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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