The Book in Society

Cover2 small       There is a tiny neglected park in the north end of Tacoma, Washington overlooking Commencement Bay.   It is just large enough for a small overgrown garden, a park bench, and the reason for the park’s existence, a stele, commemorating the site of Tacoma’s first public library.   I had just finished reading Solveig Robinson’s The Book in Society, an introduction to print culture.    As I sat on the bench, looking out over the water towards the Cascades, I contemplated how something as monumental as a library can be so transitory.   But when one considers the fragility of a book, perhaps it’s not as difficult to comprehend.  Indeed, it becomes easier to wonder how books came to exist at all.

Most of us take books for granted.  They are so ingrained as part of our society, it is difficult to imagine life without them, or that how we live is directly influenced by them.   Conversely, society has an equal role in its influence on the books themselves.   Solveig Robinson’s work, The Book in Society, explores both aspects as inextricable.     In journeying through the history of the book, she takes us from the history of writing by the earliest civilizations, to illuminated manuscripts, on to the invention of movable type, and finally, the arrival of the modern book as we know it.  We find in not only Western society, but in Islamic culture and other societies across the globe, the path was not as straight forward as we might have thought.   Interwoven into the coming of the book are the roles played by writers, artists, patrons, printers, publishers, editors,  ad execs, booksellers, governments, censors,  libraries, book fairs, and of course, the advent of perhaps the most important requirement for a book’s existence, literacy itself.

Written in a narrative style, Solveig Robinson weaves a story about the history of the book in all of its aspects from humble beginnings on clay tablets, to the mass produced pulp fiction of today.   Woven throughout the book are fascinating stories which make the book even more enjoyable to read.   Throughout history and even in certain societies today, people are put to death for what they write or publish.   As I look at my personal library, Solveig Robinson’s work The Book in Society makes me appreciate it that much more.

The Book In Society

An Introduction To Print Culture
Solveig C. Robinson

Associate Professor
Program Director, Publishing & Printing Arts
Pacific Lutheran University

Order The Book in Society here

To find out more about the Publishing and Printing Arts Program at Pacific Lutheran University, visit the PLU website

Blog by : Mark Hoppmann, President: Puget Sound Book Artists
Photo credit: Solveig Robinson
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Journey’s End: From One Horizon to the Next

Horizon Before and After copy

I watched as the shipping containers were brought into the exhibition hall and unlocked, their contents of packing boxes and bubble wrap stacked and lined up, awaiting their contents to begin one last journey.  The meticulously detailed packing instructions were studied, and one by one the display cases were unlocked.   Quiet chaos ensued as teams of assistants murmured between themselves and worked to locate the book that belonged to its respective shipping sleeve, box, or piece of bubble wrap before carefully placing the book inside the shipping container as per the meticulously detailed shipping instructions.  Slowly, one by one the display cases emptied as each work found its nest for the journey home.  Afterwards we surveyed the carnage.  Display cards lay stacked alone on top of empty cabinets, unneeded posters, no longer needed lay stacked against a wall, and reference materials lay scattered across the floor in front Display cabinets stripped of their works of art, their doors hanging ajar as if in a vain attempt to will the books back to their protective enclosure.

A tour that began in June of 2012, The Guild of Book Workers  Horizon Exhibit had traveled far;  From the University of Kentucky, to Salt Lake City, to The Chicago Public Library, The University of Denver, to Loyola University in New Orleans, and finally, the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington.   While in Tacoma, The Horizon Exhibition culminated in The Art of the Book Symposium held in March of 2014 at the University of Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Washington.  As I trundled the shipping containers to the library loading dock, a nearly two year journey was approaching its end.   I thought to myself, all books should have such a journey in their lifetime, and then it occurred to me, perhaps all books do.

To read more about the Guild of Book Workers Horizon Exhibition or to order an exhibition catalog go to: The Guild of Book Workers

Blog: by Mark Hoppmann
Photo Credits: Mark Hoppmann
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The 2014 Art of The Book Symposium

Symposium Collage copy

By 8:30 am, March 15th, 2014, a steady stream of book artists, curators, library directors, paper makers, book restorers, illustrators, printers,  calligraphers, poets, and book art lovers  began gathering inside Collins Library at the University of Puget Sound, anxious for the Art of The Book Symposium to begin.  Upon their arrival guests were treated to a continental breakfast, an opportunity to view The Guild of Book Workers  Horizon Exhibit, held in conjunction with the Symposium, and a chance to study selected works from the rare book collection of Collins Library.  The light rain which fell on the short walk  across the campus served only to refresh and dissolve any lingering cobwebs from the night before.   There appeared to be no doubt, this would be an opportunity to learn and reflect.  A sincere welcome from  Jane Carlin, director of Collins library and an address delivered by Paula Jull, the president of the Northwest chapter of the Guild of Book Artists, signaled the Symposium had begun.  Mark Hoppmann, president of the Puget Sound Book Artists introduced the morning’s speakers.

All eyes were on the podium as Susan Collard, a Portland book artist and architect whose firm, In-House Architecture, focuses on residential remodeling began her presentation.  As an architect, her task is transforming existing houses.  As an artist, she transforms found objects and materials such as wood, metal, and glass into intricate, constructed books. She explained, “While my books are architectural in nature, it is here the similarities end.   Architecture is problem solving.  My books are a means to express myself.”

Monica Holtsclaw received a Diploma in bookbinding from the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts, as well as a Bachelor of Fine Arts in graphic design from the Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia.  Monica enjoyed two internships in the conservation lab at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts, as well as a summer of study in the bindery of Uppsala University in Uppsala, Sweden. Monica currently resides in Beaverton, Oregon, where she is the proprietor of Boombox Bindery.  She specializes in hand bookbinding, repair, and the creation of custom boxes and enclosures.  During her presentation, Monica took us on a different journey, explaining her past, present, and future in the book arts.  “The book structure represents a personal reflection as I search beyond my own horizons and limits.  I push toward new experiences while carrying the past with me.”

Suzanne Moore is a printmaker, painter and lettering artist, whose eclectic interests fuse in the diversity of her artists’ books.  She melds word and painted image with form, content, and structure into spaces which invite the reader to engage, examine, and inquire.   Recent work has included a visual interpretation of Gustav Hoist’s symphonic suite, “The Planets” and she is currently working on an edition book presenting the history, controversy, mystery and spiritual symbolism of the digit “zero”, entitled, Zero: Cypher of Infinity.  In 2001, Suzanne was part of a team of illuminators who worked from 2001-2012 with Donald Jackson on the Saint John’s Bible.  She quoted T. S. Elliot in saying, “We shall not cease from exploration and the end of all of our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

Following the three presentations, MalPina Chan, PSBA Board member and book artist served as moderator for a panel discussion between guests and the three artists.  During and after a buffet luncheon, guests mingled, had the opportunity to view works by the attendees, or strolled back across the campus to finish viewing the Horizon exhibit at Collins Library before embarking for the afternoon session of the symposium.

Arriving at Pacific Lutheran University to tour Elliott Press on the university campus, guests gathered to view  The Art of Wayzgoose, an exhibit of WayzGoose steamroller prints and listen to Jessica Spring, and Chandler O’Leary discuss their Dead Feminist series.  They also took the opportunity to present their newest print, Focal Point, which incorporates a quote by photographer Imogen Cunningham with an illustration by Chandler, letterpress printed by Jessica.

Jessica Spring has been designing, paper making and printing for more than twenty years. Jessica has an MFA from Columbia College Chicago Center for Book and Paper and teaches at Pacific Lutheran University’s Elliott Press and the The School of Visual Concepts in Seattle. Her work is included in numerous collections and is available for sale through the artist, Vamp & Tramp or Wessel & Lieberman Booksellers.

Chandler O’Leary was born 50 miles west of  Wall Drug. She is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and the proprietor of Anagram Press — a small business built on the notion of doing everything the hard way.  Specialties include lettering, illustration and printmaking.   Chandler is the author/artist of the illustrated travel blog, Drawn the Road Again, and one half of the collaborative team behind the Dead Feminists series. She lives and works in Tacoma, Washington.


   In retrospect, the Art of the Book Symposium fulfilled the expectations of its planners and designers.  70 individuals were brought together with one purpose in mind; to assimilate and exchange information on The Art of The Book.  Whether sitting at the University of Puget Sound or standing on the campus of Pacific Lutheran University, the atmosphere of support and enthusiasm was contagious.   After the last presentation, and not wanting a perfect day to end, some continued  to mingle in the lobby at Ingram Hall or outside on the campus ground, others continued onward to an opening reception at Pope Press in Olympia, Washington.  A small party gathered at a local Italian restaurant to continue the exchange of ideas, enjoy each others company, and possibly to lay the seeds for the next Symposium.  The day had indeed been an opportunity to learn and reflect.

The Puget Sound Book Artists wish to express our sincerest gratitude to the Northwest Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers,  the Book Arts Guild,  Paula Jull, Jane Carlin, Susan Collard, Monica Holtsclaw, Suzanne Moore, Jessica Spring, and Chandler O’Leary for making this symposium possible.  Special Thanks goes to Jamie Spaine for her tireless work behind the scenes that helps makes anything and everything at Collins Memorial Library possible.

 Blog: Mark Hoppmann
Photo credits: MalPina Chan, Mark Hoppmann


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PSBA Announces 2014 Student Membership Awards

2014 PLU Student PSBA Members

Back row, from left to right: Katie Hoffman, Samuel Ryan
Front row: Taylor Cox, Andrew Nelson, Tam Nguyen (missing: Hyunhee Kim)

The Puget Sound Book Artists (PSBA) is pleased to announce it has awarded six Pacific Lutheran University students (Katie Hoffman ’15, Hyunhee Kim ’15, Andrew Nelson ’15, Taylor Cox ’16, Tam Nguyen ’15 and Samuel Ryan ’16) with 2014 annual memberships as a part of an initiative to support students in the book arts.   Jane  Carlin, Director of Collins Library at the University of Puget Sound and acting PSBA President shared, “We are delighted to welcome these students to the PSBA membership and look forward to the opportunities in 2014 to increase our contact and conversation with each other, encouraging us to further exchanges of ideas in this diverse art field”.

From everyone in the Puget Sound Book Artists, CONGRATULATIONS & WELCOME to Katie, Hunhee, Andrew, Taylor, Tam, and Samuel!  We look forward to   enjoying your work.

Blog contributors: Debbi Commodore, Mark Hoppmann
Photo Credits: Debbi Commodore
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The Art of The Book Symposium


Thanks to William Shakespeare, the Ides of March is permanently etched into our consciousness.  This time, it will be remembered as  a collective accomplishment between the Guild of Book Workers, The University of Puget Sound, and Pacific Lutheran University.   It might be said, the symposium actually began February 3rd with the opening at Collins Library on the University of Puget Sound Campus, of The Horizon Exhibit: The Art of The Book, a collection of works by the Guild of Book Workers, which runs until March 30th.   Early in the planning for the exhibition, the Director of the Northwest Chapter of the Guild of Bookworkers and Jane Carlin, Director of Collins Library at the University of Puget Sound envisioned a symposium to accompany the exhibition and to be held March 15th.

During the morning of the Symposium, Suzanne Moore, Monica Holtsclaw, and Susan Collard, three members of the Guild of Bookworkers and whose work are part of the exhibition, will participate in a panel discussion moderated by MalPina Chan, a member of the Puget Sound Book Artists.  Participants will later have the opportunity to exhibit and talk about their own work, in addition to viewing selected works from the Collins Library Collection.

prints In the afternoon, the Symposium moves to the Pacific Lutheran University Campus at Ingram Hall where attendees will view an exhibition, The Art of Wayzgoose, as well as a tour of Elliot Press and The Boge Library, viewing a collection of recently donated books about calligraphy and typography, before moving on to a presentation by Jessica Spring  and Chandler O’Leary.

With 70 book artists attending, the Symposium offers an opportunity to mingle with artists established in their field as well as artists who are just beginning their new found love of the book arts.  It is an opportunity to exchange new ideas as well as meet new people.   Unlike Julius Caesar, we will live to remember the day.

blog: by Mark Hoppmann
photo credits: The Guild of Book Artists, Jessica Spring


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When in Trouble or in Doubt, Run in Circles, Yell and Shout


The Crowspiracy by Mark Hoppmann

For those who enjoy indulging in the lively art of procrastination and the inherent thrill of waiting until the last minute: Relax, you still have time.  On the other hand, we at the PSBA are offering the friendly reminder that the hour of submission is nearly upon us.  For those who are not ahead of the game, the deadline for entry submissions for the 2014 Puget Sound Book Artists Annual Members Exhibition is March 1st.  For those who did not take advantage of last weeks photo opportunity at Collins Library and who enjoy the challenges presented by photographing their own work, please take the time to read the guidelines and prospectus, here:  2014 Guidelines

If you have already photographed your work or had your work photographed, and are ready to submit your entry(s) at formstack, please submit here.   Remember, you may submit up to three works.  From what I’ve already seen seen last week , it’s already promising to be our best exhibition yet.


blog title credit:  Herman Wouk, The Caine Mutiny
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Undercover Stories: The Secret Lives of Books Part II

Old Growth Lucia Harrison

Lucia Harrison
Old Growth: Beneath the Forest Floor I

My daughter says I have strange reading tastes.  Choosing from my personal library, I skip from William Shakespeare’s Star Wars set in iambic pentameter by Ian Doescher, to The Illustrated Edition of The Travels of Marco Polo, edited by Morris Rossabi, and on to a Treasury of Jewish Humor, edited by Nathan Ausubel.   With the beverage of my choice, whether it be coffee, tea, a glass of wine, or a cup of hot chocolate, I am comfortable with whatever I decide to curl up .  Immersed deep within the lines, I sometimes give no consideration to how the book was made or if indeed if that has anything at all to do with what I am reading.  The current exhibition,  Undercover Stories, The Secret Lives of Books at artEAST in Issaquah, Washington, attempts to change that, by encouraging me to read between the lines.   What inspired the artist/writer to create this work, how the book was bound, what materials were used in creating the book would transcend the importance of the content, if it were not for the fact these issues actually become the content of the books on exhibition.  Driving  two and a half hours in a rare Puget Sound snowfall on the way home from the exhibition’s opening reception, I reflected on what I had learned this evening.  As I watched the falling snow, all that was missing, was the cup of hot chocolate.

 Undercover Stories: The Secret Lives of Books
February 8th – March 22nd
artEAST Gallery,
Issaquah, Washington

for more information about the exhibition and directions, go to:

Blog: Mark Hoppmann
Photo Credits: Lucia Harrison
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Undercover Stories: The Secret Lives of Books


February 8–March 22, 2014
Opening Reception: Saturday, February 8, 6–8pm

"Sparrow" by Holly A. Senn

“Sparrow” by Holly A. Senn

ArtEAST and Eastside Writes present “Undercover Stories: The Secret Lives of Books.”

The month-long event will include an exhibit of artist books, some created from books, curated by book artist MalPina Chan, and a series of visual arts and writing workshops.

From the Curator’s statement: “The contemporary artist books in this exhibition are exceptional in their many forms. The exhibition features many different book structures, re-purposed found materials, fabric, hand-made papers, and papers embellished with paint, image transfer, borax, stitching, and calligraphed elements. These artists were inspired by nature, personal memory, family history, cultural memory, toys, art historical book forms, natural history, science and travels. This exhibit includes book artists from Oregon, California, and Illinois and members of Puget Sound Book Artists.”

Through “Undercover Stories,” artEAST and Eastside Writes intend to build community around art and writing. By examining the book as both text and object, “Undercover Stories” hopes to spark conversation and creative expression among diverse participants.

"Knock on Wood" by MalPina Chan

“Knock on Wood” by MalPina Chan

“Though paper books today face fierce competition from their digital counterparts, we believe it’s way too early to bid them farewell,” said Dianne Aprile, co-founder of Eastside Writes and editor of “The Book,” an anthology of essays inspired by photographs of altered books. “Handmade books, letter-press books and altered books are gaining more and more fans—as if to protest the potential loss of paper books and to celebrate their long, evolving history in all our lives,” Aprile said.

Participating artists: James AllenAlexis Arnold, MalPina Chan, Debbi Commodore, An Gates, Deborah Greenwood, Lucia Harrison, Karen Hanmer, Mark Hoppmann, Heidi Kirkpatrick, Lynne Knopp, Dorothy McCuistion, Chandler O’Leary, Laura Russell, Jessica Spring, Holly A. Senn, Bonnie Thompson Norman

Many Thanks to the Arteast Art Center, and Eastside Writes of Issaquah, Washington, for the reproducing of this article from their website.  For additional information and directions, visit their website at:

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PSBA 2014 group photo for blog

When I strolled up the steps to Collins Memorial Library  five minutes early for the 2014 Puget Sound Book Artists annual meeting on January 15th , I was already late.   As I opened the doors, I was unprepared for the energy already emanating from the room.   Synergy might be a better word to describe  what I felt.     From the far flung corners of Puget Sound they had gathered this night with a purpose, whether to show their newest creations, talk about new ideas, purchase a cherished item from the silent auction table,  or perhaps simply to leave the rest of the world at home and mingle with other book artists.

I don’t believe anyone left disappointed.  The silent auction with it’s eclectic selection of journals, paper, and anything related to the book arts was twice as successful as the previous year.  While some gathered to make business card holders with Rochelle Monner and Bonnie Egbert, others laid out current projects or items of interest and talked about new ideas.  The new Puget Sound Book Arts business cards designed by PSBA member Mark Hoppmann were set out on a table for distribution to the membership and everyone was treated to a presentation by Jennifer Kennard about her exhibit Campfire Tales currently on display at Collins Library.  Last but not least, following the board members presentation about what had been accomplished the past year and what we could look forward to for the next, Rochelle Monner,  PSBA President emeritus was presented with a glass orb from Jane Carlin for her past and future contributions to the Puget Sound Book Artists and the book arts.  Congratulations, Rochelle!

As I left for the evening, I was reminded why I enjoy working with this organization so much.  Here’s to another successful year for the Puget Sound Book Artists!


Jane Carlin presents an award to out-going PSBA president, Rochell Monner for her past, present, and future contributions to the book arts.

Annual Meeting

Karren Perrine, Elicia Peterson, Lynne Knopp, and Rochelle Monner mingle and converse at the 2014 Puget Sound Book Artists Annual Meeting

2014 PSBA auction

Deb Creveling anxiously looks over the bids at the silent auction table


PSBA Business Card Front Final Version copy

The New Puget Sound Book Artists Business Card featuring a book design by Lynne Knopp


Blog by Mark Hoppmann
Photo Credits: Mark Hoppmann
































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Art Of The Book Symposium: March 15, 2014

horizon_splashPuget Sound Book Artists, in association with the Northwest Chapter of the Guild of Book Workers and the Book Arts Guild  is pleased to host a one day symposium dedicated to the Art of the Book.

This symposium is being held in conjunction with the Guild of Book Workers Horizon Exhibit which will be on display at Collins Library, University of Puget Sound, from February 3 to March 30, 2014.

Date: March 15, 2014 Time: 9:00 am – 4:00 pm Location: University of Puget Sound ( 9:00 – 1:00), Pacific Lutheran University: (2:00 – 4:00) Registration Fee: $40 for members, $55 for non-members ( continental breakfast and lunch included in registration fee) Registration opens January 16th at 9am.

This event coincides with the exhibit, HORIZON, that is on display in the Collins Memorial Library Feb.3 – Mar.30, 2014. This is part of a two-year national tour and the Guild’s triennial members’ exhibition. Collins Library is the only venue in the Northwest to host the exhibit which features 53 works. The Horizon Exhibition honors the legacy of the book workers’ craft and celebrates some of the finest examples of book arts today. Founded in 1906, the Guild of Book Workers has over 900 members today and is the only national organization dedicated to all of the book arts, including  bookbinding, conservation, printing, papermaking, calligraphy, marbling, and artists’ books. At a time when the masses are considering the materiality of the book and its presence or absence as a  physical object, it is exciting to showcase the many hand crafts of the book form. Whether by contemplating the apparent horizon, personal horizons, or the horizon of the book as a physical  object, the Horizon exhibitors created works that demonstrate conceptual integrity and the strength of a practice in craftsmanship.


9:00 – 10:00: Coffee and continental breakfast in the exhibit space in Collins Memorial Library. Have the opportunity to view the show and meet and greet with fellow attendees.

10:15 – 12:15: Presentations by three of the artists whose work is represented in the exhibit. Tahoma Room, Commencement Hall, University of Puget Sound.

* Susan Collard: Susan Collard is an architect and book artist in Portland, Oregon. She has been making one-of-a-kind collaged and constructed artist’s books since 1991. Her work has been featured in many group shows, and is in a number of private and library collections.

* Suzanne Moore: Suzanne Moore is a book artist who fuses eclectic interests in the creation of her work. Working with the Wales-based team, led by Donald Jackson, Suzanne is one of three Americans who created contemporary interpretive illuminations for the Saint John’s Bible, the manuscript commissioned by the Abbey at St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minnesota, and completed in 2011. Suzanne’s work is exhibited widely, and her books have been acquired for private and public collections in the U.S. and Europe

* Monica Holtsclaw: Monica Holtsclaw received a Diploma in bookbinding from the North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts, She specializes in hand bookbinding, restoration, and the creation of custom boxes and enclosures.

12:15 – 1:00 : Buffet Lunch. Enjoy conversation along with some Book Arts Trivia.

1:00 – 2:00 Free time to re-visit exhibit space and travel to Pacific Lutheran University. Travel time is approximately 30 minutes.

2:15 – 4:00 pm. Tour the Elliott Press at PLU which recently celebrated thirty years and print a special keepsake. Presentations by:

Jessica Spring: Jessica Spring is the Resident Artist and Manager of Elliot Press at PLU and the proprietor of Springtide Press. Jessica has been designing, papermaking and printing for more than twenty years. She has an MFA from Columbia College. Her work is included in numerous collections throughout this country.

Chandler O’Leary: Chandler O’Leary is a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), and the proprietor of Anagram Press – a small business built on the notion of doing everything the hard way. Specialties include lettering, illustration and printmaking. Chandler is the author/artist of the illustrated travel blog,  Drawn The Road Again, and one half of the collaborative team behind the Dead Feminists series. ( Jessica Spring is the other half)

General Information: Parking/Directions/Lunch

All participants will be sent parking information once registration is confirmed.
Buffet Lunch will have plenty of options for vegetarians.

Directions to Collins Memorial Library, University of Puget Sound:

Directions to Pacific Lutheran University, ( Art Building):

Space is limited. Registration required ($40 members/$55 non-members). Lunch and coffee included in registration fee.   Registration opens January 16th at 9am at

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