Coming Soon: Shift book

How has the time slipped by? A more substantial post is on its way, but in the meantime, here are some images of Shift, our collaborative book project that was recently exhibited at the San Francisco Center for the Book. Thank you Paola Horevicz for your help with the photos. This book will soon become available for purchase. Macy Chadwick designed the box and produced the first ten with help from her assistants. A box full of book cloth, magnets, and sample box components has arrived at my flat here in the UK, so my boxmaking shift will shortly begin for the second half of the edition.

I still haven't seen most of these books in person, so the following images are fueling me as I prepare to make boxes, ready to fill.

Stay tuned for information about how to purchase this set of books. Sarah Bryant, over and out.

Shift exhibition at San Francisco Center for the Book

February 21- April 6, 2014

posted by Macy Chadwick

This show represents five unique voices coming together to define the meaning of the word shift: each of us created a book of identical dimensions as well as a companion print to reflect a shift in perspective or point of view. Displayed together, this work speaks of the visual dialogue that occurs between wall and bookshelf, between large and small, and between print and book.

It was such a pleasure for me to install our Shift exhibition at San Francisco Center for the Book-- Despite attempts to post images online, the five members of Shift-Lab had very little time to make contact during the process of making our books in our 5 separate locations, so it was like Christmas to open all the packages of beautiful work shipped from other members of Shift-Lab.  It was immediately apparent to me why we had chosen to work together: the artwork reflected a shared aesthetic and careful attention to detail, but also I saw how our variety of perspectives, concepts and techniques really complemented each other.

Here are some images and artist statements from the show:


Installation view, Shift Show, San Francisco Center for the Book, Bracket Gallery, 2014.

Sarah Bryant, Shift in Position, 2014

"My take on shift: a shifting body during a restless night. The
arrangement and rearrangement of the panels echoes the kind
of repetitive half-dreaming that comes to me during periods of
sleeplessness. The imagery in the book and the print comes
directly from photographs of my body moving. The language,
when read in different orientations, speaks about ways that
we move and change without awareness."

Photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

Photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

Tricia Treacy,  {redirecting shift}, 2014

"{redirecting shift} is an visual narrative that translates
characters (glyphs) and grid systems into a visual story.
What is left when we delete or remove the content? It
was inspired by strike-through text, glyphs and music."


Macy Chadwick, Shift in Perspective (book) and Shift in Perspective Part 1: Imaginings, 2014 (print)

"For my interpretation of *shift*, I looked at the same
conversation from two different perspectives within the
same mind. The dos-a-dos book format contrasts the two
views. A romanticized view of a conversation on one side
is full of layers and colors, imaginings and illogical interpretations;
an analytical view on the other side applies charts
and graphs to bits of the same imagery in search of meaning."

photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

Denise Bookwalter, Shape-Shifting, 2014

"This book is about the complexity and beauty in a simple
piece of paper as it shifts from a flat surface to a crumpled
ball. The paper begins as a level space with straight lines of
plaids but shifts to valleys and peaks revealing its topography.
3D modeling was used to distill the complexities of the
crumpled sheet to lines and form creating a unique landscape
visible only within the pages of the book."

photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

photo credit: Jennifer Nicholson

Katie Baldwin, 1825–1862–1918 (Shift), (book) and Mapping the Canal, (print) 2014

"The artist book and print investigate the three diggings of the
Erie Canal. In the same way that the canal is dug and re-dug,
a story is told and re-told. Each time, the canal’s expansion is
accomplished with improved technology—a narrative repeated
and rewritten from a new perspective."


Our books are being sold only as a set in a custom made box. Please contact us at shift-lab if you are interested in purchasing a set!

The opening of the Shift show on February 21, 2014, was well attended by Bay Area book enthusiasts-- SFCB Co-Founder, Mary Austin warmly welcomed everyone and I briefly introduced the idea of our cooperative and explained the theme of the show. If you missed the February opening, there will be an additional reception on Friday March 28, 2014, 7-9pm at SFCB, 375 Rhode Island, San Francisco. Four of the artists will be attendance to talk briefly about our work.

The show will be up through April 6, 2014.

Shift Opening This Friday in San Francisco

Sarah Bryant, February 20

Whew! Just under the wire. My book and its partner print have made their way to the San Francisco Center for the Book, just in time for the opening at the San Francisco Center for the Book tomorrow evening. The trip was not without casualties. The first round was lost somewhere between the UK and the us, half of the shipment was lost, lost, lost. The perils of international shipping, the agony of reshipping, the waiting game. But all is well.


My take on shift? A shifting body during a restless night. The arrangement and rearrangement of the panels echoes the kind of repetitive half-dreaming that comes to me during periods of sleeplessness. The imagery in the book and the print comes directly from photographs of my body moving. The language, when read in different orientations, speaks about ways that we move and change without awareness.


I've just received photos from Macy as she installs the show. I am finally getting my first look at the work of my partners in Shift. I want to get closer! I want to see these prints and hold these books.

photo 1.JPG

If you are in San Francisco, get yourself to the SFCB tomorrow evening! The show will remain open through the Southern Graphics Conference at the end of March.


The Work Gets Ugly

Katie Baldwin

I don't want things to simply be beautiful, but I do strive to have beauty in my work.


The tools and materials I use in book arts and printmaking are in themselves lovely things. 

 Wood, paper, ink = beautiful. 

Awls, bonefolders, type, printing presses = beautiful.


For me, artist books are monumental projects. 

They are complicated, time consuming, and challenging.


The craft involved often brings me to my knees. Days upon days of printing, the deeper I get into the project, the more I am terrified I will make a mistake, losing the hours of work completed the previous day. Concentrating on registration, creative decisions, imposition, type-o's is exhausting. Sometimes the work gets ugly. Initial lists are re-written with sub-lists. Printed textures aren't working and I decide I need a third layer. 8 PM becomes 1 AM. 850 impressions later and I still need to print the colophon. My hands are cracked and dry. I have not a coherent thought in my head, and then I start to bind 20 books. I am working towards the completion of 1825-1862-1918 (Shift) for an exhibition at the San Francisco Center for the Book during Southern Graphics Council Conference. In it's final state it will be a finely crafted object of beauty. However, my studio is not: 

06_chaos type.JPG



A switch from coffee to tea, perhaps not a good idea.



Cookie gift from Curtles.





Pretending to be part of the Polar Vortex in Florida…

Denise Bookwalter

It has been chilly the last few days at Bookwalter Studios. I can’t claim polar vortex or anything along those lines. Here in Florida we only get a few days of below freezing weather and it kills the plants, hopefully some big bugs, and reminds us that the rest of the country is getting snow and ice and that we really shouldn’t complain. A rumor is going around that it is going to snow tomorrow. I think we just want to be part of the vortex. I don’t believe it!

On these “chilly” days of the end of January, I took stock on my progress for my book for our exhibition at San Francisco Center for the book. When I look around the studio there are all sorts of things happening but to an outsider it looks like a whirlwind of paper, colors and book dummies. To me it is the guts of the work. The part that will define the piece is tucked into the bits and pieces and will emerge through the printing and binding like a diamond in the rough.

Here is a glimpse of the rough; you will have to wait for the diamonds.



paper ribbon

Rolls of blue paper ribbons sit in my studio. Last year they functioned as the binary code for locating a specific letter on a mat for casting monotype.

 While it is possible for these rolls of blue paper ribbons to be used to recast the monotype from last year, today I see them as beautiful things in-and-of-themselves. 

beautiful things

beautiful things

I see them as objects with physical and mechanical limitations. And within limitations, there are endless possibilities.

There are limitations within: his luggage, her house, my day… In the same way that there are limitations within a job case.

graphite rubbing of job case

graphite rubbing of job case

 Even in the endless digital world there are limitations within a tweet.

140 characters

140 characters

From these paper ribbons, I burned a series of screens that I have shipped to Utah for [in code] at the College Book Arts Association Conference will be held in Salt Lake City January 2 – 4.


Using information from hashtags on twitter by conference attendees, Denise Bookwalter, Macy Chadwick, Tricia Treacy and I will print a series of collaborative posters. Using this text-based content we will “retweet” a narrative back through social media.

This on-site project will be an installation and a collaborative printing experience that extends the dialogue of the College Book Arts Association Conference to a broader audience during January 2-5, 2014. At the same time, Sarah Bryant will be printing covers using the same content from twitter to later be used for zines that document the [in code] project.

Later in 2014 (March 27-29,) We  will repeat the project in San Francisco during the SGC conference.

This idea is inspired by our dual interests in limitations of communication in a physical sense in both the digital and the analog worlds. We will spend one day in the printshop at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City (on-site during the conference) working with the text-based content to produce a series of posters. 

However anyone in the world can use [#printedword #woodtype #letterpress #shiftlab #cbaa] hashtags to participate in [in code].


Katie B. 

in search of shifts

As always, the project I am working on has become a lens through which I see my everyday life.  Objects, buildings, books I have considered on a daily basis take on a new tone. I haven't had much time to work on my Shift book since November, but I have had shifts on my mind for weeks. Today I dig through some books in my collection in search of some.

A Shift in Structure Live, from the Delay by Ryan Flaherty, designed and printed by Friedrich Kerksieck of Small Fires Press.


In order to accommodate some unusual line lengths and long format poetry, This book can be shaken out into a wall hanging, complete with eyelets.


A Shift in Materials Thirst or Surfeit by Elizabeth Robinson, designed and printed by Emily Tipps of High5 Press.


Another instance of line length problem solving that I particularly like. Tipps has used handmade paper to create a framework for poetry of different length and size.


A Shift in Direction Self Dual, by Ellen Knudson of Crooked Letter Press


A book about a series of round trip journeys.

A Shifting Image By-and-by by Amy Bloom, imagery by M. Jordan Tierney, Designed and Printed by Robin Price, Publisher.