Oh, yes! Family Book Lab does some great parties — with two limitations. One: small parties! The studio is small, so kid parties are limited to seven children, max. This is a hard limit; there are exactly seven chairs in the studio, seven bone folders, seven aprons. Unlimited creative possibilities, yes — but only for seven lucky kids at a time. Two: since these are not kid-safe pretend art materials, we will keep their bodies safe by not eating in the studio.
That said, if you have a creative kid, or a bookish kid, or a kid who likes big machines and can live with a small party, we can work with you to plan something intimate, creative and satisfying. The same goes for you if your creative kid self grew into a creative adult, a bookish adult, an adult who likes big machines and small parties. And adults can eat in the studio, too!
The cost of parties is 10$ per person per hour plus a $30 per party set-up/clean-up, so a 90 minute party for six people is $120. If you or your child has your heart set on an unusually expensive project, we can work out a budget for it, never fear. The two parties described below used only materials from the East Bay Depot for Creative Re-Use (very green) and had no additional materials cost.
Here are three parties held recently at Family Book Lab (two with pictures and one without):
Party One: Six girls ages six and seven used pre-carved linoleum blocks to make multi-colored, multiple-layered prints. The birthday girl had drawn an image on an additional block which I carved before the party and had ready. We used the folded prints as the covers for little booklets that we sewed by hand, and the remaining prints were paired with envelopes to make cards. Everyone went home with at least two booklets and three cards, and the birthday girl kept her block, too. This was a 90 minute party, and the material cost was $18.
Party Two: Six boys and girls between seven and — I’d guess — nine? used pre-carved blocks to print comic books: they chose eight blocks out of twelve, and consulted together on a format, which we set up in the press accordingly. Printing, trimming, folding and binding followed, and the kids left with one complete book each ready for additional characters and dialogue, and a stack of printed pages for future ideas. Another 90 minute party, and the materials again were under $20.
Party Three: celebrating the 71st birthday of a fabulous art quilter, along with six of her friends (and her very happy husband). We printed a random pattern of wood type on various papers to make over-printed textural designs, then cut them up and did a fold-and-glue book that I call the Secret Pocket Notebook. It was a challenging party for me! These were very accomplished, confident, creative women who did not necessarily need any hand-holding from a (I was going to say ‘young’, but okay, middle-aged) whipper-snapper like myself. But by the time Peter shooed his guests away, we were nine happy people.