binding at his office so she took some of my handmade paper seconds and punched out rows of tiny rectangular pieces of paper that we were using in a confetti type of paper we were making along with circle shapes from sheet paper punches. I thought the left over grid-like paper was beautiful in its own way and later used it to create this architectural look collage sheet of 22" x 30" paper."

"Years passed and then I decided to cut it into squarish shapes to someday make into a book. When I took Johpaul Smith's printing class 'Yeah, I Can Print That' at [local] Tiger Lily Press earlier this year I was looking around to find interesting papers to print on and this group surfaced. I have also collected textures over the years that will emboss paper—old computer circuit boards, my husband's plastic mechanical drawing stencils, plastic doilies. And I'm especially attracted to circular shapes; these were great for inking up as well."

"I think the relationship between the paper collage and the printing on top enhanced the impact of both. The 14 individual images each tell their own story. I decided to use the accordion book format so that the work could be seen in many formations. I specifically printed some of the shapes to span two pages to carry the eye through the book."
CBAS gratefully acknowledges all the work by the Library staff 
to make our exhibition possible again this year.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Remembering Alice

We were all saddened to learn of the recent passing of book artist and CBAS member Alice Heyn Balterman. A treasure to the book arts community and a formidable creative presence in our city and beyond, she will be missed.

Alice (center) with fellow artists Ruth (L) and Nikki (R) in the studio, Spring 2007 

We remember fondly our visit to Alice's amazing home studio in the spring of 2007. She was always so generous with her time and talents.

from the Enquirer, August 17, 2014:
Alice, nee Heyn, age 94, passed away Aug. 15, 2014, local artist of renown, beloved wife of the late Dexter L. Balterman, devoted mother of Marie, Andrew & Megan (Guy Cameron) Balterman, dear sister of the late Dr. Louis Heyn. Graveside services Tuesday, August 19, 11:00 A.M. at United Jewish Cemetery in Walnut Hills, 3400 Montgomery Rd., Cinti, OH 45207. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to Friends of the Public Library or the charity of one's choice would be appreciated.

Here is a link to an Aeqai article about the exhibition last year at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County that honored Alice and her work: http://aeqai.com/main/2013/06/keith-kuhn-memorial-exhibit-alice-heyn-balterman-the-public-library-of-cincinnati-and-hamilton-county/
Covers of Alice's Auld Lang Syne currently in Bookworks XV
Inside Alice's Inside and Out currently in Bookworks XV

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

NOW! Workshop Registration Open

Here is the registration form for the September workshop with visiting artist Beata Wehr. (See post of 6/18/14.) Right click on the form, save as a jpeg and print out. CBAS members should have received the form in an email from Margaret Rhein paperpeg@gmail.com in the last few days.

 CBAS members and guests are also invited to attend a Meet-and-Greet and Lecture with Beata Wehr on Friday, September 19, 2014, from 7:00-8:30 p.m. The artist will have books available for sale.

Both lecture and workshop will be held at The Gallery Project near DeSales Corner in Walnut Hills.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Award Winning Book

CBAS is pleased to announce its annual Purchase Award from Bookworks XV, the exhibition currently on view at the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County: THE BOOK OF POE by artist Carole Winters. The award winner will be donated by CBAS to the Library's extensive collection of artists' books in memory of Keith Kuhn, former CBAS Chair and Library Services Director. The selection was made by judges Arnelle Dow (Art for Artists program, Clifton Recreation Center) and Beth Brann (Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Graphic Design at the College of Mount St. Joseph).

The Book of Poe, Carole Winters
CBAS member Carole Winters contributed this artist's statement about her book: This is an on-going, in progress, hand-lettered and illuminated personal book/object for use in the contemplation of select poems by Edgar Allan Poe. She discussed her work with visitors at the first artists' walk through of the exhibition.

Our congratulations to Carole and gratitude to the judges. Visitors may see Carole's book displayed in the Library's Atrium through September 7.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Walking and Talking in Bookworks XV

Yesterday, in an informal walk-through open to the public, book artists with work in the recently opened Bookworks XV exhibition talked about the inspiration and creation of their books and answered questions from visitors. The stories behind the books are always as fascinating as the books themselves.

Jack Campbell reads from Emily Dickinson whose poetry and life inspired his entry this year.

Janice Kagermeier talks about her book of memorabilia from a childhood trip with her aunt.

So you won't want to miss the only other walk-through on Sunday afternoon, August 3, 2 p.m., in the Atrium of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County (800 Vine Street, downtown).

CBAS Chair Lou Kroner shares thoughts with Librarian Jeanne Strauss-De Groote about his tiny book made from one piece of folded paper.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Save The Date!

September 20 (Saturday) and September 21 (Sunday) are the dates for a workshop with artist BEATA WEHR. It's not time to sign up yet, but as soon as the registration form is ready, it will be sent to all CBAS members and posted on the blog.
Beata, Wehr, Taming the Beast
The workshop, entitled Artist's Books as Containers for Ideas, will focus on working with text, images, materials and structures to create a unique artist's book. A poem, a letter, lyrics for a song, a short story, fragment of a journal, an image or an object will serve as an inspiration and/or will be included in a book. The class will contain many different activities: a short informal writing exercise, selection of images and materials, editing, working on a book structure, individual critique, group discussion and presentation of the final work.

Beata Wehr, 132 Memoir
BEATA WEHR is a visual artist and educator. She was bon in Warsaw, Poland, and currently lives and works in Tucson, Arizona, traveling back to Europe every year. She graduated from Warsaw University in Poland with an M.A. in art history and from the University of Arizona with an M.F.A. in painting/combined media. She paints and creates artist's books, examining in her work the ideas of home, place, time, transience and multicultural experiences. Her works were shown in many international and national exhibitions and are included in over 50 public collections in the USA and abroad. Beata taught art courses at the University of Arizona, Southwestern University of Visual Arts and Tucson Museum of Art and is currently an instructor at Pima Community College. Check out her website and be inspired: www.beatawehr.com

The workshop will limited to a small number of participants, so if you're interested, be sure to register early. It will be a great opportunity to work with content.

NOTE: Beata will be presenting a lecture about her work on September 19 (Friday), the day before the workshop begins. Details will follow during the summer.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Taking Cover

Bookcloth was the focus of the June 14 CBAS Study Group meeting, held at the Northside Branch Library. Janice Kagermeier, with able assistance from Jeanne Taylor and Linda Dietrich, first guided the group of 14 in a discussion of commercially made bookcloth and then showed everyone two very different techniques for creating your own.

Iron-on adhesive, the easiest and quickest of the two, requires only an iron, an ironing board and some double-sided fusible adhesive. For our experiments, we used two weights of Heat 'n Bond brand fusible adhesive: Lite and Ultra Hold, both of which are double-sided and were backed with Japanese paper. Each of the weights have applications for book artists. The major drawback of the iron-on adhesive is that it is not archival, but for many applications, everyone agreed this wasn't a priority, so this method would work well.
Ironing the fusible adhesive onto the back of the fabric.
A few more minutes of ironing on the front of the fabric to assure a strong bond.
The other technique we learned was the more labor- and tool-intense traditional Japanese method of making bookcloth using cooked wheat starch paste. Janice demonstrated the style of bookcloth making she learned at a 2012 Penland workshop with Yukari Hayashida, a Japanese native who is now chief book conservator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. After lightly spraying the fabric with water, the backing paper—Japanese kozo (mulberry)—is brushed with either wheat or rice starch paste, firmly tamped onto the back of the wet fabric and finally mounted on a board to dry overnight.
Beginning to brush a thin coat of paste onto the mulberry paper backing.
This method, while more labor intensive, is archival and for those patient bookmakers who enjoy a more meditative approach, very satisfying. Rather than using the traditional Japanese tools such as the handmade brushes ($815) and horsehair strainer ($216) available from Talas, http://apps.webcreate.com/ecom/catalog/product_specific.cfm?ClientID=15&ProductID=18824
we found perfectly adequate, if not artistically satisfying substitutes, at the local hardware store.
A hallmark of Study Group: helping one another. In this case, carefully lowering the glued paper onto the back of fabric. Hardware store paint stirrers proved excellent substitutes for the traditional lifting stick.
Study Group members are a focused bunch. Everyone left with at least two pieces made using each technique, most with several more. It was especially fun to see the variety of fabrics used: beautiful batiks, linen, vintage floral prints, hand dyed African fabric, and a husband's old shirt all made an appearance.
Tamping the glued paper onto the back of the wet fabric before reversing it onto a drying board for the trip home.
We're looking forward to some fabric-covered books by Study Group members in the very near future.

Thanks to Janice K. for another excellent report!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


Exhibition Banner
No, it's not for Reds baseball, it's for Bookworks XV. A quick visit to the installation this morning in the Atrium of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, 800 Vine Street, was enough to make me want to go back and spend lots more time leisurely enjoying the varied takes on books by members of the Cincinnati Book Arts Society (CBAS). The exhibition runs through September 7 and it's FREE, so return visits with friends and family will be easy.
Book by Gabrielle Fox
Book by Judith Serling-Sturm
If you are intrigued by these images, plan to join CBAS book artists when they will talk about their inspiration, materials and creations at two walk-throughs in the Atrium scheduled for Sunday, June 22, 2 p.m., and Sunday, August 3, 2 p.m. In addition, there will be a bookmaking demonstration on Sunday, July 27. Details can be found on the Library's website: www.cincinnatilibrary.org
Look under Programs & News/Exhibits.
Cases full of books
And let us know what you think of the show when you check out CBAS at https://www.facebook.com/cincinnatibookarts

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

A Workshop with Gabrielle Fox: Full Leather Over An Exposed Spine

Gabrielle Fox/photo by Beth Gilbert
CBAS members and book artists are invited to this two-day workshop presented by Gabrielle Fox, a founding member of our organization. The author of The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books, Gabrielle is internationally known as a leading expert and artisan in the binding, conservation and restoration of fine books. Her career has included training and teaching in many distinguished institutions in the United States and Great Britain.  Besides having earned many awards and commendations, her work has appeared in numerous exhibits.  For more about Gabrielle Fox, and to see some of her wonderful work, go to: http://gabriellefox.com

Description of Workshop:
The full leather binding you will complete is a variation of an exposed sewing structure with a full leather spine protecting the spine stitching and creating a natural combination of tight back and hollow all in one structure.     

Based on the Multi-Section Pamphlet in Gabrielle's book The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books, this variation provides the strength & flexibility of a tight backed book with the ease of a hollow tube. Best of all is the full leather spine that protects the inner layer of exposed sewing. This can be titled or decorated as in a full leather traditional binding.

The delight of this structure is the ease with which it opens and the possible variations that can be used for both design and conservation binding. 

You will complete one full-leather binding, with leather onlays, if you choose, in this two-day class.

Dates:       Saturday and Sunday, May 31 and June 1, 2014.

Time:        9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Lunch 12:00-1:00)

Place:        College of Mount St. Joseph, Art Department
                   5701 Delhi Rd, Cincinnati, OH 45233
                   Specific directions will be sent to registrants prior to the workshop.

Cost:         $120 for the cost of the 2-day workshop + $30 for materials 
                   payable at the start of the workshop.

What to Bring:   Items noted on Supply List.  Brown bag lunch.

Details:               •Space is limited to ten participants.  
                            •Deadline for reservations is Monday, May 19, 2014

To obtain a Registration Form and Supply List, contact Margaret Rhein at paperpeg@gmail.com and put "FOX WORKSHOP" as your subject line.

Please note that the supply list for the workshop includes some preparation prior to the workshop. 


Sunday, April 13, 2014

CBAS Member has NY Show

Our own Diane Stemper (Oxford, Ohio) is on her way to New York City this week to help install an exhibit of her work as a Featured Artist at The Center for Book Arts. Titled Diane Stemper—Sample Close at Hand, the exhibit opens April 18 and runs through June 28.
Diane Stemper's Universal Sample, intaglio & letterpress
Artist Statement: The works in "Sample Close at Hand" reference Charles Darwin, medical collections and biological studies, codified in a series of prints and artist books and books built into petri dishes. The dish references a culture of microorganisms and serves as a metaphor for the cultural context of science qnd the connection between our relationship with nature and science.
Diane Stemper's Cell: Compendium, books in petri dishes

So...if you're headed to NYC in the next couple of months, be sure to drop in and take a look. The Center for Book Arts is located at 28 W. 27th Street, 3rd floor. And send us some photos of the installation! Congratulations to Diane for an exhibit at this prestigious location.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Remember this weekend's meeting...

Hope you're planning on joining us for the CBAS Potluck and Annual Meeting this Saturday at the North Presbyterian Church in Northside. (Blog post of Mar. 3 has details.) It will be a great time to

chat with your fellow CBAS members, 
check out their book projects at the show & tell table, 
have a delicious shared lunch, 
officially vote on the new board, 
get caught up on organization business,
hear about plans for the future,
and enjoy guest speakers Barbara and David Day. 

See you there!

Sunday, March 23, 2014


Many thanks to Study Group Coordinator Janice Kagermeier who sent us this post:

What a great afternoon at our March 8 Study Group meeting, and what a perfect example of cooperation among Study Group members. Cran Campbell, Jack Campbell, Judy Dominic, Carol Freid and Anne Leader each contributed their individual expertise and enthusiasm about the making and use of walnut ink. For the afternoon, the Corryville Branch Library was transformed into a fair, with each of the presenters at a separate booth.

Anne Leader opened the session by explaining her process for making her own walnut ink, and later answered questions from virtually everyone in the group, now determined to begin collecting walnuts and making some of the beautiful ink. Each attendee went home with detailed instructions and a bottle of Anne's ink to continue experimenting.
Anne brought several vintages of her homemade ink
Although Judy Dominic couldn't be with us, she sent a great display about using walnut ink for dying fabric and paper. Everyone left with a number of paper and fabric samples, two of each, one done using the cold dyeing process and one using the hot.
Judy's walnut display
At Jack Campbell's booth, we had a chance to learn about two important elements of Japanese spiritual ritual: making shide—zigzag paper streamers—and using walnut ink to create ensō, Zen circles of enlightenment.
Carol Freid set up a table with beautiful examples of implements that can be used in making marks with walnut ink, from simple kitchen twine to beautiful imported brushes and other tools. It was fun to have the opportunity to experiment with them and discover some of the unexpected results.
Carol's mark making display
 Be sure to check out a great collection of photos from the afternoon by Maxine Seelenbinder-Apke, Cecie Chewning, Janice Kagermeier and Peg Rhein, who compiled and annotated them:

Twenty happy participants each left with a handful of experiments on paper, a head full of new information a lovely little kit of small mark making tools and a beautiful brush rest thanks to Carol and Anne's generosity and skill as potters. Many thanks to Anne, Carol, Cran, Jack and Judy for all of their hard work making this one of the real highlights of the Study Group calendar in the last several years.
Brush rest

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Your blogger sure had fun the last couple of days taking a mini-mono workshop at Tiger Lily Press with Press Director (and CBAS friend) Theresa Kuhr. Class size was limited to 3 so we could each have our own press. I got the medium-sized Charles Brand. Doesn't he look strong and willing to help even an amateur?
Theresa gave us a good demo of what to do and then turned us loose with stencils, paper and primary ink colors to be as creative as possible...or, at least, to learn how to use the tools. Here's Jessica inking.
Theresa had put up some minis she produced during the last session to encourage us.
She was so helpful, especially to those of us with no printing experience (me). Here she is checking to see what Sharon is working on.
The bonds between CBAS and Tiger Lily Press are strong. If you haven't already taken a class there, do consider it. Might provide inspiration for those artists' books you are going to produce in the future—maybe a nice portfolio of your prints or a story with your own illustrations. Check out Tiger Lily's blog for more information on the variety of upcoming classes: www.tigerlilypress.blogspot.com
Tired brayers rest after a wild time on the plexi.

CBAS members: Have you taken a workshop/class we should know about? Contact your blogger and share the details.