North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Tuesday, May 28, 2024



Our June workshop will be a lesson in how to make a basic tunnel book. Taught by Celeste Chalasani, this will be an introduction into the world of tunnel books. What is a tunnel book? It is a structure that contains pages that are held together by folded strips of paper on each side that resemble an accordion. To “read” a tunnel book you look through a hole in the front cover. Each page features openings that allow the reader to see through to the back page. The images on each page work together to form a three-dimensional scene. The overall effect is an illusion of depth and perspective. According to Wonderopolis, tunnel books date back to the mid-18th century when they were originally called “peep shows.” The concept was inspired by theatrical stage sets.

Participants in this workshop will need to print and cut out photos and “things” to go on four pages. In the workshop, we’ll cut frames, attach the “things” to the frames, create the accordion folds for the sides, and then attach the pages to the sides. Celeste will talk about variations—specifically about how you can add more pages and make the accordion longer to avoid the swell (and what that does to the book).


  • One 3" x 5" photo printed out on cardstock. The photo should be a background photograph, showing something in the distance.  Celeste's photo above is from the "Meanwhile in Saskatchewan" Facebook page. Cut out your photo leaving a 1/2" margin all around so that the actual piece will be 4" x  6".
  • Three additional "things" of varying sizes for the foreground of the tunnel. Celeste's examples are two trees and a deer, both clipart found using Google images. "Thing" number one that's the closest to you, should be the largest. "Thing" two should be slightly smaller, and "thing" three should be the smallest. All three of these "things" should be larger than what's shown in your background photo. The three "things" will need to touch the frame they are attached to and should be cut out leaving a 1/2" tab on the side where they'll touch: underneath (if they touch the ground), above (if they touch the sky), or on either side.
  • Three (3) pieces of cardstock cut to 4" x 6"
  • Two (2) pieces of text-weight paper cut to 4" x 4"
  • Ruler
  • Xacto knife
  • Stylus or similar scoring tool
  • Glue stick 
  • scrap paper for gluing

When:    Saturday June 8, at 10 PDT
Where:   On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:     Dolores Guffey by June 3
Workshop Questions:  Celeste Chalasani
Zoom Questions:  Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is in the newsletter.

Here are three more photos from the May Interlocking Accordion workshop taught by Mary Conley.

Sherrill Story

Thanks Sherrill for sharing your photos.


Monday, May 13, 2024


 We had a great workshop on May 11 learning how to make an interlocking accordion. Mary Conley led us through the steps of how to put together this simple yet adaptable structure. Perhaps the best part is that there is no sewing and minimal gluing required. The size can be altered as long as you keep the ratio the same between the two accordion strips. We also learned a nifty little tip on how to easily fold a 10 sided accordion. Many thanks to Mary for coming up with this variation of a structure she learned from another NORBAG member, Kit Davey.

Here are some of the books that were made during or after the workshop.

Emmy Nelson

Stephanie Weigel

Michele Kamprath

Dolores Guffey

Notes from the Art Lab

By Bonnie Halfpenny

If you live anywhere near Minneapolis I’m sure you’re aware of the Minnesota Center for the Book Arts (MCBA). If not, you can still benefit by a visit to their excellent website at Now housed in a facility called Open Book, it is part of a comprehensive literary and book arts facility that served some 82,000 patrons of all ages last year.

Classes of all skill levels are taught. Some that are available online include Book Arts 101, Eleven Basic Book Structures, and Mail is Magic; all found under the Education Tab.

Under Exhibits & Events there are several virtual exhibits including Solastalgia: Book Art & the Climate Crisis, Drop Dead Gorgeous: Fine Bindings, and Bound/Unbound.

Besides residencies and fellowships, the Center also invites artists across the country to submit their work for sale in the consignment shop which can be found under the Shop tab. The application is online and they generally review applications within two weeks. The artist retains 60% of the sale price.

Summer’s coming…if you are headed to this part of the world, this would be a great place to visit in person!

Sunday, April 28, 2024


 The May NORBAG workshop will be taught by our member from Victoria, BC, Mary Conley. The Interlocking Accordions structure is a variation of a book by Kit Davey. Mary describes it as being "fairly easy to make". As you can see from the following photographs, the structure is perfect for showcasing art or photos.


Two (2) long accordions
  • One is 4.5 inches tall and 30 inches long. This is the illustrated part of the book. It needs to be folded into 10 pages that are 3 inches wide. Lightweight paper, like wrapping paper, is recommended.
  • The second accordion is 4.5 inches tall by 24 inches long. A stiffer paper is cardstock. This piece needs to be folded into 8 pages that are 3 inches wide.
  • Bone folder
  • Xacto knife or box cutter
  • Pencil
  • Eraser
  • Ruler
  • Scissors
  • Glue stick
  • Template: Cut from cardstock a rectangle measuring 4.5 x 3 inches.

When:   Saturday, May 11 at 10 a.m. PDT
Where:  On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:    To Dolores Guffey by May 6 to receive the password
Workshop Questions:  Mary Conley,
Zoom Questions: Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is in the newsletter.

Tuesday, April 16, 2024


At the April NORBAG workshop we made Girdle books (not really related to the kind of girdles that are worn as foundation garments 😉). The design for our books came from structures used during the middle ages that hung down from a person's belt. In this day and age, this type of book would work great as a nature journal where one could have their hands free, but the book would be very accessible. Lara Cox was our instructor and she did a great job leading us through this project. Now that we know the basics of how this structure works, it will be very interesting to see if our members come up with some other interpretations of the design. Thank you Lara for introducing us to this historical structure. Below are a couple of examples of books made during the workshop.

Sherrill Story

Sherrill's husband demonstrated
 how to wear her book.

Bonnie Julien

Inside cover of Bonnie's book.

Colette Fu

In November 2023 the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) welcomed artist Colette Fu for a month-long residency. Fu's work is a melding of her photography and pop-up engineering. Featured below are some of the books that were exhibited in the Sherry Grover gallery.

The legend is that Butterfly Mother gave birth
to 12 eggs, the origin of all living things.

Miao Fishing Contest

Saturday, March 23, 2024


Our April workshop will be a follow-up to the March French Link stitch workshop taught by Lara Cox. For those of us who attended, we ended up with a 5 1/2" x 4 1/4" text block sewn with the French Link stitch. Now we're ready to turn that into a Girdle Book. Lara describes Girdle Books as "small portable books worn by medieval European monks, clergymen and aristocratic nobles as a popular accessory to medieval costume. They consisted of a book whose leather binding continued loose below the cover of the book in a long, tapered tail. The tail ended in a large knot which could be tucked into one's girdle or belt. The knot was usually strips of leather woven together for durability. The book hung upside down and backwards so that when swung upwards it was ready for reading. The books were most often religious in nature: a cleric's daily Office, or for lay persons (especially women), a Book of Hours."

Tools Needed:

  • Pencil, Ruler, Bone folder, Scissors
  • PVA Glue (or favorite paste) and brush for gluing.
  • Scrap paper for use in gluing. Old magazines work great.
  • Sewing needle and thread for finishing off the belt knot at the top of your fabric binding.

Please Prepare Ahead of Class:

  • Book Block: The book block you made in the March workshop or one of the same size: 5 1/2" tall x 4 1/4" wide x 5/8" thick.
  • Decorative End Papers: 2 pieces that measure 5 1/2" tall x 8 1/2" wide. These will be the End Papers at the front and back of your book. Mi Teintes or a similar weight of paper will work.
  • Bottom Paper/Fabric: This piece finishes the bottom of your book where the cover fabric extends. It can be a piece of your cover fabric or a color that matches your cover. (This piece needs to be 9" wide x 1 1/2" tall.)
  • Book Boards: 2 pieces precut book board measuring 5 3/4" tall x 4 5/8" wide for front and back covers. AND 1 piece of book board for the spine measuring 5 3/4" tall x 1/2" wide. **Note: Cereal boxes and such while not as heavy duty as book board are usable in place of book board for many bindings.
  • Cording and/or Ribbons for the closure and knot: 3 to 4 feet.
  • Pre-cut Cover Fabric: 24" tall x 10 1/2" wide. Suggested fabrics: Mid-weight wovens: cotton, linen or silk. Fake leather such as ultra suede or real leather as long as it's soft enough to fold easily. NO stretchy or sheer fabrics.
  • Cover Decoration: If you wish to pre-decorate the front of your cover, note that you will be working on the upper right corner of your fabric. The area in which you may decorate is 5" tall x 3 1/2" wide. Leave a border of 3/4" on the top and 1" on the right side free of decoration as these areas will be folded under.

When:    Saturday April 13 at 10 a.m. PDT
Where:   On your computer, tablet, or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:    Dolores Guffey by April 8 to receive the password
Workshop questions: Lara Cox
Zoom questions: Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is in the newsletter

Tuesday, March 12, 2024


 At our March workshop Lara Cox guided us through making a French Link stitched book block that will be used in her April workshop where we will make a Medieval Girdle book. The French Link stitch is a very pretty stitch that is best shown off on an exposed binding book, but alas, it will not be seen in the Girdle book. Its other great feature is that it allows a book to open flat for ease of writing and that is why it works well in this book. Our thanks go to Lara for teaching us this stitch, and ultimately, the Medieval Girdle book in April. Below, are photos of one example of a Girdle book and some of the book blocks that were made at our workshop.

A Medieval Girdle book found on Pinterest.
The book generally hangs down from one's belt.

Two book blocks by Emmy Nelson.

Michele Kamprath

Sherrill Story

Stephanie Weigel

Notes from the Art Lab

by Bonnie Halfpenny

Many of you are probably familiar with Helen Hiebert's podcasts with paper makers. If not, head to Helen's amazing website at for a world of paper making information just waiting to be found.

For example, recent podcast #108 is a lengthy interview with Peter Thomas about his very down-to-earth start as a papermaker at Renaissance Fairs in the '70's.  This led him to make small blank books to sell, along with his wife Donna, who did the casings and illustrations.

Peter was committed to making the very best paper and books possible.  Along the way, he talked to everyone he could about how to improve.  In his podcast, he gives a really detailed description of the process of dipping the screen to lift the pulp properly.  He emphasizes the fluid motion and the proper stance of the professional papermaker.  If you have ever had back pain from pulling pulp, Peter now has a free YouTube video on how to avoid this at  Many of us have watched glassblowers- I wonder how many of us appreciate the skill of the professional papermaker!

All of that great craftsmanship leads to beautiful books, so head over to (or just search their names), for close-up shots of dozens of Peter and Donna's wonderful books, in categories from Miniatures, to Unique, to Fine Press, to Ukuleles.

Their inspiring book, More Making Books by Hand, first published in 2004, is still available.  Also see their website for other published works. 

Side note: NORBAG members from Humboldt County have been fortunate to have welcomed Peter and Donna for workshops and informal get-togethers when they have passed through the area. Below is a photograph of them taken at one of those visits at the Arcata Marsh.

Peter and Donna Thomas and their gypsy wagon bookmobile.

The wagon parked in Dolores' meadow during a 2019 visit.

Monday, February 26, 2024


Our March workshop will be taught by Lara Cox in preparation for the April workshop. Here is Lara's description:

"One of my absolute favorite ways of sewing signatures together...the French Link Stitch, is a spine sewing often used for exposed bindings where you can see the stitching. It is decorative in its finished asymmetrical "X" pattern. It can also be used in a case binding where the stitching would be covered up. I use it both ways because I like my books to lie flat when opened as this stitch allows beautifully.

**Of special note: This workshop is a precursor to the April (Medieval Girdle Book) workshop with the idea that we will be using the sewn block we make in March for the April workshop. If you are skipping this workshop or want to sew your signatures together with a different technique, you may do so as long as you stick with the measurements of this signature structure. That way it will still work for the Girdle Book."

French Link stitches sewn over tapes.

Tools and materials for the March workshop:

  • Pencil, Ruler, Awl, Bone Folder, Scissors, Beeswax
  • Thread: Book binding or embroidery thread
  • A piece of foam core board, cardboard or an old magazine big enough to use under your signatures when punching holes.
  • Also, super handy to have on hand: Patience with yourself.

Please have prepared ahead of the workshop:

  • 30 pieces of paper measuring 5 1/2" tall by 8 1/2" wide. Ideally, grain should be parallel with the 5 1/2" direction. Paper can be printer paper weight or a bit heavier. (We will want the final book block to be 5/8" thick when completed to best work with our April binding.)
  • This will be the pages that then make up the signatures. Lara says not to worry because all will be explained in the workshop.
When:    Saturday March 9 at 10 a.m. PST
Where:   On your computer, tablet or smartphone via Zoom
RSVP:    To Dolores Guffey by March 4 to receive the password
Workshop Questions:  Lara Cox,
Zoom Questions:  Bobbie Hayes
Contact information is in the newsletter.