Bridging The Water

An exciting offshoot of the PSBA annual exhibition is a summer exhibition of selected PSBA member works to be held at Bower Ashton Library in collaboration with the prestigious Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England, in Bristol, England. The exhibition, Bridging the Water, will be on display at the library later this summer. As Jane Carlin, Vice President of PSBA reflects,” this connection is a result of the increasing recognition of the work produced by PSBA artists. It is great to think of how artists from our community will be discovered in a gallery almost 5,000 miles away!”

MalPina Chan, Knock on Wood, 2015. Photo: MalPina Chan Patricia Chupa, AOE, 2010. Photo: Patricia Chupa Debbi Commodore, Neighborhood No. 3, 2014. Photo: Ross Mulhausen Gabrielle Cooksey, Monsters and Beasts, 2014. Photo: Danielle Williams

The Centre for Fine Print Research is recognised as of the UK’s leading Centre’s in support of art and design. PSBA has been fortunate to work with Sarah Bodman, Senior Research Fellow for Artists’ Books, where she runs projects investigating and promoting contemporary book arts. We are delighted that Sarah supports Bridging the Water.

PSBA was drawn to the metaphor of Bridging the Water as the title of the exhibit and are intrigued by the connections artists might make together in the future. Tacoma is located on Commencement Bay, part of the Puget Sound, surrounded by the Cascade and Olympic Mountain ranges with magnificent views of Mt. Rainier. Tacoma and the surrounding area is a community that supports the arts. Like Bristol, Tacoma is defined by its’ connection to water and the Narrows Bridge, like the suspension bridge in Bristol, connects communities and people. PSBA Artists are intrigued by the connections we might make together in the future. This collection of artists’ books on display reflects contributions from our members from past exhibits and work which reflects the diversity of our book arts community.

Mari Eckstein Gower, Soldier's Heart, 2014. Photo: Mari Eckstein Gower Deborah Greenwood, Sewing Seeds, 2014. Photo: Lucia Harrison and Deborah Greenwood Lucia Harrison, The Wall, 2008. Photo: Ross Mulhausen Mark Hoppmann, The Water’s Edge, 2015. Photo: Mark Hoppmann

Participating artists include:
MalPina Chan, Debbi Commodore, Gabrielle Cooksey, Patricia Chupa, Mari Eckstein Gower, Deborah Greenwood, Lucia Harrison, Mark Hoppmann, Carol Inderieden, Kim Izenman, Bonnie Larson, Dorothy McCuistion, Chandler O’Leary, Gina Pisello, Laura Russell, Lynn Skordal, Jessica Spring, and Jan Ward

Puget Sound Book Artists (PSBA) is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of creating a spirit of community amongst books artists and those who love books. Now celebrating its’ 7th year, PSBA is based in Tacoma, Washington, USA. PSBA received the city’s AMOCAT award (that’s Tacoma spelled backward) for Community Outreach by an Organisation. PSBA strives to increase educational opportunities for individuals as well as organisations, fostering excellence through exhibitions, workshops, lectures and publications. PSBA sponsors a yearly members’ exhibition, lectures and mini-workshops where individuals can explore, create and share with others. The annual members’ exhibition is a highlight of the year. The exhibit invites all members to participate and a dedicated curatorial team selects and designs the exhibit and prepares the printed catalogue.

Kim Izenman, Bridge.2, 2015. Photo: Kim Izenman Bonnie Larson, The Art of the Card, 2015. Dorothy McCuistion, Backyard, 2015. Photo: Chris Tumbusch Chandler O'Leary & Carol Inderieden, Empire Builder, 2015. Photo: Chandler O'Leary

Each year the exhibition features a variety of artists that challenge and inspire book artists. PSBA is delighted to have the work of eighteen member artists on display at UWE from July 4 – August 31, 2016.

How to find the library is here: It is City Campus, Bower Ashton:

Library opening hours are here:

PSBA Web site:

Gina Pisello, Small Migrations, 2015. Photo: Gina Pisello Laura Russell, Anything Helps, 2013. Photo: Laura Russell Lynn Skordal, The Clearing, 2012. Photo: Lynn Skordal Jessica Spring, Fathoming, 2015. Photo: Jessica Spring Jan Ward, Rusted, 2012. Photo: Ross Mulhausen
2016-06-23 15.38.572016-06-23 15.37.382016-06-23 15.38.452016-06-23 15.37.25
Blog: Sarah Bodman & Jane Carlin
Photo Credits: Sarah Bodman & Jane Carlin
Posted in Archived Events, Exhibits | Leave a comment

Northwest Musings: A Call To Artists

Northwest Musings: A Call To Artists

Posted in Exhibits, Upcoming Events | Leave a comment

2016 Members’ Exhibition Award Recipients

 psba2016_emailimageAnnouncing The
Puget Sound Book Artists 6th Annual Members’ Exhibition
Award Recipients

wilson02a croppedAward for Excellence
Carletta Wilson:
Georgy and Bitty’s Quarters

George and Bitty’s Quarters is one of seven houses that comprise part of the series “knot my name haint my house.” While marriage was not sanctioned between enslaved persons some people formed unions recognizing that, at any moment, their partner could be sold away without notice. My work tends to be very ornate and embellished. It was a challenge to create works that inhabit a sense of simplicity. The housing for enslaved people was varied from wooden shacks to brick buildings, although the standard abode was a poorly constructed structure that barely kept the elements at bay.

norman01aCollins Library Award
Bonnie Thompson Norman
Ballot Box

For me, voting is a fundamental and cherished expression of patriotism and democracy though this right is not explicitly stated nor granted in the Constitution. Ballot BOX (produced collaboratively in a class) is a literal and symbolic representation of a right which should be available to all Americans but which is being threatened and eroded. It contains a riddle and quotes from historical and literary figures. Most importantly, it includes general information on vote eligibility and registering to vote. Ballot BOX is intended both to inform and inspire people to VOTE.

mccuistion02bCurators’ Choice Award
Dorothy McCuistion
Family Album

This little book contains copies of treasured family photos of some of my direct ancestors. On the right side of the book are my great-grandmothers, grandmothers, mother and myself, and on the left are my great-grandfathers, grandfathers, father and my husband. By flipping the cut pages out of order, new faces are created. Whom do I resemble? Did I inherit my paternal grandmother’s hair? My mother’s eyes? My father’s chin? The responses to these and other questions connect me to my past in a tangible way and affirm my place in the world.

The 6th Annual Member’s Exhibition is one deserving of recognition.  In the words of Ellen Ziegler, juror for The Award for Excellence,  “The level of sophistication, the variety of concepts, the innovative use of book structure, and the original content – all contributed to a show that is notable for its excellence, a show that could hold its own anywhere in the country.”

Congratulations to everyone who contributed work to this years’ exceptional exhibition , and congratulations especially to Lynne Knopp, Jan Ward, Taylor Cox,  and Suze Woolf, this years curators, for a job well done!

Mark Hoppmann
PSBA President
Posted in Exhibits | Leave a comment

PSBA Mini-workshop: Fundamentals of Handmade Books

Are you new to PSBA?  Want to know more about basic book structure?  Want a place to start?  Look no further!  Just in time for the launch of the Annual Members’ Exhibition, we are offering a mini – workshop in our Fundamentals of Handmade Books Series.  Back by popular demand, Gabby Cooksey will be the workshop leader.

Accordion Books

Back to Back Accordion BookPSBA Mini-workshop: Fundamentals of Handmade Books

SATURDAY, June 25th 2016
noon to 3p.m.
Location: Room 020, Collins Library, University of Puget Sound

This Workshop has filled!

This class is meant for people who have never made a book before and want to just start somewhere. You will have made a book (hopefully a couple) by the end of the three hours so you can walk away with something. You can also expect to learn the fundamentals of folding, scoring and bookbinding tools.
​Presenter: PSBA member Gabby Cooksey, Graduate of North Bennet Street School for Bookbinding in Boston, MA; studied at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, CO and at the Montefiascone Conservation Project in Italy

The accordion structure is perhaps the most versatile structure in the world of bookbinding. This structure, also referred to as the concertina, displays both pictures and words in an immediate and Zen-like game of mountains and valleys. In this workshop you will learn the basics of the accordion structure and explore several variations of the back-to-back structure which will serve as prototypes for future projects.

Tool List:  ( If you are new to making books, Artco and Michaels Crafts  should have all these supplies)

  • scissors
  • pencil
  • bone folder
  • glue stick
  • ruler at least 12 inches
  • cutting matt
  • needle
  • awl
  • triangle

All materials and patterns provided

Workshop fee ($15 for members, $25 for non-members) paid to PSBA on day of workshop.

We’re sorry, but this workshop has filled!

Posted in Workshops | Leave a comment

PSBA Sixth Annual Members’ Exhibition

We all know what a book is, right? But if you want to have your understanding of that familiar form not only confirmed, but extended, challenged, and, yes, celebrated, then join us in viewing 60 works by 38 regional artists at University of Puget Sound’s Collins Memorial Library. Opening on June 2 and showing through July 30, 2016, the Sixth Annual Member exhibition of Puget Sound Book Artists is free and open to all. Prepare to have your assumptions challenged. PSBA 2016 images

The exhibit encompasses huge variations: from traditional codex-bound books, to those that can only be described as narrative sculptures. Within the artistic genre many subsets exist: collage and assemblage; folded origami pop-ups; hand-drawn, digital, letterpress and silk-screen printing; boxed and unboxed; multiples and one-of-a-kinds … and many more. An equally wide range of materials can be seen: machine and hand-made paper, of course, but also textile, ceramic, acrylic, wood, glass, found objects, salt, cultured biologic medium—even smashed electronics and broken crockery. Inspirations are as varied as the number of pieces—the book as culture, beauty, personal experience, social justice, the environment, and just plain fun.

Award of Excellence juror Ellen Zieger says, “The 2016 PSBA Show displays excellence in so many areas—originality, concept, execution, typography, use of a wide variety of traditional and invented forms—and without exception, deeply felt ideas, creativity, and hard work. Congratulations, all!”

According to PSBA president Mark Hoppmann, “What makes the PSBA unique that it is a member-driven organization committed to education.  We view the exhibition as an opportunity for our members to learn the ropes of the curatorial process, so to speak, from inception to opening night.  And, all members are invited to exhibit, which sets the PSBA apart from other organizations.  What is so great is that we have nationally recognized artists alongside artists just beginning their career. This type of mentoring has helped foster artistic growth and creativity.

Artists whose work is included: Mary Ashton, Victoria Bjorklund, Susan Brown, MalPina Chan, Pat Chupa, Debbi Commodore, Gabrielle Cooksey, Taylor Cox, Kathy Dickerson, Jan Dove, Becky Frehse, An Gates, Pam Gazale, Mari Eckstein Gower, Deborah Greenwood, Lucia Harrison, Mark Hoppmann, Kim Izenman, Bonnie Julien, Lynne Knopp, Bonnie Larson, Cora Li-Leger Judy Lynn, Dorothy McCuistion, Catherine-Alice Michaelis, Peter Newland, Bonnie Thompson Norman, Chandler O’Leary, Lynne Olson, Lily Richmond, Laura Russell, Lynn Skordal, Peggy Smith-Venturi, Jessica Spring, Laurie Strong, Jan Ward, Carletta Carrington Wilson, and Suze Woolf.

Jane Carlin, director of Collins Memorial Library and vice president of the organization, echoes Mark’s comments, “Many PSBA artists have formed artistic partnerships as a result of our organization, have had their work published and reviewed, and have been invited to exhibit in juried shows.  We are proud of the organization’s commitment to education and strengthening the book arts community.”

An exciting offshoot of the PSBA annual exhibition is a summer exhibition of selected PSBA member works to be held at the prestigious Centre for Fine Print Research, University of the West of England, in Bristol, England.  The exhibition, Bridging the Water, will be on display at the centre later this summer.  As Carlin reflects, this connection is a result of the increasing recognition of the work produced by PSBA artists. It is great to think of how artists from our community will be discovered in a gallery almost 5,000 miles away!

The University of Puget Sound will host several public programs in conjunction with the exhibition. In brief:

Opening Reception

June 9, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., Collins Memorial Library:  Recipients of the Collins Library Awards, the Curator’s Choice Award, and the Recognition of Excellence Award to be announced at 6:30 p.m.

The Artist’s Vision: From Idea to Completion

July 13, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., Collins Memorial Library, Room 020

A moderated panel of invited PSBA artists in a discussion

The sixth anniversary exhibition catalogue will be available for purchase. Information about ordering a catalogue will be available during the exhibition and on the PSBA blog site.

Posted in Exhibits | Leave a comment

Workshop: Collapsible/Flexible Book Structures with Helen Hiebert

Workshop: Collapsible/Flexible Book Structures: Paper Balloons, Tubes & Vessels with Helen Hiebert

May 11 & 12: Wednesday & Thursday
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

 Class Fee
$195 (PSBA Members)/ $220 (non members)
All skill levels are welcome, beginning to advanced.
Material Fee
$25 per student. Paid to Helen Hiebert on day of class
2926 S. Steele Street, 2nd floor
Tacoma, WA 98409

Advance registration opens at 9 a.m. (March 14)
 Registration opens to the public (March 21, 2016)
 To register:


inflatable ball resized In this workshop we’ll create a variety of panel structures with unique hinges that can be utilized to make books, lanterns, folding screens wall or window hangings. We’ll make a shadow lantern, composed of lightweight wooden panels, featuring cut-outs that cast shadows onto a second layer of paper. We’ll construct an envelope folding screen with an adapted piano hinge. And we’ll create an inflatable ball structure that magically transforms from two- into three- dimensions. As we make these structures, we’ll also explore ways to layer, fold and weave papers.

Each participant will make an envelope lantern, an envelope book structure, a shadow lantern, a woven paper lantern and/or window hanging and an inflatable paper ball.


Helen will supply the papers you need, but feel free to bring additional papers for your individual projects that fold easily and look good when illuminated or held up to the light.

. 1/8” – ¼” children’s or artists’ paintbrush for gluing
. bone folder
. sharp pencils
. scissors
. xacto knife that uses #11 blades + extra blades ( or other type of xacto that you are
comfortable using.)
. cutting mat (at least approx. 12” x 18”)
. small notebook to take notes
. Any other favorite book binding tools

Presenter: Helen Hiebert is a nationally recognized paper and book artist with a studio in Edwards, Colorado and a home in Portland, Oregon. She runs a small papermaking studio where she creates art, installations, and artists’ books. Helen also trains interns, and hosts

workshops and consultations. She is an adjunct faculty member at Oregon    College of Art and Craft and teaches and lectures internationally. She authored six books. To learn more about her work, visit

Posted in Workshops | Leave a comment

Two-Day Workshop: Sketchbooks Plan and Action with Timothy Ely

Two-Day Workshop
Sketchbooks: Plan and Action with Timothy Ely

Saturday, April 16th 2016 & Sunday, April 17th 2016
9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
701 Opera Alley
Tacoma, WA 98402
(Down the hall from Fibers Etc.)

Tim Ely Image copyThe sketchbook can serve as a planner, recording device, carrier of scrap, journal, and muse. Notations in a sketchbook are often the first step in connecting the imagination with the realization of an object or the grasping of an insight.

This two-day intensive investigates the uses and utility of the artist’s sketchbook, a conceptual tool with a long and venerable history. We will fabricate a “formal” codex book with rigid covers. Other topics covered include Ely’s development of the “drum leaf” binding, surface design on covering materials, adhesives, and arcane aspects of drawing and rendering. These give large doses of complexity, energy and surface to the life of the sketchbook and will help dissolve the blocks to the creative path.

All skill levels are welcome, beginning to advanced. Beginners are welcome though they should have done some reading or otherwise engage in the process.

Presenter: Timothy Ely has been a student and scholar of the sketchbook form since the late 1960’s. He received an MFA in Design from the University of Washington in 1975 and since that time has made over 500 unique manuscript books, sketchbooks & archives and has been active in teaching the art of the book. His books are in public, private, and secret collections planet wide. He lives in Colfax, Washington. Learn more about his work at

Space is LIMITED, Registration is REQUIRED:
(PSBA Member registration opens February 22, 2016.
Registration opens to the public February 29, 2016.)

Workshop fee: $275 PSBA members/$310 non-members

Supply List:

  • Two covers for the front and back of the book [instructions will be sent after registration] These will come from one half sheet of arches cover white paper.
  • Your basic traveling artist and bookbinders kit. [questions about this? It should contain all of your fundamental tools.]
  • Paper: I recommend Strathmore 400 drawing paper. Something you like to draw or write on that is about 24 x 18 with the machine direction [grain] parallel to the final fold. Your sections will be 12 x 9 when folded. We will do the folding in the workshop.
  • Needles: I use darning needles about 1/6 in size but most will work if they accommodate the size 18 thread.
  • Knives- you should have already a paper tearing knife and both a fine cutting knife and a utility knife for board and more ambitious cutting jobs.
  • A cutting mat and decent straight edge is vital as well.
  • A 45 degree metal triangle- be sure it is not a 30-60-90 triangle
  • Brushes for glue, small [half an inch should do] and wide, about 2 inch.
  • Marking making tools. A selection of your most useful tools for drawing.

All materials and patterns provided. Materials fee ($25) due to Timothy Ely on day of workshop.

Posted in Workshops | 1 Comment

Workshop: Windows into Spring with Jocelyn Curry

Windows into Spring: The Art of Fenestration for Book and Paper Artists
A Workshop by Jocelyn Curry

Saturday, March 19th 2016
10 a.m. to 1 p.m
Room 020, Collins Library
University of Puget Sound

jocelyn fenestration

Glimpses of what is to come on the next page of a small book or inside a card happen through small, cut-out windows. Called fenestrations, these can bring elements of surprise and dimension to your work. To practice this, we will make a pamphlet-style booklet on the theme of spring flowers using Arches hot press paper, map collage, rubber stamps, and our own handwriting.

Presenter: Jocelyn Curry is a calligrapher, illustrator and graphic designer living and working in Shoreline, WA. As an artist with diverse interests, she enjoys teaching tips and techniques applicable to book and lettering artists’ projects and skill sets. As a teacher she is known for being upbeat and patient with learners of all levels of experience. Learn more about her work at

Register for this event here:
(Registration REQUIRED)

Tool List:
small cutting mat
bone folder
several sheets of 9×12″ tracing paper
X-acto knife with new #11 blades
12″ metal ruler
mechanical pencil .5 with eraser
favorite monoline pens
fresh glue stick

Optional: existing photos, postcards, drawings or other ephemera you’d enjoy using in addition to or instead of the provided image materials.

All materials and patterns provided. Workshop fee ($15) due to PSBA on day of workshop.

Posted in Workshops | Leave a comment

Workshop: Crown Binding Structure with Gabby Cooksey

PSBA Fundamentals Workshop
Folded Books 101: Crown Binding Structure

Saturday, March 12th 2016
12 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Room 020, Collins Library
University of Puget Sound

Crown Book StructureThe seeming simplicity of folded book structures easily lend to creating more complex structures.  The crown binding, also known as the Blizzard Book created by Hedi Kyle, is a popular structure because the pages are removable and changeable. The crown forms both the spine and the movable tabs that hold the pages in place. In this workshop you will learn the basics of folding and explore the versatility of this structure can serve as prototypes for future projects.


Presenter: PSBA member Gabby Cooksey, Graduate of North Bennet Street School for Bookbinding in Boston, MA; studied at the American Academy of Bookbinding in Telluride, CO and at the Montefiascone Conservation Project in Italy


As a part of the PSBA Fundamentals series you can also expect to learn the fundamentals of folding, scoring and folding tools.

Register for this event here:
(Registration REQUIRED)

Tool List:
bone folder
glue stick
ruler at least 12 inches
cutting matt

All materials and patterns provided. Workshop fee ($15) due to PSBA on day of workshop.


Posted in Workshops | Leave a comment

2016 Members’ Exhibition Photography Session & Exhibition Update

Members’ Exhibition Photography Session

March 5, 2016
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Room 020, Collins Library
University of Puget Sound

Puget Sound photographer Ross Mulhausen will again be providing the opportunity for PSBA Members to have their work photographed by a professional for the exhibition entry form and catalog.

This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, March 5th, and requires registration on Formstack. The link (below) will be active starting Thursday, February 11th. It will close Wednesday, February 17th. Please pick your first and second choice and take into consideration that we are asking participants to arrive 15 to 20 minutes prior to their time slot. This will give you time to arrive and be prepared for your session. Notifications will be made no later than Monday, February 22nd.

The event is being held at Collins Memorial Library. PLEASE NOTE: The location has changed this year. Photographs will be taken in ROOM 020. You will have your choice of 5 half-hour sessions that will run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

****Please be sure to bring a thumb drive for your pictures.****

 FORMSTACK :  Fill out the online registration form by February 17th (registration opens February 11th). This event is for PSBA members only.

Exhibition Prospectus // Sample Entry Form

Location Collins Memorial Library University of Puget Sound Tacoma, WA
Exhibition Dates June 2 – July 30, 2016
Photography Session Saturday, March 5, 2016 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
in Room 020, Collins Library
Submission Deadline Monday, March 14, 2016
Submission Notification Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Submission Drop Off Tuesday, May 31, 2016
9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Misner Room, Collins Library
Opening ReceptionPLEASE NOTE – The reception IS NOT the first day of the opening of the exhibit as in past years. Thursday, June 9, 2016
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
The Link, Collins Library
Conversation with the Artists Wednesday, June 22, 2016 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Trimble Forum
Moderated Panel Discussion
“The Artist’s Vision: From
Inspiration to Completion”
Wednesday, July 13, 2016  5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Room 020, Collins Library
Pick Up Submissions Monday, August 1, 2016 10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
The Link, Collins Library


Posted in Exhibits, Member News | Leave a comment