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National guillotine

This very nice tabletop guillotine took up residence in West Oakland at BiblioForge just yesterday, January 17, 2013 – on Art’s Birthday! Thanks to encouragement from friends like Jennie Hinchcliff, I am realizing a goal I’ve had for a while. Workshop space where books/art are made and classes are taught.

Bookbinding, calligraphy, letterpress, printmaking, papermaking and good ol’ art have long been avocations, professions and passions of mine; and now living in W. Oakland I am embarking on this new effort.

I trained as a scribe, binder, conservator and librarian. I continue to study binding structure and design by looking at books in collections throughout the US. Making books that work well and last while looking good is the focus of my design mindset.

Tomorrow is the first class – The Medieval Pocketbook. Where else are you going to be able to make a wooden-board book in one day? Nowhere but West Oakland! 😉

 

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I made this book in 1992 and used it as my calendar for 1993, putting it in my back pocket and sitting on it, pulling it out to use many times a day. The back cover snapped, so I made a silver panel repair. Then I added the rectangle of nickle silver in the upper right. When the wood cracked near the leather, I put that patch in. Near the ned of the year, the outer corner of the wood broke and I tried to repair it with the brass patch at the top. That didn’t work and I lost the little corner piece. By the time I retired the book that year, it had shown its scars and wear patterns quite well. This is the type of book that we’ll make in the class.

I’m starting off slowly, with this as my first class. I’ve lined up teachers with varied backgrounds as a means of expanding the offerings. Jennie Hinchcliff, Ward Dunham, Jody Alexander, Tom Conroy and Patricia Wakida have committed to classes this spring. In another post I’ll list the schedule for those upcoming classes, and I think it’ll be a lot of fun for students and teachers alike.

In addition to classes, I will be writing about books, history, art and maybe even motorcycles.

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