Book Arts Guild of Vermont workshop: Dowel Spine Portfolio

A couple of weeks ago, I attended the monthly meeting of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont. I was in charge of the evening’s program and taught folks the Dowel Spine Portfolio, a structure I learned during my summer workshop at the Focus on Book Arts conference with Peter Thomas.

When I received my grant from the Vermont Arts Council, one of my goals was to provide at least one free workshop based on a class I attended at the conference. Mission accomplished.

Below you can see my completed Dowel Spine Portfolio, as I discussed in this post about Peter’s workshop.

Backside of dowel spine portfolio

I was able to adapt Peter’s book to a size that accommodates a CD – I taught that at the class as well. I can’t teach a workshop without being a dork and taking a picture of my workshop supplies, eagerly awaiting folks to arrive.

Dowel Spine Portfolio workshop - supplies

I was convinced that the turnout would be small, as I figured that a lot of folks would be on vacation. 23 people showed up. I couldn’t believe it. And that room was small – it was like cramming a bunch of bookbinding clowns into a car.

Please note that the Guild members are not actually clowns.

Book Arts Guild of Vermont members

I realized that when I teach a workshop, I achieve an unavoidable sense of “Bwwahahahhahh!”. And I express it. It’s just who I am.

Elissa Campbell teaching the Dowel Spine Portfolio

That’s me in the overalls and curly hair

I think the workshop went well. Folks went home with 2 books and many attendees told me that they were going to teach the structure to others, which makes me happy.

What made me even happier was that I had prepared 24 sets of materials, hoping for the best with attendance. I went home empty-handed. 🙂

3 Responses to “Book Arts Guild of Vermont workshop: Dowel Spine Portfolio”

By Carol - 2 September 2009 Reply

Lucky people to do a workshop with you, and what a great turnout!

I’ve looked at your Twitter list and while I still cannot see the point of those little messages, I did find some really good sites by clicking on the second part (of each address), even finding a couple of new people to follow. So thanks for that – and everything else you put out there for your readers. I just don’t get it but obviously I’m in the minority because just about everyone I know uses Twitter.

By elissa - 4 September 2009 Reply

Carol –

There are so many ways for people to get information today and you really can pick and choose what you prefer. Twitter isn’t for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with that. Besides, in a few years something newer will come along and everyone will be saying “Twitter huh?”


[…] As I’ve mentioned before, I can’t write a post about a class unless I have the obligatory photo of my supplies looking all fresh and sexy: I developed a list of resources for the class, including general bookbinding websites and places to buy specific supplies. Each copy was handbound. I am a dork. There are 5 students in my class, which is a nice number. We worked on cutting out spaces in the covers and creating windows with content they selected. This week we’ll be working on the multi-needle coptic binding. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished books! […]

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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