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ART 3BA3 Concentrated Study-Book Arts (C01)

Academic Year: Winter 2019

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Prof. Judy Major-Girardin


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 430

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27287


Office Hours: By Appointment (

Course Objectives:


Course Description

This course integrates traditional techniques with contemporary concepts and applications of the artist book. A variety of papers and formats will be utilized responding to student-centered concepts. Opportunities for sustainable practice, collaboration and exchange will be available.



By the completion of the course students will have gained experience in:

  • Basic book construction and stitching techniques for artist hand made books
  • Presenting concepts in a book format
  • Thinking innovatively and challenging assumptions to generate a personal definition of what we consider a book to be


Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Studio Fees ($50)

Small cutting mat

Binding wax thread

Binding needles

Some paper and book cover materials

Methyl Cellulose adhesive

Bone folder


Examples of Support Provided by Tuition


Teaching Assistants


Visiting Artists

Life Models

Program Administrators

Student Support Offices

Studios, exhibition space, equipment

Studio furniture, props and hand tools

Access to campus resources (Library, Museum of Art, Anatomy Lab, natural areas)

Method of Assessment:



1. Mill Board Stab Bound Book 20%

The course will begin with construction of a stab bound booklet compiled of a selection of papers with a recycled cover. This booklet can be used to record book ideas and instructions, gather information and collage images collected from other printed matter. Materials and tools will be provided with your studio fee. This ongoing booklet will be graded at the end of the course.


2. Accordion Book 10%

Following proper folding techniques, each student will create an accordion format, free standing book out of Somerset paper that will be used to record a panoramic image. Somerset paper will be provided from your studio fee.


3. Coptic Stitch Book 20%

Select your own theme for this project but plan to use a minimum of 3 signatures with 3 folded sheets per signature or 9 leafs (that’s 36 pages). Size is your choice, however, a book smaller than 4 or 5 inches in any direction will be challenging to sew with this more complex stitch. Consider the flow of the book and how you might structure information using densely worked pages, pages with minimal information, transparent pages or blank pause pages. A newsprint template is a helpful tool in planning how the pages will come together once the folded sheets are nested into signatures and bound.


4. 3D Book 20%

This project challenges you to consider the spatial potential of the book. You can use pop up mechanisms, sculptural form, cut outs or other alternative strategies to create this book. You may plan from the ground up or start with a recycled book for this project. You might consider how light and shadow can contribute to this work or design and interactive element. You must provide all materials for this work.

Collaborative submissions are accepted for this project.


5. Modified Book 20%

Select a book that offers the potential for you to integrate your own content/imagery with found content/imagery. Rework this book to alter it and make it your own. Use any strategy and media that is appropriate for your approach.


6. Participation/Engagement 10%

Regular attendance and engagement in workshops is required to learn the techniques being demonstrated. You will learn individually and also by witnessing the work of your peers in a shared studio environment. Informal feedback will occur on a regular basis in class time with more structured critique sessions for completed projects. We will exhibit a selection of the books from this course in a group exhibition.

Grade Breakdown


MIDTERM = 35% (based on and Project #2 Accordion Book (15%) and Project #3 Coptic Stitch Book (20%). This assessment will be provided by February 27, 2019.


FINAL = 35% midterm + Project #1 Stab Bound Book(15%), Project #4 3D Book (20%), Project #5 Modified Book (20%) + Participation /Class Engagement (10%) = 100%


The following scale of percent equivalences is used for calculating final grades:

A+ = 90-100; A = 85-89; A- = 80-84; B+ = 77-79; B = 73-76; B- = 70-72; C+ = 67-69; C = 63-66; C- = 60-62; D+ = 57-59; D = 53-56; D- = 50-52; F = 0-49

Achievement Levels



A+ = 90–100; A = 85–89; A- = 80–84

Work assessed at the A level consistently exceeds expectations and exhibits the following:

Conceptual rigour

Deep critical engagement

Complex, ambitious and prolific production

Meets deadlines with time for reflection before presentation

Advanced technical proficiency and risk taking

Comprehensively researched responses linked to focused goals, personal interests and artistic vision

Independent and self-directed approaches

Highly professional presentations

Engagement with all aspects of the course (requires promptness and stellar attendance)



B+ = 77–79; B = 73–76; B- = 70–72

Work assessed at the B level consistently meets expectations and exhibits the following:

Good grasp of concepts

Evidence of developing critical skills

Meets deadlines

Technically sound, demonstrating sensitivity to materials and their connection to ideas

Evolving research skills and good understanding of personal goals and interests

Some independence, self-motivation and risk-taking evident

Satisfactory presentation

Engaged with most aspects of the course



C+ = 67–69; C = 63–66; C- = 60–62

Work assessed at the C level fails to meet some expectations and exhibits some or all the following:

Inconsistent grasp of concepts

Little evidence of critical skills

Work is regularly late or presented in an undeveloped state

Struggling with technical skills, and conservative approach to exploration and risk

Requires regular assistance to understand assignments

Unsatisfactory presentation (unprepared, late)

Minimal engagement with course (poor attendance, few contributions evident)



D+ = 57–59; D = 53–56; D- = 50–52

Work assessed at the D level consistently falls short of expectations and exhibits some or all of the following:

Significant struggle with concepts and objectives

No evidence of critical skills

Missed deadlines

Simplistic technical approach with little sensitivity to materials

Arbitrary or no research evidence

Unacceptable presentation (inappropriate or wastes the time of the group)

Unsatisfactory engagement with course



F = 0–49

Work assessed at the F level fails to meet enough of the course requirements to obtain credit. Studio Art is a hands-on learning experience. Students who miss more than 3 classes or 25% of the course risk a failing grade due to the impact of this percentage on their ability to demonstrate abilities during in-class activities.



Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:



Arriving on time and making efficient use of class time is crucial for your success in this course. Late assignments will automatically result in a letter drop in grade (A becomes B). Late assignments will be graded but not discussed outside of critique session deadlines. Assignments that are not received within 1 week of the due date will no longer be accepted and no projects may be submitted beyond the last day of classes.


The success of studio courses is dependent on the active engagement of all participants. Learning is accelerated in a hands-on environment where work and ideas can be discussed as they evolve, and challenges and successes can be shared. Important health and safety information and safe operating procedures are communicated during class time. You must receive this information to work independently in the studio, and you may not operate any equipment or use any process that you have not received safety training for.


Class discussions and critiques empower individuals to take risks in their art practice and learn from each other. It is of utmost importance that all students participate fully by attending all classes and remaining welcoming and open to all points of view.


The atmosphere of the studio should be characterized by courtesy and mutual respect. Participating in group critiques is an important part of providing constructive feedback for your peers. Active questioning and differences of opinion, respectfully expressed in a spirit of collaboration and mutual exchange, contribute to a positive and supportive group dynamic. It is your responsibility to contribute positively in this shared space and come to class prepared, on time and ready to contribute to the activities of the day.

Support Services

The University provides a variety of support services to help students manage their many demands. Reference librarians can provide invaluable research assistance. The Student Accessibility Services Centre (SAS) provides assistance with personal as well as academic matters. MUSC B107 and

Office Hours


Office hours are intended to provide additional assistance and you are welcome to visit often to discuss course projects or seek assistance on difficulties you may be experiencing. It is always better to deal with an issue while there is still time remaining in the term to seek solutions. Office hours are not a replacement class for those opting to miss class time without valid excuse. Office hours will not provide feedback sessions if you miss a critique deadline. It is important that you learn to manage your time. Of course, extenuating circumstances can sometimes occur and requests for accommodation should be discussed with the instructor a.s.a.p.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Schedule of Activities




Due Date

Wed. January 9





Review of course outline, materials

Folding demo/construction of accordion book

Begin Stab Bound Book

Book Conservation and Rare Books in Library

Complete construction of Accordion





Due Feb 13

Wed. January 16


Stab Bound Book

Work on completing Stab Bound Book


Due Mar 27

Wed. January 23



Demo on Vandercook Press

Template for Coptic Stitch Book

Gather information for Coptic Book pages



Due Feb 13

Wed. January 30


Coptic Stitching Demo

Practice Coptic Stitch and work on Stab Bound Booklet


Wed. February 6



Assistance with Vandercook press (optional)

Complete Coptic and Accordion Book for Critique and midterm grading next class


Wed. February 13


Critique of Coptic and Accordion Book

Begin planning for Project # 4 and #5

Critique & work due

Midterm Assessment

Wed. February 20


Winter Recess

Gather materials and begin Project #4 & #5

Find an innovative book to share with peers


Due March 27

Wed. February 27



Book Sharing –bring in an innovative book

Work period and assistance for 3D Book

Work on 3D or Modified Book

Midterm Grades


Wed. March 6


Independent work period

Work on 3D or Modified Book


Wed. March 13



Work period and assistance Modified Book

Work on completing 3D and Modified Book



Wed. March 20


Informal feedback on final projects

Prepare final book portfolio


Wed. March 27


Critique of 3D and Modified Books and submission of Stab Bound Booklet for final grading

Critique and submission for final assessment

Wed. April 3

Books returned following assessment

Showcase of selected book projects


Other Course Information:



Working in the Studios

It is mandatory for all studio art students to have read the Studio Safety Art Manual for Students available on

The art studios are only for art students in the program or those enrolled in an art course. If you have a special project requiring involvement from someone outside the program you must seek permission from your instructor. Volunteer forms are on Avenue to Learn and require Director’s signature. There is no food or drink permitted in studio spaces. Exceptions to the food policy may occur in the flex studio, 114 or Atrium when art materials are not present. Steel toed shoes must be worn with the exception of 114, flex and atrium. If the policies are violated, loss of studio access will result as a consequence. Do not bring any chemicals or hazardous materials into the studios without the permission of your instructor. Do not decant any materials into food containers. All materials not in original containers must be labeled according to WHMIS regulations.


Appointments must be made with the Studio Technologist in regards to consulting and/or executing specific projects requiring the use of wood shop, metal, or ceramics facilities. Please ensure appointments and arrangements are made well in advance of deadlines and critiques.


Studios are accessible through access cards and are open from 7 am to 11 pm, seven days a week. Students are not permitted to work in the studios alone. Please arrange to work in the studio with a peer when working after hours.


Steel toe shoes are not required and eating/drinking are permitted in the following public studio spaces as long as art materials are not present:

Flex Studio 105


New Space 114

Non-art students are only permitted in 105, 114 and Atrium spaces unless accompanied by their class or with special permission of their instructor.



Incident Reports


If a student should have an accident in any of the studios, the incident (no matter how minor) must be reported to a faculty member, or the Studio Technologist within 24 hours. If no faculty or technician is available and immediate attention is needed, please call 88 for all emergencies. Do not hesitate to call 88 in any circumstance. Please do not make medical judgments for yourself or others. Let medical professionals make the necessary assessments.


Emergency Response

University line: ext. 88

905 522-4135; or 905 525-9140, ext. 24281


Student Walk Home Attendant Team (SWHAT)

Ext 27500

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday: 7 pm – 1 am

Thursday, Friday, and Saturday: 7 pm – 2 am