On Location
Santa Fe

The Handmade Artist’s Book: Envisioning Form & Content

with Susan kae Grant

Online registration for this program has closed. To check availability, find out about future dates, or if you would like further information, please call 505-983-1400 ext. 111. Also, get the SFW E-Newsletter for updates!

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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 artists’ 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 interested in mastering the basics of making books by hand. No prior bookmaking experience is required.

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, guided writings, and a one-hour lunch break. To visualize intent, design and sequence, Susan presents a guided writing exercise focused on photographs participants bring to the workshop. To facilitate creativity and materiality she shares 30+ techniques to physically incorporate images and text into handmade books including the DASS image transfer process. Hands-on demonstrations include the technical execution of three bookbinding structures including the Pamphlet; the Concertina Hybrid; the French link-kettle and options for fabricating soft and hard covers.  Afternoons include immersive 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. We conclude with group reflections and feedback of the handmade books created during the week.

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.

Activity Level:
To get the most from your workshop experience, participants should be in good physical (mobility, stamina) and mental health. Come prepared for the high elevation of Santa Fe, long days, and seasonal weather including high temperatures. You must be able to carry your own photographic and personal gear at all times, both on campus and on location. You are responsible for being open and honest about your physical fitness, and we reserve the right to remove you from the workshop if we find your fitness to be less than that which you have described.
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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