Sunday, July 14, 2019


The 14th Focus on Book Arts Conference (FOBA) was held this past June 25-30 at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon. There were almost 200 attendees and 16 were members of NORBAG. This is a biennial conference with an all-volunteer staff that put together a great creative experience offering 32 workshops with one, two, and three day classes taught by 18 instructors. Besides the daily workshops, participants enjoyed an opening night reception with a create and design your own name tag event; a show and share; a trade show that even included vendors from England and Scotland; a faculty and staff show; and two evening lectures. The conference contracted with Pacific University for housing and meals for those who wished to stay on campus. There was a new caterer this year and the food was very well received. A special bonus was the “Goodie Bag” everyone received. Twenty-three suppliers donated little gift items or information that included Helen Hiebert’s 2018 calendar, a steel ruler from Talas, a leather bookmark, a great “travel brick” light enough to pack in your book binding kit but more dense than an ordinary brick, and many buttons and beads. Put this conference on your calendar now for June 2021!

Here is a selection of items from the Goodie Bag.

Margo Klass shared this photo from her Bojagi Paper 
workshop taught by Steph Rue.

Bonnie Halfpenny made this clamshell box in the
class taught by Sam Ellenport.

Bonnie reported that "this class was very relaxed, organized 
and just plain fun. Sam was always willing to help us through 
our rough spots and repeat a process if we didn't catch it the 
first time. We each ended up with two usable boxes and many 
tips to make it work well."

This is a meander book made by Edith Fuller in the Creativity Factor
class taught by Susan Callan. Edith said that "the lectures with
follow-up small group discussions kept us moving along quickly and
our small group improv dramatic presentations were delightful."

Edith also made this pocket accordion with separate cover in
the Creativity Factor class.

Michele Kamprath took this two-day Surface Design
on Paper and Metal class taught by Leighanna Light.

Michele said Leighanna "led us through several metal techniques
including a faux etching, gesso transfer, and leaf prints onto metal.
We gesso and painted five sheets of water color paper using inks, 
paint, and stencils." 

Michele's other class was a three day East Asian Binding Sampler
taught by Steph Rue. Michele said that "Steph trained in South Korea
and taught us traditional methods for our stab bindings and case."  

Dolores Guffey took a class titled Find Closure taught by
Elissa Campbell. They made two leather bound books and
used a variety of closures on each one to function as samplers. 

This is the instructional booklet made by Elissa Campbell.

Dolores also took Paper Voodoo: Transforming Japanese Paper
with Konnyaku
. The blue papers in this photo show the difference
between paper that has not been treated with the konnyaku and the
top piece that has been crinkled and painted with konnyaku.

Thank you to everyone who shared their photos and experiences at FOBA 2019.

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