ONLINE BOOKMAKING SESSION
Debra Disman is a Los Angeles-based artist working primarily in the form of the book, both as a solo practitioner and in the public sphere of community engagement. As a maker and teaching artist she creates work and projects which push the boundaries of the book into new forms and materials.
It has been my great joy to teach the AROHA Bookmaking classes for Seniors through Craft Contemporary. I have been so moved to hear and see our participants' stories expressed through their book projects, and to witness their extraordinary creativity with materials, expression, and craft. The opportunity for these students to come together, share about their lives, and weave their personal histories into their projects has been so meaningful, not only for the students, but for myself and the Craft Contemporary Staff. I have been continually amazed at the richness and depth of our participants' life experiences and their hunger to share them with others.
Crafting Memories: An Online Bookmaking Workshop Series is specifically designed by Craft Contemporary and artist Debra Disman for adults over the age of 55. This program is made possible by funding from Aroha Philanthropies and is part of a nationwide campaign to bring thoughtful and specialized programs to a valuable population that is often undeserved by arts institutions.
For this special program, participants learned a variety of basic and experimental bookmaking techniques used to tell their own stories through materials and the handmade. The goal of this workshop series was to create a space to explore our stories through book forms and to express our creativity by bringing together an extensive number of materials, mementos, and memories collected through our lives.
When a child in Vienna, I spent many hours making miniature houses from cardboard and other found materials. I made clothes for dolls I never played with. I made my own “books” and started a lifelong passion for reading.
I looked forward to go to the Vienna Kunstgewerbeschule, a school for arts and crafts. It later became the Academy of Applied Arts. Alas, family circumstances did not allow me to attend this school. Eventually, in the US, I pursued an academic career.
After retirement, I connected with art by becoming a docent in several art museums. And during the recent pandemic, I took a number art classes via Zoom.
When Craft Contemporary offered me a chance to combine my love for books with bookmaking, I was thrilled. I enjoyed learning that books can be other than what we conventionally think they are. I am profoundly grateful for having been given this great opportunity.
Odilia Galvan Rodriquez
High Praise for Craft Contemporary Gallery Book Making Class with Debra Disman and Andres Payan Estrada.
I wish I had more ways to express what this class has meant to me. I should’ve written a poem. This experience has enriched my life and my thirst for learning more book arts and expanding my creativity in general. I have loved every class and every project, no matter how challenging. My fellow class participants were generous in sharing materials and knowledge. I was delighted to meet them and would love to keep in touch. Our lovely instructor Debra Disman, and our coordinator Andres Payan Estrada, are marvelous people. I consider them very professional and excellent in all they do; if not for them, this would not have been the great experience it was.
I got so much more than I was expecting from this bookmaking class.
First of all, we all got to experience Debra, an excellent teacher and artist, so ready to show, explain and review for us learning how to get the art of beginning bookmaking. And Andres was always helpful and organized. Thank you, both.
Almost a year ago, I set out to collect, experience, and incorporate activities I want to include in a human rights law textbook I am writing for upper-level high school students. Printmaking and box-making were satisfying experiences, but Debra’s made bookmaking into artmaking at a whole new level. I got to collaborate and think out loud with folks my own age, who all seem to get the theme of story, memory, and history so quickly, while I was hanging on to my didactic human rights legal theme. I am grateful for all their sharing of ideas and mailed materials. I have a bagful of interesting and unusual stuff for future bookmaking projects.
Thank you all. I hope to see you on the August 20 ZOOM culminating event. Thank you Craft Contemporary for making this all happen.
Marjorie is a lifelong crafter…. she loves to quilt, crochet, needlepoint, sew, do calligraphy, draw, paint, collage, etc. And, of course, she enjoys making books! Her other loves include her family, her animals, nature, and playing her flute.
This class was amazing! Many thanks to Debra and Andres for bringing creativity and camaraderie to those of us staying in.
I'm passionate about the arts, both visual and performing. I've been retired for several years and am just now discovering opportunities to take classes and learn about the process of making art myself. This has been such an exciting and fulfilling class. I've particularly enjoyed the theme of memory.
At this age, and with the pandemic, so many thoughts and memories have been swirling around. And these books have been the perfect place for recording these. I've appreciated the rich sharing of stories and experiences and feel that I've gained a new circle of friends. Thank you, Debra, Andres, and my fellow book makers, for this great time together!
The Craft Contemporary bookmaking class was a delight. It was fun learning to make the various designs under the skillful and patient tutelage of Debra Disman, and the assignments awakened in me a sense of fun and whimsicality that have been missing in my life for a long time.
I was able to tap into a sort of creativity that I associate with being in high school. Thanks to Craft Contemporary for making that possible.
Hi everyone in my book making classes!!! I really want to say that I enjoyed working with you all. I don't know how time passed last couple of months, but I experienced so much fun making all different types of books and cards. I was having so much fun with my 10-year-old granddaughter sharing crazy and creative ideas.
I hope to see you all again in another class.
I thank you so much Andres and Debra for putting this all together.
This class has proved to be very personally rewarding. Not only did I have the opportunity to connect with a diverse and talented bunch of people during a stressful period when many have felt very alone and isolated, I now have a set of rewarding skills to express myself creatively and to share. The possibilities feel boundless. I feel so grateful and filled with hope.
I am a CA native from S.D, now in SF 45 years. Love visiting LACMA, Underground Museum, the Broad, CAAM, Hammer and of course, Craft Contemporary. Grandmother of 3-year-old artist twins, wife of 53 years, a 40 + year administrator at ABC Television.
I am an art maker, collector, and Board member of an arts non-profit (studio/gallery) for adults with developmental disabilities (Creativity Explored). I love & support the arts - visual, musical, literary, performance. I travel for art, food, education, and FUN!
Enjoying this class immensely. From the generous and perfectly designed art materials (Andres!!!) to the attendees and expert (patient!) instruction (talented Debra!!!), this has been a total pleasure. An experience I very much appreciate and value.
My generous thanks to the Museum for providing me the opportunity and look forward to any other classes I may qualify for!