Le Livre de Toronto a Tourbillonné / Toronto Book Whirled

The obligatory Toronto shot..

So, I can be in a plane for roughly as long as my usual el ride and *poof* I’m in another country that doesn’t feel like another country, except the money changes to “loonies and toonies” and colorful bills, and the signs speak French and BritEnglish.  The combined conference of the Guild of BookWorkers and the Canadian Bookbinders’ and Book Artists Guild was enormous, informative fun.  CBBAG (that’s “cabbage, not seebag”) were fabulous hosts (thank you all!).  It was a total whirlwind, resulting in that ol’ familiar pleased exhaustion. There was no internet access in my off-site hotel room above a giant Chinese/ Vietnamese mall, resulting in a three-day blog hiatus and unbelievably packed inboxes today. 

Nonetheless, it was absolutely great.  See for yourself, while I go deal with the mail.

Don Etherington’s 15th-16th century alum-tawed binding, “cooking”.

  A wee caterpillar binding Betsy Palmer Eldridge brought along for her presentation.

Spadina streetcar sky web.

Beautiful, beautiful handmade brushes at the trade fair…I can’t find the card with the name of the woman who made them.  But I loved these, coveted several, and could afford none, alas.

Michael Wilcox’s handmade rooster finishing tool, one of his simpler demonstrations!

Martha  Cole’s embroidered and paste-dyed handmade book cloth, just one of hundreds of variations she presented.

Gorgeous medieval remains Betsy Palmer Eldridge brought to show (pen for scale).

Above, a detail of Linda Cunningham’s hand-felted sleeve for her book of the same title; and below, medieval shoes made for, um…crushing nuts.

The presentations were excellent and I wanted to see them all; but I cut out of Betsy Palmer Eldridge’s Sixty Stitches on Friday afternoon, because I had taken her workshop of the same title years ago and I really, really wanted some time to get out into Toronto.  Then, when I snuck in between sessions, I was sorry, because she’d brought along some fascinating objects I hadn’t seen before. Likewise, I’d planned on attending Claire Van Vliet’s presentation on some new woven structures she’s been working with, but I switched into Michael Wilcox’s  demonstration on making hand finishing tools after no less than twenty people said, “You really need to see that, it’s your kind of thing!” – and they were absolutely right, it was. I just wanted to do it all and couldn’t.  Add to it all two lavish receptions and four book shows and, well, you get the picture.

During my six hours stolen from Betsy’s session, I walked and walked and walked around downtown, checking out anything and everything, and I visited the Bata Shoe Museum, which was fascinating.  The walnut crushing shoes were my favorites.  Turn the soles upside down, and add Linda’s unintended caption, and you have the picture of my post-Toronto feet.


5 thoughts on “Le Livre de Toronto a Tourbillonné / Toronto Book Whirled

  1. ROFL! Exercise is good for you. 😉

    I love those handmade brushes, and glad you got to see Martha’s work: we were a practice audience for that talk when she was here a couple of weeks ago.

    Wish I had been able to come, but my travel budget got blown for the year by going to Don’s.

  2. Ooooh! Love the recap. Sounds like a great time – and good to finally see images to make it more real. I always wonder what those conferences are like since I never go. Yay for crossing the border.

    About wanting to do it all and not being able to: that seems to be the recurring theme for me here. Or, at least, learning that it’s possible for one person to want to do more than is humanly possible.

    Thanks for the bday wishes! I’ll spare your inbox for now!

  3. i’ve been trying to get to totonto for decades. the one time i made canada, we went somewhere else to hear surreal photographer Jerry Uelsmann speak. i wore my american flag shirt. he asked about it after and i said my mother had made it. he said “Who’s your mother – Betsy Ross?”

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