Bookwork 101 Part Four: Artist as Builder

Event Info

This three-day, virtual workshop takes place on Zoom on Mondays, November 21—December 5, from 6:00 pm—8:00 pm.

  • Monday, November 21, 6:00pm—8:00pm
  • Monday, November 26, 6:00pm—8:00pm
  • Monday, December 5, 6:00pm—8:00pm

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on November 13, at 11:59pm.

Sign up for multiple Bookwork 101 workshops and you will automatically receive a 10% discount.

About the Workshop:

This virtual class at Center for Book Arts is taught by instructor Ellen Sheffield.

This workshop is part four of a four- part series of progressive workshops for eager novices – makers who are new to the book art genre and who are looking for an opening pathway into the conceptual thinking and artistic skills that go into the planning and making of an artist’s book. 

This workshop pulls together concept, text and image and gives them a physical home – a one-of-a-kind book structure built within the constraints of the materials and processes chosen by participants.

An opposite approach is to start with making a book structure then simply “fill the pages” with text and image but in keeping with the “idea as the engine that drives the machine” participants will build a customized structure to support their concept. The machine we’re ultimately creating is the book with its movable parts. Covers, spine, pages – within those elements are a myriad of choices as to how each participant choses to best communicate their concept.

In this workshop we will play with simple book forms looking for one that sparks with and elevates the text and image already created. Participants will explore and experiment with mock-ups and build one artist’s book from the elements created either in the earlier workshops or independently.

Required Materials:

  • 18” x 24” paper such as Rives BFK or Canson Mi-Tientes (3 or 4 pieces) for making structural book prototypes
  • Bone folder
  • awl
  • binding needle
  • linen thread
  • Glue stick
  • double-sided tape
  • metal straight-edge
  • Xacto knife,
  • scissors
  • pencils
  • Other materials needed will depend on the processes and techniques chosen by each participant for their artist’s book

About Ellen Sheffield

Ellen Sheffield is a visual artist, poet and teacher based in Gambier, Ohio and Point Richmond, California. Her works on paper and artist’s books play with image and text intersections to create unexpected readings. Collaborations with poets, experiments with found text and working with visual scores are some of the ways she engages with themes of place, memory and language perception in her studio practice, Unit IV Arts.

Beinecke Library at Yale University, Ella Strong Denison Library at Scripps College, Fleet Library at Rhode Island School of Design and many others have collected her artist’s books.

She is co-curator with Tia Blassingame of “Troubling: Artists’ Books that enlighten and disrupt old ways of being and seeing” on exhibit at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art in spring of 2022.


All images courtesy of the instructor.

Class size is limited to ensure an optimal student-to-teacher ratio. Register now before the remaining spots fill up! If you cannot comfortably pay tuition but are interested in taking this class, please consider filling out our financial assistance application here. We will notify you if you are selected to receive a scholarship before the start date of the class.

Registration is closed. Return to all Classes.

Your cart is empty.