UNIONTOWN — The Artisan at the Dahmen Barn’s Art Demonstration day is a bookish wonderland, featuring ideas on making your own books, publishing, altering already-published books and most everything in between.The annual event, which takes place from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, selects a different theme every year. This year’s book theme explores books in myriad forms. Unlike workshops where attendees pay and leave with a project of their own, the demonstration day is about watching, listening and asking questions.
“It’s a chance to learn from artists and pick their brains,” said manager Leslee Miller.
One of the artists, Elizabeth Sloan, will demonstrate techniques for embellishing and personalizing printed books. The Moscow artist’s work regularly combines her love of visual art and writing, which Sloan recently applied to printed photo books, such as those that can be printed from Walgreens or other online retailers.
“Anybody can print a photo book,” Sloan said. “So I’m going to show them how to make it even more personal.”
Sloan will demonstrate how to apply mixed media concepts to family photo books using grommets, envelopes and other techniques to attach tickets, beads, paper scraps and other tokens. The techniques take time to master, but it’s something she believes will be accessible to most anyone.
Another featured artist, Sara Thompson of Pullman, specializes in recycled art. She’ll demonstrate how to use book pages to create something entirely new, in this case, a paper wreath. Used book pages are a material she uses often in her creative work.
“I find I like the texture of book pages,” Thompson said. “It’s slightly heavier and rougher than basic copy paper.”
She added that one book can go a long ways and can be purchased for next to nothing.
The event will include demonstrations from a wide variety of book-related topics, including:
Illustrations — Laurel Macdonald will show how to use linoleum to create linocut illustrations.
Writing — Nancy Attebury, writer and illustrator, will provide storytelling tools like storyboards, word mountains and more.
Embellishments — Elizabeth Sloan, artist, will demonstrate how to embellish and personalize photo books.
Creative Projects — Sara Thompson will show guests how to make wreaths with paper from used books. John McCann will present hard covers made in his bindery, which can be used for projects, including family histories and diploma covers.
Handmade books — Debi Robinson-Smith will show guests how to make accordion-style books and pages with pop-up features; Mary McGregor will demonstrate how to make books using found materials; and Diane McGarry will demonstrate hand-binding techniques. Timothy Ely, professional manuscript creator, will be available to discuss his work.
Publishing — Sue Benier, who has self-published 20 books, will be available to discuss decisions and options for those considering self-publishing. Bob Clark, editor of the Washington State University Press department, will have books for sale and discuss publication options.
Preservation — Linnea Nelson, conservator at WSU’s Manuscripts, Archives and Special Collections, will provide resources on how to care for books and family documents.
Papermaking — Kat Clancy will show guests how to make their own paper.
Signing — Local authors will sign copies of their books from noon to 2 p.m. Carole Simon-Smolinski of Lewiston will sign “Timothy Nolan’s Idaho” and “Hells Canyon and the Middle Snake River.” Keith Petersen of Pullman will sign “John Mullan — The Tumultuous Life of a Western Road Builder.” Joyce Wilkens of Spokane will sign her two photographic books, “Walking Sticks, Wandering and Wonderings” and “Tea Cup Art.”