Books: unZIPPED

Books: unZIPPED

It can be fascinating, fun…and sometimes startling  to add elements to books that compel, or at least encourage engagement by giving the viewer, or, “handler”, (peruser?)  something to do. Books by their nature are most often opened and closed…but in what other ways can they move, or be moved?

WEB4WEB5This humble structure is informed by the Japanese concept of “Wabi-sabi“, an aesthetic of imperfection, impermanence, and even incompleteness. Repurposed cloth is sewn to thin, repurposed cardboard with jute cord, with other strips glued on inside. Repurposed paper passed to me by a colleague is sewn with jute to the cardboard spine in a single signature with a five-hole pamphlet stitch, to create the pages.

WEBcWEBhWEBnInspired by the cheesecake box from which it’s covers and spine are made, this piece was covered first in hand-me-down newsprint strips, then repurposed muslin fragments, then appliquéd (in the strict sense of the term) with repurposed lace and a zipper. It’s pages are five single folded sheet signatures, or bifolium , sewn to the spine with unwaxed linen thread.

WEB2WEB1This multiple signature (technically “section“) book is made from repurposed cardboard, acid-free drawing paper, hemp cord, a zipper, and Eco-fi felt. The signatures technically bifolium, are sewn onto a strip of the “felt”, which is then centered and glued over the spine. The book is covered, or “wrapped” in Eco-fi felt, which is used to decorative effect, and gives it a “cozy” feel. The zipper is glued to the spine.

web1web3This book is constructed in the same way as the one above, except that the pages are created from a  single signature, and three zippers are applied, making sound effects when engaged.

Participation encouraged. Books are made to interact with.

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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,

WEBpand a pocket on the back cover…for secret notes, talismans, messages and dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

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