Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIII, No. 20
 
Wednesday, May 20, 2009
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Maria Pisano Explores the Art of the Book In a Wide-Ranging Series of Classes

Ellen Gilbert

“The book is a magic object where everyone can present their ideas and stories,” said book artist and MGP Studio Arts Director Maria Pisano. With that in mind, she is offering a series of workshops in her Plainsboro studio during the coming weeks, focusing on a variety of styles and techniques used in the creation of books.

On Saturday, May 30, the focus will be on single sheet photo accordion books. “The versatility of the accordion book creates immense potential for content,” noted Ms. Pisano. The book is created with each individual page cut to frame one’s own photos, prints, drawings, etc., ultimately creating an album. The accordion provides the support for the binding of the book. If time permits, the class will also make a slipcase to complement the album. Tuition for this class is $100.

Miniature carousel books will be the final product of Ms. Pisano’s morning class on Sunday, May 31. “A carousel book is an ingenious work, containing three-dimensional panoramic scenes that are revealed in multilayered openings that recede into space,” she commented. “Its seductiveness comes as a result of its construction, a series of five scenes, which when taken together are a play in five acts.” When fully opened, carousel books create a full 180 degrees stage; from an aerial perspective it would be seen as a complex star. Tuition for this class, which runs from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., is $ 50.

The afternoon class on May 31, running from 1:30 to 4 p.m., is called “Variation on the Pamphlet.” “The pamphlet is the most basic of book structures,” Ms. Pisano observed, “Yet its potential for creative expression is unbound. We will elevate this structure to the many ways that it can be used — from a hard-bound book, to diverse and innovative page extensions and layouts.” The tuition for this class is $50.

The Basics

Beginners or those who wants to brush up on their skills may be interested in Ms. Pisano’s “Introduction to Bookbinding,” being offered on Saturday, June 27, from 10 to 4 p.m. The artist describes this class as “A great introduction to the world of handmade books for teachers, librarians, and lovers of books. We will construct a number of structures: a pamphlet, an accordion book, a non-adhesive multi-section book, and more.” Class discussion will center on the history of bookmaking, and the contrast between eastern and western binding. Tuition for this class is $100.

Good things come in little packages, and that includes books. On Sunday, June 28, Ms. Pisano will offer a workshop on Miniature Books from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Participants will “create a wonderful array of miniature books, using both traditional and experimental book structures,” said Ms. Pisano. An assortment of techniques will be employed, from pop-ups to sewing. Participants are encouraged to bring collage elements, favorite stamps, and anything else they would like to incorporate in their books. Tuition for this final workshop is $100.

To sign up for a workshop or for additional information, contact Ms. Pisano  at (609) 799 3941 or at mgpstudio@aol.com.

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