John DeMerritt owns and operates John DeMerritt Bookbinding in Emeryville, CA. His bindery produces editions of books and portfolios for fine-press printers, publishers, galleries and artists. John has taught and lectured at The SF Center for the Book, The Kala Institute, The Guild of Bookworkers, Center for Book and Paper at Columbia College, Oregon College of Arts and Crafts and Mills College. From 2000 - 2013, he taught bookmaking in the Photography Department of the San Francisco Art Institute. John and his wife, Nora Pauwels, publish collaborative projects with artists under their imprint DeMerritt | Pauwels Editions.
Nora Pauwels is an internationally recognized printmaker. Born in Belgium, where she was educated in fine arts and fine art restoration, she lives and works in Emeryville. She is known for her exploration of unusual means of creating intaglio prints with various plexigravure processes.
Her work has been exhibited in the Bay Area for over twenty years and, most recently, she was awarded a commission from the City of Emeryville Art in Public Places Program for an installation of her prints at the Emeryville Police Station. Additionally, she was among the first artists commissioned by the City of Emeryville for their Art In Bus Shelters Program. Pauwels has created several portfolios of prints that have been collected both nationally and internationally. She and her husband, John DeMerritt, operate DeMerritt | Pauwels Editions, a small imprint focused on publishing books with visual artists.
DeMerritt | Pauwels editions is a small publisher of handmade books in Emeryville, CA. Using its background in traditional bookmaking and printing processes, our goal is to produce small editions of books with artists that utilize both the powerful tradition of the hand made book object and its often unexplored potential as a vehicle for art and content. Collaboration is key to us and we ask our artists to contribute their skills and resources in the production of our books.
The SF Bay Area has a rich history in book production and printing, starting at the end of the 19th century, and since then many parallel worlds of book publishing have emerged: Grabhorn Press, Zephyrus Image press, the comic/zine universe, City Lights’ poetry publications, Arion Press, and The Internet Archive. The Bay Area is one of the major hubs of Artist Book activity in the United States and there’s a significant audience for handmade books here. While DeMerritt | Pauwels Editions’ sees itself as part of that continuum, we are particularly interested in expanding our reach into the larger arts community, where we feel equally at home and where there is a larger platform for dialogue about and investigation into the potential of the book object.
We are most interested in collaborating with artists who are willing to work closely with us and participate in all aspects of production. This is an unusual convention for most publishers, but we feel strongly that the time spent together in the studio is important to our ultimate understanding of what our projects become in the process of creating them. DeMerritt | Pauwels Editions’ inaugural projects in 2014 were with artists Clifton Meador and Sofia Cordova. Meadors’ book, Pankisi Prayer Rug is a book of photographs and text based on an isolated Muslim community in the Pankisi Gorge in the Republic of Georgia. Bay Area Photographer Sofia Cordova’s book, Infinite Encyclopedia, is a collection of 187 photographs, volume one of a lifelong project to catalog everything. In 2015, we produced an edition of books with San Francisco artist Brad Brown. The book is an edition of 10, drawn and lettered entirely by hand. Future DeMerritt | Pauwels endeavors include Bay Area artist Canan Tolon and SF photographer Justin Scheutz, which are in the planning stages for 2016 and 2017.