Friday, May 18, 2007

SABA Conference

I spent Wednesday and Thursday at the Southeast Association of Book Arts (SABA) here in town at the University of South Carolina. It started was a power point lecture by Jeffrey Makala about the university's rare book collection and how these works could inspire today's artists, although there had been an opening dinner at Susan Hogue's house the evening beforehand which I attended. Susan headed up the event and was one of the faculty members instrumental in starting the bookarts center on campus. Most of my time was spent in Peter Madden's workshop called "Alternative Processes", but there was also a luncheon talk by Spartanburg's miniature book printer Frank Anderson. Also, Peter Madden gave a slide show about his work.

I was really surprised how much I actually do know about making books even though my mainly self-taught. I just don't seem to know the vocabulary or the names of the "big book artists" and workshop presenters. For the most part, the workshop was really, really laid back...almost slow in pace. I had a good time. It was quite relaxing and I learned several great techniques like gelatin printing (interesting but not really my "thing") and Xerox transfers (utterly fantastic). Peter's work was quite inspiring, though he didn't bring any...just the slides.

We even were assigned homework...something that I haven't really had in twenty-five or so years. Each student and Peter had to create a page for a "round robin" or collaborative book. Thus, we each had to make a single page twelve times. Most of the class bound their copy with simple white paper covers.

One of the things I learned in this class, however, is that I prefer to create pages before binding them...with is sort of funny since I also like altered books. Yet, in my studio, I have enough release paper to work/paint/decorate a surface without marring the others. I plan on posting the pages...photographing them will be much easier before they're bound too.

I did my "homework" around a presentation I did for the Rosewood Art Guild. About ten people, including my felting instructor Barbara Bryan, came to watch me demonstrate heat-activated processes for contemporary embroidery.

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