Artist Books and Old Lace

Artist Books and Old Lace

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There is a genre of artist books/bookmaking/handmade books that employs a sort of “shabby chic” look through the use of repurposed lace, ribbon and other fabrics…which emanate the feeling of rediscovered French textiles of a certain age, family heirlooms, and possibly, family secrets.

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“The word lace is from Middle English, from Old French las, noose, string, from Vulgar Latin *laceum, from Latin laqueus, noose; probably akin to lacere, to entice or ensnare.”


 

 

 

I felt a longing to create something like this, inspired by what I’d seen, but with my own twist on it. I knew the feeling I was after, but not exactly how to create it.  So, I did what you have to do under such circumstances, I dove in. Having procured all manner of lace for a “Bookmaking with lace” program I was leading at a local library, I felt that I had the appropriate arsenal and old lace, and was ready to begin.

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Inspired by the book-like form of a cardboard cheesecake box, I covered it with humble newsprint papers, from a little pad found at an incredible place in LA appropriately called Trash for Teaching.

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I then used scraps of muslin, also found at T4T to further cover the surface, piecing some together, and overlapping others, using the frayed edge as part of the design and feel.

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I added and embellished with strips and fragments of lace, and a zipper of similar hue, to  engage the handler and add a kinetic quality. I sewed four signatures, each composed solely of a single folded sheet of old paper passed to me by a fellow artist, directly into the spine with white linen thread.

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I created a flap next to the zipper on the front cover,

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Drawn by tactility, I contemplate my next textured textile plunge into this genre…there is a lot of room to feel one’s way around. I, like many others, an touched by the totality of the tactile experience.

Tactile: From French tactile, from Latin tactilis (that may be touched, tangible), from tangere (to touch). — http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tactile#Etymology

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