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Standards of Excellence 2015

The Seminar on Standards of Excellence in Hand Bookbinding is the annual Guild of Book Workers conference. Held annually at a different location around the country, participants attend presentations by leading experts in the fields related to the book and paper arts. Tours of binderies, conservation facilities, rare book libraries and papermaking establishments are regularly arranged in conjunction with the event. A list of past presentations is available on the History of Standards page. Additionally, many Seminar presentations are videotaped and made available to members and for purchase. The Guild's Annual Meeting is held in conjunction with the seminar.




RRegistration is limited to 150 people. Deadline to register is September 29, 2015, or until conference is filled. Online registration is available and encouraged. If you are pay- ing with a credit card, you must use the online registration form.

Online Registration will open June 1, 2015.

Registration Rates:

Member (Early Rate) June 1 - July 31 $290
    Aug 1 - Oct 1 $360
Non-Member (Early Rate) June 1 - July 31 $370
    Aug 1 - Oct 1 $440
Student     $200

All questions regarding registration should be directed to Alicia Bailey, Treasurer. All fees listed on the registration form are in US dollars. There is a cancellation fee of 10% of the Registration Fee up to 30 days before the Seminar. No refunds are given for cancellations made within the 30 days prior to the conference. Cancellation fees do not apply to scholarship applicants who do not receive an award and are unable to attend without financial assistance. Registrations may not be shared and are non-transferable.




Scholarships are available to attend the Standards of Excellence in Hand Bookbinding Seminar to people for whom attendance would create a financial hardship. Scholarships are available for both student and regular members. An applicant must be a member at the time of application (sign up here). The scholarship consists of a waiver of registration fees to the Seminar, lodging costs for three nights (Thursday through Saturday) at the conference hotel and the banquet. Hotel parking, phone calls, movie rentals, or any other room service are not included. Recipients are responsible for making their own travel plans. After scholarships are awarded, the GBW Treasurer will contact recipients to discuss lodging arrangements. Recipients may be asked to help with newsletter coverage and/or assist with other tasks during the Seminar. Applications must be received by July 11, 2014. Address questions to Bexx Caswell, Scholarship Committee, vicepresident[at]guildofbookworkers[dot]org




Seminar Schedule

3:30 pm - 8:00 pm Registration and Information: 3rd floor, Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square Hotel Chapter

4:00 pm - 6:00 pm Chair meeting at The Wyndham Hotel

6:00 pm - 8:00 pm Board meeting at The Wyndham Hotel


Cleveland Public Library

Tour 1: Visit the historic Cleveland Public Library to tour on your own the special exhibits of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland texts and materials in the Special Collections Reading Room, The Illustrated Book in the Special Collections Corridor, and materials on the historic Cleveland Playhouse in the 2nd and 3rd floor lobby cases. Library is open 10 am to 6 pm.

Self-guided tour is free.... Ride the C- Line Trolly free to the Library from the Wyndham.

Tour 2: The Cleveland Public Library's Preservationist, Elizabeth Bardossy, will give a private tour of CPL's new Preservation Lab and talk about the history of the Preservation Department.

Tour is limited to 12 people....2:30-3:30 pm. Ride the C- Line Trolly free to the Library from the Wyndham with GBW guide.

Cleveland Art Museum

Tours 3 & 4: Take a book-focused guided tour of the Permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art with Laurs Martin, CMA Docent and Guild of Book Workers member. Laura will guide you through not only the books, bindings and manuscripts on display, but also some of the many representations of the book in art. Transportation will leave 30 minutes before start of tour.

Tour 3: Limited to 15 people..... 1:30-2:30 pm...Transportation will be provided....Cost...$15.00

Tour 4: Limited to 15 people....3:00-4:00 pm...Transportation will be provided....Cost...$15.00

The Intermuseum Conservation Association

Tours 5: ICA is the oldest not-for-profit regional conservation center in the United States, dedicated to art and cultural heritage preservation, conservation and education. The organization was founded in 1952 by the directors of six major Midwestern museums to provide professional, high quality and cost effective art conservation services. Tour the historic structure in Ohio City's Hingetown neighborhood, and visit the conservation laboratories and a climate controlled art storage facility. Tour is approximately 1 hour. Afterwards, stop by The Transformer Station Gallery across the street to view the current exhibit of photographic works from the Cleveland Museum of Art. The Hingetown neighborhood also offers a variety of tea and coffee shops, cafes and shopping. Transportation will leave 30 minutes before start of tour.

Tour is limited to 30 people....1:00-3:30 pm... Transportation will be provided.....Cost: $15.00.


For those arriving on Wednesday, October 14, you are invited to a non-GBW event for a reception and exhibit by the members of Art Books Cleveland (ABC) at the Cleveland Museum of Art 6:30-8:30 pm in the North court Lobby.. CMA can be reached by the Health Line. Many of the book artists will be on hand to discuss their work. The exhibit theme for 2015 is gardens. Guild members are welcome to attend, please check box on registration form if you plan to attend.



Presentations and Presenters

Creating miniature books, which are generally defined as being under three inches in any dimension, presents a number of challenges as well as creative opportunies. For this presentation, Christina will be demonstrating and discussing making miniature books, with a focus on edition work and dealing with content. Choosing an appropriate binding structure, materials, and tools will be discussed, as well as general tips and tricks.

Christina Amato lives in New York City, where she works as a book conservator at the New York Academy of Medicine. She received her bookbinding training at The North Bennet Street School in Boston, Massachusetts, where she first became interested in miniature books. She writes, illustrates, and binds her books in small editions and also lectures and teaches on the subject. Her book Swells and Spines, was a recepient of the 2012 Distinguished Book award from the Miniature Book Society. She hopes to complete her next edition, titled Wind and Leaves, in 2016.

The binding of certain books can be a challenge: in some cases, the text paper might be too thick or stiff for the book to function properly; in diaries and record books, the writer wants the pages to lay perfectly flat; and in scrapbooks or albums, mounted materials might hinder the opening. These and other challenges can be addressed with a "meeting guard" binding structure.

In this presentation, we will be looking at historical bindings that use the meeting guard and explore its place in artist books and conservation binding. The demonstration will include making meeting guards and sewing them for use on a number of books. The emphasis will be to produce a fully functional book that meets our standards and provides the reader with a book that is user-friendly.

Some years ago, Bill Minter was advised to concentrate on only one field and make a commitment to either writing, photography or bookbinding. Bill greatly appreciated that advice and has always enjoyed the many challenges of bookbinding and book conservation. Following an informal seven-year apprenticeship with William Anthony in Chicago, Bill started his own business there. In 1994, he moved his business to rural Pennsylvania where he continued to provide bookbinding and book conservation services. During his career, he has developed a number of tools and techniques for book and paper conservation. In 2014, he accepted the newly created position of Senior Book Conservator at Penn State University where he will share his experience with staff and students.

Andrea would like to take you behind the scenes as papermaker and designer by leading you through the process of creating speciality papers for bookbinders. We will be entertaining the possibilties of handmade papers and why a binder would be of any interest. You will see the process of stenciled and watermarked papers as well as more simple paper styles. Andrea will be presenting the components that are most important to handmade paper and binder as they move forward to create amazing works. Andrea Peterson is an artist and educator based in LaPorte, Indiana. She received her MFA from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis in 1994 and BFA from the Art Institute of Chicago. She currently teaches papermaking and book arts from her studio Hook Pottery Paper and abroad. She co-operates Hook Pottery Paper, which is a joint venture with her husband, ceramic artist Jon Hook. At this studio she creates her artwork, conducts paper research and production paper that is sold internationally. She is a 2014/15 grant recipient from the Indiana Arts Commission.

Andrea creates paper art works and relief printed images on handmade sheets of paper that have utilized pulp-drawing techniques. She also creates site-specific installation work and book art pieces. She combines these efforts to make works that address human relationship to the environment. Most of her work can be found in private collections as well as a few corporate collections such as Hollister Clothing, Chicago. Her work has been exhibited internationally at Deggendorf Museum, Germany; Steyermuhl Paper Museum, Austria; Scoula di Grafica, Venice, Italy; Fort Wayne Museum of Art, IN; Columbia College Chicago Book and Paper Center, IL; Frankfurt Library, IN and Lubeznik Art Center, IN. She has conducted workshops and lectures at Paper Museum in Steyermuhl, Austria; University Georgia Athens-Cortona, Italy; Scoula di Grafica, Venice, Italy; University of Syracuse, NY and Friends of Dard Hunter National Papermaking Conferences.

Three rooms, three topics: Conservation, Bookbinding and Book Arts.

Join your colleagues in rousing discussions. This will be a exciting departure from our single presentation format for the forth presentation and will allow people to listen in on one room or move from room to room to hear a sampling of all three topics.




Hotel and Travel Information


Need a roommate?

Head over to the Standards Discussion in the new Members' Forum and create or answer a post.


Transportation Information


The Wyndham Cleveland at Playhouse Square is about 14.3 miles from the Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport. A taxi to The Wyndham cost $35. Limo service available. The Rapid Transit (RTA) departs every 15 minutes from the Airport Station located in the lower level of the main terminal. The cost is $2.25 to take the RTA from the airport to Tower City on Public Square. Once at Public Square, you can hop aboard the free E-Line (Entertainment Line) Trolley which runs every ten minutes from 7 am to 7 pm and will drop you off right by the Wyndham at Playhouse Square.

There are four free trolleys covering the downtown Cleveland. Another bus line, The "Health Line" runs from Tower City past The Wyndham to University Circle and costs the same as the RTA. Go to for more information.

October is Octavofest in Cleveland and there are many events and exhibits honoring the book arts. Information can be found at You might want to check to see if you want to book an extra day in Cleveland at either end of your trip.