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[BKARTS] The Sketchbook: Thoughts and Actions

The Sketchbook: Thoughts and Actions

A Workshop with Timothy C. Ely, Monday, July 6 through Friday, July 10, 2009

The sketchbook can serve as a planner, recording device, carrier of scrap, 
journal, and muse. Notations in a sketchbook are often the first step in 
connecting the imagination with the realization an object or grasping an insight.

This 5-day intensive investigates the uses and utility of the artist’s 
sketchbook, a conceptual tool with a long and venerable history. It was celebrated 
in 2006 with an exhibition of sketchbooks in the collection at Harvard’s Fogg 
Art Museum. (Some can be viewed in their entirety online at 

The workshop combines the study of principles of the craft of bookbinding 
with investigations into the creative process. It will provide a platform from 
which the participant can merge the generation of IDEA and OBSERVATION with the 
creation of a handmade book. 

We will fabricate a “formal” codex book with rigid covers. Knowledge of this 
conceptually flexible book form will ultimately allow for a great deal of 
spontaneous play. These structures are fascinating hybrids, combining a 
traditional, sewn text block, with Ely’s development of the “drum leaf” binding for 
cover techniques. There are many variations possible, so adequate time will be 
provided to explore. Surface design on covering materials, possible variants on 
format, and deep engagement with mark-making tools will form a foundation for 
exciting and durable archiving. Adhesives, their make-up, and use for a range 
of techniques, both utilitarian and decorative, will be covered. Group 
dynamics will also insert topics of surprise as participants bring ideas and issues 
to the game.

The Nutshell Description:

This workshop combines the construction of a basic, hybrid book structure 
with lots of possibility for variation, with drawing, design, philosophy, 
personal expression, materials “science,” problem-solving, and investigations into 
the creative process.

You will complete one or two (or more!) books, depending on your personal 
work style, and begin to fill them with notes, drawings, and ideas.

All levels of experience, from none to lots are welcome.


Colfax, Washington, an Old West town is located south of Spokane, in the 
heart of the beautiful and unique rolling hills of the Palouse, lentil capital of 
the world. The workshop will be held less than 2 miles from Timothy’s studio 
and cabinets of wonders.


The workshop fee is $500.00 and includes all basic materials (paper, board, 
adhesives, needles, thread), lunches and snacks for 5 days, Sunday evening hors 
d’oeuvres and Wednesday dinner. The fee is payable to Timothy C. Ely. Travel, 
room, and board will be by your own arrangement.

A non-refundable $50 deposit will reserve your place.

Space is limited to 10 people to allow ample opportunity for individual 
attention, so reserve your spot soon! We must receive your deposit by May 8, 2009.

Timothy C. Ely is an artist who, for the last 35 years, has been interested 
in combining the forces of drawing and printing with the construction of books. 
Each of his books is a unique fabrication, most of which reside in public and 
private collections worldwide. In addition to his unique manuscript books, 
Ely has been a student and scholar of the sketchbook form since the 1960s, 
having filled nearly 70 volumes to date.

For more details, please email Tim (t.ely@xxxxxxx) or phone 509.397.3573.

Feeling the pinch at the grocery store?  Make dinner for $10 or 
less. (http://food.aol.com/frugal-feasts?ncid=emlcntusfood00000001)

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This page last changed: May 19, 2009