Book arts & Screen Printing

When I transferred to Appalachian State, one of the first classes I took was Book Arts.  As a transfer student, it was practically impossible to make a schedule since you're the last to register and all of my Gen Ed's were done.  Book Arts was one of the few classes that had seats still open, but being an upper level class I had to petition my way into it.  That was the best decision I made.  Not only was the class amazing, but it has changed the trajectory of my artistic practice.  Physically making a book and curating its content is an awesome experience that is filled with so many variables and possibilities.  What kind of paper will you use for the book block?  Will you cover the book in paper or cloth?  The possibilities are endless!  I will be making a book for my senior studio project,  and cannot imagine what I would be doing instead had I not taken Book Arts.

Below are some of the blank books that I made for class.  If you are at all interested in book arts, check out Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures & Forms by Alisa Golden (2010).  That was our textbook for class, and I have referred to it several times since.  The directions and diagrams are pretty easy to follow, and it even contains a glossary of terms. 


The books below vary in size, and each one would make great little sketch books, photo books, or even just a conversation piece.  If you're interested, each one is $20.  I can also custom-make them with different papers.

Accordion Books

Accordion books are great for telling stories.  You can tell a story from beginning to end on one side, or have it wrap around and continue on the back side.

Top book: 6.25"w x 4.25"h; 6 pages.

Right book: 4.25"w x 6.25"h; 12 pages.

Perfect Binding

This little pocket book has an elegant feel to it and would make a great journal for a trip.  With black book cloth for the spine and a rich red and gold paper for the cover, this book will be sure to keep your precious memories safe for a long time.

5.25"w x 4.75"h; 22 pages.

Simple Case Binding

From its camel colored book cloth to its fibrous end sheets, the design for this book was particularly nature-inspired.  It was also the largest book I had made up to that point.  Given its size, it would make for a nice little sketch book for any plein-air artists out there.

9.25"w x 6.75"h; 16 pages.

Japanese Side-Stitch

This fun, funky, retro little book was a whole series of fortunate accidents.  I had been wanting to find a way to use up the last of the paper I had used for my first accordion book, and this one fit the bill.  When making a book, you must differentiate the front from the back, and I deliberated how to do that on this book.  I grabbed a mat board square and found I had just enough paper left to wrap it.  I initially thought I would place it as a diamond in the center of the cover, but at the last minute, on a whim, decided to see where it might fit within the pattern of the cover.  It just so happened to to fit perfectly along the bottom side, creating a convenient tab to lift open the book with.  I found the orange paper and immediately wanted to use it for end sheets.  It perfectly clashed with the outer paper in a deliberate way and fit with the overall scheme.  The book is bound with wax-coated thread in the Japanese side-stitch binding, which makes for a pretty sturdy, secure binding.

7.5"w x 5.25"h;  56 pages.

Books with Content


When we received our assignment about collections, the first thing I thought of was a box.  Regardless of what people collect, they put their collection within some sort of secure structure to protect it.  I found directions on how to make a box book, but not any with compartment in them.  I quickly realized that this would be a completely self-taught project.  I began asking people what the most interesting things were that they collected, and I got some very interesting responses in return.  I then selected some of the more intriguing ones and asked people to send me pictures of their collections.  From there I wrote a narrative to go in the bottom of the box so that it was centered within various compartments, then lined each compartment with photos of the things people collected.  These collections include Santa Clauses, Gideon Bibles, breweriana from a specific brewery, shot glasses from travels, matchbooks, and silver related to English coronations.  I intentionally left the final compartment blank with a specific line therein.  The box measures 6.5"w x 9.5"h, and the text reads:

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Little pieces of us - 

fragments of people,

places and memories.

A souvenir.

A token.

A connection.

Vessels of knowledge,

memory and culture,

these are our own

subconscious attempts

at immortality.

Everyday things

that every else

passes by.


that no one else would buy.

Collections are

what tie us

to our past,

and guide us


our future.

What do you



For our final project, we were told to create a book using a book form our professor had not taught us.  I ended up combining two different book forms to create my own, a double dos-a-dos with a double fold-out accordion.  This culminated in a book containing three separate books within.  The first book had text about decisions we make, interspersed with lyrics from Baz Luhrmann's spoken word song Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen), which itself was adapted from columnist Mary Schmich's essay Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young (aka Wear Sunscreen).  The third book contained a narrative interspersed with Robert Frost's narrative poem The Road Not Taken.  Both narratives, as well as the fold-out accordion, were centered around the idea that had I not taken my first job in high school, working in the kitchen of a nursing home, I would not be where I am today.  The accordions contained a series of photographs from different stages of my life.  The first accordion covered events that happened while the second accordion has events from the same periods, but increasingly faded as their likelihood of happening diminishes the father away they get from that initial job.

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