Unfolding Narratives :: Writing for Artist's Books

 Registration is closed for this event

June 10th, 2023 1:00 PM

  • Instructor: Ellen Sheffield
  • Workshop Type: Arts
  • Workshop Status: Closed
  • Sessions: 2
  • In-person or Online?: In-person

Workshop Fee (includes materials fee): $250
Scholarship available; click here to apply.

This is an in-person workshop. As of January 2023, masks are strongly encouraged but not required unless otherwise indicated. 

Visual artists who are interested in adding a text element to their work can often feel unsure about using their own writing in an artist's book, wondering where to start and how to integrate text with their images. In this two session course, students will learn techniques for generating text for artist's books through conceptual approaches of text usage such as text as image, as narrative, or as lyrical expression.

Participants will experiment with text itineraries and Dada and Surrealistic approaches. Writing exercises will be assigned to be completed before, during and in-between the workshop sessions.

Various methods for getting text onto book pages will be demonstrated through mark making, transfers, stencils, stamps, rub-on type, in addition to demonstrations of simple accordion structures.

Participants will work with text generated in the workshop to create a detailed mock-up for a text-based accordion folded artist's book.

This workshop was previously offered as an online class of the same name in January 2021.

>> Prerequisite: None <<

Materials to Bring: Any art supplies, mark-making tools, colored pencils, inks, watercolor, brushes, or paper ephemera you might want to use in your book.

Date & Time: Saturdays, June 10 & 17, 2023 :: 1-5pm

Location: 375 Rhode Island St, San Francisco, CA 94103

NOTE: Please read over the SFCB Registration Policies before signing up for a class. Registration will close three days prior to the start date of the workshop to allow the instructor time to prep materials for class. 

About the Instructor | Ellen Sheffield (she/her)

Ellen Sheffield is a visual artist, poet and teacher based in Gambier, Ohio and the California Bay Area. Her works on paper and artist’s books play with image and text intersections to create unexpected readings. Collaborations with poets, experiments with found text and working with visual scores are some of the ways she engages with themes of place, memory and language perception.

The Beinecke Library at Yale University, the Ella Strong Denison Library at Scripps College, Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and many others have collected her artist’s books.

She recently finished 14 years of teaching Book Arts in the Kenyon College Art Department and continues to teach virtual workshops for arts centers around the country.

Past Student Reviews:

“I didn't expect to come out of this workshop with so many ideas. I have been struggling with one particular artist book for many months and I feel like I have several directions that I can take now after this class. It felt like Ellen laid out a banquet of ways to generate ideas for content."

“In this workshop I got answers to questions I didn't even know I had! Discovering fresh conceptual ways to approach books arts powerfully affected my perspective and use of materials. Ellen is a consummate instructor; her own work is a source of inspiration and guidance."

“Excellent exercises that really stretched my imagination and creativity. I wasn't expecting to learn so much about the different ways artists use books.  It was so interesting! Good hands-on materials, and overall a most enjoyable experience!"

“She included so many great examples of the topics she was presenting, which helped to understand the different ways artists use text and image in books.  She was very, very organized, and also very clear and concise.  Great instructions for the hands-on parts, and good with student interactions.”

375 Rhode Island St
San Francisco, CA 94103-5133
United States