Over the last year WAM Collective has been on a bit of a bookbinding kick, with a few of our programs involving hand bound booklets, some field trips to Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and most recently a workshop with local book artist, Heidi Jeub. You could say we like books in the collective.
I thought I would take advantage of Heidi’s visit to WAM to learn a little bit more about the medium of book binding and to hear first hand from an artist who uses it in their practice.
On Friday March 3rd, Heidi Jeub came to the Weisman to give a demo on binding your own journal. During a conversation I had with Jeub leading up to the event, she talked about some of the different binding techniques she was thinking about for the workshop.
At first she was considering teaching attendees a coptic stitch, but then decided on a long stitch instead due to the workshop time constraints. She was very conscious of the different bindings, explaining that what she really wanted people to get out of this workshop, was the ability to create something they would actually use. She was acutely aware of peoples inhibitions coming into a bookbinding workshop, especially for attendees who are new to the art. She mentioned that once the books are complete people can often be too afraid to first mark their new books, thinking that they’re too precious. Jeub’s goal is to take away some of the preciousness by making bookbinding accessible through teaching. In her experience, each time someone makes a book it becomes easier and easier to use and mark them.
Jeub learned how to bind books at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts (MCBA) not even two miles from where our bookbinding workshop took place at WAM. However, she does not limit herself to just bookbinding.
Jeub is an interdisciplinary artist and works with everything from paint, to public art, to bookbinding. At the crux of her practice however, is her interest in community engagement. Jeub is an active teacher in many communities where she teaches among other things visual journaling, media literacy, abstraction, metal work, and of course book binding.
She is also involved in her community through critical thought. This semester Jeub will wrap up her masters degree in Arts & Cultural Leadership at the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities. In her thesis she is looking at innovative ways to bring resources and art into rural communities.
When talking about her practice as a whole she says she’s not one for series. Her practice is based on what gives her energy. It doesn’t matter what she’s working on as long as it fulfills her need to create. And Jeub is always creating, she is someone who does better work when she is busier. Right before her workshop at WAM she had a closing reception in St. Cloud for her show Nexus, series of abstract paintings. Her instagram account also displays an overwhelming calendar and three children to keep her busy.
To see more of her work you can go to HeidiJeub.com.