North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

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Monday, June 24, 2019


We’re celebrating Flag Day and the 4th of July with our handmade books adorned in Red or White or Blue proudly displayed at the Humboldt County Library. If you have a chance to visit the kiosk inside the library you'll see an amazing collection of books with a variety of bindings and beautiful papers such as: a Saint-Armand Canadian Money Paper covered book; Australian Paper Hinge; French binding; fairy tales in Danish, French, and German bound in a Dos à Dos book; colorful Japanese paper spiral book and enclosure; original one inch art in a concertina book; Dragonfly decorated Dos à Dos Book with Japanese poetry; Floating Images of Parisian Lea Stein’s art; and an Accordion Box Book containing a Flag Book, Tassel Book, Two Minute Book, and Tunnel Book, made by our member from York, UK. 

Thank you Dianne Byington for creating this display and sharing the photos.

Sunday, June 16, 2019


Local NORBAG members meet the second Saturday every month for a workshop/play day. We usually bring rulers, cutting implements, and papers cut to various sizes and shapes. We receive an instruction sheet and focus intently on making a structure that we hope to duplicate on our own. We ask lots of questions, discuss grain, adhesives, and cutting and scoring methods. We learn a lot and still have time to chat and laugh.

At the June workshop Michele Kamprath and Sandy Vrem gave us samples of various surface designs to experiment with. The tools we brought were crayons, acrylic paint, texture plates and paper. Sandy and Michele led us through a really fun day.

Sandy prepared the table loaded with fun materials.

This is Michele taking a look at the exchange books.

Crayons and paper and balloons, Oh My!

Samples of balloon prints

More samples... toward the back, is a kind of paste paper.


Faux batik


This is how we started, with all of our materials lined up and ready to go.

Simple rubbings were really quite fun. We used a texture plate underneath the paper. Some members used deli paper and others used sketching paper or medium to lightweight papers they brought from home.

We had plastic texture plates, stencils and even a rubber stamp or two.

We put the stencil or texture plate under the paper
 and rubbed a crayon over it to show the design.

We used stencils and a lot of color.

These are two different types of plates we used. 

We also used a batik like process that was fun. We started by covering a piece of paper (painter's masking paper which is thin and folds crisply) with crayons. We then crumpled the paper. Next, we painted acrylic paint (slightly diluted) over the entire surface, let it sit for a minute and then wiped the paint off. All of the creases absorbed the paint and it was similar to the look of batik.

One of our members used her own design to make the batik pattern.

Another person colored over the entire background and then
 used a very dark contrast color to really bring out the lines.

It was getting messy and we were thankful for the plastic on the tables. And for the towels and baby-wipes. 

The next thing we tried was balloon painting. We used a palette and undiluted craft acrylics. Some used a single color and others multiple colors. After much laughter, we inflated our little balloons and dipped them lightly into the liquid paints. We had a choice to either blot gently on a paper towel or go directly to the paper. We experimented with different pressures to see how the patterns would occur.

We started with a palette of color, then daubed the paint onto the balloon.

Then you pounce the balloon onto the paper.

And get an explosion of color. 

This was a palette for balloon painting.

Not a balloon painting, just a serendipitous explosion of color
 on a palette that I loved.

And last was the faux paste paper. Michele and Sandy instructed us to use a heavier paper (watercolor, mixed media) and cover it heavily with crayons. Then we painted it with thick acrylic paint and used a comb to make a design just as you do with paste paper. 

Crayons, paint, and a few blobs (technical term) of a contrasting color. 
We needed to work quickly with this one so that the paints didn't dry.

We pulled a comb through it to make our design.

Here is a closeup. As long as the paint was still wet,
 you could continue adding more combing.

Do you notice how clean her hands are? Mine weren't. Took me half an hour to get the dried paint off at home. Well worth it because we had such fun.

We also had the "Show and Tell" table here. One of our members brought in the results of her class from the Newport Paper and Book Art Festival held this past April. Another member brought in a sample of napkin decoupage that we will be learning in one of our next workshops. And there is a certificate that you should look at.

On the left is a certificate for honorable mention received by Edge Gerring for her book submission to the "Focus on Fiber Exhibition" in Humboldt County. To the right are pictures of Peter and Donna Thomas who will be giving us a special presentation and workshop on October 26, (not a regular meeting). The caravan is their "home away from home" as they travel the country giving workshops. You can take a look at who they are by going to More information about their visit will come in future articles.

Sunday, June 9, 2019


We would like to recognize the accomplishments of two members of NORBAG. Peggy Marrs joined NORBAG in 1996 not long after its conception in September 1995. She has been the Project Page editor of our newsletter for many years and has put together all four volumes of our compendium. This has been a huge job and one that she has worked on tirelessly. It is no easy task to come up with an idea, structure, or technique and illustrate and describe it for others to duplicate month after month. We applaud her work as an artist and editor and thank her for the many years of wonderful book art. With her retirement as Project Page editor looming, a group of us who have worked with Peggy wanted to recognize her contributions with a special book. We each made little cards to tuck into a star book made by Michele Kamprath. Peggy was presented with the book by Michele and Dolores Guffey this past May on her 80th birthday.

Peggy on the left with Michele, Margaret Beech and Sandy Vrem at Newport

Another longtime member of NORBAG is currently being remembered with an exhibition of her own handmade books as well as books she received in exchanges. Elizabeth Ryan Minor was a member of NORBAG from 1998 until 2010 when she passed away from a rare disease. Currently, the Redwood Art Association gallery on F Street in Eureka, California, is showing a selection of Elizabeth's books. Hopefully, local members will visit the gallery to see this wonderful collection of books in person.

Elizabeth Ryan Minor

This exhibit is in memory of Elizabeth Ryan Minor.
Known for her generous heart and artistic eye.
Made of light and love, beauty and courage.
Her memory is cherished by family and friends alike.

Many thanks to everyone who contributed to the book for Peggy and to Michele,  Dolores, Diane Williams and Maggie Stimson for the photographs.