Bookbinder, book conservator and book arts instructor, Jana Pullman presented a brief program on Friday, February 8th at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA). The presentation was in conjunction with a reception celebrating Pullman as the winner of the 2013 Minnesota Book Artist Award.
This annual award — presented by MCBA and the Minnesota Book Awards, and sponsored by the Lerner Publishing Group — recognizes demonstrated excellence and innovation of artistic work during the past three years, as well as significant contributions to Minnesota’s book arts community. Previous recipients, many of whom have served as MCAD instructors, include Cave Paper’s Amanda Degener and Bridget O’Malley (2012), Regula Russelle (2011), Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling (2010), Paulette Myers-Rich (2009), and Jody Williams (2008).
During her presentation and slideshow, Pullman explained her primary artistic work in the book arts is in the area of Design Bindings. She creates unique bindings for specific books using materials such as leather (from goat, calf, buffalo, fish and even more exotic creatures), woods, metals, handmade papers, even eggshells. Her high expectation of craftsmanship pushes her to improve technique and explore new approaches. She is continually intrigued by the opportunity to use new materials and loves to utilize historical elements in her work. For Pullman, the book is part of a unique artistic medium that will never die out or be fully replaced.
One specific project highlighted towards the end of her presentation was Open Horizons by Sigurd F. Olson. Pullman explains,“The inspiration for the design came from one of the illustrations in the book. I photocopied it to a larger size and reversed the image so the front cover would have more of the image on it. Then I made a line drawing of the image and began to plan what portions would be onlays, tooled lines, and painted textures and where the spine of the book would cross the shapes.” After a process that included airbrush, watercolor, crackled paste technique, acrylic paint, and pasting individual pieces of leather, the final cover is complete and attached to the book. The final product is currently in the Guild of Book Workers 2012-2014 Traveling Exhibition, Horizon.
Pullman will also receive special recognition and an award at the 25th annual Minnesota Book Awards Gala on Saturday, April 13, 2013 at the event’s new location—the Hilton Minneapolis.