Author Archives: Beth

Bridger Mountain Scribes

The Bridger Mountain Scribes of Montana comprises calligraphers in southwest Montana, including Bozeman and Gallatin Gateway. We meet once a month to discuss calligraphy, artists books, and other book arts, usually on the 2nd Monday of the month at the Bozeman Public Library.

We are a member guild of the statewide Montana guild, Big Sky Scribes. If you’d like to find out more about calligraphy in southwest Montana, attend our meetings, or join the guild, email

Next meeting February 10

The February meeting of Bridger Mountain Scribes will be held on Monday, February 10, 2020 from 11 AM to 1 PM at the library in the small conference room. Thank you, Rose, for making the room reservation.

Last month we decided, after some discussion, to each make a calendar on our own for the 2020 year-long project. Teresa presented the various printing options she had found during her extensive research for the group. She has since sent that information to us in an email, so you should be planning the size of your calendar based on the printing method you will choose.

At the January meeting I demonstrated of couple of surface design techniques with ink and folded paper, and then we each decorated at least one large sheet of paper. While those were drying, we folded and cut 4 sheets of 12-inch square paper into 4 different meander book structures, discussing the drawbacks and features of each structure as we did so. Rose had brought a few meander books to demonstrate what a finished book could look like, and I had made some basic sample structures. Then we chose one of the four structures and folded our large decorated sheet into a meander book. There was not time to letter in the books, but we discussed the possibilities and participants were charged with writing in the books at home. What about it? Did you write in your meander book? Bring it to the meeting in February!

Next week we’ll be doing some embossing. Please bring the following:

  • a simple letter or design that fits a 3″ square (see below for examples) on paper*
  • pencil, 2B or softer
  • a piece of matboard at least 4″ square**
  • X-acto knife with a sharp no. 11 blade
  • bone folder and/or ball stylus tool
  • scrap of Arches Text Wove or drawing paper, at least 4″ square

* The paper on which you draw your design should be fairly light-weight. Don’t use watercolor paper or Bristol, for instance. Copy, layout, and tracing papers are all good.

** I’ll bring some extra mat board for those who don’t have this lying around their work space.

More about the design you’ll bring

The fewer lines in your design, the fewer cuts you will need to make. The simpler the design, the less exacting your cuts will need to be. A very simple flower or a Neuland letter is perfect for embossing because it has simple areas. Here is a Neuland alphabet with letters that would work well.

Next meeting January 13

The January meeting of Bridger Mountain Scribes will be held on Monday, January 13, 2020 from 11 AM to 1 PM at the library in the small conference room. Thank you, Rose, for making the room reservation.

How’s your calendar image for the first month coming along? Remember, we decided to work at a size between 7.5″ to 10″ square (inclusive). Teresa has done some great research on our printing option, which I’ll present at the meeting.

We’ll be making a one-sheet meander accordion book — or two or three or four — at the January meeting. Please bring the following:

  • 5 square sheets of paper at least 12 inches, or larger (see note below)
  • a few sheets of paper or notebook for practicing thumbnails or layouts
  • decorating supplies that you like to use, such as watercolors, inks (walnut is fun), brushes, sticks, colored pencils, pencils, gel pens, and so on
  • water jar and/or ink wells
  • brush for loading color if you bring watercolors
  • bone folder
  • craft knife and cutting mat
  • a quotation or saying, short enough to complete in class
  • pen and ink for lettering the quotation in our book
  • anything you need for cleaning up afterwards

A few notes about the 5 sheets of paper: 

  • SIZE: The finished size of the books we fold will be 1/4 the size of the parent sheet. Therefore, a 12-inch square will yield a 3-inch folded book. No measuring or calculations will be necessary, so feel free to bring a 14.6253784-inch square if you like 🙂
  • KIND: Bring at least one good sheet of paper to decorate in class. The rest may be scrapbook paper, newsprint, drawing paper, or more good paper.
  • WEIGHT: Anything that will fold easily is fine, up to 90-lb. watercolor paper.

I’ll bring plastic tablecloths to protect the tables, and a few decorating tools for the group to try.