Wells Book Arts Summer Institute 2018

December 10, 2017

Wells Campus overlooking Cayuga Lake

Wells Campus overlooking Cayuga Lake

Registration is now online

This summer we have 6 classes to choose from each week.
For full course descriptions, scroll down
For more details on the 2018  Summer Institute, visit our Participant Info Page

Week 1 – July 15-21, 2018
• Michael & Winifred Bixler (Bixler Letterfoundry) THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL
Type Casting and Monotype Composition Please email to be placed on waiting list
• Peter Fraterdeus (Peter Fraterdeus)
— West Meets East — Energy, Expression and “Emptiness” in Calligraphy
• Ron Gordon (Oliphant Press)
The Anatomy of Book Design
• Amos Kennedy (Kennedy Prints) THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL
Letterpress Posters with Big Wood Type Please email to be placed on waiting list
• Scott McCarney (Scott McCarney VisualBooks)
Hybrid Textual/Visual Books
• Danielle Myers (Petrichor Paper)
— Papermaking with Local Plants

Week 2 – July 22-28, 2018
• Aimee Lee (Aimee Lee)
Make Hanji: The World of Korean Papermaking
• Bruce Licher (Independent Project Press)
— Philatelic Letterpress: The Art of The Hand-Crafted Stamp.

• Steve Pittelkow
Marbling on Paper and Cloth
• Marnie Powers-Torrey (U Utah) & Amelia Hugill-Fontanel (RIT Cary Collection)
The Iron Hand Press & Finer Points of Impression
• Jenna Rodriguez (Jenna Rodriguez)
— Extreme Bookbinding!
• Dan Rosenberg (Wells College – Dan Rosenberg)
— Writing Beside the Press: A Poetry Workshop

Week 1 – July 15-21, 2018

Michael & Winifred Bixler – Typecasting and Monotype Composition

July 15-21, 2018 – This course offers the unique opportunity to learn typecasting at one of the last remaining hot metal Monotype shops in North America. Students will use the Monotype keyboard, composition caster and the Monotype Supercaster to cast and take home their own text and/or a case of type, including fonts of ornaments. This course will be of particular value to letterpress printers who want to experience the full gamut of metal type—from keyboarding, to type casting, to pulling proofs. Please visit the Bixlers’ website at https://www.mwbixler.com to see specimens of the many Monotype faces available, or call Michael at 315-685-5181 to discuss questions. Students will live at Wells and commute to & from Skaneateles in Wells vans. Limited to five students; no experience in casting required, but letterpress printing experience preferred. Fee includes taking home up to 50 lbs. of cast type. Additional type charged at a nominal per lb. charge. THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL Please email to be placed on waiting list

Michael Bixler has cast metal type and practiced fine letterpress printing and typography since 1965. He and his wife established their press and letterfoundry near Boston in 1973, and since 1983 have resided in Skaneateles, NY, where they continue to print limited edition books and provide cast metal type for numerous private presses and letterpress printers around the world. Michael is a graduate of Rochester Institute of Technology and teaches letterpress printing at Wells College.

Peter Fraterdeus – West Meets East — Energy, Expression and “Emptiness” in Calligraphy

July 15-21, 2018 – Zen Shodo (The Way of Calligraphy) with the East Asian Brush challenges our preconceptions. Spontaneous, playful and mindful at once, for western calligraphers, exposure to the ancient Oriental traditions can bring enormous freedom from cultural expectations of uniformity and linearity. Inquiring into the Qi (氣 chi/inner energy) of the marks we make, we are looking for energy and authenticity rather than ‘perfection’. This is art about the making, not about the end product. Of course, kindling that inner energy brings deeper perception, and we gain important knowledge about the ideal form with every stroke! We make a mark with a tool, but it is not the mark, but the division of space which is meaningful. Without this awareness, our marks are mere ephemeral shadows, all style, without substance—with it, they are structures in reality, with ‘bones’, not just surface. A Japanese accordion-style book will be your record of the week’s exploration!

Peter Fraterdeus (b. Chicago 1954) received two NEA grants in letterform studies (1980 Crafts Apprenticeship in Calligraphy and Letter Carving, 1985 Design Project Grant for a Digital Type Design). He is a calligrapher, type designer, letterpress printer, Irish fiddler, student of whole systems and the nature of consciousness. After four decades of formal study of western letterform traditions, including letter carving, type-design, and medieval manuscript techniques, he is now also studying ancient Zen Sho-do (書道) and Chinese Calligraphy in his daily practice of calligraphy at his studio in Galena, Illinois.Peter has taught internationally since the 1990s (Chicago, San Francisco, Two Rivers, Olympia, Treviso, Berlin, Barcelona, etc). He lives in a 19th C mining town in the Driftless Region of NW Illinois

Ron Gordon – The Anatomy of Book Design

July 15-21, 2018 – Do you want you want your self-published book to look professionally designed? Are you a graphic designer who wants to learn the secrets of creating dynamic books that people will want to read? The principles of good design and typography go back 500 years and include a fascinating history of styles and traditions that determine how we design and look at print. You will learn not only how to work within that tradition and but also how to break out of it! Class projects will start with choosing a format and font and then move through the process of creating books that look professionally designed. A basic knowledge of InDesign is helpful, but Ron will help beginners get started.
“It was such a great week….I feel like I took an important step…and I’m ready to keep learning.”–P.K.  “You opened my eyes! Now I can tell the difference between good design and bad and am better able to make quality choices in my own work.”–T.L.

Ron Gordon studied printing, typography, and book design with two great masters, Leonard Baskin and Joseph Blumenthal. He founded his Oliphant Press in 1970 to carry on the tradition of fine printing and design. Beginning as a letterpress printer, Ron adapted his style and skills as the craft shifted to computer typesetting, offset lithography, and now, digital printing. In 2007 the Amherst College Library exhibited a retrospective of his work. Ron has taught workshops at the book arts centers at Wells, Wellesley, Dartmouth, and RIT. Ron has trained numerous assistants and interns, and has lectured at libraries, colleges, and book clubs all over the country.


Amos Kennedy – Letterpress Posters with Big Wood Type

July 15-21, 2018 – Amos Kennedy will immerse students in inkwith a focus on becoming one with the Vandercook proofing press and have conversations as they print. Each student will have their own vandercook to use for this week-long session. Kennedy will guide new students towards letterpress mastery while taking experienced printers down a notch. In addition, this class will have access to work with materials from the P22 Design Research Lab. THIS CLASS IS NOW FULL Please email to be placed on waiting list

Amos Paul Kennedy Jr. is an American printmaker, book artist and papermaker best known for social and political commentary, particularly in printed posters. One critic noted that Kennedy was “…unafraid of asking uncomfortable questions about race and artistic pretension.”

Scott McCarney – Hybrid Textual/Visual Books

July 15-21, 2018 – Are you tired of binding blank books?  Have you run out of friends and family to give your blank books to? Do you have shelves (nee, boxes) of blank books laying dormant, waiting to be journaled, diaried or scrapped?  Does the sight of a blank page intimidate you and initiate a spate of creative inertia? Then this workshop is for you! We will utilize bookbinding techniques to create content in tandem with constructing formats — i.e., NO BLANK BOOKS!  Pre-printed material (prints, maps, photographs, discarded book pages, etc.) and newly generated sheets (drawing, painting, stamping, cutting, etc.) will be our basic source materials for bookbinding. Basic folding, sewing and adhesive techniques will be analyzed, refined and combined with traditional formats to create hybridized contemporary book structures. All aspects of the book’s physical comportment will be under consideration, from folding sections through cover attachment and ideas for packaging. Exercises include collaborations with fellow workshop participants and incorporating non-traditional materials into books. Participants will be encouraged to critically examine their works-in-progress. Copious examples of innovative visual books will be presented in physical and digital form.

Scott McCarney is an artist, designer, and educator based in Rochester, New York. He received formal design training at Virginia Commonwealth University (Richmond, VA) in the 1970s, and earned an advanced degree in photography from the University at Buffalo/Visual Studies Workshop (Rochester, NY) in the 1980s. His works are widely distributed and can be found in the library collections of The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Victoria & Albert Museum, London; and Yale University Art Gallery, among others. His work is shown internationally (Sao Paulo, Brazil; Melbourne, Australia; Budapest, Hungary) as well as close to home (Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY; Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY; Memorial Art Gallery, Rochester, NY). His teaching and lecturing itinerary is varied and eclectic, carrying the banner of artists books to Australia, New Zealand, Korea, Mexico, and South America. He currently teaches in the College of Imaging Arts and Science at Rochester Institute of Technology.


Danielle Myers – Papermaking with Local Plants

July 15-21, 2018 – The class will explore the basics of papermaking through nature. We’ll work with a variety of plant fibers to form sheets as well use for inclusions and natural dyes. I’ll introduce basic methods, tools, equipment, and sizing techniques while allowing plenty of time to experiment. We will have a chance to harvest local plants so be sure to pack your field guides! The goal is to create a portfolio with nature’s provisions and challenge ourselves to see the potential in our own backyards.

Danielle Myers is the owner and operator of the small-scale paper mill, Petrichorpaper, based in Randolph, NY. She holds a BS: Fine Art from Buffalo State College and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Creative Studies. From 2015-2017 she participated in the Young Audiences of WNY ArtWorks program as a Master Teaching Artist for WNYBAC.

Week 2 – July 22-28, 2018

Aimee Lee – Make Hanji: The World of Korean Papermaking

July 22-28, 2018 – In this intensive, students will learn the process of making hanji (Korean paper) from raw paper mulberry bark, as well as methods of manipulating paper—both made in class and imported from Korea. By working together, students will complete various steps to prepare raw materials for sheet formation in both heullim tteugi and gadum tteugi techniques. Bark considered too tough to make paper will be transformed into bark lace for fiber, sculpture, and book applications. Hanji of varied colors and types will be used to fuse (joomchi), cord and weave (jiseung), and spin into thread. Alongside the unique history and folklore of hanji, Aimee will share her hybrid methods of using this durable and malleable substrate. This is an ideal course for students interested in the depth and breadth of East Asian paper traditions, paper’s role in material culture, and a hands-on experience of the manual labor and patience required for time-proven practices.

Aimee Lee is an artist, papermaker, writer, and the leading hanji practitioner in North America (BA, Oberlin College; MFA, Columbia College Chicago). Her Fulbright research on Korean paper led to her award-winning book, Hanji Unfurled, and the first US hanji studio. She has shown at the Fuller Craft Museum, Islip Art Museum, and Museum of Nebraska Art, and her work has appeared in The Korea Times, The New York Times, The Plain Dealer, PBS, Voice of America, and CNN’s Great Big Story. Her artwork resides in library collections that include the Brooklyn Museum of Art, MOMA, Dartmouth, UCLA, and Yale. Her teaching engagements reach from coast to coast and internationally.

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Bruce Licher – Philatelic Letterpress: The Art of The Hand-Crafted Stamp.

July 22-28, 2018 – Have you ever dreamed of designing and printing your own “postage” stamp? In this course, you will have the opportunity to explore self-expression through the miniature art of stamp design. Students will learn to design & create perforated stamps using hand-set letterpress type, ornaments, and other letterpress elements. Each student will design a miniature stamp sheet containing one or more stamps using the equipment and materials available in the Wells College letterpress studio. We will then print an edition of these stamp sheets on gummed paper, and perforate them using a vintage Rosback pinhole perforator. These sheets will then be bound into a letterpress-printed booklet, which will contain one sheet from each student inside a cover designed & created by Bruce Licher during the course. Each workshop participant will take home copies of the completed limited edition stamp booklet including their personally-designed stamp sheet.

Musician, artist & designer Bruce Licher founded Independent Project Press after learning the art of letterpress printing at the Women’s Graphic Center in downtown Los Angeles at the beginning of 1982. His initial projects centered around creating album covers, postcards and promotional stamps for his band Savage Republic. In addition to packaging and releasing music on his own record label (Independent Project Records), his other music-related projects have included work for clients ranging from R.E.M. to Harold Budd to Stereolab. Independent Project Press also produces elegant and creative business stationery, invitations, wine labels, promotional stamp sheets and booklets, and numerous other pieces of letterpress-printed ephemera for clients large and small. Licher was nominated twice for a Grammy Award for his album packaging, and has been credited with starting the trend in letterpress-printed CD and record packaging using industrial-style chipboard. Bruce Licher’s graphic design and letterpress work has been featured in two major design exhibitions at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum in New York City, and has also been exhibited in California, Arizona, and Paris, France. After 17 years living and working in Sedona, Arizona, Licher and his artist wife Karen relocated Independent Project Press to the small Eastern Sierra town of Bishop, California, where they currently reside.

Steve Pittelkow – Marbling on Paper and Cloth

July 22-28, 2018 – Marbling is unique among crafts using paper and paint. Colors are floated on a liquid bath and combed into intricate patterns. Paper or cloth is gently applied to the bath surface and the resulting print can be used for any application where decorative paper is desired. Using modern paints, materials, and techniques, students will explore marbling thoroughly. Up to 50 traditional patterns will be covered. By the end of the week students will have a complete understanding of all aspects of marbling and a large portfolio of papers to use for reference and projects. Students will also experiment with silk and cotton and will have fun, too.

Even after nearly 40 years of marbling, Steve Pittelkow still finds it both stimulating and challenging. Over the years he has refined his methods and materials to ensure a fulfilling class experience for students. Steve’s papers are distinguished by bright colors and precise designs and they are featured in books and museum collections and are used by artists in many media. He has taught extensively across the US and Europe, including The Wells College Summer Institute, Penland School of Crafts, The Morgan Conservatory, The Metropolitan Museum, The Center for Book Arts, Asheville BookWorks, University of the Arts and many other art centers.

Marnie Powers-Torrey & Amelia Hugill-Fontanel – The Iron Hand Press & Finer Points of Impression

July 22-28, 2018 – Beginning with brief histories of book design and letterpress printing and culminating in a printed edition, this course is an intensive, hands-on exploration of contemporary press use. We’ll investigate theory through practice as we enact the legacy of lockups with metal type on the Victor Hammer Washington-style R. Hoe & Co. handpress, found objects on small jobbers, and pressure prints on a Vandercook Universal I. Mixing ink with traditional and experimental techniques, the group will edition a collaborative book that responds to the prompt: “It’s 2018. Why print with a press?” Bring your personal perspective and a willingness to work and play hard. All levels are welcome.

Marnie Powers-Torrey holds an MFA in photography from the University of Utah and a BA in English and Philosophy from Boston College’s Honors Program. She is the Managing Director of the Book Arts Program and Red Butte Press, an Associate Librarian, and serves as the faculty mentor for the minor and certificate in book arts. Marnie teaches letterpress printing, artists’ books, typography, and other courses for the Book Arts Program and elsewhere. She is master printer and production manager for the Red Butte Press. As a founding member of the College Book Arts Association, she served as Awards Chair for three years and VP for Nominations & Membership for two. Her work is exhibited and held in collections nationally.
Amelia Hugill-Fontanel is associate curator at the Cary Graphic Arts Collection at Rochester Institute of Technology. She is an art historian and editor who contributes to numerous publications about graphic design, calligraphy, and typography. As manager of the Cary technology collection, she is responsible for teaching letterpress printing and maintaining some 23 different presses, including the Kelmscott-Goudy Albion handpress, which was once owned by William Morris and Frederic W. Goudy. She has lectured widely for such institutions as the American Printing History Association, College Art Association, the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing Museum, TypeCon, and Yale University.

Amelia and Marnie first connected at APHA in 2016 and made a pact to stay in touch. The two have complementary skills and experience in typography, design, and printing, and think co-teaching is going to be a blast.

Jenna Rodriguez – Extreme Bookbinding!

July 22-28, 2018 – This course will cover four complex bookbinding structures and one box making structure. Each day you will learn a new binding technique and construct a slipcase box to house all four structures. There will be a variety of paper ephemera to fill the pages and demos on  different image making techniques. By the end of the week you will have a unique set of handmade books. This course will give you skills and techniques to create a variety of artist books in the future. Come with little or no experience! Happy Bookbinding!

Jenna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist. She is currently teaching studio art and art history classes on the high school and college level in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She was the 2016 Book Arts and Printmaking Artist-In-Resident at Lillstreet Art Center in Chicago. Prior to Lillstreet she was the Victor Hammer Fellow at Wells College in Aurora, New York where she taught undergraduates papermaking, printing, and bookbinding. She built a papermaking studio at Wells with the assistance from The Edward Foundation Grant. She graduated from Columbia College Chicago in 2013 where she received a MFA in Interdisciplinary Book and Paper Arts. Her work lives in library collections all over the United States that includes Michigan State University, Yale University, Art Institute of Chicago, Carnegie Mellon University, and UCLA.


Dan Rosenberg – Writing Beside the Press: A Poetry Workshop

July 22-28, 2018 – This class is for both newer poets looking to explore their craft and more experienced poets looking to jumpstart their process in a supportive community. In our generative workshop, we’ll take the root of “poet” (Greek for “maker”) seriously by making poems. Many poems. Surrounded by book artists, calligraphers, and printers, on the shores of idyllic Lake Cayuga, we’ll mine the world around us for material, writing each day in response to the area’s rich artistic and natural marvels. As the week progresses, we’ll experiment with various kind of poems, from the ekphrastic to the epiphanic, writing from uncertainty and toward wonder. The week will culminate with a collaborative chapbook printed at the Wells College Book Arts Center, using some of the very tools and materials we’ll have explored in our work.

Dan Rosenberg is the author of four poetry collections: cadabra (Carnegie Mellon University Press 2015), Thigh’s Hollow (Omnidawn 2015), The Crushing Organ (Dream Horse Press 2012), and A Thread of Hands (Tilt Press 2010). He also co-translated Miklavž Komelj’s Hippodrome (Zephyr Press 2016). A former Presidential Fellow at the University of Georgia, Rosenberg has won the American Poetry Journal Book Prize and the Omnidawn Poetry Chapbook Contest. Recent poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Boston Review, Ploughshares, Verse, and Colorado Review. Rosenberg holds a B.A. from Tufts University, an M.F.A. from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia. He teaches literature and creative writing at Wells College, where he also hosts the Visiting Writers Series, and he co-edits Transom.

• Tuition for each course is $1,000 with the exception of
“Writing Beside the Press: A Poetry Workshop” which is $600.
•Room and Board are additional. See more details here.
Register online here.

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