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Bookcamp 2019

Bookcamp is a place where students feel inspired, nurtured, creative and relaxed. It's an opportunity to delve into your imagination and explore ideas around handmade books.

At the time of writing this, we've just finished our third Bookcamp. Each year we gain ideas and experiences as a group and chat about how we can make our adventures at camp memorable ones.

This year, I decided to invite Jenny Tomlin to co-tutor, bringing with her, her love and knowledge of pinhole photography to camp. Jenny worked her magic and turned an old shed into a dark room. This allowed the participants to load the pinhole camera's they'd made with her help, and then develop the films.


Pinhole photography is an experimental form of photography and as you have to wait to develop your film you can't really know the results until you've done this. Therefore it takes a bit of practice getting it just right!

Once the group had their negatives, they were turned into positives so we could work with them in our books if we chose.

I'd instructed the group to bring children's board books to work with and we were going to have a stab at creating 9 small books too!

Students are always invited to follow a theme/an idea/a concept but with no expectations to follow my instructions, finish all the suggested projects or even complete any of them. It's a little like freedom camping!!

The idea is to experiment. Play. Extend. Explore and trust the process. Each individual follows her process because there's no one size fits all. Some campers go all out to make as much as they can, challenging themselves to do it all! And others enjoy meandering along, taking naps, walks, time out to sit and have a cuppa as they need to. There's everything in between too.

Bella Rahka, our home for 4 days, offers us a safe haven to do this. Each student has her own room. We have delicious food brought in each day from a Vevo foodstore, a local cafe.

We do coffee runs to SOZO where they roast their own coffee and aim to please those of us needing a coffee fix each morning!

If you're interested to know more about bookcamp from a campers perspective, Veteran Book Camper Cally Brown wrote a fantastic blog last year.

If you're keen to be kept up to date with Bookcamp New Zealand 2020 just send me an email and I'll let you know when the details go live!

And and and......if you're in Australia, just a heads up, I'll be in Queenscliff in September 2020 running Bookcamp Australia!!

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