Altered Books:
Transforming the Familiar
Instructor Gina Pisello

Virtual Workshop
Monday September 13, 2021
1 to 3 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From wherever you are, via Zoom.
(This workshop will be recorded, and video will be available to registered students for two weeks after the workshop)
Class limit: 15

Join us for some book arts play as we alter old text blocks into exciting paper sculptures. Part demonstration, part exploration; you will learn techniques for altering books with positive and negative cutting. You will also learn how to remove a text block from a book and sew a signature back together. If you can’t bring yourself to cut up old books, you can substitute small notebooks with sewn signatures.


Advance registration is required for all JCBA workshops. For more details or to register, please email JCBA Director John Cutrone (


Our suggested tuition rate for this course is $50, but your tuition is Self-Determined. Our goal is to make this workshop experience accessible. If your personal financial situation is difficult right now, pay what you can. If you can afford to pay more, we deeply appreciate that. Use our suggested tuition of $50 as your guide and go from there.


Tablet or computer with Internet connection • X-acto knife (or other craft knife) with replacement blades • Scissors • Thin cutting mat (made of plastic and found at kitchen stores, for example: • Ruler • Pencil • Compass • Notebook or vintage book measuring about 4" x 6" • Notebook or vintage book measuring about 5" x 7" • Waxed linen thread • Needle • Dye inks (Gina uses Tim Holtz Distress Inks) or other coloring tools like markers, crayons, or colored pencils • a piece of thin chipboard such as a cereal box or other similar packaging


Gina Pisello is a paper engineer and book artist. Her work consists of original book structures, altered books, and paper sculptures exploring themes of time, personal history, and the interplay of shadow and light. She has taught book arts for over 16 years, focusing mainly on book structures she has invented. Membership in groups such as San Diego Book Arts and Puget Sound Book Arts have given her opportunities to learn new skills and share discoveries with fellow artists. Her work has been exhibited in San Diego County, the University of Puget Sound, the University of South Dakota, the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and the University of Western England, Bristol, and is in several private collections as well as at the University of Washington, the University of Puget Sound, and UC Berkeley.