Thursday, 10 September 2020

Australian Reverse Piano Hinge

We had a really good making session this month, with Jac showing us how to make the Australian reverse piano hinge form. She was very patient, and if you missed the session we’ll have a pdf how to on the blog soon. Lots of opportunity to use up left-over papers, and no stitching or glue needed.


Full instructions and further photographs have been provided by Jac. Select  from the seperate page listed in the top menu


The pleasures and perils of Zoom were ably demonstrated by our running out of time at one point, and some people having problems signing in-big apologies for this, especially to Cath who hung on all session in hope. Hopefully things will go more smoothly next time, when I’ll be demonstrating a spiral fold book.

Many members seemed to have been busier this month in terms of making
and we saw lots of finished book on the theme of “collections” and “remnants”. We show as many photos as we can on the blog, and also on our Instagram page (northwestbookartists), so please keep sending them in.

We wish all members a healthy and productive September, and we meet online again in October unless otherwise advised. Special greetings to those who are struggling with ill health or bereavements, and if anyone would like a one-to-one Zoom session please let Marilyn know.


Erics latest work


 Very uplifting message from Eric who joined the meeting from Canberra............(quite frankly made me cry)

This is one of my favourite trees. I have known it only just 8 years it has already survived two bush fires. 


Wednesday, 5 August 2020

August Zoom - Book Holder

NWBA notes for August 2020

We had a great Zoom meeting on August 1st, including our Antipodean member, Eric, who had already completed 2 pages of his August notebook! Helen shared lots of work from her sketchbook,and the “collections” theme included keys, buttons, shells bird pictures and Teabag labels-please send photos to Frances or Marilyn for the blog and the Instagram feed? 

Courtesy of Mike Clements we made a book holder book page (see photo), which members were encouraged to develop between meetings. This was a first for us, a making session on Zoom. If anyone wants to volunteer to show us another simple make please come forward-it’s so nice to be making collectively again. We don’t know when we will be able to meet at the library, but we are monitoring the situation. Frances suggested we could meet outside the library for a catch up and socially-distanced get-together, so that’s a possibility for the future. There’s plenty of artistic activity going on, which is encouraging in these difficult times. Jac suggested a palette of muted colours for us all to use as we continue to make progress with the Magellan book, These are as follows: ultramarine blue, cobalt or pthalo blue, burnt umber, burnt sienna, yellow ochre, cadmium yellow hue, and crimson. Mixing them will give us a large range of colours, and using the same basic palette will help give a uniformity to  the book. 

The theme for the next couple of months is “Remnants”,  suggested by Frances.

Members asked for information of where Marilyn has had rubber stamps made. She has used and, both of whom have reasonable prices. Rubber stamps are longer lasting than acrylic and give a sharper outline for fine details. They involve sending off a jpeg of your image and service is usually quite quick.

Jacs collection of keys

Thursday, 16 July 2020

Lockdown end - first steps

Our third Zoom meeting went well, despite the possibly confusing instructions. However, the generosity of Marilyn’s neighbour meant that we could Zoom for as long as we wanted without interruption.

Plenty of work going on, and it was good to see the thoughtfulness that everyone has put into Magellan, even ‘though it's unlikely to go for exhibit this year. Our next ‘real’ meeting us likely to be taken up with putting things in place into the textile book.

Jac had already completed her book for the theme of “collections.collectors,collecting”, and it showed ingenious use of Amazon packaging. If you’ve been having a go at this theme we’ll show our books at the August Zoom meeting.

If not making books, members seem to have been enjoying other artistic pursuits, including print making, paste papers, new book structures and drawing/painting/sketching. Equally, we have all had days when inspiration has been lacking, and if anyone has any prompts for those days or weeks, do share them with the rest of us via this blog?

Next Zoom Meeting
In the meantime, stay safe and well, and we’ll ‘see’ you on August at 10.30am. A link to the Zoom meeting will be sent nearer the time, and it will be in Gill Bellow’s name once more, so please don’t be surprised.

N.B.    Also at this meeting we are going to attempt a book-making exercise-very simple, and requiring only a sheet of heavyweight A4 paper or thin card, a ruler, pencil and your cutting knife and mat. What could possibly go wrong?! And thanks to Mike Clements of Mbag for the idea/instructions

From Jac.........

 From Estella........

Monday, 22 June 2020

Lockdown week 12

Claire van Vliet’s Folded Book Structures

Despite not being able to meet in person, we have enjoyed, if that’s not too strong a word, two Zoom sessions now. Whilst it isn’t perfect, at least we can see one another and enjoy a bit of book-focussed chat. It has been especially nice to enjoy Antigoni and Eric’s company, both rather far-flung members of our group.

The Magellan project continues, and Jac has done a lot of work on preparing the book ready for our embroideries, stencils and transfers. She has also produced a set of information pages to help you work out where the ships and sailors were at any given time, which should help with the sizing and placement of text and embroidery; if you’d like a copy please email and it will be sent to you. Lots of other good work going on, not all of it book-based, and it is as always good to share our inspiration, especially at a time when it can be lacking for many people.

Our theme for the months of June and July is “collections” (or collectors, collecting).

Finaly some lovely news from Antigoni who some of you may know was expecting her first child this month. We’re happy to announce that Gregory was born on the 1st June, and is a very bonny baby. Congratulations to Antigoni

Claire van Vliet’s Folded Book Structures
Jac .......This is a book that I assume is no longer in print. The authors have allowed it to be freely available on the web.
Woven and interlocking book structures from the Janus, Steiner and Gefn presses
It’s available at this address.

You can choose from a range of options. I downloaded the pdf and printed it because I wanted a hard copy (but it was in the days when I was at work and could justify it on the department budget).

Please also see Jac's detailed notes on Gelli Transfer printing as explained in the last Zoom meeting viewed vire the menu at the top of the blog. Also available on her blog.

Gelli Plate offset printing by Jac Balmer


It was great that Eric from Australia was able to join our last Zoom meeting and he talked about and demonstrated a folding box.


Bit of a crafty session and Calligraphy practice. I think that’s why I like making Journals and filling them it brings all the skills together and by doing a bit each keeps you up to speed.
Stay safe
Eric and Jackie

Helen shared some of her experiments with 'string painting'  that she had discoverd on youtube

Friday, 1 May 2020

ZOOM meeting

Virtual NWBA Meeting

Marilyn is willing to have a go at hosting a Zoom virtual NWBA meeting as a chance for us all to keep in touch whilst we cannot meet in person.  We will be able to  show each other what we have been working on, or lament the fact that inspiration is lacking!    We can also just have a general catch up. 

Some of you will already have used Zoom, but for those of us who haven’t, Marilyn will need your confirmation that you are interested by email to:

She then sends you an invitation to join the meeting. 
All  you have to do is just click on the day and time of the meeting - no need for passwords or joining Zoom yourself.

N.B.   you will need to download the app onto your laptop, computer or tablet. Tablet or laptop is best as you get a better view, but it can be done on a mobile phone as well. So, if anyone would like to have a go, do send your email address to Marilyn for a 
                        Zoom NWBA meeting on Saturday May 9th at 10.30 am.

Marilyn's pages from her Formby ABcdary:

From Jac :

Magellan hasn't progressed very far. I have finished going through the book for sailors names and I will get them typed up and sent on this week. I was going to go through the fabric strips and tack papers to them with the dates, important happenings and interesting stuff so that when we meet up we have a starting point for putting things together. But I managed to slice my thumb open while harvesting rhubarb so holding a needle, or anything that needs pressure hasn't been possible. Again a job for the next few weeks.

I did manage to do a book for ABC. The theme put me in mind of The ABC Murders by Agatha Christie so I thought I’d write my own mystery story.

In the eighties we inherited a lot of books from my parents in law, mass produced hardback books from the forties and fifties. Most of them were red (they had lost their dust covers over time). I wanted to try and reference that sort of a feel with my book. 

The whole text is on my website :