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Jamboree: One down, two to go

Today we completed the first session of the Book Arts Jamboree.  We couldn't
believe how the week had raced by and how much we had accomplished. The
purpose of this session was to explore "Bookmaking Adventures in the
Classroom."  Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord (Multicultural Books to Make and
Share) introduced us to dozens of book structures from around the world and
her class developed ways that these books could be utilized to enrich the
classroom curriculum.  Joan Irvine (How to Make Pop-Ups) used hands-on
exercises to show how cartooning and pop-ups can be used to inspire creative
thinking.  Gloria Zmolek (Teaching Hand Papermaking) taught us how the basic
papermaking process could be introduced into the classroom using simple
materials and skills.  In my class we investigated how literacy could be
promoted through classroom publishing projects.

All of the participants organized into publishing companies and each group
wrote, illustrated, designed and produced an editioned book with enough
copies so that everyone got to take home samples of what everyone else had
learned.  One of the books was a multi-panel tunnel book with a flap on the
back cover that lifted to reveal an original story and illustration.  There
was an alphabet book with words that highlighted the events of the week:
Artists' Books (the cover of the book illustration opened to show all the
names of the participants), Catalpa, Deckle Edge, Fan, Great Handouts (a pop-
up hand with painted fingernails), Idyllic Jamboree, Kiss-off, Lunas, Magical
Night Owl, Popcorn, Quips, Rat Skull, Turkey Skin, Unique Vellum Watermarks,
X-acto, Yellow (flowers) and Zigonals.  Disaster and hope were explored
through a French-door structure.  There was a miniature (4"H x 2-1/2"W)
brown-paper grocery bag labeled "Soul Food." Inside were tiny books shaped
liked grocery items with text to nourish the soul.  The "milk bottle" book
read, "Poetry should come to your door like milk," Joseph Brodsky.  All of
the books were imaginative, thought provoking and drenched with the love and
labor that produced them.

It was a successful Jamboree and it didn't happen by accident.  Each
participant arrived with a task to perform and everyone exceeded expectations
in carrying out their assigned work.  Some people assisted the instructors,
some gave mini-workshops, some sorted the daily handouts (one paper company
sent over 600 pounds of sample books and demonstration projects for the three
sessions), and others organized individual events such as the materials
exchange, show-n-tell, buy-sell-trade, and idea exchange.  We all worked late
on Thursday night, but not before taking time out for a brief session of fun
and frolic that included almost everyone participating in a non-aqueous
synchronized water ballet routine.  I think the only one who didn't get
involved was the owner of the resort.  She was busy on the sidelines coloring
pages for one of the publishing companies.

This morning we felt a little shell shocked from all the excitement of the
previous week. We worked hard, learned much and came away with a better
understanding of the possibilities and important benefits of bookmaking
activities in the classroom.

Tomorrow, Carolyn Chadwick drops the last participant from the first session
off at the train station in Hudson and then swings up to the airport in
Albany to pick up the first person to arrive for the next session.  We are
looking forward to the new surprises that lay ahead.

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