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!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Artist Laura Wait was in Telluride for three days teaching a wonderful class titled "The Book as Art: Images+Handwriting+Exposed Sewing." I was lucky and got to attend the class. I loved it! I'd much rather be in the studio than upstairs sitting at my computer! I'm a painter...well I've done some painting, and this class appealed to me as we painted images and made marks on paper and then cut up the large sheets and made them into books. So cool. We spent two days making the pages, and on the third day we sewed the pages together. I can't tell you exactly what kind of sewing we did, but our sewing was exposed on the spine of the books. Laura combined techniques and made up these structures. They aren't too complicated, but the combination of personal artwork—inspired by words that we wrote down as our homework assignment—and simple binding structures made beautiful and interesting pieces. 

Everyone really enjoyed the class. This was the first class in 'artist's books' that we have taught at Ah Haa/AAB, and lots of local artists took the class. I was excited to introduce a new medium to our local art community. There are so many ways to use the book as a form of expression...and unless you see artist books first hand, you don't really know what they are. I love them. And I love Laura's books as well as her encaustic paintings. She is really talented. 

We can't wait to have you back Laura! I know your class will fill quickly. 

Thanks for a great introduction to a new structure!

Here are a few photos from the class.......

Saturday, June 11, 2011


After posting the previous entry yesterday morning, I walked into the studio to find order out of chaos! Tim and the students had organized all their work of the week into a display on one table and were deep in discussion of the accumulated work. For the first time all week we could see the visual product of all their creativity! So another post is in order!

Next up... Book As Art with Laura Wait on June 24, 25, 26. The class is filling fast of late and we look forward to another exciting experience exploring the design aspects of bookbinding as well as different styles of bookbinding. Then, throughout the summer, we will be hosting several classes offered by the Ah Haa School (ahhaa.org) until we resume bookbinding classes in the fall session - Fundamentals as well as Advanced bookbinding classes are available, Forwarding and Covering, and another great design class offering, Content to Concept to Object with Don Glaister and Suzanne Moore. If you've been thinking of taking a class, we encourage you to sign up soon!

Posted by Deb

Friday, June 10, 2011


Like any self-respecting mad scientist, Timothy C. Ely is poised to change the world... or at least, the bookbinding world. Of course he has already made a significant mark on the landscape of convention and this last week, he has been playfully guiding his students to set aside their notions of established rules of what is or isn't possible, and just spontaneously explore and create. Just. It's been fantastic to witness the process and view the play in progress. We've truly enjoyed our time with Tim and the students - I think we all would like to see it continue on site, but this is a dialog to be continued regardless of spacial constraints. The students have only started or refreshed their exploration. Thank you Tim... what incredible fun this field of play was!

Posted by Deb

Thursday, June 2, 2011


The Academy experienced a change of pace on Monday when the students for Don Glaister's "Leather Box Making" class started their week of learning. A group of seven students sat rapt as Don presented his first of several demonstrations/lectures. As the week progressed, so did the number of dimensions... from a single idea to a fully formed box. What fun to witness the process. I have to admit though, it was very difficult not to want to jump in and join in! I had to work hard to keep my hands off from other people's work!

Tomorrow (Friday) is the final day for the box people and for Don's spring teaching commitment. Best wishes to all as you go forth and make lovely boxes to complement and preserve your books!

One student needed to return home midway through but we were wishing she were here.

Posted by Deb