The Alcuin Society is a non-profit organization supported by people who care about the past, present and future of fine books. Founded in 1965, the society is the only organization in Canada dedicated to the entire range of interests relating to books: publishing, book design and production, bookselling, book buying and collecting, printing, binding, papermaking, calligraphy and illustration.

Trisha Klus

(The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held Sat.Nov 4, 1030-430, Vancouver Public LibraryCentral Branch)

Trisha Klus is a lettering and book artist specializing in calligraphy and hand bound artist’s books with explorations in collage, marbling, mail art and letterpress printing. She has currently been creating with a focus on interactive books. Since beginning her creative studies in 1995, Trisha’s books and artwork have been published in Somerset Studio, Handcraft Illustrated, Bound & Lettered, the Alcuin Society’s “Amphora” and The Canadian Philatelist. Continue Reading…

John Pass and Theresa Kishkan (High Ground Press) at Wayzgoose

(The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held Sat. Nov 4, 1030-430, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch)

At this year’s Wayzgoose High Ground Press will be offering a letterpress broadsheet FREE with every book purchase. Many of the sheets are from very limited editions of first publications of poems by Canadian poets dating back to the 1980’s. The books for sale are authored by the Press’s proprietors, Theresa Kishkan and John Pass, in several genres: poetry, fiction, essay, memoir. Kishkan and Pass have won many awards for their writing, including the inaugural CNFC Readers’ Choice Award, The Edna Staebler Personal Essay Prize, The Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize and The Governor General’s Award for Poetry. Continue Reading…

Laura Widmer at Wayzgoose

(The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held Sat Nov 4 1030-430 Vancouver Public Library Central Branch)

Laura Widmer is a visual artist and Alcuin Society member from Kelowna BC. Her obsession with paper has lured her into a life of printmaking and hand papermaking.  Her work ranges from large-scale one-of-a-kind art pieces and hand-pulled original prints to more intimate hand-crafted ephemera.  Laura will be featuring cards and bookmarks made from her handmade paper at this year’s Wayzgoose. Continue Reading…

Marilyn Stablein (Book Arts Editions) at Wayzgoose

(The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held Sat. Nov 4, 1030 -430, Vancouver Public Library Central Branch)

Marilyn Stablein of Portland Oregon is a poet and mixed media artist working in artist books and collage.  Her books are featured in The Bone Folder, Lark’s 100 & 500 Artist Books series, on the cover of Bound & Lettered and in books and journals.  Her work is in private and public collections including the University of Washington, MacEwan University, Yale University, Beinecke Library, SUNY Buffalo, University of California at San Diego, and the British Library St. Pancras. Continue Reading…

Reminder: Book Design Awards ceremony Wed. Oct. 25

This year’s Book Design Awards ceremony will take place at 6:30pm on Wednesday, October 25th, at the UBC Robson Square Theatre – free and open to the public.

Following the announcement of winners from the 2016 Alcuin Awards for Excellence in Book Design in Canada, we are pleased to present the following panel discussion: Continue Reading…

Robert Reid’s Digital Typographical Experiments on Display at Massey College

The works of Robert R. Reid, stalwart Alcuin Society member and collaborator, and occasional blogger in this space, are featured in a wonderful exhibition at the Robertson Davies Library at Massey College, the University of Toronto. I took a moment the other day to pop in to see the exhibition in person. The exhibit is the last stop in a three part traveling show curated by the Curatorial Research Project of CAUSA (Collective for Advanced & Unified Studies in the Visual Arts). Previous locations were Simon Fraser University Library and McGill University Library.

Continue Reading…

Wayzgoose November 4

The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held November 4, 2017 at Vancouver Public Library Central 1030-430.

Participants include: Barbarian Press, CBBAG BC Lower Mainland, Terry Ann Carter, District Dogs Designs, Greenboathouse Press, High Ground Press, Isto Press, Saskia Jetten, Trisha Klus, Charles Mayrs, New Leaf Editions, Penny Parry, Illtyd Perkins Woodworking, Red Tower Bookworks, Charles van Sandwyk, Seawrack Press, SFU Special Collections, Adele Shaak, Gary Sim, Marilyn Stablein, Andrea Taylor Artist, Candace Thayer-Coe, The Bowler Press, Keith Valentine – Book Artist, Washi Arts, Westcoast Calligraphy Society, Laura Widmer Continue Reading…

Playing cards

Although playing cards were invented in 9th century China, with the idea spreading throughout the world to Persia, Egypt and India, it was not until the invention of printing that the playing cards we know could be possible. They were printed from woodcuts and coloured by hand at first, and later the colours were stenciled on before colour printing took over. The idea of four “suits” was invented in Europe, along with “Kings” and other royalty by the late 14th century, so that placks of 56 cards contained a King, Queen, Knight and Knave in each suit. The King was the highest value card until the late 15th century, when the “Ace” replaced it, being adapted from Dicing. Cards with their value printed in the corners grew from 1700 on and in English packs the “Knave” became known as the “Jack.” Then it was found that square corners became tattered and could give away particular cards, so round corners were adapted, along with backs printed with designs to hide wear and tear and to discourage tell-tale writing on the backs. Jokers are a recent addition to a pack of cards and have no standardized appearance, so each publisher tends to design them separately from the other cards, adding their own variety of illustration, so that Jokers have themselves turned into collectible items. Continue Reading…

Penny Parry (Book Artist) at Wayzgoose

(The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held Sat. Nov 4 1030-430, Central Library)

Penny Parry  was born in Montreal and moved to BC in the late 1970’s.  She has worked as a university professor, psychologist and artist, among other things. Continue Reading…

Candace Thayer-Coe (Cloud Art) at Wayzgoose

(The Alcuin Society Wayzgoose will be held Sat. Nov 4 1030-430 Vancouver Public Library Central Branch)

Candace began drawing, painting, etching prints and collaging while she lived in the Philippines. While associating with many artistic people and friends Candace learned how to make her own paper in the mountain town of Baguio City, with the help of the Duntog Paper Mill, a facility for hand paper making. There she learned Suminagashi or Japanese marbling as well, and  was also introduced to Turkish Marbling. Continue Reading…