Focus On Book Arts

Focus on Books Arts ConferenceFocus on Book Arts has announced its biennial conference to be held June 24 – 28, 2015 at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.  This event is a gathering of beginner through experienced fine art bookmakers and creative individuals from other disciplines interested in the book arts.  The conference offers five days of workshops, several evening lectures, a trade show, an artists’ shop, and an accompanying faculty and staff exhibit.

The 12th biennial Focus On Book Arts Conference offers workshops that appeal to beginning as well as advanced book artists. Each class description outlines the skill level criteria, so you are able to easily determine which class suits you best. You can go for just one workshop or for the entire conference; a range of class lengths lets you tailor an experience just for you.
Black accordion bookThey have new offerings and popular repeats in both the faculty and workshops. You will find detailed information at www.focusonbookarts.org as well as information on housing and other conference activities. Many other events are held in conjunction with the conference, and you will want to check out The Artists’ Shop, the Trade Show, The Faculty/Staff Exhibit and more.

This year, there will be two presentations by well known book artists: Shu-Ju Wang is the Keynote speaker, and Hedi Kyle is meeting with the group for an informal address. They will be sharing their experiences, their work, and their wisdom; conference participants can attend both!

The 2015 conference also introduces a restructuring of the traditional scholarship offering to a work-study program that allows direct involvement in the conference experience to the recipients of funding. The group has named it the Colleen Cavin Fund in honor of a great artist and friend who was such an integral part of the book arts community and this conference.

 

Smithsonian Restores the Jefferson Bible

Thomas Jefferson was notorious for staying very busy in his years after leaving the White House. In 1820, our nation’s third president set out to assemble a “personal bible” consisting of passages from the first four books of the New Testament. The result was an 84-page compilation, cut-and-pasted from four bibles, of the teachings that resonated most with Jefferson. The Jefferson Bible, as it’s referred to by historians, was never mass-published, because Jefferson feared that these religious beliefs would be used against him by his political rivals and could have potentially offended religious officials. The book remained in the possession of Jefferson’s family until 1895, when it was purchased by the Smithsonian’s librarian and curator of world religions, Cyrus Adler.

Earlier this year, the Smithsonian took on the task of restoring the book. The project involved deconstructing, and then reconstructing this incredibly rare text. Everything from re-binding to page reconstruction went into this restoration project. Throughout the arduous repair process, the Smithsonian has kept the public up-to-date through blog posts, and later, a very comprehensive and interactive website devoted to the subject.

Many of the same types of materials that the Smithsonian’s staff used during this process can be purchased from University Products. For instance, many of the stubs and pages of the Jefferson Bible had to be repaired using a micro-spatula. Also, the Japanese paper Kozo, which has excellent aging properties, was used in repairing and protecting the leather cover on the book. If your project includes the repair of a rare book, look for University Products’ collection of book arts and conservation materials.