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!

Sunday, October 30, 2011


Sialia Reike, Monique Lallier, Don Etherington, Patty Bruce, Judy Ferenbach, Gabby Cooksey, Lesa Dowd, Pam Wood, Myssie Light Acomb, Gale Buffett, Lang Ingalls.

Yesterday was the big farewell for Monique's Intermediate/Advanced class. As everyone begins the finishing up/packing up process, it seems the atmosphere becomes more subdued as students start to move their focus from their current project to returning home and the responsibilities that await them. The studio becomes more and more quiet as, one by one, they depart. Eyes mist over as goodbyes are said. But it's a happy sad... we know that everyone will be back sooner or later.

Of course, then the vaccuum comes out to override the quiet. Tools are put away until needed again. The studio gets a big cleaning and reorganization to prepare for the next class. I also turn my focus toward the next group and what their needs will be. But before I do so, let me reflect a bit and share some more photos!

Pam with her embossed gold inset.

Gabby's first onlays and tooling.

Gale with the two she was working on.

Myssie happy to have finished this one!

Myssie's bench.

Lesa and her minis in the press.

Don, Lesa and husband David.


Pam and Gale.

Don't know what Don said, but it must have been good!

Gale watches Monique.

Sialia and Gale win the prize for 'midnight oil' burning.

A skiff of snow in the second week.

Thanks to Myssie for these beautiful photos.

Is this the holiday greeting photo or what?    

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Now that the Intermediate/Advanced Fine Binding class is well underway, books that were formally just a glimmer in the creator's eye, are starting to emerge as objects d' art. The diversity of design and intent is amazing. Books are definitely as individual as the individuals who create them. Though they are still in the unfinished form and we know that much more will be done by way of decoration, I couldn't resist giving you a taste. Check back for the finals next go around.

Monique Lallier has been in house for over a week now and we've enjoyed every minute. The students also get the extra bonus of having her husband, well known Conservator Don Etherington, working on his own project (and lending a little advice along the way). A two-fer... not quite, but almost. Wonder if the reverse will be true next week when Don teaches his class? What a package deal! It's been totally delightful to have them both here at once. I think these are nine very lucky students.

Monique and Lang (Teacher's Assistant) do final inspection prior to pasting leather
Learning Monique's French headband - no easy task
Myssie's decoration
Molly gets some 'advice' from Patty
Lesa using her mini plough for her mini books
Patty's stack o' stuff
Gale in the spotlight
Monique works with Gabby as Don looks on from afar
A cover is born...
... of box calf no less
Monique's demo book
Demos aren't always serious when Patty's around
One of Don Etherington's projects
We can't wait to see where the hole leads in one of Sialia's projects
Pam is having a blast in her first class with Monique
Glasses seem to be mandatory for this class
Not bad for Gabby's second class in fine binding
Gale's book after covering and before final decoration
Bird's eye view
 To be continued....

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


room with a view

Okay, so I've been back for 10 days and am only now getting this posting out... but you have to give me time to recover! Monique's class has started and I'm starting to take photos of that class for the blog, which means I've got to get this one done!

Boston was fabulous. My very first GBW Standards (note I don't say 'conference' anymore  ;-)  What a lovely time. I met tons of people (who will need to remind me that I met them when next I see them), had a whirlwind walking tour of North Bennett Street School and historic Boston (led by one Judy Ferenbach), saw lot's of tempting goods for sale (and purchased more than I should have), enjoyed all the social activities and woke up every morning to this fantastic view (above). It was also my first time in Boston so that made it even more special. AND, I got to fly over and look down on my old stomping grounds of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York! A great trip.

another view

Judy looks on as Monique Lallier signs Judy's book with her new, steady hand.

two truly fine Fine Binders

nice group

part of AAB's display

the venue - The Park Plaza Hotel

all the leather you could want!

Judy and Don Glaister with her book

the singing MacGregor sisters. Five of us livened up the overflow vendor room with song!

the finale of the weekend - banquet and auction

How I wish I had taken more pictures of people! And had my camera with me on my walking tour. Oh well,... just have to go back!

Monday, October 3, 2011


October 1 marked the celebration of Judy's "metamorphosis" into her new life. It was on this day that she was presented with her book created by Don Glaister from the pages and sentiments submitted by numerous friends, bookbinders and artists (and any combination). It was an amazing evening. Judy loves her book!... a big thank you to all who contributed!! Though my camera did not always cooperate, here are the long awaited photos:

Front cover

Marbled fly leaf and paste down by Monique Moore Racine aka Momo

Title page by Suzanne Moore

Paste paper folio by Judy Ferenbach

Interior of Judy Ferenbach's folio

Jeanne Goodman

Pam Wood

Patty Bruce

Vicke Selk

Gabby Cooksey

There were many other artistic contributions from friends in Telluride and beyond as well as expressions and memories sent in emails and printed into the book. Don Glaister did an amazing job of building this incredible book from such an array of materials and sizes. Thank you Don!


The party (some in costume) was an event that is not likely to be forgotten for years to come. It was a huge success. For purposes of this posting though, I'll just stick to the part about the presenting of the book. Robert Weatherford (from the Ah Haa School board) and Suzan Beraza (dear film-making friend of Judy's) presented. Forgive the fuzzy photos.. don't know what happened there! You get the idea...

Taylor Crosby, Judy Ferenbach, Don Glaister celebrate

Heartbeat sings 'Rise Up' - Judy, Suzan, Ulli, me, Rosemerry, Sally