Tag Archives: Bay Area Book Artists

Turning it 90 degrees: Why Having a Community of Artists Matters

You may remember how I got stuck on making the titles using embossing powder and how a visit to the Maker Faire helped me gain a new perspective: Turn it 90 Degrees.

Well after a visit with a friend and fellow artist, Don Drake of Dreaming Mind Bindery, I’ve had another 90 degree moment. This time provided by Don, “Use straight PVA.”

I do use straight PVA, but never for covering boards. I was taught to use some combination of PVA and methyl cellulose for workability and drying time and, quite honestly, I didn’t have a good understanding of what I was doing by adding the methyl cellulose – I was adding moisture/water.

So Don and I were chatting about my new quilt book (still in progress) and the covers that I’d done so far. I wasn’t happy with the way there was some glue bleed through (see original post and photo) and when Allison, via comments to the blog post, asked if I considered making the quilt pieces into book cloth I thought, “Doh! Why didn’t I do that?”

Fast forward to a conversation with some artist friends about the best way to make book cloth from the quilt pieces and Don asks me, “Why don’t you use straight PVA?” Well, because you don’t use straight PVA  on book covers, right? Don pointed out that the bleed through was because of the moisture in the methyl cellulose and maybe some from the PVA. He recommended that I try straight PVA wet and, if that didn’t work, roll the PVA on the board until it was tacky and almost dry and then use heat to reactivate it to glue on the cloth.

I haven’t actually tried to glue the quilt with the straight PVA yet, I’m still working on the content of the book, but I did try it on the covers for the most recent copies of The Heaven Project. What a dream! The paper I use for the covers is lovely but moody and when I switched from the PVA/methyl cellulose mixture to straight PVA (wet) – wow! The paper was happy, I was happy, and my covers are beautiful.

My conversation with Don reminded me that I need to get to know my materials better and not just do what I’ve been taught to do. Mix it up a bit. Try straight PVA. It also reminded me that having a community of artists to toss ideas around with and to ask questions of makes all the difference.

Do you have a community of artists to collaborate with? A great place to start is with the Book Arts Web. Join the list serv and you will instantly be part of a world-wide community of artists.

Do you have a local group? If so, make the time to go. I know, you’ll never have enough time in the studio and it’s tempting to hunker down on your own. But chatting with other artists who have the same challenges you do, who have knowledge that you don’t, who are enthusiastic about art – it is worth the time for your art and your soul.

My local group is the Bay Area Book Artists. If you live in the San Francisco Bay Area, you are welcome there, too! Can’t find a group in your area? Email the Book Arts Web, ask if anyone knows of a group near you. Contact your local college and see if they can refer you. Take a local art class and make a friend. Find just one other artist near you and have lunch once a month. Invite artists as you go and pretty soon you’ll have your own group.

Feel free to post links to your local groups in the comments section – the more the merrier.



Art with Children – And an Alphabeastiary

Last week I was invited by Anne, a fellow artist, to visit the International School of the Peninsula in Palo Alto, CA to share my artists’ books with two second grade classes.

It was very fun to see the children’s book projects. One class is making pop-up books of monuments from around the world. Another class is making moveable picture show books in shoeboxes with dowels to turn the scrolls.

It was much less challenging to explain, “What is an artist book?” to second graders than it is to adults. From their perspective it was art and a book. Period. Since we were in their library, we looked at how some of my books look just like a library book and can sit on a shelf, while others hardly look like “books” at all. I enjoyed sharing in their excitement in looking at the books I’d brought and I was impressed with the care they showed in handling them.

One of their favorites was a collaborative alphabet book that I made with other artists in the Bay Area Book Artists called Alphabeastiary (each artist made enough prints of their letter for everyone, and then we bound them in our own choice of binding. My binding includes a set of alphabeastiary blocks that I made by scanning the prints and then gluing them to wooden blocks.) The kids had a great time guessing each animal and seemed to really like that every artist has such a different style. Here is a slide show of the book followed by the artist’s information:

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Title by Deborah Kogan
Edition Variable: 30 Sunprints
Image based on a medieval bestiary page in the St. John’s College Oxford Library depicting a dragon (symbolizing the devil) killing an elephant; Van Dyke Brown and cyanotype contact sunprints, digital negative on Pictorico transparency; background – stenciled onto the print, stencil brush, gold stamp pad

Introduction by Deborah Kogan
Edition: 30 Screen Prints
Print Gocco ink; “Papyrus” font; Print Gocco screen printing machine

Alligator by Kit Davey
Edition: 30 Stencils
Paper stencils; spray paint, card stock
Blue-Footed Booby by Ginnie Mickelson       
Edition: 30 Relief Prints
Linoleum block,  oil-based Daniel Smith relief ink, Somerset paper;  hand printed with a baren; blue feet – stenciled onto the print, stencil brush
Cow by David Trujillo
Edition: 30 Relief Prints, 8 Artist’s Proofs
Based on an image from the Internet; Nasco “Safety-Kut” block, hand carved; Graphic Chemical oil-based inks, Rives BFK paper; Sturges etching press
Dragon by Karen Chew
Edition: 51 Screen Prints (additional prints will be sent as mail art)
Image hand-drawn in ink based on a photograph of a Japanese dragon statue; Riso inks, Rives BFK paper; Print Gocco screen printing machine
Elephant by Nanette Wylde        
Edition: 30 Relief Prints
Image of the elephant deity Ganesha, patron of arts and sciences, deva of intellect and wisdom, from an unsigned appropriated source (copied, altered, laser-etched), carved into linoleum; oil-based inks, Rives BFK paper; etching press
Frog With Fleas by Nancy Welch
Edition: 30 Embossed Handmade Paper
Base paper made from plant fibers, “frog” paper made from rags; rolling pin press.

Gargoyle by Wren  Clark    
Edition: 30 Relief Prints, 10 Artist’s Proofs
Hand-drawn image; linoleum block, oil-based ink, Rives BFK paper; Line-o-Scribe letterpress

Horse by Cindy Hill
Edition: 30 Screen Prints, 6 Artist’s Proofs
Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink, Canford 70 lb. paper (Snow White)

‘I’iwi (Hawaiian finch) by Jone Small Manoogian
Edition: 30 Screen Prints, 8 Artist’s Proofs
Twelve hand-mixed colors, ten hand-cut film stencils, six subsequent block-outs; Speedball Water Soluble Screen Printing Ink, Rising Stonehenge paper (Antique White); artist-made wooden screen, 16-inch by 13-inch frame,13-inch by 10-inch screen opening,16-inch by 16-inch Formica covered  plywood bed, 4-inch wide vinyl squeegee

Jellyfish by Ginger R. Burrell     
Edition: 30 Relief Prints, 10 Artist’s Proofs
Linoleum block, Speedball printing ink, Rives BFK paper

Koi by Karen Koshgarian
Edition: 30 Relief Prints, 6 Artist’s Proofs
Hand-cut Speedball Speedy Carve block; Speedball Water Soluble Block Printing Ink, Rives BFK paper (cream); brayer, printed by hand
Llama by Becky Barber
Edition: 30 Screen Prints, 10 Artist’s Proofs
Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink, Rives BFK paper    

Manatee by Astrid Smith
Edition: 38 Relief Prints
Two-plate linocut, linoleum; Rives Lightweight paper; Vandercook letterpress

Narwhal by Kimball Hamilton, Two Left Hands Press
Edition 30 Relief Prints
Photopolymer relief plates; rubber-based inks; Chandler & Price Pilot platen letterpress

Octopus  by  Elise Guidoux   
Edition: 30 Relief Prints, 4 Artist’s Proofs
Foam cut out and surface distressed, Speedball Water Soluble Block Printing Ink, Rives BFK paper (cream); brayer, printed by hand

Pig  by Dottie Cichon 
Edition: 32 Relief Prints, 2 Artist’s Proofs
Hand-carved; soft linoleum block, Speedball Water Soluble Block Printing Ink, Rives BFK paper; Jack Richeson & Company press

Quail by Karen Cutter
Edition: 30 Relief Prints, 10 Artist’s Proofs
Image created with handset wood and metal type; oil-based ink, Rives BFK paper; Line-o-Scribe letterpress

Rooster by Rae Trujillo
Edition: 30 Relief Prints
Free-hand drawing based on a photograph; two-plate collograph, card stock, varnish; Graphic Chemical oil-based inks, Stonehenge paper; Rembrandt etching press

Snake by Linda Stinchfield        
Edition: 30 Relief Prints
Photopolymer relief plates; Precision Graphics Perfect Palette ink

Turtle Dreams by Jeanne Schreiber
Edition: 30 Screen Prints
Speedball Acrylic Screen Printing Ink, Canford 70 lb. Paper (Snow White)
Urchin by Karin A. Schulz            
Edition: 30 Relief Prints with Blind Debossing
Original design; plate – layered, heavy manila paper and 1/8-inch linoleum; color added to selected areas of the plate with a roller; Open Acrylic paint, Arches Cover paper (white); etching press.
Vulture by Pati Bristow
Edition: 30 Relief Prints, 3 Artist’s Proofs
(Artist intends to further carve the block and print an edition of 50 postcards)
Altered public domain image – “1894 Laughable Lyrics: A Fourth Book of Nonsense Poems, Songs, Botany, Music, etc. by Edward Lear;” hand-carved plate, linoleum; Graphic Chemical oil-base ink (Bismark Brown), Rives BFK paper; Line-o-Scribe letterpress        

Walrus by Pat McEwin Smith
Edition: 30 Screen Prints, 8 Artist’s Proofs
Image inspired by a public domain image (redrawn, resized and digitally printed on a transparency), photo-emulsion screen;  Water-Based Yudu ink, Lenox printmaking paper; Yudu Screen Printer   

Xantus’s Murrelet by Cindy Lee
Edition: 50 Relief Prints, 1 Artist’s Proof
Original drawing; single-plate, hand-carved, Speedball E-Z Cut block; Speedball Water Soluble Block Printing Ink, Rives BFK paper; brayer, paint brush (dabbed red); Line-o-Scribe letterpress      

Yapok (aquatic marsupial) by Raven Erebus
Edition: 30 Relief Prints
Two print runs: First – linocut using a blend of blue and gold ink, Second – metal type (Gillies font set) using a blend of green and gold ink; Rives BFK Heavyweight paper; Old Reliable platen letterpress

Zebra, By Sally Cole
Edition: 40 Screen Prints, 2 Artist’s Proofs
Image photo-transferred onto photo-emulsion screen;  Water-Based Yudu ink (fuchsia), Lenox printmaking paper; Yudu Screen Printer