The Complex of All of These

Ten years ago this June I had recently quit my conservation job at Columbia University to be an artist-in-residence at Women’s Studio Workshop, an amazing place in a quiet town about two hours north of Manhattan. I had proposed an artist’s book based on work from my last year in college, the only thing I still like, really, and in the end I made thirty five copies of a book called The Complex of All of These, with handmade paper covering over a bradel binding, hand-sewn tiny endbands with etchings and letterpress inside. It was the kind of thing that invites obnoxious clichés in trying to write about it, but the whole experience of living and working in this gorgeous old studio, having interns to help me, exploring the historic towns nearby, making fast friends with many of the people who work there, and ultimately producing an edition I was really proud of was really just a critical one for me. The book is now in amazing collections like the Library of Congress and many university libraries.

While I was at WSW and in love with everything I took so many pictures that I started making a stop-motion animation of the whole process, which was originally on YouTube with music I can’t use anymore, and a lot of people have asked after it since it disappeared from the platform so I’ve re-uploaded it silent for now! If any music people out there have something I can use instead, I’d be grateful.

Upcoming Classes at Women's Studio Workshop

We're happy to announce two classes at the 2016 Summer Arts Institute at the Women's Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY! I did an artist's book residency at WSW in 2009 and fell for it hard; it's been a few summers since I taught my last workshop there and I'm excited to be going back. Looks like we'll also be the first class on the new Vandercook that they've just moved in!

Letterpress Intensive

July 18-22
Tuition: $750 ($700 members)
Lab fee: $25
Class limit: 6
There’s nothing, for a writer or designer, like the feeling you get when you realize letters can be tangible things; that you can hold your words in your hands; that even the space between words is a physical object. Spend a week with WSW’s collection of lead and wood type and learn traditional hand typesetting and letterpress printing. Bring your words or someone else’s plus a dose of curiosity and discover the magic of letterpress! We’ll start with a communal broadsheet just to learn the process, then students will make their own broadsheets or simple pamphlet bindings. Those also enrolled in the following week’s workshop—Bookbinding: Case Binding with Rounded Spine—can use their letterpress work for the bindings in that class and continue to use the letterpress studio. No prior experience in printing is expected.

Bookbinding: Case Binding with Rounded Spine

July 25-29
Tuition: $750 ($700 members)
Lab fee: $45
Class limit: 6
Student Material List
In this class you’ll learn how to make a traditional case binding from start to finish (although without cutting all the corners that modern machine binding does!). This is the style of your average hardcover book, with cloth covering and a rounded spine. You’ll learn the basics of paper selection, sewing, rounding & backing, edge trimming, and casing-in. Those who are a little faster will have time to learn more advanced techniques—such as hand-sewing endbands—or start a second book and really consolidate their skills. Use your book for a sketchbook or journal or just to learn the process so you can go home and make them on your own. We’ll talk about ways to get around any lack of equipment. Those enrolled in the letterpress class from the week before have the opportunity to incorporate their printing in these books.