Saturday, June 7, 2014

Call for Nominations

The 2014 election of officers for the Southeast Chapter Committee of the Guild of Book Workers (SEGBW) will be held in July.

Nominations are currently being accepted for the following positions:


Our current Chapter Chair and Treasurer will both be retiring from the Southeast Chapter Committee in July.

Please submit nominations as soon as possible and NO LATER THAN JUNE 20 to:

Southeast Chapter Committee
Guild of Book Workers

You do NOT need to contact the person you are nominating, a member of the SEGBW Chapter Committee will make contact.

You are also encouraged to nominate yourself for any of these positions.

You may also suggest yourself or others to serve as members of our recently formed Events Subcommittee and/or Communications Subcommittee. Subcommittee memberships are voluntary and non-elected, providing a way for SEGBW members to familiarize themselves with Chapter Committee business and consider future participation as elected committee members.

Job descriptions for all elected committee positions follow this message.

Thank you for your part in ensuring the future of the Guild of Book Workers.


Southeast Chapter Committee
Guild of Book Workers
Responsible for the smooth and effective running of the chapter
Coordinates the other officers
Communicates with the chapter membership
Represents the chapter at the meetings of the GBW Board of Directors
Quarterly conference call meetings
Standards Conference
Board of Directors annual meeting
Chapter Chairs annual meeting

Receives and handles all mail
Takes minutes of meetings
Writes (or assigns) report of events
Keeps chapter membership lists (names, phone, e-mail)

Creates annual chapter budget with Chair
Oversees all financial activities (events, etc.)
Records all financial transactions
Collects, approves, and forwards all bills for payment

Maintains website and manages social media
Sends announcements to SEGBW members, GBW and other relevant listservs
Manages e-mail account

EVENTS COORDINATOR (with Subcommittee)
Plans meetings and programs
Convenes workshops
Organizes exhibitions
Provides refreshments

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Photos from Ethiopian Bookbinding Workshop

Some photos from the Ethiopian Bookbinding workshop that took place earlier this month at the Atlanta Printmakers Studio. Great to see these folks hard at work!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Exhibition Winner!

We are pleased to announce that our juror, Jessica Peterson, has chosen a winner!  Jessica had a difficult time choosing a winner of this year's show and after much consideration she felt that Marcia Watt's entry, Eating with Chopsticks, best exemplified the theme of the show. I again would like to thank everyone who entered the show this year and we congratulate Marcia on her win!

Friday, January 3, 2014

SEGBW 2013 Exhibition -- Patterns

The notifications of acceptance went out and the books came in. I was excited to see each entry in person. The variety of structures and content that fit our theme of Patterns was awesome. The show is now installed in The University of Alabama’s Gorgas Library on two floors. The second floor cases outside of the Sanford Media Center and the 5th floor, which is the home to the Library and Book Arts programs. Here are a few pictures of the exhibit. I encourage those who live in the greater Tuscaloosa area to come on by and see it in person. The announcement of the winner of this year’s Best in Show will be forthcoming. Look for it soon.

-Sonja Rossow

Friday, December 13, 2013

Letterpress Gig Poster Workshop

The Southeast Guild of Bookworkers is pleased to announce the following workshop in Atlanta:

The Letterpress Gig Poster Workshop
Instructor: Jessica Peterson
Location: Atlanta Printmakers Studio
Saturday & Sunday, January 18 & 19, 2014
Time: 10:00-4:00 pm

Back in 1830, before Facebook, computers and inkjet printers, one of the only ways to announce a public event was through a letterpress printed broadside (more popularly known today as a gig poster). In this workshop, each participant will design and print an editioned poster announcing an event of their choice. Learn the basics of designing typography with wood and metal type, and how to harness design factors specific to letterpress including transparency, metallic inks, and the layering of text, image and texture. Then, learn how to expertly print handset type using Vandercook printing presses, mightiest of all cylinder presses. The class will also explore the visual history of the broadside/gig-poster over the last 150 years. This workshop is brought to you via a collaboration between Atlanta Printmakers Studio and the Southeast Guild of Bookworkers. The member discount is available to members of either organization.

Jessica Peterson is a letterpress printer and teacher. Her award-winning artists’ books are collected by special collections libraries around the country, including at Yale University, Emory University, Duke University and UCLA. She is the proprietor of The Southern Letterpress, a printshop in Northport Alabama and is an instructor of book arts and let­ter­press at The Uni­ver­sity of Alabama. Her creative work has been recognized by The Windgate Foundation and The College Book Art Association. She is the recipient of the 2014 individual artists grant from the Alabama State Council of the Arts and is a featured demonstrating artist at the 2013 Kentuck Festival of the Arts.

To register for this class or for any questions, please contact Suzanne Sawyer:

Monday, October 21, 2013

Extended Deadline: 2013 Annual Exhibition

A gentle reminder that the Southeast Guild of Book Workers' 2013 Annual Exhibition is just around the corner. Submissions are now due November 8, 2013. Interpreting the theme of Patterns, book artists are encouraged to submit a book that speaks to this topic. How you choose to interpret this theme is entirely up to you.

Juror: Jessica Peterson is a letterpress printer and maker of artists’ books under the imprint Paper Souvenir. She operates The Southern Letterpress in Northport, Alabama and is an instructor of book arts and letterpress at The University of Alabama. She has taught book arts and graphic design at Mississippi University for Women, Purchase College and The University of Bridgeport. She earned a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and an MFA from Book Arts Program at University of Alabama. Her artists’ books are collected in private and public libraries around the country, including Yale University, Duke University and UCLA. She has received numerous grants and fellowships, including the Windgate Fellowship n 2006 and 2008, and a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Alabama State Council on the Arts in 2013.

Venue: Gorgas Library at The Univeristy of Alabama
Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Best in Show Prize: $100.00

Calendar and Deadlines:
  • Nov 8, 2013: Images, check and entry form is due to SEGBW.
  • Nov 15, 2013: Jury results will be posted on our blog and accepted entrants will be notified.
  • Dec 1, 2013: All books must be in the possession of exhibition chair.
  • Dec 5, 2013: Opening of show. Best in Show announced.
  • Jan 30, 2014: Show closes.  
Non-refundable Entry Fee:
SEGBW members and students: 2 entries for $20.00
Non-members: 2 entries for $30.00
Entry will not be considered until fee has been received.

Make checks payable to:
Send to:
Sonja Rossow, SEGBW Exhibition Chair
710 Ethan Lane
Prattville, AL 36067

Submission requirements:
  • Submissions must have been completed within the past two years.
  • Digital Images, check, and entry form must be received by Friday, November 1, 2013.
  • Up to 3 images may be submitted for each entry to show perspective or detail. We advise that you submit high-quality images that will best represent your work.
  • Submit digital images and entry form to
  • JPEG file must be 300 ppi, approximately 4 x 6 inches in size. JPEG images must precisely portray the original work. Be sure that image is oriented right side, in focus and has accurate color.
  • Label each JPEG image with file entry number (A or B,), last name, first name, and title that corresponds to entry form. (e.g. A. Smith, Julie: Dress Me.jpg)
  • Fill out entry form and send along with check.
Liability of work submitted:
  • No substitutes will be accepted for chosen work.
  • No changes to title, price, etc. will be permitted after delivery of work
  • All reasonable care will be taken with works, but insurance is the responsibility of the artist. The University of Alabama or SEGBW will assume no liability for damages or loss
  • Selected artists agree to allow work to be photographed for media use and use on the SEGBW blog or Ning site.
  • SEGBW is not responsible for work left beyond 30 days after the close of show.
Artists are responsible for all shipping and handling costs to and from the exhibit. Please no styrofoam peanuts.

Send Work To:
Sonja Rossow, SEGBW Exhibition Chair
710 Ethan Lane
Prattville, AL 36067


Artist #_______



City_______________________ ST________ Zip_______



Number of Entries________ Entry Fee Paid ____________

SEGBW members and students 2 entries for $20.00
Non-members 2 entries for $30.00

#A Title_________________________________________


Size: H_____ W_____ Price $_________ or NFS

#B Title_________________________________________


Size: H_____ W_____ Price $_________ or NFS

Friday, September 20, 2013

Interview with Doug Baulos

To start our new series, Book Artists in the Southeast, I chose Doug Baulos. Doug is  an art professor at The University of Alabama Birmingham. His curiosity about the world and how things work keeps his work fresh and interesting. I recently went to his studio in Birmingham to interview him.  
--Sonja Rossow

What is your artistic background?

I got an undergraduate degree in drawing and painting. Then, I went to University of New Orleans for grad school where I studied video and drawing. All of my graduate schoolwork is sequential, serial huge installations. My MFA thesis show was this narrative, sequential building of panels I thought of as pages. My first big show at the Contemporary Art Center (CAC) in New Orleans was 1,800 pages on all bi-metal copper bookplates. I acquired these plates during a period where I lived and was friends with this really old printer in New Orleans. He just gave me this huge amount of copper aluminum, those old printing things. They used to come in these big 40 x 60 inch plates and he gave me 80 of them. So, one summer I started photo exposing five plates a day.  I’d first make the image and then the negative. By the end of the summer I had 1,800 plates.  

How did you become interested in Book Arts?

When I was younger and interested in book arts during undergraduate school in Birmingham, I didn’t know Glenn [House, Jr.] or anything about Tuscaloosa. So, I applied and received a scholarship to The Whitney. While in New York City. I also wanted to study a bit about book arts. I called up The Morgan Library and asked if they would be interested in having me for a few hours a day. I was fortunate enough that they did, and also that The Whitney let me go. I studied with a wonderful curator/conservator and was highly influenced by their collection. I had taught myself Coptic and simple stuff, but I was an absolute beginner. She was amazing. Although I was only in New York for a month, I learned so much from her. It was really cool cause the Whitney let me study with her for two hours a day and she was willing to let me see stuff. As a result, all of my early training was on historical binding and historic conservation.  

I see many of your books are based on historic structures, is that what you are mostly interested in?

That is what I teach a lot when I do workshops at places such as Penland. I’m teaching historic combinations such as how to combine different ones together on the same book. It’s something that a lot of people have never done, but it used to be done a lot. I’ve always sewn in my work. When I saw medieval binding, I was just blown away. The weird thing is that I always make the distinction that I don’t do anything that is decorative. I don’t think of it as historical, but everything I do in my books currently is something that I’ve borrowed from history. When I have shows I like people to think it’s the real thing.

How do you think about books in general?

The big thing about books is not just the finite idea of the book, but the way that books are ordered.  For instance, I’m really interested in studying what happened before and during medieval times with respect to book ordering. When I tell people that books didn’t have a table of contents they are just like, “what are you talking about?” So, that whole transition from a scroll to a book and what happened in the first early years really interests me. I’m interested because if you play with those notions when people are looking at your books, it makes them not only rethink about a book, but how information is ordered. The cool thing about books is not just the book as an object but when you open it up the book is an unimaginable huge space of imagination and information. That is such an awesome thing that we rarely stop to think about.

Let’s talk about your work in the last few years.  I see many wreaths around the studio. What is the inspiration and what are they made of?

I originally got the idea from the tiny hair wreaths and I’ve always loved the wreath form but you know when you tackle something like that its weird. Wreaths are so decorative, but if I’m going to devote my energy I have to go way beyond the decorative so that when people look at it they have some sort of emotional and psychological transfiguration.

I’ve always collected old dictionaries. In my school office, I have all these dictionaries from thrift stores that were going to dump them. I really had this thing because it’s weird when you get into studio and practice the decisions you make. I  used to be one of those artists that didn’t really like to tear up books, but then I was like they are going to the dump them so you might as well up-cycle and draw attention to the fact that they are being thrown away. So, I started making things out of the dictionaries. It’s weird because when I go to the thrift store the ones I keep are the ones that are really dog eared and super looked at and then the newer ones, those are the ones I tear up. So it’s weird because a lot of people are attracted to the newer thing and I like the older ones that you can tell that people actually used and read.  

The big project I’m working on now is one that I got hired for by the city of Birmingham. They commissioned me to make a wreath for the upcoming Civil Rights anniversary. It will be on display at Space 111, which is an arts organization in downtown Birmingham. They are going to drape the whole building and the wreath will be on the front. I’m excited. The installation will last for five days.

Do you consider these wreaths book objects?

They are totally made of books. Almost everything is up-cycled, found books, because I’m just so concerned about the destruction of the book. But my most recent projects are hand-drawn, illuminated books that deal with medical anomalies and medical transfiguration.  

Do you make editions of your work or are they one-of-a-kind?

When I used to letterpress, I used to edition. That said, I think I’ve only done two book editions before. I’ve always thought I should do something like that. I do edition sculptural things like the birds. However, most of it’s hand drawn, painted or sewn.  

Where do you find materials?

It’s mostly an emotional texture thing. The way I look for and chose materials are the ones that speak to me from an emotional or psychological standpoint. I used to go to a lot of thrift stores, but that’s evolved a little bit.  

How have you evolved as an artist?

One of the big things about my evolution as a book artist is my transformation from doing conservation work and having to be perfect. In conservation, there are all these rules such as using the least amount of adhesive necessary and everything having to be clean and pristine. My early books all looked like perfect models. Then I realized that all the books I loved to look at were those crazy 17 limp vellum books that look like they’ve been drug through the mud. So, I began to question why was I making these perfect pristine things. I had this horrible dark night of the soul where I made mistakes in the workshop and where someone says something like grain doesn’t matter. I felt my hackles rise and had to tell myself to stay cool. But then I thought, “why I am so upset about that?” That’s why I like meeting people and seeing what they care about. I don’t think people should be so rigid. Rules are made to be broken. Everything in moderation, except for moderation.  

Tell us about new explorations you are involved in.

We’ve [Larry Lou Foster and Amy Lee Pard] started this thing where we meet every two weeks and we just talk about book ideas. It’s like a book arts club. A lot of people have seen this book I make called, “Not So Limp Vellum.” The reason behind it was my vegetarianism. I’m not a real super disciplined vegetarian, but I also don’t eat meat. However, as much as I love using leather in book arts, I at some point I had to confront the fact that I don’t eat meat. About eight years ago I was making a lot of leather stuff. I thought, “what’s going on with that?” Nobody else would care, but that’s probably not cool. That doesn’t make real sense. So, I wondered what could I use instead of leather. I’d always made these skins out of photo paper, but because you can’t pare it like leather, I had to figure out ways to pare the skins. So, I started using limp vellum instead of leather or vellum you use for photographic skins.  

What do you mean by that?  

It’s a long involved process. It’s basically a mat medium, then you make an emulsification of the mat medium on a color Xerox and then you remove all the paper from the Xerox. The image is trapped within the emulsification. Then you can layer imagery behind it. It gives you a ton of ways of thinking about imagery on a book. Imagine a limp vellum book with photographic imagery. I’ll be teaching that method at the Alabama Folk School, October 31 – November 3.

Do you consider archivalness?

That’s another one of those disconnects, because I take old things and make them into objects that are archival. Take those wreaths for example. There is so much methyl cellulose that they are pretty archival. They are not going anywhere unless somebody burns it. However, I’m also interested in making things that are supposed to be ephemeral and disappear.  

What are some of your favorite tools or non-traditional tools?

I’m afraid that I’m really humdrum about that. I bet that I use the same tools that you do. It’s perhaps not the tools, but the way I use them. That’s true of everybody and why I still take workshops to see how people work. I think the weird thing I do is when I’m making boxes I don’t use book cloth. I do collages on watercolor paper. When you’re doing turn-ins you have this crazy problem. It’s like covering a box with leather. I had to figure out how to pare down the paper. So, I have this crazy German paring thing that works really well on paper. It is made for paper. Instead of using traditional book board I layer 14 pieces of paper together. Some of it’s transparent. I use it as a structural thing. If you put a hard board on a Coptic spine and sew through it, I don’t use stiff leather or board, I make my own. Any kind of layering or cutting or folding that’s my thing. That’s how I think through things and how I find out about the world by doing that.