Blog Listing

2017 SCFD Report Filed!

The Book Arts League was fortunate to receive a grant from SCFD for use in 2017. The grant allowed us to focus more effort on PR, resulting in more memberships and more classes sold for the year. We are grateful for this organization that works hard to support the arts in Colorado! To learn more about SCFD please visit their website SCFD.

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CU Boulder and the Book Arts League collaborating in October 2017

Beginning in mid October, the Book Arts League will team up with Thora Brylowe’s CU Boulder English class titled “Advanced Topics in Media Theory – Technologies of Text in Print”.

The goal?  Constructing a book and making an edition of 40 copies.

2017 is the second year that CU professor Thora Brylowe has collaborated with the Book Arts League. 

The students in this upper-division course have read and studied William Blake’s poetry and have anthologized some of the poems for their own book. They have heard presentations about the history of the book, and how the production of the parts of a book add up to the finished product.

The students will consider how every step in production affects the finished book: colors of endpapers and bookcloth, head- and tail-bands, the weight and color of the paper for the pages, the size (Octavo? Quarto?), the layout of the poems on the pages, the point size of the typeface, and the typefaces themselves.

Materials have already been prepared by the class for building the book. They’ve been cutting bookcloth, board thread, preparing endpapers and sheets of paper for printing. They have even carved linoleum blocks for images on two of the pages.

The students also had the assignment of naming their press, titling their book, and writing the colophon.

During the past two weeks the class has paged their book, deciding which poems will fit within the margins of their pages (based on line count and point size of their typefaces). These decisions affect the thematic flow of the poetry in their book, or the “journey” they want their readers to take when the poems are read.

Starting the 3rd week in October the students will spend five days setting type and printing their folios at the Ewing Farm in Lafayette (home of the Book Arts League). In November they will sew their text blocks of six folios, which are signed and include catchwords. Finally, they will case them in hardcover. 

In January 2018, three members of the BAL (who are also librarians at CU Boulder) will present at the 2018 College Book Arts Association conference about the collaborative project. 

We can’t wait to see their edition! Best of luck the class on its project.

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Book Arts League Inky Fun Nights now a Meetup!

The Book Arts League Board decided to join Meetup to increase awareness of our free Inky Fun Nights. The next event is Thursday November 2 from 6 – 8 pm. Inky Fun Nights are free hands on demonstrations of the arts of letterpress printing and other book arts. Find out more about Meetup here:

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Pop Up Letterpress Event at the Museum of Boulder

What fun! The Museum of Boulder asked us to set up a pop up letterpress event at their historic location on the Hill in Boulder. The Museum has over 3000 cuts in its permanent artifact collection — all of which were donated by the Daily Camera. There were so much historical and weirdly interesting cuts we were over the moon about what to print. And what some of the various images were and could have been used for is anyone’s guess. From art deco abstracts to mountain scenes to shifty characters to ornate borders to church announcements and songs — we had plenty of fun things to print while barely scratching the surface of the entire collection.The Cat seemed to be a crowd favorite — resembling the evil twin of the Cheshire Cat. I suppose if someone had a couple of years they could rummage through the Daily Camera archives and try and find all the imagery in the old newspapers. But it might be better to leave it to the imagination. 

They pulled out a few dozen cuts for the workshop participants to choose from and we let them print away on an assortment of proof presses with a few colors. We used red for pop, black for its timelessness and metallic gold for the sharpness — the gold worked out well as we were blocks away from CU, who happened to be playing a home game. In the photos you can see a CU logo that fellow board member, Greg, pointed out still can be seen in the interior of Macky Auditorium. And while we were all so busy printing and oogling over the amazing collection there were tons of other cuts not pictured, such as Macky Auditorium.

We are fortunate enough to be one of the last events the museum hosted before moving to their new downtown location. With about 25 folks printing and creating new ways to combine cuts on the presses, BAL members were busy for the entirely of the event trying to keep up with the creative minds of the new printers!


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We <3 Volunteers

On Thursday June 22 from 5 – 8 pm the Book Arts League held a Volunteer get together with pressure printing set up in the Bunkhouse and yummy treats in the farmhouse. We were pleased to greet 3 volunteers who signed up to help out with upcoming events and offered some great new ideas for the Board members in attendance. One suggestion is in effect now – a 5 year Individual membership can be purchased online. Thanks to our great volunteers, and we’d like to make these gatherings a regular event! Your participation keeps the Book Arts League a growing and vibrant organization.

Volunteers receive BAL Bucks for their volunteer hours. BAL Bucks are credits at the rate of $15 per volunteer hour. 50% of earned BAL Bucks can be applied to membership fees, class fees, studio time fees, or Book Arts League merchandise such as Tee shirts, greeting cards, Ephemera collections, broadsides or other prints.

If you are interested in volunteering, let us know through our Contact page!

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Japanese Calligraphy Class Sept. 24th 2016



Mamiko Ikeda’s calligraphy class was held on Sept 24 at the Ewing Farmhouse. Two students were introduced to basic Japanese calligraphy strokes as well as some free-style variations. Both look forward to using the calligraphy in their own unique ways.

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Ephemera Exchange 2016

EphemeraAnnual Ephemera Exchange !
The Deadline for the 2016 Ephemera playdate is December 31.
Please send your edition of 30 pieces no larger than 5 x 7″ (or folding down to that size) to:

Book Arts League Ephemera Exchange
c/o Brenda Gallagher
7963 Neva Rd. Longmont, CO 80503
Please include a card with your name, return address and $6.00 for postage.

Your complete collection will be sent back to you in March of 2017.

Each year the Book Arts League hosts an Ephemera playdate. This year we warmly invite you to play with us again! Make and edition of 30 pieces and send them in. These could be letterpress printed cards, hand made collages, potato prints or anything you can dream up! Make an edition of 30, send them in to the BAL, and then in March you will receive the entire collection, one piece from every artist who participated.

Your piece needs to be 5×7 or smaller (or folding down to that size.) All extra collections will be available for sale to support the BAL at open houses and community events. Did you miss last year’s collection? You can buy one the next time you stop in to the Ewing Farm for classes or artist events!

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