Dear Friends, Students, Faculty Members and lovers of books,

This is Deb Stevens. I am the administrative director for the American Academy of Bookbinding based out of Telluride, Colorado. This blog was started as a way for all of us, those who have studied at AAB, friends of AAB, as well as those who want to find out more about this place, can keep in touch with each other during the year. I'll be posting all kinds of photos, news and updates as regularly as possible (or newsworthy). I hope you will also share any bookbinding thoughts, questions, revelations, etc. Send me your photos and let us all know what you're up to. Keep connected!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Hélène's Classes

Hélène Jolis' classes have been terrific. This week students are learning more complicated steps in her Contemporary Decorative Techniques class, after studying with Hélène last year in the Level 1 class. This is the only class that is being offered to students who attended the Level 1 class last year, and building on the inlay techniques they learned, they are working on plaquettes with a slightly more complicated design. "I love this technique!", I overheard a student say. And another,"this is so much fun!" Practical, innovative onlay and inlay techniques that can be used on the covers of fine bindings to executive designs. Hélène will be in Ann Arbor next, teaching Titling and Contemporary Decorative Techniques, Level 1. There is still room in both classes so drop me line if you want to join either of these technique classes.

Ann Arbor Classes Going Well!

Yumiko, Marcie, Karen, Nerida, Marilyn, Don, Ruth, Jean, and Rose;
on the floor: Lara, John, and Lindsay

Lara and her very complex and challenging box structure.

Don explaining something or other.....

Marilyn covering a tray

Don Etherington is in Ann Arbor teaching a few classes at our Michigan campus at Hollander's. Reports from various sources say that the Box Making class was fabulous, and this week's Forwarding and Covering class is off to a good start. Don's Box class was full with a waiting list, proving that his workshops are as popular as ever. Students attended the workshop from all across the country: Rhode Island, Indiana, Washington, Oregon, Illinois, Texas, Michigan and Canada. Here are a few photos from the Box Making class. We miss you in Telluride, Don!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Photos from Taylor's 60th Birthday Party

A few snapshots from Taylor's party....I thought I would post these for the world to see. We had dinner at La Cocina de Luz (thank you Taylor!) and then Lesa handed Taylor a handmade box with an accordian sheet that had the "60 Steps to Bind a Book in Telluride" that Tini wrote for the AAB t-shirts (only we changed a few of the steps for the 60 year old.) The box also contained the well wishes from students and teachers across the country. It was a lot of fun.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

TAYLOR CROSBY TURNS 60! Lesa Dowd celebrates her 44th!

Lesa and Hélène

Taylor with his elaborate cake sent by wife Elise. YUM!

Lesa and Taylor have birthdays today.........what fun! We celebrate Lesa's today, and we'll celebrate Taylor's tomorrow (sort of a big deal....turning 60 and all). Tonight we'll have a BBQ, eat cake and enjoy this lovely spring weather. Tomorrow, Taylor has invited us all to La Cocina de Luz for dinner where we'll eat yummy Mexican food and have flan for dessert. Does anyone remember the party we threw for Tini Miura on her 60th? That was fun....when was that? Happy Birthday to Lesa and Taylor from all of your bookbinding friends!

Don Glaister's Class....FANTASTIC!! Hélène Jolis Arrives!

Hélène with Titling students.

John works on his hinges.

Lisa from Calgary practices her titles using ink on paper.

Don pointing out subtle details with Garie from Ohio and Jill from Texas.

Don Glaister's Fundamentals of Bookbinding class was absolutely fantastic. Though students tended to work in the studio long after class was over, Don was there too, giving advice, teaching, reviewing the day's techniques. This was Don's first year teaching for the Academy, and every student had rave reviews of him and the course. Almost all of the students have signed up to take Don's Intermediate Fine Binding course in the fall, which is the next course in the series. I can't say enough great things about Don.......he is kind, patient, funny, creative and very generous with his knowledge and time. We look forward to many more years of having him in Telluride. Thank you Don!!

And our honored visiting artist, Hélène Jolis, arrived from Paris last week. Her first class, "Titling for Fine Binding and Conservation," started this week. In the students' words: "This class is amazing! It's just what I needed. I've taken Titling before, but Hélène is teaching how to apply the titles in a very systematic, structured way. I love that there are concrete, clear ways and rules of doing this." And another, "Excellent. Fantastic!! I am learning so much!!" Thank you Hélène. We are so honored and happy to have you here.

Hélène will be in the U.S. teaching for a total of six weeks—2 weeks in Telluride, 2 weeks in Ann Arbor, one week each in San Francisco and Boston. There is still room in some of the upcoming classes, so let me know if you are interested in attending. You don't want to miss this incredible opportunity! More news and photos to follow.....

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Don Glaister—Fundamentals of Bookbinding

Don and Taylor looking through the paper drawers.

Don demonstrates how to sand the spine.

A student sewing the signatures to make a textblock.

We are very honored to have Don Glaister here teaching for us for the first time. What a wonderful and generous teacher, and a great guy, too! Don trained in Paris but thinks of his bindings as truly American. His is an innovator and over the thirty some years he has been binding, he has developed simple, clear, no-nonsense techniques for binding books. And his design bindings are spectacular! So imginative! He has a concept for an image and finds unusual materials to realize his designs. Check out his website at the link on the right.

The two-week class that started this week is titled "Fundamentals of Bookbinding." Students are learning how to make case bindings using brand new textblocks, then sewing them, rounding and backing them, making headbands, etc. The students will make one half-leather and one full-leather binding. It's a process that takes the student through every step of the binding. We have some students who have never made a book before, and we have a student that has been taking various binding classes in Telluride since 1996, so the range is very broad. Even experienced binders can learn something by studying a new way of doing things. How refreshing!