Monday, June 18, 2018


On June 9, 2018, Michele Kamprath led a workshop for a strap journal. We started with a text block of four signatures. It is a simple text block made with a kettle stitch at the head and tail of the spine and a single long stitch in the middle. What sets this book apart is that the long stitch is sewn over a strap that is then woven through the cover to bind the cover to the text block.

As usual, we all started with the same instructions and ended up with many different looking books.

Michele brought several examples of how the strap can connect to the covers.

This is Michele's sample. You can clearly see the long stitches through the window cutout. The strap stayed on the inside of the cover and then popped out and right back in. Both papers were decorated by Michele using a brush and acrylic inks.

The text block is made of four signatures with a kettle stitch at the head and tail
of the text block. A paper strip is caught by a single long stitch in the middle.

The paper is folded to make the one-half inch spine in the middle of the cover.

We "dry fit" the book in the cover. The band is not yet connected to the cover. Also notice that the cover extends beyond the signature. It will be folded back (to the inside) to result in an uncut lead edge for strength and appearance. It can also cover some of the mechanics of the structure.

Our next step was to measure the opening in the cover of the spine to show the stitching and the strap. There are several ways to cut this hole. It can be as simple as a cutout, or cutting an "I" that looks like cupboard doors that open resulting in two small cuts and two folded edges, or cutting an "X" cut that results in four folded edges.

 The next photos show variations for the strap.

This strap comes outside the opening and then is buried within the cover.

This strap starts outside of the cover and then weaves in-out-in on the cover.

This strap stays inside the cover until it pops out with a decorative cut end.

The front part of this strap stays outside of the hole and dips into a crescent shaped slit on the left. The back side of the strap is extended around the front and into another crescent shaped cut.

Take a look at the variety of books.

Hope you like them.

Sunday, June 10, 2018


In celebration of Flag Day, June 14th and Independence Day, July 4th, members of the North Redwoods Book Arts Guild have displayed flag and star structure books in the Humboldt County Library kiosk. Included are single and double flag books made with photographs, watercolor paintings of local landscapes, artwork, butterfly prints, and a signal-flag message.  Star books included feature tunnel pages, pockets, cut outs, recycled book pages, poetry, educational, artistic, and entertaining formats representing Matisse, Frida Kahlo, and other creative varieties.

e Flag Books f
“...a fold has two sides, each going in a different direction.
If a flag is pasted to one side of the fold,
 it will lie down heading in one direction; if pasted to the other side,
 the flag will lie pointing in the other direction.”
by Shereen LaPlantz
The flag book structure was developed in 1979 by Hedi Kyle.

e Star Books f
Star Books come in a variety of structures which form a star shape. 
Variations include
“ a triple layer accordion fold book,” “two sets of signatures... bound together with spacers...” and
“three layers of concertina folds, with cutouts, sewn together on the fore edge” and other star folds.
by Shereen LaPlantz

Thank you Dianne Byington for providing the photographs and creating this display.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


The June workshop will be a Strap Journal taught by Michele Kamprath. This is a fairly straightforward but fun version of a strap book that she learned in a Michael Jacobs workshop years ago. The great thing about this journal is that it can easily be changed from a simple journal to an elaborate one depending upon the papers that you use. Michele asks that you please have your papers cut to size ahead of time.

Materials to bring:

  • Cover paper - One piece Mi-Teints or similar weight paper, 5 5/8" high by 16" wide. Grain short.
  • Strap paper - One piece Mi-Teints or similar weight paper, matching or contrasting (will show up better) with your cover paper, 1 3/4" high by 8 1/2" wide. Grain short.
  • Signatures - 12 pieces text weight paper 8 1/2" X 11" cut in half for four signatures with six papers each 5 1/2" X 4 1/4" when folded.
  • Three pieces of 3-4-ply waxed linen thread or #5 Perle cotton thread to match or contrast with your cover and strap colors.
Note: If you have papers you'd rather use other than plain text papers, feel free to use those cut to size. The bulk of the signature should be approximate to a signature made with text paper. Slightly bulkier is okay.

Tools to bring:

  • Metal ruler
  • Cutting knife with a sharp blade
  • Cutting mat
  • Pencil
  • Bone folder
  • Needle
  • Awl
  • Scissors
  • Piercing cradle
Note: Michele will supply instructions and jig papers.

When:   Saturday, June 9 at noon
Where:  Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:    See above list...papers cut in advance
Cost:     50 cents
RSVP:    YES, by June 4 to Michele. Contact information in the newsletter.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018


The May workshop featured miniature pop-ups. Edge Gerring shared what she learned from a workshop she took at the Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival (NPBAF) taught by fellow NORBAG member, Jackie Wygant. As you will see from the photos, it was fun yet challenging to work with tiny pop-ups to fit into a tiny book which fits into a tiny matchbox. Tiny was definitely the theme of the day!

Making the cover

A beautiful cover

Cutting out and coloring the various parts

Preparing the pop-ups

The snake

The snake spirals out when the page is opened
 and the butterfly spreads its wings.

Cutting out the flower pot

Gluing the book together

Many thanks to Jackie and Edge for sharing this fun structure!

NORBAG members who attended the April Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival brought some of their creations to share for Show & Tell.

Collage reveal

Book Necklaces

Buttonhole Binding, and in the background, a Spirit House

Sunprint, Blueprint, Cyanotype

And last but not least, here is a photo of some of the May exchange books. Individual photos plus colophons will soon be available for viewing in the Guild Flickr gallery. Click on the link in the upper left hand corner of this page.

The theme for the month was Project Page or Compendium structures.

Friday, May 18, 2018


The theme for May in the Humboldt County Library kiosk is "Age-old techniques still in use". Dianne B. has created a display that includes: handmade papers, calligraphy, Coptic binding, case binding, stab binding, and a page for a human powered letterpress. Blue Ox Historical Park loaned the single book page with decorative elements for the display. It is an incredibly heavy “made ready chase” all ready for ink and a foot powered treadle letterpress. The chase was created by Times Printing Company, a local print shop in business since 1854. Celebrate the old techniques and welcome new technology! 

Coptic and case bound books

Here are examples of books with handmade papers and calligraphy.

These books have stab bindings.

This "page" is ready for printing.

Thank you to Blue Ox Historical Park for lending these pieces from the Times Printing Company collection. For more information about Blue Ox visit their website at

Sunday, May 13, 2018


The 23rd annual Newport Paper & Book Arts Festival (NPBAF) was held the weekend of April 20th. With 107 participants including 21 NORBAG members (four who were also instructors), it was the largest NPBAF attendance recorded. There was a wonderful variety of classes that covered surface design, collage, printing, mixed media, assemblage, various book bindings, and the Dremel tool. We were lucky to experience beautiful sunny weather the whole weekend along with a robust ocean breeze in the afternoons. Included below are some photos from the festival.

We love the Sylvia Beach Hotel!

Sandy V. and Jackie W. at the evening reception.

Cheri A. and Dolores G. in the lobby of the Sylvia Beach Hotel.

Randi P. showing her work in the Exposed Binding class.

Spirit House class members display their houses.

Woven spine binding class participants.

Margo K. setting out materials for her woven spine binding class.

A sampling of books from the woven spine binding class.

Michele K.'s beautiful woven spine book.

Dolores G.'s  class making three different book bindings and closures.

These books were made in the Textured & Bound class.

Randi P.'s Japanese Screen structure with her eco-dyed papers.

One of John A's books from the Instructor's show.

Spirit houses from the Instructor's show.

Another beautiful book from the Instructor's Show.