Category Archives: artistbooks

In-The-Round Bookmaking at University of the Arts

U Arts student in Carol Barton's carousel book classU Arts student in Carol Barton's carousel book class

My final class of the semester at the University of the Arts involved two classes covering the construction and thematic possibilities involved in creating a carousel book. Students spent one session learning a traditional method of folding three accordion books. These were then tabbed together to create this three-dimensional book form which can be read lengthwise or pulled into a circle (hence the name). Students then began to compose text and imagery into their books during the second class. Most finished a couple pages plan to finish the entire book by their final critique with Frances Osugi.

UArts Class, spring 2015

Production Tricks and Techniques in New Haven

Creative Arts Workshop, student with accordion bookCreative Arts Workshop, student with accordion book

I love teaching how to streamline the production of artist’s books, but rarely get to teach this class because many book artists don’t make multiples. However, the seven book artists who attended the my production class at the Creative Arts Workshop in New Haven, Connecticut, were primed for this workshop–most had a lot of bookmaking experience on which to draw.

We produced an accordion book involving twelve various additions and reproduction techniques, and at the same time made jigs and templates for making more copies. Sadly, we only were able to produce one copy within the class time, but I will reorganize future classes to allow more time for multiples. The class also involved discussions on why to produce multiples, how many to produce, how to price the resulting work, and how to organize one’s workspace to maximize your efforts. Everyone was pleased to walk away with a sample production and lots of information on how to proceed with their bookmaking editions.

Creative Arts Workshop, New Haven, CT

Art in Venice, Italy

Venice, Italy

Alefbet tapestry show by Girsh Bruskin

Spending two weeks in Venice, Italy, is my idea of a heavenly vacation. Plus, among the many museum and palace collections of fine art we found two intriguing contemporary shows on exhibit. One was the work of Russian artist Grisha Bruskin whose large-scale tapestry project combined multi-media interactive displays with the tapestry itself. His enigmatic work involves mysterious alphabets and strangely beautiful figures evoking saints and sinners. He equates text with texture and weaving in a fascinating view of the mysterious universe.

Grisha Bruskin Alefbet tapestryGrisha Bruskin Alefbet tapestry

Another show we happened upon just off St. Marks Square was a retrospective of the Fluxus artist’s book movement. Works ranging from those of Dieter Roth, John Cage, Yoko Ono and many others graced five rooms in a small gallery space, while a show of contemporary book artists working in the Fluxus tradition was located across the canals close to where we were staying in L’Acadademia.

Fluxus Art Exhibit in Venice, Italy

Along with the art, we had great weather and delicious food the whole time. It was a memorable break….

Santa Fe Book Arts Group, New Mexico

Carousel Book Class, Santa Fe Book Arts GroupThis weekend involved lots of folding, folding, folding, as members of the Santa Fe Book Arts Group produced sets of accordion strips to be used in the creation of carousel books. The carousel is a multilayered accordion book that challenges artists to design three dimensionally. In the first day of the workshop, I taught participants how to construct a basic carousel book, and the second day was an open studio in which everyone jumped in and started creating the artwork for their pieces. With 15 students in the class, a wide variety of themes emerged–some literary, some personal. Here’s a view of some of the results.

Carousel book, Santa Fe Book Arts Group workshop by Carol BartonSanta Fe workshop, carousel book 1
Carousel book, Santa Fe Book Arts Group workshop by Carol Barton

Virginia Center for the Book holds a Pop-Up Workshop

Pop-up cards made in Carol Barton's VCB pop-up workshop

The Virginia Center for the Book is a vibrant space in Charlottesville, Virginia, with letterpress and binding equipment available for use by its membership. They host a variety of shows, workshops, and other activities involving the book arts. This past weekend I taught a two-day pop-up class there with especially creative results. I’m always delighted when teaching basic pop-ups forms to find new interpretations for them, and these students excelled in coming up with interesting designs. Plus, they were a boisterous group, which made the class especially fun!

Frog pop-upHouses and Trees pop-up

Student1, Virginia Center for the Arts class

End of Semester at the Corcoran

Corcoran graduate Paper Engineering Class pop-up photo, instructor Carol Barton
The spring semester ended with a popped-up class portrait in my paper engineering course at the Corcoran College of Art + Design  in Washington, D.C.  Students have completed their travel pop-up assignment and are off for the summer, some graduating, some with jobs and other projects in the works. Here are photos of  their paper-engineered travel scenes, with dreams of traveling the world.
Angkor Wat  by Jihae KwonTaipei by Julie Shea
Venice by Magdalena CorderoHawaii by Krista Sharp copy
Florence by Susanne AllenIceland by Julie Garcia copy

Columbo by Fatima Elgarch

Electric Pop-Ups, Charlottesville, Virginia

 

Glen Bull and Carol Barton at Charlottesville High School, VACarol Barton showing circuit for pop-up card

Jie Qi's circuit sticker prototypes
It was a teacher workshop session filled with surprises, including trips to the darkness of the women’s (rebranded unisex) bathroom to see our lighted projects working. The workshop I gave last Friday for teachers in the Charlotteville, Virginia, city school system was a successful attempt to combine a basic electric light circuit with a pop-up card. We began working through a series of pop-up structures, then built a circuit made of a lithium battery, copper tape, an LED sticker light, and a sliding paper switch to turn the light on and off as the card opened and closed. With the addition of a pop-up, we achieved lighted campfires, buildings, and creatures. The challenge for the teachers now is to work this into a lesson on paper engineering and electronics for their summer school students. Thanks to the Noyce Foundation for funding this project and to all who participated!

Lighted pop-up by Cam Ellis, Virginia Monroe and Desmond Cormier

Lighted pop-up by Cam Ellis, Virginia Monroe and Desmond Cormier