Book Arts Collaborative Mission Statement
The Book Arts Collaborative is dedicated to preserving and promoting the apprentice-taught skills of letterpress printing and book binding through community interaction. It's not just what we make that matters, but how we learn from one another to make it happen.
The Book Arts Collaborative is a makerspace in downtown Muncie where community members and Ball State students learn about letterpress printing, book binding, and artist's book design and publishing. We offer community workshops in basic book arts skills and classes leading to finished projects. Check our Events page to register for upcoming workshops. We are also the home of Book Arts Collaborative Press.
Book arts is an engaging, cross-disciplinary field in which we create such objects as hand printed and bound artist's books, letter-pressed greeting cards, broadsides, and other print ephemera.
Book Arts starts with the history of the book (paper making, moveable type, codex bindings, etc.) while working toward the realization of student and community participants' own projects and goals. The program encourages students and community members to work together. We provide professional equipment and education, but participants provide the sparks and energy that power communal creativity.
Letterpress is one of the oldest traditional printing techniques. Paper is printed or lightly embossed by inked type, blocks, or plates. Advancements in letterpress allow a wide range of methods for creating images from traditional wood and lead type to 21st Century computer design on polymer plates. The Book Arts Collaborative puts these tools in the hands of makers. We currently house eight 19th and 20th Century presses, 72 sets of type, and several cases of vintage advertising images; these are supplemented by the phenomenal collections of our community partners, Tribune Showprint Posters, Inc.
Book binders might create something as simple as an accordion folded page or a hand-sewn, hard-covered book with a leather spine. Book design is open to a wide range of materials and fabrication elements derrived from the basic notion of pages or "leaves" and protective covering material. The Book Arts Collaborative offers lessons on a variety of binding techniques while encouraging creativity so that participants can create artist's books and journals that meet their own needs aesthetically and functionally.