It’s a ways away yet, but I’ll be teaching my first class at North House Folk School in beautiful Grand Marais, Minnesota, right on the shore of Lake Superior, next year in May. It’s an introductory class in making clamshell boxes, whether for a portfolio of photographs, drawings, etchings, books, or anything you may want to keep safe.
You’ll learn how to accurately measure, cut materials, and build your own clamshell case to take home. All materials will be supplied and pre-cut to size prior to the start of class but we’ll discuss recommended equipment, choice of book cloths, papers, and the different adhesives and their uses for those who wish to continue constructing cases on their own time. No previous experience is necessary and all tools will be provided.
I’ll be there with Beth, who will be teaching a 3-day hand-sewn leather tool bag class. Visit Fieldwork Goods to see the beautiful leather bags, wallets and other items she makes, all hand-sewn (no machines) the traditional way, with two needles and linen thread.
Memorial Day Weekend
This class falls on the Memorial Day Weekend, which means the area hotels and B&Bs will be busy, so if you’re thinking of signing up for the class, plan ahead and book early!
These are six of the fifteen cases I’m making for Lisa Nebenzahl‘s McKnight project, “The Chico Poems”.
Each case holds 8 cyanotypes, printed by Lisa, with a letterpress printed poem overlaid in silver ink. The clamshell cases are covered in a Japanese blue and silver book cloth with an inlaid photo of Chico Nebenzahl.
The Chico Poems is a suite of eight poems contained in a custom designed case. This project was inspired by my late mother Chico Nebenzahl (1916-2000), who penned the poems in the early 1940’s. With the support of a McKnight Fellowship for Book Artists, the project took a year to produce as I employed the light of the sun to create the cyanotype prints in the spring, summer and fall of 2021. Letterpress and cyanotype printing come together to share these short, sometimes acerbic poems. A posthumous collaboration with my mother, who wrote poetry and fiction in her in twenties in Chicago but never shared them widely, gave me a chance to bring these poems out of their long rest and into the light.
— Lisa Nebenzahl
More information about the project and photographs can be found here.
Back in the summer I decided to make a limited edition book of twelve images that I had previously posted to Instagram. The book, “The Dying of the Light — Twelve Instagram Photographs”, was designed, printed and bound entirely by myself, and while an edition of 50 doesn’t sound like a lot – at least it didn’t at the time – it is a lot of work. Having said that, it’s what I do and what I enjoy.
In early autumn the Phoenix Art Museum had a call for entries for their second triennial Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks. I submitted mine and was lucky enough to be accepted. 111 books were chosen for the exhibition, having been judged by some outstanding jurors, including Ray Carns (Book Collector and INFOCUS Board Member), Larissa Leclair (Founder, Indie PhotoBook Library), Rebecca Senf (Norton Family Curator, Phoenix Art Museum and Chief Curator, Center for Creative Photography), Mary Virginia Swanson (Co-Author, Publish Your Photography Book) and Emily Weirich (Associate Librarian for Research Services, Center for Creative Photography).
…the desire to produce photographic books is only increasing. Young photographers want their artwork to be presented as a book, and photographic books continue to be produced, discussed, admired, coveted, collected, and sold. Now, with the INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks, we can shed light on an important new phase in the story of photographic books – the ability of photographers world-wide to produce high-quality books of their work through self-publishing.
Since the exhibition opened I have sold more books and now there are just two copies remaining in the edition. How convenient, being so close to Christmas…
INFOCUS Juried Exhibition of Self-Published Photobooks December 2, 2016 – April 9, 2017 – Phoenix Art Museum Doris and John Norton Gallery for the Center for Creative Photography
This class will combine elements of photography and the book arts, focusing on the slow pleasures of craft. Students will learn about the simple chemistry behind this iron-based process as we print on paper and fabric. Students can make prints of pressed flowers from their home gardens, favorite hand tools, or patterns made with cut paper negatives or found objects. Students are encouraged to experiment! The course will also cover the fundamentals of book binding techniques, constructing portfolios and small books to contain the new cyanotypes. Come explore the handmade side of photography. No camera is required for this class.
Full information is on the North House Folk School’s website here.