Friday, January 17, 2020


Australian Reverse Piano Hinge Binding. Dianne Byington took all of those words and showed us how this deceptively simple book structure could be used in a multitude of ways. We brought nothing more than 4 rectangles of card stock folded in half and a 4 1/2 x 3" scrap of cardstock for hinge pins. The basic book was shown on the first page of the January newsletter.

To begin, Dianne handed out an instruction sheet that included detailed step-by-step instructions as well as a page with color photographs of the general steps to make the structure. Three of the cardstock pages would serve as signatures, the fourth would serve as a cover, and the small paper would serve as a hinge pin (which slips into a tab to hold the book together). Dianne supplied additional paper for the hinge (which acts as the spine and holds the signatures together). She had a table of samples using different materials, various configurations of the hinge itself, and varieties of hinge pins from paper to twigs.

The table was filled with different samples. The fuschia sample used punches
on the exposed hinge paper to give interest. The tiny blue book is made from tyvek.
 (Note: you can tap on the photograph and it will open in another tab where you can see a larger image.)
This sample is a book of shoes. The hinge pins are extended and curled to create
fireworks. The tabs holding the binding together are shaped and exposed
 for additional drama on the outside of the structure.

On the left is "My Book of Hinge Pins" with a cover to hide the hinge
(see below for another view). The blue book shows the hinge that has used
a water like paper punch on both pins and hinge.

"My Book of Hinge Pins" has pockets inside the book. The nature of the hinge
 allows thicker items added to the pages without causing the book to fan open.

This book signatures are not cardstock but rather text weight paper.
Photos have been attached to the hinge tabs.
We gathered around Dianne's table and watched as she demonstrated the steps to make the structure. We picked up the instruction sheets and other materials and started on our own books.
Dianne showing how the hinge tabs are formed.

This is the instruction for scoring and folding the hinge strip.
Note that the measurements are not consistent. We are making a working sample
 showing different size hinge tabs.

This is the folded hinge strip. The first and last flap will be connected
to the covers. The three mountain folds are inserted into a slit
 in the signatures and the page slides all the way to the valley fold.
This hinge becomes an open ended tab that will accept a hinge pin
to stabilize the page and the structure.
The red is the signature and a slit has been cut in the valley fold.
The white is the hinge and the mountain fold of the hinge is inserted from
 the outside to the inside becoming a tab for the hinge pin.

In this photo, the hinge tab is already in position and,
instead of a piece of paper for a hinge pin,
we inserted a popsicle stick to fill the tab and stabilize the signature.

Materials can completely change the look of the structure.
Our member is using paper with a different design on each side of the page.

In this sample, the hinge pin is simply adhered to the outside of the signature.

Another option for a cover is to use the fourth signature as a cover.
The fold of that signature is at the fore edge and the open side is at the spine.
Sandwich the hinge flap between the cover and it disappears.

After we were done, Dianne gave us another hinge and small stick
that was somewhat irregular. She demonstrated how to use a piece of text weight paper
 to measure a tab for an irregular hinge pin.

Show and Tell Table

At each meeting, we have three extra tables. One is the "Show and Tell" table. If we are playing with a new technique, finished a piece not in the exchange and want to talk about it, displaying a preview of the next month's workshop or an announcement or article, we have a place to put it. We usually announce those things before the exchange takes place.
"Into the Fold" is a full page newspaper article about origami classes that three of our members are taking.

Another member is experimenting with collage on recycled children's books. (Tap on the photo to see the detail.)

This lovely accordion card of flowers with cut-outs is lovely. 

This is a really TINY miniature book. 
The second table is interesting. Whether you are close enough to attend our meetings or are one of our distant members, you probably do the same as we do, you share. Those things go on our "FreeBee" table. Take what you like. Bring something if you like.
Since our next meeting is a valentine workshop making cards for shut-ins,
 card blanks were available. Calendars, brochures, magazines, containers and much
 more all find their way to the table.

The last table is very different. We have received donations from members
that are simply more valuable. So we put them on the table and they are for sale.
No prices, no one to watch to see what you pay. Just the change box and the items.
You decide what it is worth you and you make your own change.
Sometimes we have books, book blanks, finished projects, specialty papers
or even a calligraphy set. They all find a home and
the guild treasury has a bit to offset postage and the other expenses we incur.

See you next month!

Sunday, January 12, 2020


Pictured below are a few photographs from the December 2019 exhibition of artist books in the Sherry Grover Gallery upstairs at the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art (BIMA) in Washington. These books are curated by Cynthia Sears who is in the process of donating her extensive collection of artist books to the museum. For more information about BIMA and its ongoing tribute to book art click on the link below to the museum and gallery. Near the bottom of the page at this site there are also links to view many of the artist talks that have been given at BIMA.

Leonardo da Vinci's Platonic Solids by An Gates

Cancelling Out: A Compilation of last words and Grave Observations
by JoAnna Poehlmann

Poems of the Air by Nancy Ruth Leavitt

Words Out of Context by Chele Shepard

A As In Apple by JoAnna Poehlmann

Pencil Museum For Thoreau by JoAnna Poehlmann

Tuesday, December 31, 2019


Let's start off the first workshop of 2020 with this versatile binding taught by Dianne Byington. Apparently there are numerous variations and different names for this binding (Dianne found six). To add to our skills and techniques we will make an exposed-hinge cover, concealed-hinge cover, narrow and wide paper hinge pins, flat wooden hinge pin, insert and adhere an extra page for memorabilia or ephemera, AND make a hinge binding strip out of Canson Mi-Teints, Fabriano Tiziano, Tyvek, or 65+ lb cardstock.

Basic book with hinge & pin variations.

Flamboyant variations are within the realm of possibility.

Materials to bring:

  • Double-sided tape, any size from 1/4" to 1" wide
  • 4 pieces of cardstock for pages, any colors: 4 1/4" (or taller) x 11" folded in half to size 4 1/4" (or taller) x 5 1/2"
  • 1 piece of cardstock for hinge pins, any color: 4 1/4" (or taller) x 3"

Tools to bring:

  • Awl or push pin or paper piercing tool
  • Craft knife or Xacto
  • Cutting mat
  • Bone folder
  • Pencil and eraser
  • Magazine for piercing cradle (optional)
  • Ruler (optional)

Dianne will provide:
Some hinge binding strips and hinge pins and instructions. 

When:    Saturday, Jan. 11 at noon
Where:   Eureka Methodist Church at Del Norte & F Streets
Bring:     See list above
Cost:      $1
RSVP:     To Dianne by Jan. 7. Contact information in the newsletter

Wednesday, December 25, 2019


On December 14, local members got together for our annual social and card exchange. Sandy V’s home was the venue. She always decorates her home beautifully so this has become part of our holiday season. Each of us brings finger food and it is on display in Sandy’s kitchen. For about an hour before the actual exchange, we eat, talk and laugh together. Everyone is invited to be there whether they participate in the exchange or not.

When we enter Sandy's home, we walk into the kitchen
 and proceed to fill the counter with finger foods.

Sandy's kitchen is so spacious that we have one counter area
 for savory dishes and one for sweet.

So much talk about food, but it is the center gathering place to eat and talk,
 catch up with those we haven't seen in a while and discuss our projects.

During most workshop meetings, we have the exchange books on a table, then settle ourselves at the tables for a brief business meeting and then on to the workshop. We don't usually have the time to just sit and chat together.

We are all comfortable in the living room getting excited about the exchange. The cards are put on tables seen through the walkway on the left.

The holiday exchange is different than our usual book exchange. It is not a one-to-one exchange. Instead, we sign up in October to participate, bringing one card for each participant and one for the NORBAG library. This year each of us made 32 cards. The theme is holiday, not Christmas. We had Christmas, Hanukkah (Chanukah), winter solstice, new year’s and nature cards.

While this may sound simple, it involves a bit of work. Local folk simply sign up and show up with their cards. Those of us who are out of town know that there are mailing deadlines.  Dolores sets up the exchange making sure that all the cards are set out and oversees the actual exchange. After the rest of us go home, she takes the remainder of the cards home, makes packages for all the members who could not attend and mails them. It is a big job. 

This is the general setup in the dining room. We had enough cards that we used two tables.

We had two tables this year.

When we are all ready, we get a bag with our name on it and fill it with one of each card.
After we gather our cards, we sit in a lovely room with views overlooking part of the forest and with a huge floor to ceiling fireplace and the fun begins. Each person takes their turn at showing their own card, discussing materials, themes and how the cards are made. The out-of-towners send colophons and one of us reads the colophon for the card.

The room is beautiful. We had about 20 people attending this year.

Those members that can attend show their cards
 and add more information than is in the colophons.

One of our local members reads the colophons from people not attending.
At the social and at many of our workshops, we hear a refrain about something. At a recent workshop, we did something that involved thread and the refrain was "and put a bead on it." At the social this year, the refrain was “and it lies flat so that mailing is so easy.” We have had some interesting three-dimensional cards involving twigs, origami boxes, stars or other dimensional items that are a real puzzle to mail. 

This year, we talked about the workshops that we would like to have in the upcoming year. A couple of people volunteered to give workshops. We also sent a “thank you” card to a local merchant who gives us a small discount. And then we went home with our bag of cards. What a delightful day. If the out-of-towners are ever planning on being in Eureka, give us a call. We’ll let you know what we are doing and invite you to attend. Happy holidays to you all.

Get your list of themes for the upcoming year ready. It will be fun! 

Note: All of the photos are going up on Flickr. The instructions for getting yourself to the holiday album are in the newsletter and in the column to the left of the blog posts. Tap the "Album" area on the banner and you will see each month's exchange grouped together. Please feel free to expand upon your colophons. Since we put them in Flickr instead of the newsletter, we have much more room. Use it if you like.

Thursday, December 19, 2019


It's holiday celebration time at the Humboldt County Library in Eureka! Currently on display in the kiosk by the checkout counter are many handmade cards made by members of the North Redwoods Book Art Guild. Members who wish to join in the exchange sign up in advance and make an edition of original cards for all the participants. The cards celebrate winter holidays such as Hanukkah, the solstice, Christmas and the new year.

One display shelf features original cards made from recycled cards and papers. On another shelf there is an origami wreath card in tree print papers that collapses to a star shape with the flip side a sunny yellow with a celebratory solstice message. On an easel fold card a deer carries Hanukkah candles in its antlers. Other cards feature original calligraphy, lino prints from hand-carved quarter and full size stampers, marbled, handmade, and eco-dyed papers, and specialty inks. And to add to the beauty of these artistic cards are many meaningful messages and poetry by John Muir, Joseph Brodsky, and others. Inside one multiple folded card is this message based on writing by Friar Giovanni (1435-1515). "The gloom of the world is but a shadow. Behind it, yet within our reach is joy. Take joy."  

Our book art guild wishes you a joyous new year!

Monday, December 2, 2019


It's December, time for NORBAG's annual holiday party and card exchange! Once again Sandy Vrem has graciously offered her home for the event. Although the sign-up deadline for the card exchange has passed, everyone is invited to come and join in the festivities.

Cards from past holiday exchanges

Directions to Sandy's home will be in the newsletter. Please bring a goody to share...finger foods and nothing too gooey since we'll be handling the beautiful cards. We will not have the library with us at this gathering, but there will be a box so you can return any books you may have checked out or you may keep them until the January meeting.

More holiday cards from past years

What?    Holiday Party & Card Exchange
When?   Saturday, Dec. 4 at noon
Where?  Sandy Vrem's house - directions in the newsletter
Bring?    Finger food
RSVP?    No, but contact Sandy or Dolores for more information

We wish everyone a safe and happy holiday season and year to come!