Tuesday 14 November 2023

Shadow Box finishing

This month we did the fun part of our shadow box construction, choosing from some lovely die cuts ( thanks Chris) and assembling the boxes. Frances’ patience meant that we all completed our boxes and now have a template to complete more at our leisure.

We reflected on the successes and disappointments of the Liverpool Book Fair and exhibition at Knowsley, but it had been good to see old friends and meet new ones. The exhibition is on until December 23rd at the Kirkby gallery and many NWBA members are represented.

Various books completed and under construction were shared and enjoyed, and we planned for our Christmas meeting when Julie will lead us in a Christmas-themed workshop.



Friday 20 October 2023

Shadow Box Templates

Frances led us all carefully through the initial stages of her own design of a shadow box. 



Part two will follow at our November meeting with prepared woodland cutouts made by Chris.

please bring the same stuff as last workshop

She was very patient with our slow progress, and if we manage to make anything resembling her lovely bird creations we will all be very happy!


A fair amount of time was also spent finishing arrangements for the ‘Crafted‘ exhibition at the Kirby Gallery opening late this month, and the book fair taking place there on Friday November 3rd, 10.30-4.30. Do come along if you can. 

The selling exhibition is open from October to the 23rd December.



As we have all been so busy working towards the exhibition, no extra work has been made this month. 

We did however manage to chose a theme for the next two months; Autumn. Have fun with that and bring anything made to our December party meeting!


Crafted at Kirkby Gallery

Kirkby Gallery’s biennial exhibition of contemporary craft, design and fine art returns to the gallery from 30 October - 23 December, featuring a host of artists and makers from across the region.

The Crafted exhibition will showcase metalwork, textiles, fashion, ceramics, illustration, collage, painting and book art from artists and makers including Becky Atherton, Kelly Broughton, Kate Bufton, Hollie Cooper, Julie Dodd, Harry Garner, Heston Isle Press, David Holmes, Sue McLaren, Ali

Pickard, Catherine Rogers, Julie Taylor, Kate Tidmarsh, Hilary Marteau and the North

West Book Art Group.

For 2023, the exhibition has been co-curated with Liverpool Book Art, celebrating the creative practice of book art through unique hand-made books, stories & illustrations, distinctive notebooks,

prints, book sculptures, bindings, and more! Bringing this to life is a unique exhibition on the groundfloor of The Kirkby Centre, of the special collection owned by Liverpool Book Art, offering the opportunity to see how diverse this genre of art truly is. This show runs parallel to the Crafted exhibition so the visiting public can enjoy this until the 23rd December also.

Additionally, Liverpool Book Art will be hosting a series of special events and fringe exhibitions throughout the exhibition’s duration to give people an opportunity to explore the artform for themselves. This includes:

The Liverpool Book Art Fair 

Friday 3 November, 10.30am – 4.30pm

Meet a range of book artists, and purchase works directly from them.

Half Term Book Art Workshops

Monday 30 October – Saturday 4 November

Throughout the October half term is a series of free workshops for children and adults offering you the opportunity to learn how to make your own book art.

Contact the gallery for more information: galleries@knowsley.gov.uk

Reading copies of artists books will be available for a much closer look, in the main gallery.

Cllr Shelley Powell, Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods said: “It’s so wonderful to have Crafted back at Kirkby Gallery. It’s a wonderful showcase for the talented makers and artist we have living in Knowsley and I’m always surprised and delighted by the incredible works that make up this exhibition every other year. What a fantastic way for Kirkby Gallery to close out another great year of inspiring exhibitions.”

All of the artworks in the Crafted exhibition are for sale with a range of price points available, from smaller affordable works through to major pieces which would be sure to make a unique and thoughtful Christmas gift.

The gallery will be hosting a Private View: on Thursday 26 October from 5pm - 7pm. Please note that this is a RSVP only event. If you would like to attend, please RSVP to the gallery team on 0151 443 4936 or email galleries@knowsley.gov.uk. For teachers interested in bringing classes to visit the exhibition, we are holding a ‘Teacher First Preview’ between 3.45-4.30pm. Booking required at the same contact details.

Kirkby Gallery is located at the Kirkby Centre, Norwich Way, Kirkby L32 8XY

The Gallery is open Mon – Fr 10am – 5pm (last entry 4.30pm) and Saturdays 10am – 1pm (last entry 12.30pm)



Friday 8 September 2023


Chris led us through a new-to-us book form, which has the great advantage of folding flat. It is not an uncomplicated structure, but we were all able to complete it, and as with many structures, we all felt that it has possibilities, especially for adding text and texture. There was little time for our usual sharing or work, so we will take that forward to October.

We explored what we might offer for the 'Crafted Exhibition' at Knowsley this October, and have decided on a one sheet wonder workshop, as being affordable, manageable, not needing too much equipment and avoiding the use of knives. Although we have had a generous offer from Knowsley to hold our regular meeting there, we have declined the offer as members would find it hard to get there via public transport from all over the North West.
We will also take a table or two at their Book Fair on the Friday.

We  explored the pros and cons of using 'Stone Paper.  for different projects.  https://www.karststonepaper.com


Wednesday 16 August 2023

Slipknot Binding


A rather damp Saturday didn’t diminish our enthusiasm for learning how to make a slipknot binding with Jac.  In theory simple, we all agreed that the most important lesson learned was using the right string or thread for binding. Nothing too thin or too likely to pull apart is the answer.

A useful binding for books made of individual sheets to add to our repertoire.

Marilyn took notes of all our books for ‘Crafted’; we don’t yet have a date for the actual book delivery as yet.

We shared our makings for this month, including some sketch books with beautiful African wax cloth binding from Mary, a tiny book of stamps from Jac and a book about the Pendle Witch trials, still in development, from Marilyn.

We have arranged for next year’s meetings to be in the Margaret Fell room at the Quaker Meeting House, which has a sink and wipeable tables. Our next two meetings are organised. Chris showing us a flag type of binding in September, and Frances taking the following two months when we will be making a shadow box structure. And then it will be Christmas!!

Tuesday 11 July 2023

Double Pamphlet Book


We welcomed Cath back to meetings, the last couple of years having been bedevilled by train strikes and caring responsibilities, so it was good to catch up and benefit from the large tray of postage stamps offered. 

Our next theme is, perhaps unsuprisingly,


Julie showed us how to make a double pamphlet book, which has a really neat seam and can be customised easily for projects, and makes use of some of the small scraps of paper we all tend to hoard.... Thanks Julie.

A good array of books on the theme of texture were shared, including an interesting flag/tower structure from Chris, who promises to share it with us at a future meeting.

We discussed the “Crafted” forthcoming exhibition at Knowsley in October.  We will need a list of books being shown there shortly; Marilyn will send a reminder. 

We have agreed to do a workshop, which will probably be at the end of October at a weekend.  Proposals for a book fair have been mooted to run in early November at the same venue. More details to follow when we have them.

Jac will lead our next workshop in August, showing us how to do a slipknot cover. Notes to follow on materials.