Book Arts in Venice

Book Arts in Venice

The Sunday Paper #282
October 20, 2019

Paper of the Week: Book Arts in Venice, June 16 – 27, 2020

Printing studio of the Scuola di Grafica Internazionale in Venice, where we will work.

Travel to Venice, Cornuda, and Verona, Italy, to work in traditional printing and letterpress studios and tour historic libraries and museums. Print in the studio of the Scuola Internazionale di Grafica in Venice. Tour historic sites including St. Mark’s Square, the Accademia Gallery, and the library of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini where we will see a collection of early Venetian printed books. Travel to Verona to visit the Antica Tipografia Arche Scaligere and the Biblioteca Capitolare, one of the oldest libraries in the world. Print a letterpress book at Tipoteca Italiana Fondazione, located in the town of Cornuda, at the foothills of the Dolomite Mountains. Participants will stay in shared apartments, a restored 16th century villa, and hotel accommodations. All travel will be via public transport including trains, boats, and buses. The program welcomes all levels of experience, with introductory instruction in the studio. This program will be led by Kalamazoo Book Arts Center Executive Director Jeff Abshear. Click here for more information and to register.


In the Studio:

A big THANK YOU to everyone who sent papers for my upcoming book. I’m looking forward to figuring out how to incorporate them into the book! To me, writing a book is similar to making art. It evolves over time and I have to wait for the creative process to unfold. Going through your papers helps! I made a short video of me thumbing through the papers.


Papery Tidbits:


How fun, and I can smell the rubber cement! A veteran of the The London Review of Books went back in time to see if she could remember how she used to paste up copy before the digital age. This is how I learned to do it in the 1980’s, and shortly after I met my hubby in the early 90’s, he worked as a fact checker at The New Yorker, handling pages and pages of physical text. How times have changed!

Claire Van Vliet speaks so eloquently about the components of a book: succinct and to the point. Here’s an excerpt from the article: “The paper acts much the same way as the binding—through the sense of touch as each leaf is fingered, turned—smooth, soft, hard, stiff, pliable, opaque, transparent. Likewise, the type can be an emotional cue—a voluptuous type like Palatino might not be appropriate for war poems.”

Helios by Peter Schumann, 2010

This is a heart warming video about the continuous tradition of making paper for the past 700 years at the Richard de Bas papermill in France. Check out the old equipment and how they loft dry their papers!

I’m really looking forward to interviewing Michael LaFosse on Paper Talk this week (the episode won’t air for a couple of months). LaFosse and Richard Alexander run Origamido Studio near Boston, where they create their own handmade papers for origami. They write books and teach origami (and hand papermaking) and I love this quote: “The most amazing thing about origami is how it empowers a young folder, or even a beginner,” he said. “When they realize that with just the information in their mind, the space between their ears, they can turn a piece of paper into any kind of creature or airplane, box toy or flower. It’s just amazing when they realize they have that power.”

Here’s a fascinating story about the life of a courtroom sketch artist, one of the few in a dying breed.


About our Sponsor: The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC) is a nonprofit community workshop and educational center dedicated to furthering the arts of book design and printing, printmaking, papermaking, bookbinding, and creative writing. We offer adult workshops, a high school and college internship program, K-12 educational programming, a visiting artist program, ten gallery exhibitions annually, the Poets in Print Reading Series, publish limited-edition books, broadsides and more.


Featured this week in my Studio shop:
Lore Spivey’s Cubicard design, featured in the 2020 Paper Year, The Papermaker’s Companion, Mend, and Water Paper Time.


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