Thursday, October 13, 2016

CBBAG-OV Visits the University of Ottawa Archives and Special Collections Division!

On Wednesday, October 12th, the CBBAG Ottawa Valley Chapter was blessed with a tour of the University of Ottawa Special Collections Division.  Julie Roy, Librarian for Digital Archives and Special Collections and Alexandra Gregory, Librarian Cataloguer for Resource Description and Metadata Services, provided a wonderful introduction to their current exhibit, This book belongs to......

From the exhibition page: “This exhibition is a unique opportunity to discover exceptional books from the Rare Book collection of the University of Ottawa and people who took part in their production. From the author to the printer, the bookbinder to the papermaker, marble, owner and reader, come have a look at the book as an object, maybe as you have never seen before.”

The exhibit is divided into four main display cases, with additional framed detail images. The four major areas are: Bookbinders, Papermakers and Marblers, Owners and Readers, and Printers. Including books and actual tools used in book production from the now closed bindery of the University of Ottawa Library, this exhibition allows the viewer to experience how the book as an object does't just belong to the current owner, but rather to all of the individuals involved in the production of the book-the author of the text, the papermaker who creates the substrate for the text, the marbler who decorates the end papers, the printer who edits, composes and prints the text, the binder who sews the signatures together and protects the text block with a cover, and the person who purchases the book or receives it as a gift.

Alexandra Gregory presents the first case, BOOKBINDERS.

Julie Roy presenting the second case, MARBLERS.
Grant Wilkins and our OV Chapter President, Stephen Quick, checking out the PRINTERS display case.

One of the greatest things about being a member of CBBAG-OV is being able to attend the meetings monthly. They are full of of information, great programs like the one we had last night, and also sharing of new projects completed.

Josiane and Diedre shared the folded books from a recent workshop.

Paul shares his new wooden covered book with Wendy. (sorry for the blurry image!)

CBBAG-OV has a wonderful selection of workshops coming up this year. Please check out the website HERE for more information about upcoming workshops. If you are interested in book making of any sort, come to one of our meetings and introduce yourself!  You can find the schedule HERE.

Dea at work at The Cottage Studio this August!
Since returning from a very productive summer at The Cottage Studio, I have once again been engaged with sorting through supplies and putting things away in the studio here at home. Shifting studios each year has become a part of my studio practice, but it is still a but un-nerving. It has taken me over a month, in between family responsibilities, to get all my tools put away, materials sorted, and the Home Studio space cleaned. I am now ready to get down to work again.

While at the Cottage Studio, with my dear friend Dea Fischer, who spent five glorious days with us in the middle of the forest, I began a series of unique artist's books entitled The Language of Prayer.   The unique books in this series will have slate covers, handmade paper and soft leather pages, and additions from the natural world.

The text will be drawn from my prayer life and be placed on the pages both with hand calligraphy and typewriter assistance. The languages will be English, French, Latin, and German.

These photos illustrate the first book in process. I thank my dear friend Dea for all she taught me while she was with us!

To the left is the slate cover, backed by leather, with other pages, awaiting text!

Pages at the beginning stages of assembly and adding text.

As I work in the home studio today on my blog, and look outside, I see the glorious warm colours of Fall descending around us. The warm reds and yellows are surrounded by a multitude of soft browns as the sun shines on us after the cool of the night. 

Ruthie Domsalla Anderson, wedding
Fall is my favourite time of year, as the world prepares for the long Winter sleep before the breath of Spring. The variety of colours and the smells of crisp leaves mixed with warm apple cinnamon tea remind me of Fall days at home on Keith Court in Iowa with my mom. She would take us outside, wearing her Pendelton shirts, to pull the last of the squash and pumpkins from the back garden, and to rake the masses of leaves into a huge pile that we could jump in, before we tossed them into a bonfire in the back yard. Those bonfires gave us fabulous hot dogs and samore treats, with smushed marshmallows and Hershey chocolate. Everything smelled of Fall on those evenings, our coats, our mittens, and even our clothes.

As we begin to prepare our home here, and the cottage, for the Winter to come, I think of my mother and how much I wish she could be with me now, sharing this age, this time with me. She has been gone since 1994, but I sometimes swear, especially when raking leaves, that I can hear her calling to me to put up my sweatshirt hood, or to come into the house for a cup of tea to warm me up.

I thank God for my faith and my belief that even though my mother is not with me physically this Fall, that she is with me in spirit each and every day. She informs my studio practice, my creative verve, and shares my daily prayers in way that is unique and special and treasured. As I wait for the sun to sink into the horizon today, I know that with my mother's love in my heart, all will be well, and all will be well, with the grace and the beauty of God's creation around me, all will be well.