Material World (2)

Material World (2)

One of the pleasures and deep satisfactions of bookmaking, is delving into the visual, visceral, and tactile pleasures of materials, and how to employ and combine them. The following shares one step of my journey exploring and investigating the qualities inherent in materials.   Though many artists do not make the kind of money that allows for indulgence in what might be termed, “material pleasures”, we may be seen as materialistic…for materials are the very warp and weft of our trade.  We find our way to the ineffable through the use and exploitation of the materials we choose.

WEBaFront view…closed and tied.

WEBbPeeking open, ribbons wafting

WEBcAn open book…

WEBdSeen from behind

Single signature binding with wrapped covers, collage, patterned paper from scrapbook pads, drawing paper, recycled shirt-weight cardboard covers, binding sewn with hemp cord, ribbon. Ribbon inserted through book, between cover board and wrapping and over spine.

Artists Books, The Book Arts, Bookbinding, Bookmaking, The Making of Books, however you want to put it, is fertile ground for this exploration/exploitation.  In this sense, we are turning even our language on its proverbial head. For what might be seen as negative, such as materialism (being “materialistic”) and exploitation (making use of and benefiting from resources) becomes an act of creativity, imagination and exploration through this transformative  process.  Which becomes ultimately, an act of expression.

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Books1: Gossamer Wings: Books Which Waft

Books1: Gossamer Wings:Books Which Waft

In my obsession with,  as one roommate put it many years ago, “Putting things to use”, (“Debra, one thing I really admire about you is how you put things to use!”), I set aside that which I don’t use or recycle…and create from it other things.

As I continue my exploration and experimentation with bookmaking as a vehicle of expression, transformation and communication, I find myself playing with the simplicity of stitching, and layering materials in new ways to capture or transmit a feeling. The materials themselves are layered with meaning…

WEB1Gossamer Wings: brown paper, glassine (I think…this semi-sheer material just sort of came my way and I responded to its expressive potential), paint chips, a piece of found fabric (at Trash for Teaching in LA),  a piece of “scrapbook” paper from a pad, (from Michaels, I believe), and 10lb 100% natural  hemp cord.

WEB2It opens gently.  It wafts.

WEB1Maggie’s: more glassine (I think…again material that wafted to me from SAG…advertising academy award film nominees, because my husband Mark Henry Samuel is an actor, and in the Union…), exhibition announcements from old friend and painting teacher in France, the incredible artist Maggie Siner, and a brochure for architect Richard Neutra‘s VDL Studio and Residences. The accordion/concertina folded spine, and “fan” pages…create a…fan.  Which wafts.

WEB1PlaceMat: repurposed placemat with stitching, ledger paper from another era, and 10lb 100% natural  hemp cord.

WEB4The placemat cover provides stability, the lighter pages waft. Almost waft.  A slight breeze is required.

Waft  (not waffle) on!