Portland is a great city for the arts in general, particularly book arts. Here is a list of schools, suppliers, organizations and other resources that support the book arts by offering inspiration, education, supplies, resources, and networking. The book arts community in our region has a vibrant history and welcomes new and established artists.
NW BOOK ARTS LIST
The most valuable source for information about the book and paper arts in the Pacific Northwest, this Yahoo Group has over 500 members from across the region and is the best place to find out about upcoming workshops, lectures and other events in the area. Join the list at: www.groups.yahoo.com/group/NWBookArtsList/?yguid=150449601
The following venues offer a wide variety of book arts classes and workshops. Check their websites for complete information.
- Oregon College of Arts & Craft – Excellent workshops all year long with local instructors plus an ever-changing roster of big names from the book arts world who come here to teach. Watch for their 5-day intensives in the summer that often feature stars like Julie Chen. www.ocac.edu
- Pacific Northwest College of Art – At least a few book arts-related workshops each time they publish a new catalog. Also watch for some terrific Photoshop, InDesign or Illustrator classes if you want to add digital design to your book arts projects. www.pnca.edu
- Portland Community College – Inexpensive classes with a regular roster of talented artist teachers. www.pcc.edu
- The Accidental Bookmaker – Located in Forest Grove, this store and studio run by Patty Grass has some fun beginner structure workshops. 503-357-7263. www.greenheronbookkits.com
- Guild of Bookworkers Northwest Chapter (more info below) – Our local chapter of the Guild has recently decided to increase their workshop offerings. Plans are the works to bring in some big names in technical binding techniques, so stay tuned.
- Independent Publishers Resource Center – Geared towards our younger creatives, this lively center near Powells in downtown Portland provides zinesters, writers, printers and others who want to self-publish their own work with workshops, equipment and studio access. www.iprc.org
- Focus On Book Arts Conference – This biennial conference in Forest Grove offers four days of classes in the book arts—bookbinding, paper making, printmaking, artists books, cards, journals—at all skill levels from beginner to advanced and includes evening lectures, a store with books about books and artists products, and a market with supplies and products. This conference happens every two years and seems to get better every time out thanks to a very dedicated volunteer staff. www.focusonbookarts.org
COMMUNITY AND INSPIRATION
- NW Chapter of the Guild of Bookworkers – The local guild chapter sponsors Portland’s T-BAG (Thursday Book Arts Gathering), an occassional gatherings for book arts lovers, whether novice or professional. Meetings areannounced on NW Book Arts List listed at the top of this list. Find out more at: www.gbwnw.blogspot.com
- Multnomah County Library – Not only does our local library stock a great selection of books about book arts, but the John Wilson Special Collections room has an inspiring collection of top notch artist books. Stop by and visit with Jim Carmin. He’s always happy to share his vast knowledge of the book arts. www.multcolib.org/about/mcl-wilson.html
- Reed College Library Artists’ Book Collection – Gay Walker is the special collections librarian at Reed College, a talented book artist herself and a lovely supporter of our local book arts scene. Reed’s collection is superb and includes many historically significant works. Setting an appointment for viewing items from the collection is recommended. Learn more here: http://library.reed.edu/using/specialcollections.html
- Portland Book Arts Group (P-BAG) – This group of friendly book artists meets on the last Thursday of every odd numbered month to share inspiration, techniques and projects. For more information, or to be added to the email list, contact convener Becky Luening at email@example.com or 503-774-9197.
BOOK ARTS SUPPLIES
These suppliers offer a vast inventory of book making materials and supplies right here in Portland. Check the websites for locations nearest you. All have helpful staff, are fun to explore, and will inspire you. Many also offer workshops as well.
- Columbia Art Supply – Decorative papers, bookmaking supplies. www.columbiaartanddrafting.com 503-232-2216
- Oblation Papers & Press – Workshops, handmade papers, letterpress printing. www.oblationpapers.com 503-223-1093
- The Accidental Bookmaker – Workshops, bookmaking supplies located in Forest Grove, about 45 minutes west of Portland. www.greenheronbookkits.com 503-357-7263
OUR VERY FAVORITE, SORT-OF-LOCAL SOURCE FOR SUPPLIES
Colophon Book Arts Supply – Located just up the road in Lacey, Washington, book artist and paper marbler Nancy Morains stocks everything a book artist or marbler will ever need. All the best tools, books, glues, Davey board, supplies and a great selection of book cloth. She ships UPS and your package usually arrives in Portland the next day. Nancy’s knowledge and advice has saved us lots of time and money over the years. www.colophonbookarts.com Phone: 360-459-2940
COMMISSION BOOK BINDERS TO HIRE
Perhaps you want to hire someone to bind your book for you. These local binders and book artists do commission binding, box making and can even be hired for private instruction.
- Sandy Tilcock, Lone Goose Press. Based in Eugene, Sandy is one of the best binders and letterpress printers in the country. Her box making and binding skills are top rate and her studio in Eugene is a treat to visit. Find her at www.lonegoosepress.com or phone 541-465-9079. You can also email Sandy at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rory Sparks. One of the founders of Em Space, Rory is an excellent technical and artistic binder. Reach her at 503-706-1540 or email@example.com
- Molly Lewis – Hinged Strung Stitched. Molly does commissioned binding including portfolios, books, albums, boxes and more. Phone: 503-610-8146, www.hingedstrungstitched.com
GREAT RESOURCES OUTSIDE OUR LOCAL AREA
- Book Arts Guild – Seattle-based book arts group centered around the University of Washington. Excellent lectures and programs with your membership dues. www.bookartsguild.org
- Puget Sounds Book Artists – Tacoma-based book arts group organized by Jane Carlin and an amazing group of dedicated volunteers. More info here: www.pugetsoundbookartists.org
- San Francisco Center for the Book – Based in San Francisco, another great resource. Fantastic workshops, lectures and more. www.sfcb.org
- The Center for Book Arts – Based in New York, top rate workshops and resources for book artists. www.centerforbookarts.org
- The Miniature Book Society – Great site for miniature book lovers . www.mbs.org
- The Movable Book Society – Member newsletter, great links for pop-up book lovers. www.movablebooksociety.org
- Guild of Bookworkers – The national parent of NWGBW listed above, this organization promotes interest in and awareness of book arts. Most members work as professional bookbinders or book conservators. But, there is great technical inspiration for book artists as well. www.guildofbookworkers.org
- Minnesota Center for Book Arts – Another very well respected and active book arts center. Excellent exhibits as well as workshops, residencies and other programs. www.mnbookarts.org
- Book_Arts-L – The most important email listserve for the book arts with almost 3,000 subscribers, this listserve is THE place to find out everything you need to know about book arts. Subscribe to the digest version as some discussion can get quite lively. But, worth it! The best way to stay on top of the book arts world. www.philobiblon.com/book_arts-l.shtml
- Philobiblon – Excellent book arts information and tutorials listed on this site make it a great resource for book and paper fans everywhere. Everything book arts related is compiled here by the ever-devoted Peter Veheyan. www.philobiblon.com
- Book Arts Newsletter – Sarah Bodman is a Research Fellow for Artists’ Books at the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England, Bristol, UK. As part of the center’s investigation of contemporary book arts practice they publish the Book Arts Newsletter, a free PDF journal that comes out (almost) monthly. Includes postings of exhibitions and opportunities both here in the US and abroad. Also watch for the Artist’s Book Yearbook, a biennial publication with essays and information on many aspects of the book arts, and The Blue Notebook, journal for artists’ books and several other publication. Sarah and Tom Sowden also produce book arts exhibitions, conferences and more as part of their research to explore many aspects of artists’ publishing. Sarah is also a talented book artist herself and the author of Creating Artist Books. Pay attention to what’s going on across the pond, it is all very exciting and inspiring.
This list was compiled by Linda Kiley and Laura Russell. Please feel free to email Laura at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additions or updates to this list.