Bookwork 101 Part One: Artist as Researcher

Event Info

This three-day, virtual workshop takes place on Zoom on Wednesdays, September 28—October 12, from 6:00 pm—8:00 pm.

  • Wednesday, September 28, 6:00pm—8:00pm
  • Wednesday, October 5, 6:00pm—8:00pm
  • Wednesday, October 12, 6:00pm—8:00pm

Please Note: Registration for this workshop closes on September 20, 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 one 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. Sign up for multiple Bookwork 101 workshops and you will automatically receive a 10% discount.

Not knowing where to begin is often an entry barrier to a new artistic endeavor. Central to our work is the adage that “the idea is the engine that drives the work” so a strong conceptual foundation is our beginning point. This workshop will focus on both traditional and non-traditional approaches to developing a strong concept and original content for an artist book project.

A wide range of research tools, both digital and analog, from scavenger hunts to sensory spotlighting will be taught to jumpstart ideas. From these research “starts” participants will engage in experimental ideation exercises and creative writing assignments to develop their project concept.


Required Materials:

Required Materials:

  • 3” x 5” notecards (a dozen)
  • 8.5” x 11” text weight paper (6 to 8 pieces) or sketchbook paper
  • 11” x 17” or larger, text weight paper (6 pieces)
  • pen or pencil
  • colored pencils, markers,
  • Scissors
  • X-acto knife
  • glue stick
  • masking tape
  • Magazines, newspapers, assorted ephemera for collage

Optional Materials:

  • carbon paper (1 sheet)
  • alphabet rubber stamps, stencils, ink pad

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.

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