Feb 082016


Payment for Coptic Stitch Binding

Price: $10.00


Coptic Stitch Binding (A Hands-On Workshop)
Time: May 12, 5:30 p.m.
Location: Valley I Ackley 104
Sponsor: Kalamazoo Book Arts Center (KBAC) Organizer: Elizabeth C. Teviotdale, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center
Presider: Katie Platte, Kalamazoo Book Arts Center

This is the description from the program:
This two-hour hands-on workshop, taught by the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center’s Studio Manager, Katie Platte, introduces participants to the traditional sewing technique known as Coptic stitch binding, which they use in creating a bound book. Space is limited, advance registration (to e.teviotdale@att.net) is required, and each participant pays a $10.00 materials fee.
Apr 012015

KBAC reviews prospective artists for exhibitions in the gallery. We focus on work relating to books, printmaking, letterpress, papermaking, etc. Please submit three .jpg images of your work or a link to your website along with a resume and statement of intent to info(@)kalbookarts.org with the subject line: “Exhibition prospectus: your name”.

Mar 292015

KBAC – Will you please introduce yourself and tell us about the workshop you will be teaching at KBAC?


Mary Brodbeck photo by Mary Whalen

MB – Sure! I’m Mary Brodbeck. I’ve have worked in the traditional methods of Japanese woodblock printmaking since 1998 and I am excited to be teaching a weekend workshop on this process on June 20 and 21.
KBAC – What is Japanese woodblock printmaking?
MB – Japanese woodblock printmaking, like other forms of woodcut, is a relief printing process. One carves away what you don’t want to show and the remaining surface area – left raised – is the image. This raised image then gets inked, paper is laid on top of it and then pressed so that the image transfers onto the paper. The Japanese techniques are unique because of the water based pigments and pressing with a baren.
KBAC – What got you interested in first learning the Japanese techniques?
MB – I was making color woodblock prints using rolled-on oil based inks in the Western tradition when I began the graduate program in printmaking at Western Michigan University in 1997. The idea to study in Japan was introduced to me by Professor Curtis Rhodes and subsequently Professor Richard Depeaux who connected me with Yoshisuke Funasaka, in Tokyo, who would teach me the technique. And then, fortunately, Funasaka knew of a government-sponsored fellowship and applied on my behalf – and I got it.

Mary’s print, Haze, woodblock print, 10” x 14”, 2014

KBAC – How much time did you spend in Japan?
MB – The Bunka-cho Fellowship was for five months. I have been back to Japan several times since then. The last time was in the fall of 2014 when Funasaka Sensei and I had a joint exhibition together in Takayama. Teacher/student relationships in Japan can last a lifetime, at least I feel this way about my Japanese teacher.
KBAC – What is the most important thing that he taught you?
MB – The importance of a baren and printing by hand.
KBAC – You don’t need a printing press?  
MB – Woodblock prints made in the Japanese method are printed using a baren – a hand held disc that is made from bamboo. I was attracted to the this process precisely because of its hand-made qualities, and the water based pigments were a big allure too. There is no heavy equipment or toxic chemicals involved in the Japanese method. It is a simple process that hasn’t changed much in over 400 years; it’s timeless. I like mechanical printing presses – their power is alluring – I just don’t want to have to move them or maintain them. From the beginning I wanted to work as a one women operation and sought to keep things as simple as possible so I could manage and maintain my own studio. And, besides, with water color pigments you actually must use a hand held baren – a printing press won’t work. There is a kind of finesse that’s required with printing with water color pigments that can only be achieved by using a baren.
KBAC – Your imagery is often very delicate and watercolor-like. Are the water based inks key to getting the wonderful colors and gradations that you create?

MB – Yes, absolutely. I use watercolor tube paint most of the time. The paints get modified with a little rice paste in order to lay down on the block smoothly, but essentially my prints are made with water color paint, which is translucent. I also use pure pigments and grind and mix them with the rice paste. The ink gets applied to the block with brushes, and the gradations are achieved by the way the ink is painted onto the block. The transparent inks, the use of brushes, the specially formulated Japanese paper, and the way that it is pressed with a baren, are all integral in creating the vibrant colors and unique look that can only be achieved with these materials, tools, and methods.


Printing with a  baren 

KBAC – What might your students expect to achieve in the weekend workshop and what do they need to do to prepare?
MB – I will teach the basics of carving and printing with the Japanese methods and materials – and also the basics of color registration. We will make a two color, 5” x 7” print – I recommend that one of the colors is black (sumi ink) because that has the biggest punch. If participants could bring a two color cartoon drawing to fit within a 5” x 7” matrix, that would be great. All materials and tools will be included in the class fee. And if everything works out, we will make enough prints in the class to share with one another. Also, all levels are welcome.
KBAC – Participants will make more than one print in the class?
MB – Yes. My plan is to have everyone make as many copies as there are people in the class and then at the end, everyone will share with each other.
KBAC – Anything else that you would like to share with us?
MB – Oh yes, I have a plug. I have a new DVD out called Becoming Made http://www.marybrodbeck.com/purchase/. It is a documentary film about Japanese woodblock printmaking and its relevance in the 21st century. Though it is not a step-by-step instructional film, it does shed tremendous insight on the techniques involved and can be very helpful to anyone interested in learning more about this process. I highly recommend it!
KBAC – Thank you, Mary.
MB – My pleasure, thank you!
Jan 252015

giftcardsfrontMake a gift for items in the KBAC Store or for enrolling in classes. These make great gifts and come in lovely card handprinted at KBAC! We can send you a gift certificate, or stop in and pick one up at the KBAC Store. Your gift card can be in any amount you enter below with a minimum of $10. Postage and handling are included.

Gift Certificate


(Gift Certificates bought online will be mailed to the purchaser’s address. Please call 269-373-4938 to have us send it to another address.)

Sep 012014

About Our Instructors

Lorrie Grainger Abdo, the KBAC Administrative Director, has taught papermaking, surface design, and bookbinding classes for students of all ages in Michigan and beyond. She was trained in papermaking at Sievers School of Fiber Arts and by the KBAC cofounder Paul Robbert.

Kim Hosken Eberstein received her MFA in painting from Western Michigan University, where she was trained in papermaking by the KBAC cofounder Paul Robbert. She taught in the Frostic School of Art for many years and now teaches for Battle Creek Public Schools.

Joanne Thieme Huffman is a multi-media artist who has taught at Smitten Dust, For The Art, the KBAC and ArtUnravelled, a national art retreat in Phoenix AZ. She brings a wealth of experience, knowledge and energy to every class she teaches. Website:  http://joannethiemehuffman.typepad.com/

Elizabeth Kerlilowske is a poet and artist. Her book, Last Hula, won the Standing Rock Cultural Arts Chapbook contest in 2014. She writes fiction and essays as well as poetry.  Her visual art is bright and very big. Elizabeth earned her PhD from WMU and is president of Friends of Poetry.

Katie Platte, the KBAC Studio Coordinator, is a graduate of the Studio Art program at Grand Valley State University. She completed an internship at the Women’s Studio Workshop, an arts organization specializing in printmaking and book arts in Rosendale, New York.

Crystal Shaulis, Intern Coordinator for the KBAC, earned her BFA from Western Michigan University. She is an alumni from KBAC’s own Book Arts in Venice program and has remained with KBAC ever since. Though the focus of her study at Western was painting, she has developed a deep interest in bookbinding and letterpress and shares this knowledge with the local community and beyond. Website: behance.net/CrystalShaulis

Feb 162014

Join us for the KBAC series Poets in Print. The series features exceptional poets from the midwest and beyond reading from their works. Letterpress broadside editions of each poets’ work are printed on our Vandercook proof press featuring images by artists affiliated with KBAC. Broadsides and books by the poets are available for purchase and signing at the event. Doors open at 6:30 with time to view KBAC exhibitions.

Readings are presented in the KBAC Gallery at Park Trades Center, free and open to the public. Sign up to receive notices of future readings through Constant Contact in the sidebar. Listings of our guests and the artists creating broadsides since the series began in November 2008 are shown in the Poets in Print archive.

Originals of broadside editions can be viewed and purchased in our retail section KBAC broadsides gallery.

Feb 092014
Mary Heebner

Artist Mary Heebner

Shake off some of winter’s cabin fever and join us for our

Spring Book Arts Social! 

Meet nationally renowned book artist Mary Heebner
Preview our limited edition book God of Longevity by treasured Kalamazoo poet Conrad Hilberry
Brainstorm your entry for KBAC’s Edible Book Festival
Tour the newly expanded Ladies’ Library

         …and other book arts delights

Thursday, March 6, 2014, 5:30-7 p.m.
Ladies’ Library Association
333 S. Park St., Downtown Kalamazoo

$25 per person
Hors d’oeuvres and wine

Nov 172013

Call for entries

Members of the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center are invited to participate in our Holiday Sale featuring books of poetry, gifts, papermaking, prints, fiber arts and more. The sale will open December 5th from 6:00-9:00 pm during Art Hop and continuing through December 20st including Saturdays from 12-4pm. Artists of all mediums are welcome to join. Please consider becoming member of the KBAC by donating $35 or more per year in order to participate in the sale. In addition to opportunities to show your work members of the KBAC will be able to purchase classes and items from our store at 10% off and receive an invitation to our annual member event. The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center takes a 20% commission.
previous members show


Email confirmation of participation by November 21

Drop off work between 10 and 4 pm Friday, November 21 and Tuesday, November 25th (Other hours upon request)

Opening December 5th 6-9 pm (remember that your presence boosts sales!)

Closing December 20st

Pick up Monday January 5 and Tuesday January 6 from 10-4


Important information:

You must be a member of the KBAC to participate in the sale. You can become a member by donating $35 or more to the Kalamazoo Book Arts Center.

Please confirm participation by emailing katie@kalbookarts.org. When we receive your email we will send you a consignment form.

Your art/books/etc. must be clearly priced and your consignment form must be filled out upon drop off of your work. We will provide you with stickers with a consignment number to identify your work. These are separate from your price tags.

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center takes 20% commission on all sales. Participants will be paid upon completion of the sale.

All work must be picked up during the January 5 and 6th unless prior arrangements have been made. The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center reserves the right to property after 30 days.


Sep 142012

The Natural World

Saturday, September 15, 9 a.m. – 3:45 p.m.The Natural World

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center and the West Michigan Glass Art Center are collaborating on a workshop for under-served youth ages 10 to 18 who demonstrate a keen interest in the arts. The Natural World encourages the appreciation of natural sciences and art while creating fused and lampworked glass art and hand-made paper and relief prints. This is a free event sponsored by the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation.

The work completed in these workshops will be on display at the Park Trades Center during Art Hop, Friday October, 5 from 5 -9 p.m. Refreshments will be provided

Aug 022012

Kids Poetry Reading

Wednesday, August 1, 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Exhibition and Poetry Reading for the publication of two new books:

BGC PoetsBoys and Girls Club making paper


Animal Kzoo, by the Not Yet Poets

These handmade books contain poems and prints by students from the Boys & Girls Club and Parks & Recreation of Kalamazoo who attended a six-week book arts workshop. The kids worked with local poet Rose Willey to write poetry and short stories, then made handmade paper for the interior and cover of the book, created relief prints for the images, and bound the books by hand. Each student finished the workshop with a copy of a book that they wrote and illustrated in collaboration with their friends.
We are very proud of the work these students have done, and would like to invite you to come celebrate their achievement with a reception for parents, friends, and the general public at the KBAC. During this event we will display the books in the gallery and the kids will participate in a poetry reading.

View more pictures through Smile Box.

Mar 092012

KBAC Gallery
DEADLINE EXTENDED: Entries due by Friday, April 27 at 5 p.m.
May 4-25, 2012; opening Friday, May. 4, 2012, 6 to 9 p.m. during Art Hop

KBAC Fourth Annual Illustrated Accordion

The Illustrated Accordion 2012 Call for Entries

The Kalamazoo Book Arts Center announces a call to artists for the non-juried exhibition The Illustrated Accordion, to be held in the KBAC Gallery, May 4, 2012. Open to all emerging and established artists, this annual exhibition focuses on books created in the accordion form. All media, variations, and interpretations of this style of book will be accepted and included in the exhibition.

There is a $15 entry fee to participate. Artists are limited to one entry for the exhibit. The opening will be May 4th, from 6:00–9:00 p.m., in conjunction with the Kalamazoo Art Hop.

Entries must be received by Friday, April 20 at 5 p.m. For full details for submissions download the entry form required for submissions. For more information please call the KBAC Gallery at 269-373-4938 or email info@kalbookarts.org.


Jan 032009

Poets in Print: Saturday, February 21, 2009, 7 – 9 p.m.
Chad Sweeney book release and reading 

Celebrate the release of Sweeney’s new book of poetry, Arranging the Blaze, published by Anhinga Press. Join us for a reading, reception and live music.
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