Sunday, May 14, 2017


Fifteen members of NORBAG attended this year's festival, two of whom were also instructors. It is a wonderful experience just being with fellow book artists who understand what "book art" really is. Have you ever tried to explain what you do as a book artist? No one really understands – wish we could all just carry samples of our creations to share with the world.

Nye Beach on a sunny day...we only had one of those this year.
Here are just a few of the observations of this year's adventure and some miscellaneous photographs.
Margaret B (all the way from York, England):  Another weekend of crazy fun! Norbaggers do know how to have a good time and learn new things at the same time. Once again our condo was the hub for our nightly show and tell. Michele K shared sink art secrets and it was a place to catch up at the end of our busy days to exchange techniques, or just to watch the sun go down.  Nye beach at Newport is a delightful place and for the fifth year I was lucky enough to take a class in the room overlooking the beach on the one sunny day of our stay. Surf rolling in, families enjoying the beach, the lighthouse on the distant point and the seagulls overhead. The organization of the festival was first class as ever. Almost 100 attendees took 18 classes from 16 tutors over three days. And I was lucky enough to be one of them.

Examples from Marilyn Stablein's Explosion Class

 Pat C: I met a lot of nice people and the classes were fun and I've always learned a lot! Newport Paper and Book Arts Festival has something for everyone and is well worth the effort to attend.

One of Marilyn's books from the Instructor's Show
Edge G: Newport has been an inspiring, encouraging and fun experience for me. I've attended the last two years and plan to continue. Even though the instructors are well known and top notch I don't feel out of place as the instructors make everyone feel welcome and the classes are geared to a range of experience levels so everyone comes away satisfied. The setting in the Nye Beach area is beautiful and comfortably small, but not lacking in good restaurants and places to stay.  I feel very fortunate to be able to attend!

Examples of Tacket Binding from Margo Klass
Dolores G: Of the 14 participants in Margo Klass' two-day "Tacket Binding" class, seven of us were Norbaggers! Margo, who lives in Fairbanks, Alaska, is also a member of NORBAG. We always feel fortunate to be in her class as we come away with such scrumptious books. Michele K will be teaching one of the four variations we learned from Margo at our June workshop.

Dolores's beautiful book from the Instructor's Show
Bonnie J: Now that I'm an out-of-town member of NORBAG I really appreciate the opportunity to meet up with local members in Newport. It's almost like old times being able to attend workshops together again.  Several of us had rooms at the Condos so it was very convenient to get together in the evening to share techniques, get advice for finishing projects, and show off what we made in our workshops. Although it was a bit more wet and windy than we would have liked, some dedicated walkers still took a morning hike on the beach.

Mary Maisch's Word Bird from the Instructor's Show
Michele K: Newport was a great time as usual and made livelier this year by the addition of our member from York, England, Margaret. I always think of Newport as time for an art blast with my friends/art tribe. Kind of a prolonged slumber party with almost non-stop fun. At one point after all day workshops, Margaret remarked during our evening sink art session in the condo that the management would be quite shocked if they walked in right now. Fortunately we keep a clean scene with plastic covers and newspapers to keep the mess to a minimum. Fun times with creative outcomes.

Michele K's book made in Margo's Tacket Binding class
Cindy S: I took two days of workshops with Heather Fortner in Toledo at her studio. First day was "Beautiful Botanicals" and second day "Eco Dyeing." I enjoyed both classes and came away with such beautiful papers from the eco dyeing class that I will want to do more of this on my own. Loved the spontaneity of it.

Another Tacket Binding book
Carol S: This was my fourth year to attend this festival and it was such a fun and creative experience! I left feeling like a super saturated sponge. The event was well organized and the instructors had so much to share. Put NPBAF on your 2018 “to do list."

Baskets by Kathy Karbo in the Instructor's Show

Many thanks to Dolores for soliciting comments and writing this article. The dates for next year's NPBAF are April 20, 21, and 22. 

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