North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Who is Bound Together?

Mary Elizabeth Nelson (aka Emmy) is our NORBAG member residing in Pennsylvania. In the August book exchange I received her book and instead of emailing a “thank you” to her, I got on the phone and called. We had a delightful conversation and I extended an invitation to send us information about her book arts in Pennsylvania.  She has a group that is called Bound Together and here is what she sent.  --Bobbie

            Bound Together began with a group of nine women artists who were members of the Philadelphia Calligraphers’ Society and discovered a mutual interest in creating artists’ books. Meeting for the first time in February 2004, the group has averaged a new project every four months since then. The aim of the members—to create either a collaborative piece or individual pieces for exchange at regular intervals throughout the year—is a way of keeping the creative juices flowing and learning more about book arts. 

            Each project we’ve embarked on involves a theme that is arrived at by consensus. We’ve contained the group to nine members so that ten copies (one is archived) is the standard edition. Our membership has changed over the years due to moves and life just getting in the way, but we’ve maintained a constant flow of projects. 

            With constraints on time and resources, we tend to produce fairly small books, but are open to larger formats should a theme require it.  In the beginning when all members had calligraphic training, our books, for the most part, included hand-lettering. That guideline has changed over time. At each meeting, we exchange books and share ideas, techniques, and tools, so that every gathering is both a learning and a teaching experience.  

Who is Bound Together?
Pam Bennett
Ginger Carrle (former BT member)
Debra Dick (former BT member)
Rhonda L. Garland (former BT member)
Patty Hammarstedt (former BT member)
Meg Kennedy
Tracy Massey*
Carole Maurer*
Mary Elizabeth Nelson*
Ellen Rose*
Linda Rossi*
Betty Steckman
Veti Vasilion (former BT member) 

*Current NORBAG members

Mary Ellen's website, has a link to the Bound Together page showing a number of their artist books.  There is also an article about the Bound Together group in "Bound & Lettered" Vol. 12, No. 1.

In May of 2012, Dolores Guffey had the privilege to teach a workshop to the Bound Together group. She taught two "exposed bindings structures" - one book with a French Stitch combined with a Coptic Stitch; and another utilizing the Bow Tie Stitch sewn over grosgrain ribbons.

Here is a photo of the group and below are examples of a few of their books.

Sitting: Meg Kennedy, Pam Bennett, Tracy Massey, Carole Maurer, Ellen Rose,
 Standing: Linda Rossi and Betty Steckman
Mary Elizabeth took the picture and is in the inset in the corner.

Linda Rossi, Woven Pairs

Mary Elizabeth Nelson and Ellen Rose,
A Collaborative Book titled Shifu, 
a Japanese textile woven from thread 
made of spun or twisted paper.

Meg Kennedy, A Woven Accordion 

Pam Bennett, Altered Woven Constitution

Betty Steckman, Song of the Sky Loom