Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Mendocino Art Exhibit

Last month we received an invitation from Janet Self, a member of FLOCKworks, to share some of our books at one of their shows--Art of Letter, Word & Book, taking place in Mendocino, CA. Our guild sent 34 books, both exchange books and books that had been in our own exhibits over the years. This exhibit is part of Art @ Odd Fellows, which began in 2007 with the loan of a building to allow special short term exhibits by groups of artists. FLOCKworks facilitates this on-going series. Art of Letter, Word & Book runs from May 1-May 25 so there is still a short amount of time to explore this hands-on exhibit about art, language, and books by local and regional artists. This includes handmade artists' books, calligraphy, letterpress, text into other art, altered books, art made up from up-cycled books, plus related work in wood, ceramics and more. The location is: Art @ Odd Fellows at the corner of Kasten and Ukiah Streets in Mendocino Village. Recently NORBAG members Edge Gerring and Sandy Vrem visited the exhibit and provided us with the following photographs. The first three and last photos include the books from NORBAG members.

Thank you Edge and Sandy for sharing your photographs.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Margaret Beech, Traveling Book Artist

   Margaret is NORBAG’s most prolific non-local member. She has been participating in all the monthly exchanges ever since she joined in 1998. OK, she may have missed one or two exchanges but they were due to postal mishaps and not because she forgot to make a book. Now this might not seem all that difficult, but Margaret lives in York, England so advance planning and preparation is essential to make and mail books in time for our meetings in Northern California. Besides keeping up with the monthly NORBAG exchanges Margaret also participates in her local book art group, Quarto. And she is always willing to share her love of book art and calligraphy with others. She has visited Humboldt County four times and taught at NORBAG workshops and then continued up the coast to attend workshops at the Newport Paper Arts Festival. Recently she shared with us some photographs and information about her latest trip to New Zealand to visit one of her daughters and her family.  It’s pretty clear that Margaret loves to share her craft and that her grandchildren and their school mates appreciate it as well. Here is Margaret’s description of her visit.

   "On my recent visit to our daughter in New Zealand I was able to pack in four book arts occasions ! In Auckland I met up with old calligraphy and book arts friends at the home of Hillary Barnes. This was the third time I had been able to spend time with NZ book artists. As ever, much sharing of ideas and techniques, laughter and a wonderful afternoon tea !

  Once at our daughter’s home in South Island, I spent an afternoon with my grandson’s class (5 and 6 year olds) teaching them how to turn pieces of copy paper into small books.  They were very attentive and couldn’t wait to put their own content in their finished fold books.

 It is so sweet that Margaret's grandson, Daniel,
 is so protective as he shares his Oma with his classmates. 

   Two days later I was working with my granddaughter’s class of thirty 8, 9 and 10 year olds. The evening before my granddaughter Jessica had insisted I show her what I would be teaching so she could be my assistant in class. She even insisted in writing out the instructions before she went to school the next day ! In a very busy afternoon each child made one unit which consisted of a folded card with an explosion fold inside. That evening Jessica helped to create what was probably the longest book they had ever seen. This was  truly a Crazy WOW book.
A happy group showing off their WOW fold books.

   The next evening I hosted a ‘Fold Paper, Make Books’ evening to raise funds for the school’s PTA. Everyone who came was fascinated by the display of my books and how a few easy folds can turn a flat sheet of paper into something much more interesting.

   It was great to be able to take my hobby on holiday with me, and share with so many other people what I do."

   Thank you Margaret for sharing your holiday adventures with us. We would be happy to show more personal stories of NORBAG members who teach, have mini play-dates, or exhibit their work. Please send jpg photos and information to either Bobbie or Bonnie so that we all can find more ways to share our craft.

Sunday, May 3, 2015


   Connie Stewart just can't help herself. She HAS to have the latest gadgets! Cricuts, Cuttlebug, MISTI (yes, a MISTI...it's the latest and greatest!), new paper cutters, punches, Thinlits, embossing folders, and some simple tools that make life s-o-o-o worth living!

   This is NORBAG members once a year chance to come play with tools for free and decide for yourself which ones you can't live without. Some are great and some are duds and Connie will share them all and give you the low down. The one big change is the time and place.

We will meet at Connie's house
Please check the newsletter for directions to her house.
Time: 10 a.m. - 3 p.m.

   You are welcome to come anytime during those hours and Connie will have stations set up all over the house so that you can go straight to playing with tools you aren't familiar with and bypass the ones you know well. You're also invited to bring a friend(s). 

   We will stop for the book exchange at 12:30 p.m. and because we are a book group, we will take the samples of the techniques made from a variety of tools and turn them into a book.

  There is no cost for this event. Please RSVP by May 8th to Connie. Her contact information is in the newsletter.

Friday, April 24, 2015



The Newport Paper Arts Festival (NPAF) is a three day celebration of paper and book arts that is held every April. Sponsored by Oregon Coast Council for the Arts, this was the 20th anniversary of the festival. This year there were 86 attendees (as listed on the roster) with 17 NORBAG members (six from California, five from Oregon, five from Washington, and 1 from Alaska). There were 12 instructors (including two NORBAG members, Randi Parkhurst and Margo Klass) and 18 workshops covering such topics as monoprinting, surface design, collage, stamp carving, boxes, decorative book binding, nature printing, paper manipulation, photo-transfer, and encaustic. 

All but one of the workshops were one-day classes, but seven NORBAG members chose the two-day Coptic-Bound Flitch Book class taught by Margo Klass. This was a great opportunity to work with vertically cut and aged Alaskan birch wood. Members also took classes such as Gelli Plate Monoprint Mania, Drum-Leaf Binding, Crows’ Feet and Layers Book, and Randi’s two classes; Paper Embellishment and Secret Matchbox Structure.

Gelli plate prints taught by Cheri Aldrich

Sumi ink drawing for the Drum-Leaf class taught by Margo Klass
Spray painted papers
Completed Drum-Leaf Binding Books

Flitches - vertically cut and aged Alaskan Birch 

Margo Klass instructs Michele O and Michele K

Preparing to attach a cover decoration

Carol S and Michele K working on their Coptic binding

Michele O and Sandy V hard at work

Michele O's book almost finished

Here are some completed Flitch books

Carol S, Dolores G, and Michele K 

Even though some classes were very intense, a few of us still found time to play with other book and paper structures in the evening at the Sylvia Beach Hotel. All in all it was a wonderful opportunity to learn new techniques, attend the instructors' book and DVD signing and sale, view the instructors' displays at a reception, and mingle with other book and paper artists.
Instructors' show in the upstairs gallery

Randi Parkhurst demonstrates her latest work, Tansu Gothic. 
The following photos are from the instructors' show.
Randi Parkhurst

Margo Klass

Moe Snyder

Sarah Gayle Plourde

Sarah Gayle Plourde

 Next year the festival will be held April 22-24 so SAVE the date 
and join us in 2016!