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Applied Arts: Accordion book binding workshop September 27, 2010

Posted by claralieu in Applied Arts, book arts.
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Accordion book binding workshop

This past Saturday we hosted an Applied Arts workshop on Accordion book binding with photographer/book arts artist Cynthia Katz. Cynthia started out the workshop by introducing everyone to the numerous ways that the accordion style could be used by showing examples of her own books and others that she brought.

Accordion book binding workshop

Accordion book binding workshop

Next Cynthia gave a demonstration of the techniques and materials used in accordion book binding. One of the first steps was to determine which way the grain of the paper goes; the accordions have to be folded in the direction of the grain of the paper. To figure this out, you roll the paper over, and gently press down.  You do this in both directions and figure out which way presses more easily. It’s also important when working to have a flat, clean surface.  Magazines or newspapers are good for covering your surface; newspaper is not because the ink can get on your clean paper.  Other tools that are important are sharp scissors with a point, a heavy duty utility knife with a retractable blade, and old painting brushes that can be used as glue brushes, rulers with a corked back, and PVA glue. (Poly Vinyl Acetate) You can view all of the photos from this workshop on the Jewett Art Gallery’s Flickr page.

Accordion book binding workshop

Accordion book binding workshop

Accordion book binding workshop


Applied Arts: Coptic Bookbinding Workshop April 12, 2010

Posted by claralieu in Applied Arts, book arts.
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This past weekend the Applied Arts Program hosted the Coptic Bookbinding workshop, the last of our 2009-2010 workshop season. The workshop was led by Katherine McCanless Ruffin, the Book Arts Program Director here at Wellesley College and held in the Book Arts Lab on the fourth floor of the Clapp Library. The Coptic stitch technique evolved from the fourth century.  The essential idea behind this specific stitch is that the sewing in the book is exposed across the backbone.

Coptic Bookbinding Workshop

Katherine suggested the books “Volume I: Non-Adhesive Binding: Books Without Paste or Glue” by Kevin Smith and “Bookbinding: It’s Background and Technique” by Edith Diehl as references for the techniques taught at this workshop.

Coptic Bookbinding Workshop: Katherine McCanless Ruffin

(Above) Workshop instructor Katherine McCanless Ruffin demonstrates the Coptic stitching technique.  Note the fact that she is demonstrated on an oversized book model, as the stitches on the actual sized books would be too difficult for a large group of people to be able to see clearly during her demonstration.

Coptic Bookbinding Workshop

(Above) A workshop participant works uses a tool to punch the holes into the book pages. This ensures that the holes punched are precisely lined up every time.

What struck me about the techniques in bookbinding is all of the amazing specificity of the tools and machines used; many of the manual machines looked like they were from Medieval times, simply because there has been no need to change them over the centuries.

Coptic Bookbinding Workshop

Even the thread and curved needles used in bookbinding are specific to the technique:  Katherine recommended BookMakers, a company where you can purchase dyed Irish linen thread and curved needles. In the above photo you can see a little “pillow” in the upper left hand corner, which is filled with lead bits to act as a weight on the book pages.

Coptic Bookbinding Workshop

(Above) A workshop participant completes their book.

“Spine: Senior Exhibition”: Opening Reception December 11, 2009

Posted by claralieu in book arts, installation, Opening Receptions, painting, Student Exhibitions.
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This afternoon we hosted the opening reception for “SPINE: Senior Exhibition”.  We had an amazing turn out for the show, which made for a lively and festive event.

"Spine: Senior Exhibition": Opening Reception

At the opening reception, each of the artists spoke briefly about their works in the exhibition.

Jessica Planos, Class of 2010

Jessica Planos discusses her artist books.

Eliza Murphy, Class of 2010

Eliza Murphy talks about her self-portrait oil paintings.

Jenna Miller, Class of 2010

Jenna Miller discusses her installation “Frame”.

Eliza Murphy, Jessica Planos, Jenna Miller, Class of 2010

“Pulp” Preview: Katherine McCanless Ruffin August 27, 2009

Posted by claralieu in artists, printmaking.
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Apreview of a work that will be in “Pulp: Works on Paper by the Studio Art Faculty“:  “Portrait of a Universal No. 1, Number One”, a letterpress print by Book Arts Program Director Katherine McCanless Ruffin. Her artist statement is listed below the image.

Katherine McCanless Ruffin

“Portrait of a Universal One, Number One” was originally printed in response to an invitation from the Center for Book Arts Vandercook Book, in celebration of the centennial of the Vandercook company. I set myself the challenge of printing a portrait of my Vandercook Universal One printing press with metal and wood type in my studio. The main body of the press is printed from wood type. The broadside gave me the opportunity to experiment with varnish, metallic inks, and overprinting. After printing an original edition of 100 copies for the Vandercook Book, I was invited to reprint the portrait in an edition of 800 for the 2009 issue of the Matrix published by the Whittington Press. This print is from the reprint edition, which was printed from the original wood and metal type on the Universal One in August 2008.-Katherine McCanless Ruffin