THE BAL returned to the Lafayette Peach Festival again this August 18. Hundreds stopped by our lively booth and printed a keepsake on the Pilot press, got free personalized calligraphic bookmarks, made a 7-page pamphlet designed by Laura Stinson (you can too: HERE it is as a PDF) and bought printed ephemera and the limited-edition BAL Peachfest T-shirt (Supports Ewing Farm). If you missed out, send your check for $15 plus $2 p & h to PO Box 1544, Boulder, CO 80306. Sizes S,M,L, XL, 2XL.

More fest photos HERE


Photo: Kay Moller



    Funny PaperHat PlayDate
& Potluck


Mad about the hatters: L-R: Bonnie Metler, Natasha, Gail Watson. Alice Turak, Louise Padden, David Ashley. Julie Seko, Eric Lindemann
League members and friends took time off from seriousness for some summer fun. They met at the beautiful home and studio of Evert Brown and Louise Padden and made whimsical paper hats and had good things to eat.
 L-R: Alice models; Natasha works on, and models, her hat; Eric, The Wizard
Leading the hat making was Anna Lindemann, who makes music when she is not making absurd and fanciful hats. Here she is with some of the hats she has made:

You can visit her at

L-R: Gail, Louise, David

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Louise Padden and Evert Brown's edible coloring book.

Photo by Kay Moller

A young bibliophage gets ready for an intellectual feast at the League's annual fundraiser April Fools' Day at the Republic of Boulder.

The Ace of Spades considers his options (far left), Julia Seko's Chinese Whirlwind Book, made of spring roll wrappers (left), or Kay Moller's Edible Crossword Puzzle, (above).

Photos by Kay Moller

Look for more photos and a complete account of the festivities, at

Eat Your Words, Boulder



A New Lease on Life


On February 6, with representatives of Book Arts League in the audience, the Lafayette City Council adopted by consent an ordinance putting into effect a lease agreement between the City and the League for the use of the Ewing Farm by BAL as its headquarters and studio.




Pop-Up Valentines

BAL members and friends get ready for V-Day with a class at the Lafayette Public Library on Saturday, Feb. 10
L-R, David Ashley, Laura Harlow, Nancy Kiyota, Alice Reich
Kari Bakken (L) and Evert Brown i
The BAL returned to the Lafayette Peach Festival again this August 19 and operated a lively booth featuring keepsake printing by the public on the Pilot press, free personalized calligraphic bookmarks, demonstrations of hand-sewn bindings, and display and sales of printed ephemera.

From left: BAL member Jeff Becker sells his hand-bound books in the adjoining booth, Kay Moller. At the press: Julie Seko. Below, L-R: Visitor, Evert Brown, Betsy Dollar, Alicia McKim Tweed, Julie. David Ashley, Jill Berry, and Brenda Gallagher also helped.

Photo: Kay Moller

The BAL crew arriving to set up our booth at the Lafayette Peach Festival stood on Main Street, surrounded by boxes of supplies and the Pilot press, looking apprehensively at the early morning sky.

It didn’t look good. Memories of the biblical deluge that ended last year’s Fest were still fresh, the sky was an ominous gray, and the air felt pregnant with rain. By the time our canopy arrived and was set up, a thin drizzle was falling that somehow managed to infiltrate and dampen paper, tablecloths, even the ink on the press, but not Julie Seko’s cautious enthusiasm.

But this is Colorado! In a couple of hours, the sun was shining with all his might, and the few visitors in rain ponchos had been replaced with the customary throngs. All day long, thousands streamed by the booth, curious members of the general public, some who remembered a past experience with printing or book arts, friends of the League and book artists, and as ever, swarms of kids. Many took a moment to pull the lever of the Pilot press and print a keepsake, and many had a calligraphic book mark with their name ornately lettered by David Ashley, Jill Berry, or Alicia McKim. Many paused to watch and examine the bindings being stitched by Betsy Dollar and Brenda Gallagher.

Evert Brown alternated with Julie minding the press and brought delicious and restorative sandwiches for the volunteers to enjoy with Julie’s peach cobbler. Kay Moller and Earl Noe helped keep things organized and interacted with visitors, answering questions about the League and Ewing Farm. This hhyear, volunteers wore “Give Peach a Chance” T-shirts. As usual, past Ephemera Exchanges were offered for sale and many brochures and class information sheets were handed out. At the booth next door, Jeff and Katia Becker sold his hand-bound books.

As the annual festival wound down, the sky darkened again, a few grumbles of thunder began, and the air suddenly began to feel moist. In the entertainment area nearby, the band broke into Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” When they sang, “Thunder only happens when it’s raining,” the Book Arts League took the hint.

We folded our tent and stole silently away.


LOST . . . in a book

A dozen young adult readers at Mamie Doud Eisenhower Public Library got a hands-on experience with the BAL’s Pilot press in June. Kay Moller and Earl Noe took the small press to an artist’s book class taught by Gigi Yang, BAL member and librarian at the Broomfield library.

As part of getting “LOST in a Good Book,” the kids got a glimpse of how type is set and printed the book's cover on actual pieces of maps using the League's smallest, and most peripatetic, press. Gigi designed eight pages with various quotes on the theme of being lost, which the students folded and bound into a star book.

Each class member took home two books, and Gigi generously donated a number of the books to the League for fundraising.

Meanwhile, July 6, at another library, BAL member Jeff Becker was “Lost” with 12 young women. All were Lafayette Junior High students participating in the Lafayette Public Library's Summer Reading Program.

Jeff explored the “lost art of bookmaking” by starting with a short 10-15 minute history of the book. As examples he used bindings he made in workshops to show how bindings evolved as available materials changed.

Then the group made a 12 page leather-bound journal using the pamphlet stitch, Mowhawk Superfine paper, and some scrap leather Jeff bought from a company at Jefferson County Airport that upholsters private jets.

 But what the girls enjoyed most were the “Explosion Books.” Also known as a star book, this is a good binding to teach in an introductory class since it involves covering board with paper, folding corners, working with glue, paper grain and folding using a bone folder. It's also impressive as the “pages” expand to four times the size of original book. “A fun time was had by all,”Jeff said. “My gracious & helpful contact for the class was Patty Frobisher, a reference librarian at the Lafayette Library.”



Nan Wigington and Rob Slentz have gone off the deep end and are opening a new used bookstore. Named after a character in Dylan Thomas's A Child's Christmas in Wales, Miss Prothero's Books opened Friday September 15 at 1112 Santa Fe Drive in Denver. As part of a burgeoning arts district, they're also hoping to host other book artists during Santa Fe Drive's First Friday Art Walks. They have a limited gallery and display space, plus a comfortable reading area that could be converted into demonstration space. Anyone interested in one of our First Friday events, can e-mail Nan at or call the store at 303-572-2260.

For a little more icing on the cake to come the store, identify yourself as a friend or member of BAL during checkout and they'll give 1% of your purchase back to BAL.

Longtime BAL member Gail Watson is now printing and binding full time. Examples of her beautiful and innovative letterpress work can be seen at her website: