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.

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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…

A view of the Roberton Davies library's outside greenery.

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…


Frances Hunter (Red Tower Bookworks) at Wayzgoose

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

Frances Hunter lives in Victoria BC and is a long-time member of the Alcuin Society and  of the BC Islands Chapter of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild (CBBAG).  Red Tower Bookworks will bring Paper Architecture, a new book incorporating handmade paper — some from wasp nests, along with a variety of useful paper items including notebooks and sketchbooks.  There will be an  ongoing demonstration of papermaking with a deckle box and local plant fibre. Continue Reading…


Gary Sim at Wayzgoose

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

Gary Sim is a long-time Alcuin Society member, donor, Amphora writer and artist, and Wayzgoose demonstrator. When asked to be the featured artist in Amphora 135 in 2004, he cut a limited edition print Lions Gate to accompany his other art work and an article on antiquarian booksellers. Since then he has created thirty limited edition prints, which include coastal and urban scenes. One of his many “works in progress” is an illustrated book on advanced linocutting and printing techniques, tips, and tricks. Continue Reading…