North Redwoods Book Arts Guild

If you are interested in more info or joining, please email to

Tuesday, November 14, 2023


 The November workshop provided an opportunity for us to make a small book that could contain monthly calendar pages for 2024. This little book could easily fit in your purse, pocket or not take up much space on a desk. It was a fun, easy structure to make that provided different ways to sew or glue the binding. Any artwork could be used on the pages instead of the calendar pages that were provided. Thank you Dolores Guffey for teaching us the Herringbone structure.

Here are some examples of our books.

Bonnie Julien

"Birds" book, only 2" tall, features bird postage stamps.

Calendar book with pamphlet stitch binding.

Margaret Beech
Butterfly book with Japanese stab binding.

Margaret Beech

Margaret glued the pages together first, then
punched holes with her Japanese screw punch 
before stitching over a strip of black cardstock.

Sherrill Story

Sherrill's book opened out.

Notes from the Art Lab

by Bonnie Halfpenny

Recently I was at Indiana University in Bloomington and toured the Lilly Library.  The Lilly is an exceptionally fine manuscript and rare book institution with a sizable collection of artists' books.

To showcase some developments in publishing, they had an interesting exhibit on the proliferation of book formats in Victorian times.  We saw stacks of penny dreadfuls with titles such as Black Bess, Knight of the Road, or The Wild Boys of London.  There were copies of the earliest "magazines" with serial novels, all printed on poor quality wood pulp paper to keep costs down.  Nearly every aspect of printing became mechanized during this period and demand for low-cost reading material was overwhelming.  At the same time, the development of inexpensive printing and color techniques helped make books more attractive.

From the rare books collection we were shown an exquisitely decorated medieval Book of Hours, a Gutenberg Bible, a First Folio of Shakespeare, a book on foot care from Marie Antoinette's library, and Thomas Jefferson's personal copy of the Bill of Rights (with some corrections).

Also available upon request are items from the extensive collection of artists' books at the university.  Some are housed in the Lilly, while the Wells Library, also on campus, has over 2000.  Lilly's website at has a wealth of information on various topics related to their holdings.

Below are a few photos of handmade books I saw there.  The first work was by an amateur artist, and the second set of three photos are images of work by Timothy Ely, a contemporary professional. Ely's work is readily searched online from Wikipedia, also from and other sources.

The photo below is of a long "letter" by a 19th century sailor to his girlfriend detailing his voyage, and asking her to wait for him.  Alas, he was rejected.


The following photos are contemporary books, unique and hand-drawn, by Timothy Ely, a Northwest native.

No comments:

Post a Comment