Spring & Summer Book Arts Classes at Otter Pond Bindery 2017

Hello, book arts lovers! I am looking forward to seeing some of you at Otter Pond Bindery this summer. 

Thanks to the recent regime change that I personally regard as an “oil coup” by the worldwide conspiracy of oiligarchs, I feel Mother Earth is in desperate need of our help and attention. Therefore it won’t be “business as usual” at Otter Pond this year. Many of you are probably already marching and acting up in numerous ways to protest the long list of injustices and dangerous decisions the current administration is foisting upon us. As part of my own protest this year, I will be focusing my creative book art work (and hopefully some of yours) on the needs of our planet.

I recently discovered—and strongly recommend that you all read—the rich thoughtful book by Robin Wall Kimmerer entitled Braiding Sweetgrass.Superbly written, it moved me to tears, gratitude and action. Kimmerer is a biologist and Native American and she brings both those strands of knowledge together in a way that changed me forever. The examples of her life and, always, the lifelong work of my friend and mentor Paulus Berensohn, are my inspiration for this year’s classes in the book arts.

Note: I am expecting the birth of my second grandchild in mid-May, and therefore have not scheduled any classes until mid-June.

All classes below, unless otherwise noted, are $90/day and include a delicious lunch, all materials and printed instructions.

Sat & Sun June 10-11, 10am to 4pm—Loving  the Planet:  On day 1 of this 2-day workshop we will make “Spirit Books”—small  books of thanks and praise for places, plants, creatures, and anything else in the natural world we love and cherish. They are decorated with special totemic designs and papers. On day 2 we will make a Hedi-Kyle designed “blizzard book” enclosed in a paper box. For this book we will each design and print a double-page spread (e.g., using one of our spirit book inspirations), which we will copy and exchange so that each of us goes home with pages from the others. The blizzard book is uniquely adapted to “housing” multiple exchangeable pages, along with various decorative papers (I encourage you to bring examples of your paste or marbled paper or any other decorative paper you like.)  Students may attend only one day if there are not enough students to fill the 2-day slots.

Sat & Sun July 1-2, 10am to 4pm—Finishing Projects: Two luxurious days in which to wrap up bookbinding projects you haven’t gotten around to finishing, or to make a special book that you need help with. Students may attend only one day, space permitting. As an optional activity, we will design colorful, attention-getting postcards to send to our senators and congressmen that demand responsible behavior for the future of the planet and all its inhabitants.

Sat July 15th OR Sun July 30th, 10am to 3pm—Paste Paper:On either or both of these days, come and make a pile of decorative paper using the classic book art technique of paste painting.  Option 1: Make some paste-paper-painted postcards to send to our political leaders asking them to behave responsibly and responsively to our demands for a more thoughtful way to care for the planet and all its inhabitants. Option 2: Learn to fold a paper lantern (luminaria).

Thursday August 10th –Sunday August 13th—Boot Camp! In this 4-day workshop we begin by making paste paper and suminagashi marbled paper. We will then make a small “stiff-leaf binding” model using double panels of paper-covered board bound with cloth glued along the spine and along part of the head and tail of the book. In the second two days we will each create our own version of the stiff leaf book, which can be modified into a tunnel book, a book with enclosures, or any number of other creative and unique approaches. It’s a satisfying form based on ancient techniques of board books made of wood or heavy board. This form is also great for making young children’s board books (slightly less destructible than ordinary books). As always, students will share meals and meal prep, and there will be room for some out-of-town students to board at Schoolhouse No. 10. Full price for Room, most board, 4-day workshop, instructions and materials is $600. Only four spaces remain for this option; preference will be given to students who sign up for all four days. For a two-day workshop with one night's room & board, $360; day student rate for 4-day workshop, $400; for 2-day workshop, $200. Instruction starts at 10AM

Other classes will be offered in the fall. Feel free to request a given workshop or book form. Also know that you can design your own workshop of any length for yourself and friend(s), and stay in Schoolhouse No. 10 to enjoy a weekend of delight in nature and creativity.

Design Your Own Workshop

Imagine sharing our cozy two-bedroom Schoolhouse with a friend or three in beautiful southern Vermont, and attending a book arts workshop of your own choosing. In addition to the regular classes listed on this website, you could design anything from a 2-night stay with a single day-long workshop to a 3 or 4 night retreat with a day-and-a-half to 3-day workshop. Weekdays or weekends -- your choice. Make paste paper or marbled paper, then use it to create your own journal. Or delve into pop-ups or tunnel books. Or treat an affianced couple to a weekend at the Schoolhouse where they can make their own wedding album. The Schoolhouse offers all the amenities (fully equipped kitchen and bath, wraparound decks with hot tub) in a secluded, beautiful rural setting a short walk from Otter Pond Bindery. Organic breakfast fixings provided, and gourmet lunch for each workshop day is also included. Call or email for details and rates.

Here are a few of the many possibilities:

* The Tunnel's End: Imagine & construct a tunnel book with your own images (2 day wkshp).

* All About Accordions: Make 3 to 4 different accordion structures and create images to fill one of them (1.5 day wkshp).

* Rounded and Backed: Make a hardbound book sewn on tapes with a rounded back cloth-and-board case (minimum 2 day wkshp)

* Casing In: Make a hardbound book and slipcase (minimum 2.5 day wkshp).

* Book Arts for Teachers: Learn a variety of techniques for using book arts to enhance learning in the classroom.

* A Slim Volume: Create your own collection of favorite poems (written by you or others, collected by you) in a limited edition chapbook (2 days with prep ahead).

* Paper Decoration I: Paste paper and three-section hardbound journals (2 day wkshp).

* Paper Decoration II: Marbled paper and two portfolio structures (2 day wkshp).

* 3 Books, 3 Sewings: Make three hardbound books using pamphlet stitch, Japanese 6-needle binding, and Coptic sewing techniques (2 day wkshp).

* Illustrated journals for beginners: Make a simple hardbound journal and learn 6 techniques for filling it (1or 1.5 day wkshp).

* The Drop Spine Box: Make one small and one large drop-spine box to store special objects, photos or papers (2 day wkshp).

* Out in the Field: Making and Keeping Field Journals (1 or 2 day wkshp).

* Books in the Classroom: Three techniques for teachers who want to integrate book arts into their curriculum (1 or 2 day wkshp).

* Chinese Sewing Box: Make a drop-wall etui of boards and book cloth to hold your sewing needles and findings (2 - 3 day wkshp).

* Fun with Pop-Ups: Make a boxed set of pop-up forms and then pick one to elaborate and encase it in a hardbound cover (1.5 - 2 day wkshp).

* Boxed In: Make a multi-section box for your bookbinding or sewing tools, decorated with marbled paper and covered with book cloth (2 day wkshp).


FROM THE NORTH: take I-91 South to exit 1, go south (right) on rte 5 toward Guilford, and in less than a mile, turn right in front of the Guilford Country Store onto Guilford Center Rd. Follow that for a little less than 2 miles, and turn left onto Weatherhead Hollow Rd. Follow that for about six miles until you pass Weatherhead Hollow Pond (a large pond on your left). You will see the Franklin Farm (and farm store) on your right. Just after that is Packer Corners Rd on the right. Take that for 1.6 miles, then turn right onto S. Belden Hill Rd. You will pass our small refurbished schoolhouse on the corner ("Schoolhouse No. 10"), then a gray barn on the right, then you'll see a white house and red barn. That's me! Park on the side of the road or near the barn.

FROM THE SOUTH: Take I-91 North to Exit 28b in Bernardston Massachusetts, and go right from the off-ramp. Turn right (North) when the road dead-ends into Route 5. After several miles, turn left on Keets Brook Rd. and follow it through the valley until it comes to Weatherhead Hollow Rd. Turn left and pass the Franklin Farm, then take a right on Packer Corners Rd. and follow that for 1.6 miles. Turn right onto S. Belden Hill Rd. Our refurbished schoolhouse ("Schoolhouse No. 10") is on the corner, then a gray barn on the right, then a white house and red barn. Park on the side of the road or near the barn.

For a charming local accommodation, see Schoolhouse Number 10 (our 2-BR refurbished 18th century schoolhouse).

For additional local accommodation nearby, see the Cabin at Bear Meadow (http://www.vtcabin.com/).