On Location
Santa Fe

The Handmade Artist’s Book: Envisioning Form & Content

with Susan kae Grant

Course Description

Join lens-based artist Susan kae Grant in the ambiance of Santa Fe to tap into your memory, personal insight and intuition to design and create a handmade book of your photographs that symbolically balances form and content.

Blending traditional and contemporary practice, Susan introduces you to the genre of photographic artist’s books that are as diverse in style and direction as they are in technique. This workshop is open to participants with a new photo book idea or existing works-in-progress.

Each day, we are greeted to a grand display of original artist’s books that inspire and illustrate strategies for design, sequence, and structure. The hands-on experience of interacting with and discussing displayed books provides a glimpse into innovative ways to use photographs and text to communicate ideas.

Mornings consist of lectures, demos, and guided writing exercises to inspire creativity, design, materiality, image editing and sequence. Susan shares a wide array of 30+ techniques to physically incorporate images and text into handmade books. Hands-on demonstrations include the technical execution of the DASS image transfer, and three book structures: a concertina fold, the pamphlet stitch, and a multi-section case binding. Afternoons include studio time to contemplate and experiment with design and fabrication of your own books with Susan present for feedback.

Alongside other participants, you share ideas, design, and create a handmade book of your photographs (or mock-up) utilizing techniques and binding styles demonstrated in class. The last day culminates with an extended discussion of resources for production and inspiration as well as strategies for promoting artist’s books to collections. We conclude with group reflections and feedback of the handmade books created during the week.

Below are examples of artists’ books created in classes with Susan alongside highlights from her personal collection—all of which will be available for viewing during the workshop.

Additional Information

COVID-19 Update: For all in-person workshops and trips in 2023, Santa Fe Workshops highly recommends that all participants, staff, and instructors attending be up to date with Covid vaccinations (per definition of the CDC).


Photographers who are considering an idea or with images they wish to incorporate into a handmade photo book will benefit greatly from attending.

What You Should Know:

The workshop is designed to provide awareness, techniques, resources, and knowledge of the genre of handmade photographic artist’s books. No prior experience in bookmaking is required.


Participants are responsible for making their own housing arrangements in Santa Fe. On-campus accommodations are not currently available.

Lunch Monday through Friday, dinner at the Friday evening Image Presentations, and daily beverage service.
Book Making, One-of-a-Kind
Susan kae Grant

Susan kae Grant is an inventive and influential lens-based artist, educator, mentor, and early proponent of photographic book arts. Her innovative studio practice and distinct personal vision represent one of the medium’s more sustained and recognizable contributions to fabricated photography and book art. Under her imprint the Black Rose press she has produced twelve limited edition artists’ books.

Susan has lectured and exhibited throughout the United States Canada, China, Europe, Australia, British Columbia, Africa, Guatemala, and Japan. Public collections representing her photographs and bookworks include George Eastman Museum; J. Paul Getty Museum; Minneapolis Institute of Art; Tokyo Photographic Museum; Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; and the Victoria & Albert National Art Library.

From 1981-2017 Susan served as Head of Photography in the Department of Visual Arts at Texas Woman’s University and was named Cornaro Professor of Art Emerita in 2018.

Instagram: @susankaegrant

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