Proposed by Madeleine Rousseau and Deidre Hierlihy.

The CBBAG Ottawa Valley Chapter SWAP is an annual collaborative project that promotes interesting artistic and book arts-related technical opportunities to acquire and put into practice one’s skills by creating a book, a binding, box or other object and to connect with members in our Chapter.

Each participant creates a signature of the specified size, inspired by the proposed theme. Each participant produces as many identical or similar signatures as there are participants, plus one extra signature for the CBBAG-OV archives. These signatures are swapped with the other participants. Each participant will then create a book, a box or a book arts-related object using the set of signatures. Choosing the binding, the thread, making the covers, selecting or decorating the cover papers are all creative steps of the process. Participants have 3 months to make their signatures, followed by 3 months to complete their book, box or other structure with the set of signatures by others. The participants present their works (the contributed signature and the binding created with the set of signatures) at a CBBAG-OV meeting and possibly on Zoom for those who cannot attend the meeting.

Theme: A Special Place

The scope of the theme is broad and can be interpreted in many ways. For example, it can be a physical location or an object (a city, a street, a garden, a mountain, a comfy chair, the fridge, a book, etc.), or be non-figurative (a state of mind, an event, a memory, an emotion, or from a dream), etc. 

Size and Shape of the Signature

The overall size of the signature will be 5 inches high by 10 inches wide (a landscape format). The signature can be unfolded single or multiple sheets of paper (IMPORTANT: please add 3/4 inches on the left side of the width for binding purposes) or a larger folded sheet of paper (e.g. a 5 inch high by 20 inch wide sheet folded in half or a wider format folded into an accordion), etc.

Medium for Visual Expression

The participant is free to choose the medium of their choice. Imagery and/or text can be done in painting, drawing, calligraphy, letter press, prints, collage, photography. All sides of the signature can be filled. Reproductions of your original artwork are accepted.

Important Dates

11 Oct. Project proposal presentation and invitation to members. To participate, e-mail Madeleine Rousseau at
8 Nov. Reminder to members to join before the December deadline.
13 Dec. Deadline to join in the SWAP project
13 Mar. Distribution of the signatures to the other participants. NOTE: There will alternative ways of swapping signatures to accommodate all. To be determined.
12 Jun. or 11 Sep. Show and Tell of the participants’ completed book, box or other creative book arts creation. This includes presenting your creative process for both your signature and your book arts object.
The dates corresponds to the CBBAG-OV meetings, where exchanges will take place unless otherwise indicated.


Contact, Madeleine Rousseau by e-mail at