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ART 457 A: Artist Handmade Books

We look forward to safely returning to in-person instruction and activities this autumn quarter. Current and prospective students please visit our COVID-19 Updates pages.
Meeting Time: 
TTh 11:30am - 2:20pm
ART 201
Claire Cowie
Claire Cowie

Syllabus Description:

Artist's Handmade Books

Winter Quarter 2019
T/TH 11:30 am-2:20 pm
5 Credits
Art Building Room 201

Instructor: Claire Cowie   cmcowie@uw.edu
Instructional Technician: Kim van Someren 



This class focuses on the creative and structural development of an artist's book. Each project takes the students through a basic structural model of a different hand-made book form including: pamphlet stitch, stab-binding, accordion fold, and Romanesque Braid binding. We will address issues of sequential imagery, conceptual development of narrative, and the relationships between text and image and structure. Some projects will be a class group collaboration. A strong background in drawing, design, printmaking, photography, and/or surface design is recommended, but not necessary. We will look at contemporary practices and innovations in book design as well as historical references. The course addresses structural, technical, conceptual and experimental issues in making books as art.

You have 24/7 access to the studio, unless problems arise. Please return room key to the lock box immediately after opening door and always
keep door locked after-hours. Always lock the doors if you are the last to leave. Once you have passed the initial access-quiz, you will be given a code to the lockbox for the classroom door. You should also get your Husky card activated for after-hours art building usage in the advising office, room 104. 
There is an online form to fill out ahead of time. The link to that can be found here:

There will be a sign-in binder where you will record all your time spent in the studio. This helps us gauge studio needs and accessibility, as well as more easily track down any problems or questions that arise.

It is your responsibility to review all School of Art + Art History + Design policies: https://art.washington.edu/general-policies

Final exam session: Wed. March 20th 4:30 – 6:20pm. OPEN HOUSE at this time.

There will be structural skill-building assignments as well as projects focusing on conceptual development. Other assignments include several quizzes, short written exercises, group critiques, and class demonstrations. Grading rubric is under “files” on Canvas and posted in the classroom. Check Canvas ART 457 course site for continuing updates on calendar, assignments, grades, announcements, links to relevant information and copies of all handouts. 
Late work will be penalized by 10%.

We must all share this studio and work together so please keep your work space (as well as the entire studio) clean and safe. Keep one another in mind. Always clean up one mess before you start another. Please throw away all trash and return supplies to their proper locations.

Seattle Art Museum is very accessible by light rail.
The Henry Art Gallery is always free to UW students and is on campus.
The Frye Art Museum is always free to everyone and has free parking, and is a 15 min slightly hilly walk from light rail.

Please have the following supplies by the start of class on Thurs. Jan. 24th:

2-4 sheets of Decorative Paper (I recommend the Eastern handmade papers from Paper Source in U. Village OR ordering online from Hollanders.)

Bookcloth (I recommend Artist and Craftsman OR ordering online from Colophon or Hollanders)

(Approx/ 20 full sheets of Rives LW or HW or Arches Text or Masa or other thin flexible papers, can be mixed)
Inexpensive sumi papers can be great too, you would need closer to 50 sheets if they are 12 x 18 or smaller size.

Knife with breakaway blades (plus extra blades)


White plastic eraser (Mars Staedtler is best)

12 or 18 inch metal ruler (we have some, but you would have to be patient and share them, so get your own if you are picky or don't want to wait:)

Other papers and fabrics and misc. for mixed media books, or personal choices (I like to get a range of inexpensive papers in pads like graph paper, drawing papers for different media, Yupo, tracing paper, etc.)




*Many supplies are available for purchase through the Printmaking department, room 210A. See purchase forms for prices. You will need to fill out a form first, then pay in the Art Office, then bring Kim your receipt and she will get you the supplies. Please be patient and prepare ahead of time. 

Artist and Craftsman Supply (U. District) 4350 8th Ave NE 98105 (206) 545-0091  
Daniel Smith (South of downtown) 4150 1st Ave S 98134 (206) 223-9599
University Bookstore (U. District, Art is in basement) 4326 University Way NE 98105 (206) 634-3400
Blick/Utrecht Art Supply (Capitol Hill) 1600 Broadway Avenue 98122 (206) 324-0750 
Other good resources: Michael's, Paper Source, De Medici Ming, Kelly Paper, various dollar stores

Catalog Description: 
The creative and structural development of an artist's book. Focuses on issues of sequential imagery, conceptual development, and the relationship between work and image.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 2, 2019 - 9:20pm