Jana Pullman, Minnesota Book Artist of the year

JPullman.jpgThe Minnesota Book Awards has named Jana Pullman the winner of the 2013 Minnesota Book Artist Award. The award is presented each year to a Minnesota book artist or group of artists that has shown excellence and innovation in the field over the previous three years, and has contributed significantly to the local book arts community.

Pullman is well known in the community for her work as a book binder and conservator, and especially for her work with leather and wood covers. But her knowledge runs deep in several veins of the book arts, including not just binding but paper-making, printing, box-making, and the history of bookbinding.

Pullman has been involved in the book arts for thirty years, studying the University of Wisconsin-Madison and at the University of Iowa, where she later worked for several years with noted paper maker Tim Barrett.


“Open Horizon” – a cover for the book Open Horizons by Sigurd F. Olson, about his love affair with the wilderness in Wisconsin.

Pullman arrived in Minneapolis in 1997. Since then she has become a pillar of the local book arts community, regularly teaching classes at the Minnesota Center for Book Arts, and running her Western Slope Bindery. She also teaches workshops throughout the country, and has received several prestigious awards.

Full disclosure: I’ve had the pleasure of taking several classes with Jana Pullman over the last few years. She is a treasure of book arts knowledge and a gem of a teacher.

In conjunction with the Minnesota Book Artist award, an exhibit of Pullman’s work will be on display at the MCBA January 18 – February 24, and will subsequently tour to other venues across the state.


“Water” – Full bound goatskin over sculptured boards. Silk endbands and chiyogami endpapers. Air brushed background and title in aluminum leaf.

Previous recipients of the Minnesota Book Artist Award include Cave Paper’s Bridget O’Malley and Amanda Degener, Regula Russelle, Wilber H. “Chip” Schilling, Paulette Myers-Rich, and Jody Williams.

Images courtesy of the Minnesota Book Awards.