Annual Meeting Workshops 2017

April 7-8, 2017
Bloomington, Indiana

There are many fun things that happen as a part of the annual meeting weekend. Possibly the most favorite events are the workshops. Members can register for one of two workshop opportunities that will take place on Saturday, April 8. This years instructors are tool maker and and trade binding enthusiast, Brien Beidler of Beidler Made, and nature + science + all-things-book fan, Mary Uthuppuru of Spring Leaf Press.

Registration for the workshops and the rest of the weekend’s events will be announced soon, but in the meantime, read more about the great class options below.
View full weekend schedule here.


Workshop Option 1

Awl Shapes and Sizes with Brien Beidler

Beidler Workshop

Awls are easily one of the most identifiable and essential tools in the bookbinder’s kit, and also one of the most versatile. The usefulness of an awls hardly needs explaining, and unlike bone folders their form immediately suggests their primary function, i.e. poking!

From basic hewing, filing, and sanding to fitting ferrules and riveting, this one-day workshop will cover a variety of incarnations of awl construction and materials, and the techniques to help you make an awl that meets all your needs.

N.B. Many of the steps involved in making awls require hand strength and stamina. That being said, awls can be kept extremely simple at no cost to their function. Students are encouraged to bring work gloves.

Brien Beidler began learning traditional hand bookbinding under the tutelage of Marie Ferrara in 2009, while he was a student at the College of Charleston. From 2012-2016 he served as the Director of the Bindery and Conservation Studio at the Charleston Library Society, where he oversaw the conservation of their collection and various other binding projects. He has since moved with his wife to Bloomington, Indiana, where he works from his home studio.

Over the last seven years he has taken a variety of bookbinding and conservation workshops, and is an active member of the Guild of Book Workers and the American Institute for Conservation.  After meeting Jim Croft and becoming his biggest fan in the Fall of 2012, Brien has been obsessed with rediscovering old-world book technologies and materials.  He enjoys reading about bookbinding history, working on his own bindings, making hand tools for bookbinding, and going to the flea market to buy old hand tools for making more hand tools.


Workshop Option 2

The Conductive Book with Mary Uthuppuru

Uthuppuru Workshop

Developments in technology have driven the history of the book for decades. From chisel to computer, our tools for recording our thoughts and images have advanced in response to our needs. Following that evolution, this workshop will feature soft circuitry as a means to create or accent book content. We will explore the basics of circuitry by creating small projects using various conductive materials. The concepts we learn in class can be used to highlight a design element or reveal hidden information within a book, box, or two dimensional format. All skill levels are welcome!

Mary Uthuppuru creates artist books, bindings, boxes, and prints inspired by science, literature and travel. After receiving a BA in Art History and a Masters in Library Science with a specialization in rare books she closely studied the history of the book accompanied by training through workshops across the country.  Mary began working as a Conservation Technician at the Lilly Library in 2007, and gained an in-depth study of book structures and their repair under the direction of the head of Conservation. As of 2010, she began her career as a full time book artist and book binder under the name Spring Leaf Press at her home studio in Bloomington, Indiana. Mary continues to exhibit work nationally and internationally, and teaches workshops throughout the country.



Geographies on Display

We are proud to announce Geographies: the Midwest Examined is on display now at Michigan State University. The exhibit is in the Main Library (in the cases outside of the Fine Arts Library located in 4W).

Exhibit Dates: March 28 – May 31, 2016
Next Location: Iowa City, Iowa

The show will be on display during the Midwest GBW Annual Meeting which will take place in East Lansing, Michigan, April 22-23, 2016! Just another great reason to come to this year’s meeting! Register here.

Geographies Sneak Peak_sml.jpg

Geographies sneak peak featuring Let us Now Peruse our Ancient Authors by Marianna Crabbs

Our members responded to a call for any bookworks (including: bindings, artists’ books, calligraphy, broadsides, etc.) that relates to the exhibition’s theme of the Midwest or the individual states of Iowa, Ohio, Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Kansas, Michigan and Nebraska. This expansive geographic area encompasses a variety of landscapes and has produced its share of artists and writers providing much opportunity for interpretation. What resulted is a wonderful range of pieces!

Special thanks to Bexx Caswell and the Graphic Services team at MSU for putting this beautiful exhibit together!


Do you want to bring the exhibit to your state? Please contact Mary Uthuppuru, our Programs Chair: mary (at) springleafpress (dot) com.

Midwest Annual Meeting 2016

April 22-23, 2016
East Lansing, Michigan
at Michigan State University


Join us for this year’s Midwest Annual Meeting!
Registration is now open!

*Suggested lodging and points of interest are at the end of this post*


Friday, April 22, 2016

1:00-3:00pm. TOURS: MSU Library Grand Tour.

The MSU Libraries is excited to host a tour of the Makerspace, Espresso Book Machine, Special Collections, Conservation, Maps Library, and Turfgrass Information Center. For this behind the scenes view of special collections, we will divide up into groups of 5 people at a time while those waiting will have the chance to look at items in the reading room. Those attending the tour should meet in the Lobby of the Main Library, 366 West Circle Drive.  Someone will be waiting there for the group.

* On display during the meeting weekend is the Midwest Chapter exhibit, Geographies: the Midwest Examined, in the cases outside of the Fine Arts Library located in 4W of the Main Library. This is a great time to see this wonderful show!

6:00 – 8:00pm. LECTURE: Cathy Baker presents Dard Hunter: Arts-and-Crafts Designer, Paper Historian, and Private-Press Printer Extraordinaire
366 West Circle Drive. Main Library, Green Room, 4th floor, West.
There is no charge to attend.

In 1904 when a young man, Dard Hunter arrived on Elbert Hubbard’s Roycroft campus in East Aurora, New York, to learn how to make “mission” furniture. He immediately impressed everyone with his craftsmanship in many mediums, and over the next 6 years under his guidance Roycroft products featured his avant-garde designs. Dissatisfied with what he regarded as this derivative style, however, he sought an area of research in which he could make an original and valued contribution; he found it in the history of papermaking. From 1911 until his death in 1966, Hunter researched and traveled around the world several times to gather information and materials. To disseminate this information to a wider audience, Hunter handprinted books, most under his imprint Mountain House Press, located in Chillicothe, Ohio. These extraordinary books, as well as his classic reference, Papermaking: The History and Technique of an Ancient Craft and his papermaking collection (now at the Renewal Bioproducts Institute at Georgia Tech) form the extraordinary legacy that Dard Hunter left to us.


Saturday, April 23, 2016

8:30-9:00am. BREAKFAST: There will be a light breakfast with coffee and juice.
9:00-10:00am. MEETING: Come and give input on the Chapter’s activities!

10:00am-4:00pm. WORKSHOPS: Pick from one of two workshop options. Both workshops cost $65.00 plus individual supply fees, listed below. A few audit spots are available for $30.00 once workshops fill. Full descriptions here.

The Magic Box with Joanne Kluba, Supply fee $30.00
Bone Tool Making with Shanna Leino, $15.00

12:30-1:15pm. LUNCH. Workshop participants will have the option to order a meal that will be delivered to the workshop space.

6:30-9:00pm. DINNER: This year, we will be hosted by our hardworking chapter member, Bexx Caswell, for pizza and refreshments.


Sunday, April 24, 2016

No events are planned.

Charming B&B in excellent downtown location.
Free parking and less than 10 min walk to MSU Library.

Nice hotel with bar, restaurant, in excellent downtown location.
Parking and Wifi are extra. Less than 10 minute walk to MSU Library.



Points of Interest
Michigan Historical Center
Broad Art Museum
MSU Museum
Beal Botanical Garden
MSU Gardens
Abrams Planetarium



Mackerel Sky – Artisan gallery
Curious Books – Large, eclectic used bookstore.
Archives Book Shop. Another used bookstore, owned by the same people who own Curious Books.

Annual Meeting Workshops 2016

April 22-23, 2016
East Lansing, Michigan

Among the many events that will take place during the meeting weekend, members will once again have the option of choosing between two workshops to take on Saturday, April 23. Our fantastic workshop instructors are Joanne Kluba, of Paper Birds Studio, and Shanna Leino, tool maker extraordinaire.

Registration for the workshops and the rest of the weekend’s events will be announced soon, but in the meantime, read more about the great class options below.
View the weekend schedule here.


The Magic Box with Joanne Kluba
In this workshop we will create a magical box that opens in two directions, exposing separate storage spaces. Based on the Jacob’s Ladder, this structure is playful and intriguing. Participants will learn to construct a magic box using decorative text weight paper of their choice, book cloth and binder’s board.

The Magic Box

Joanne has an extensive background in printmaking, painting, photography and calligraphy. She brings a variety of expressive visuals to her varied formats of art books, custom bindings, portfolios and handmade boxes. Joanne has a BFA in Printmaking and an MA in Business from Webster University, St. Louis, she also studied traditional bookbinding with St. Louis conservator Richard Baker. She has continued studies in book binding and calligraphy with The Guild of Book Workers, PBI and universities around the country. Prior to owning her own book binding business, Paper Birds, Joanne was Project Manager and Creative Manager for Studio 612 and Maritz Motivation Company.
Paper Birds Studio


Bone Tool Making with Shanna Leino
Smooth, polished to a shine and fitting perfectly in your hand, there is nothing like the feel of a bone folder you made with your own hands. During this workshop you will be introduced to the tools and techniques needed to form and finish bone folders of your own design. Simple methods of adding ornament to your tools will also be demonstrated. Bring some elbow grease and leave with a bone folder or two that will be beautiful both to look at and work with.Bone tools

Shanna Leino is a book and tool maker living and working in Frankfort, Michigan. Her love for early book structures such as the leather-covered Coptic and Ethiopian led her to tool making. There was a need for a tool she didn’t have—making it was as much fun as using it. Shanna has taught book making classes for Wells College, Columbia College Center for Book and Paper Arts, and Penland School of Crafts.

Bridges Print Exchange Exhibit

bridges exhibit web

January 20, 2016 – February 26, 2016
St. Ambrose University Catich Gallery
518 West Locust,
Davenport, IA 52803

Exhibit Events:
Wednesday Feb 3, 2016
Free and open to the public

3:00pm – Artist Q & A
4:00pm – Artist Talk by Andrew Huot of Big River Bindery
5:00-7:00pm – Opening Reception

About the Exhibit:
Participants in the exhibit were each asked to create an edition of 20 prints based on the theme “Bridges”, and what resulted was a wonderful range of work! Artists mailed their finished editions to our exhibit host, Andrew Huot, who collated the prints and sent them back to everyone. Each artist received their suite of prints and then bound or boxed them with no limiting guidelines. Finally, finished pieces were mailed back to Andrew for the show. The exhibit will feature the ten Midwest members’ prints and their chosen housing method.

As an added bonus, all artists were invited to include an additional piece of artwork, unrelated to the theme, for display as well. This provides a great opportunity to showcase the range of work our Midwest members are capable of, as all are skilled in multiple disciplines.

Click here to visit the gallery’s site for more information


Volunteer Opportunity: Programs Co-Chair

This will be my second year as a Programs Chair and it has been a great two years! However, I am looking for another person to help out. Since the Midwest is such a big chapter, there would be great benefits with two people planning and organizing events for our members. Adding a co-chair would provide us a better chance to reach more members across the chapter as well as publicize more efficiently. Hopefully, we can even attract more new members!

If you are interested, contact me (mary [AT] or our Midwest Chapter Chair, Laurie Ketcham-Schrick (midwest [AT] for more information.

Mary Uthuppuru
Programs Chair
Midwest Chapter
Guild of Book Workers