Book Structures and Bookbinding Techniques
Carol Barton,† Book Artist, Curator, and Book Arts Instructor, Glen Echo, MD
Laurie Whitehill Chong
With Carol Bartonís bookbinding workshop at the Baltimore
Annual Conference in 2003 being such a success, and with many ARLIS members
unable to take the workshop that year due to limited enrollment, it was decided
to offer the same course again in
For the first half of the workshop, participants each constructed four small books:† a single signature, three-hole pamphlet stitch sewn binding; an accordion fold binding with non-adhesive decorated cover boards; a kaleidoscope or diamond shaped, origami-based modular book; and a maze book, folded from a single sheet of paper.† While participants were working hard on their books, Carol explained the origins of these bindings with further comments on the materials and tools used to make them.
Following the book-making portion of the workshop, Carol showed several examples of her own artistsí books, carefully explaining the processes involved.† For several of her book projects she described the scope of her research for images and historical information in library and museum collections.† It was especially satisfying to see practical examples of how an artist uses library and image resources for inspiration and reference.† Many of Carolís books include pop-up or mechanical elements and the most dramatic of these was The Five Luminous Towers, a pop-up book that lights up in the dark.
Next, workshop moderator, Laurie Whitehill Chong, presented a selection of artistsí books from the library of the Rhode Island School of Design and her own collection of bookbinding models.† These examples allowed participants to see additional variations on the bindings they had just learned how to make, with content added.† It gave them a clearer understanding of the different ways that book artists have ďinterpretedĒ these basic structures, revealing how artists have integrated concept, text, image and structure into a cohesive whole.
At the end of the workshop, participants had time for questions and time to look more closely at the books presented.†† Brief discussion related to collecting artistsí books, managing and preserving these collections, and teaching from them also followed.† Handouts were distributed, including a bibliography on the history of the book and bookbinding, the history and theory of artistsí books, and the techniques of bookbinding.† Also included were handouts on paper grain, adhesives, pamphlet stitch variations, patterns for maze books, a list of book arts suppliers, book arts centers, and book arts organizations.† Because of continued interest in the book arts among ARLIS members and because Carol Barton is such a skilled instructor and talented artist, it is no wonder that her workshop was once again a great success.