Tag Archives: Bookbinding

Printmaking & Book Arts Residency at Lillstreet Art Center

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September 1st I started my one year residency at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago, IL.  They have six different departments which include ceramics, metalsmithing, jewelry & glass, painting & drawing, Printmaking & book arts, textiles, digital arts & photography. Within these departments they offer an array of classes from beginner to advanced. They also have a roof top garden and keep honeybees (delicious honey that they sell) The rooftop has an outdoor gallery space. It is a space where artist can install four flags that will hang from the top of the rooftop. The installation rotates monthly. Check it out you can see them if you walk or drive by just look up!  Each department  has an Artist-In-Residence for the year. There is a gallery space as well as small cafe. I am honored to be affiliated with them for the next year. It is exciting to be around so many creative people from all different backgrounds. Sometimes you are so interconnected to your own discipline you don’t allow for growth from other avenues. I am hoping I can take away a variety of skills from all different mediums after my residency ends. As the Residence of Printmaking & Book Arts I am teaching bookbinding and printmaking classes, I am creating new work, and I have the opportunity to take classes in all six departments. Taking classes in other departments was a perk for me. I am always interested in learning new mediums and finding ways to incorporate them in my work. Lately I have been incorporating sewing in my prints. I am not sure what direction it will take but I am hoping that the textile classes I am taking will be incorporated in my work. If you are in the Chicago area on Friday, October 21st at 6pm all of the Artist-In-Residences are giving 10 minute lectures about their work. Come and check out all the artist! If you have ever had the urge to learn bookbinding or printmaking come take one of my classes!!

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Printmaking Studio

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Rooftop

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Spring Semester is Here!

We are a few weeks into the spring semester and I realized I never posted anything during the fall semester. I am going to attempt to some up my first semester in this post. If I summed it up in one sentence it would be:

Moving to a new state for a new job was one of the best decisions I have ever made although the first semester was super busy, at times overwhelming, but I was always learning from my students and director while being the happiest ever because I am doing what I love! (I think that might be a run-on sentence and you may be out of breath after reading it but you get my point) hahaha

Wells College is a very special place and I already know from my short time here that it will always have a special spot in heart. I can definitely say this was my first experience of teaching at a college of around 550 students. It is a different experience from a larger college or university and very different from my own college experience. You create a bond and relationship with your students like no other because the max class size is 10 students at least for the Book Arts classes. Teaching with students from all disciplines was a little bit of a change for me. After the first or second class I had to rethinking my entire way of teaching, realizing I only had one student as a studio arts major. I had to incorporate foundations that I thought they would know. This was a challenge but I enjoyed trying to problem solve . I have definitely changed my entire approach for the spring semester and I am already seeing better results with my students.

Learning and problem solving were the two major things that took place in the fall. I was new to the school as well as the Book Arts Director Richard Kegler. We both worked together to make things happen. Every day we found a new interesting object (books, type, prints, presses, etc). It felt like an archaeological dig site for us! Every day we were exploring new parts of the building and trying to put the pieces together from the past predecessors. We have gotten the Wells College Press Store up and running again.  We also have a blog which is where I have been doing most of my posts Wells Book Arts Center Blog. Wells College Press is currently co-publishing a book with Starshapped Press called An Alphabet of Sorts. It will be released in late spring but you can check out the book on either website.

The Book Arts Center has a greenhouse attached to it and has not been put to very good use in the past so Rich and I are in the process of transforming it into a paper making garden and lab. We had April Sheridan from The Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago come out and give students a lecture about her experience of building a self-sustainable paper making at Columbia. By fall semester we will have the paper making garden up and running and offering our first paper making class in the fall! Lots of exciting things are underway at the Wells Book Arts Center. Stay tuned.

Here are a few images of student work, class projects, and other events from the fall semester

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My 4 weeks at Wells!!!

I am going to try and sum up my entire for weeks at Wells in this one post.  We pretty much had the same agenda everyday.  By the end of the four weeks I felt like I was at camp.  We had breakfast from 8-9am, class 9:15am-5:30pm (with breaks and lunch in between), 5:30-6:30pm we usually swam in the lake, 6:30-7:30pm dinner, and then the rest of the night we worked in the studio and sometimes had a few cocktails.  One of the wonderful aspects of this internship was having 24hr access to the studio.

Print Shop

Print Shop

Print Shop

1st Class: I took a class called Tradition Typography/book design with Ron Gordon.  I am not formally trained in graphic design so this was a great/eye opening experience.  I will never be able to look at design or type the same because of this class.

This is how I felt after my first class!!!

2nd Class: I assisted/took the wire binding class with the amazing Daniel Kelm.  This man is a walking encyclopedia at least when it comes to any topic relating to chemistry or bookbinding.  I not only learned how to do wire binding but I walked away with so much other useful tips and information.

Class binding away

Daniel hard at work

Daniel showing us some chemistry!!!

Wire binding!

3rd Class: Learning how to cast lead monotype from the Bixlers.  In the beginning this class was the only reason I had any interest to apply for this internship.  IT WAS AMAZING!  The bixlers are the most generous people ever and taught me so much.  I learned how to cast entire fonts and I also key padded, casted, and printed one of my brother’s poems.  Printing from fresh virgin type is the best!

The casting room!

Key padding my brothers poem

The melted lead!

My virgin type hot off the caster!

Mr. Bixler and I

Basically I ended up having one of the best learning experiences of my life during my internship at Wells.  They have wonderful facilities and even better faculty.

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