MemoryMaking Books

MemoryMaking Books

In celebration of the 125th Anniversary of the Santa Monica Public Library, I had the opportunity to lead a bookmaking program at the  Montana Avenue Library, my home branch of the SMPL

“Making Memory Books” was requested… a single signature style book, embellished with fabric.

WEBaLeather, denim, beads, as well as decorative papers and fabric scrap were some of the goodies laid out for participants to use.

WEBcThe signatures were already prepared, with holes punched. Once bound with the three-hole pamphlet stitch, the first and last pages were glued to the inside of the front and back covers, and the book was formed.

WEBiThen, the fun could really begin!  let the embellishment commence!

WEBkPaper, “eco-fi” felt, cloth, lace and leather transformed the book structures into unique works of art.

WEBdUpon request, a square shape was used, instead of the more common vertical  rectangle.

WEBeA mother daughter duo enjoyed adorning their book covers with butterflies.

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WEBfIs this a pink planet, surrounded by butteries?

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WEB2The inspiration for the project was a series of fabric covered sewn book models,

WEB8with cloth pieces applied patchwork style.

WEB1The colors, patterns, shapes and tactile quality of cloth and textiles can evoke powerful memories.

WEB2The effect can be pleasing visually, as well as tracing remnants of life stories barely remembered but held in the body, memory and emotions through the sense of touch.

These books, that may hold memories barely discernible to the maker, can now become the repository of new memories, as scrapbooks, photo albums, journals, or sketchbooks.

What a beautiful gift.

Happy Holidays, and peace and blessings for the New Year.

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That Ribbon of…3

That Ribbon of…3

It is fascinating to explore ways of integrating ribbon and tying mechanisms into book structures. An integrated tie mechanism encourages the user to engage with the object…opening and closing, tying and untying.

WEB4In an ongoing process of attempting to meld bookmaking, decorative painting, conceptual, and “fine” art into the mysterious form of the “artist’s book“, I am exploring the use of tissue paper and the like combined with adhesives to create a textured, tactile surface, and incorporating the ribbon or tie as an integral part of the piece.

WEBaSimple cardboard is covered with crinkled tissue once used to separate sheets of metallic leaf. This tissue, for lack of a better term, is thin, fine, ultra flexible, crushable, porous, adherable and absorbent. Perfect for texturing, and when combined with adhesive, becomes almost like a glue itself. The textured surface can create a compelling, intriguing, and in some instances, incredibly satisfying object to gaze upon, to touch, to hold, and to use.

WEB1Here the actual packing of the metallic leaf become folded book pages, each one unfolded, then refolded into a signature, (technically a “section”).  These signatures are then sewn together with hemp cord using  the pamphlet stitch  to create a “multi-signature” binding.  Half of the first and last pages are then glued to the inside of the front and back covers so that the pages unfold.

WEB2Thus each folded page opens up into four two-sided sections. many possibilities here…both for developing the book by adding content to the pages, and for user engagement with the pages…unfolding and folding them.

WEB3The pages can become sculptural and create different shapes. One of the magical things about the form of “the book”, is that it can be nearly flat or two-dimensional, or three-dimensional. Books are transformational…in many ways.

WEB5The exposed points of contact where the signatures are sewn together become the spine of the book.

WEB6Eventually, I integrated this brilliant orange ribbon into the design of the book. it adds a bit of shimmer, dimension, and contrasting texture, and a tone-on-tone quality that I find irresistible.

I will have to get some images of the finished piece. It is fun to play with, opening and closing the book,  folding and unfolding the pages, seeing how many shapes can be created. The user has to engage with this book, if they don’t want to miss out!

 

 

 

 

That Ribbon of…2

That Ribbon of…2WEB1It is fascinating to explore ways of integrating ribbon and tying mechanisms into book structures. An integrated tie mechanism encourages the user to engage with the object…opening and closing, tying and untying.

WEB4In an ongoing process of attempting to meld bookmaking, decorative painting, conceptual, and “fine” art into the mysterious form of the “artist’s book“, I am exploring the use of tissue paper and the like combined with adhesives to create a textured, tactile surface, and incorporating the ribbon or tie as an integral part of the piece. Simple cardboard is covered with crinkled tissue once used to separate sheets of metallic leaf.

WEBa This tissue, for lack of a better term, is thin, fine, ultra flexible, crushable, porous, adherable and absorbent. Perfect for texturing, and when combined with adhesive, becomes almost like a glue itself.

WEB5The textured surface combined with the ribbon or tie, can create a compelling, intriguing, and in some instances, incredibly satisfying object to gaze upon, to touch, to hold, and to use. Here the brown gauze ribbon and found object sewn to the front cover complete the piece.

WEB6The ribbon is slipped under the signature stitches, and one of a line of stitches keeping the strip of cloth (in this case brown felt) to which the signatures are sewn, in place.

WEB7 The polka-dotted ribbon adds an element of pattern and lightness and creates a striped effect when laid down next to the brown felt.

WEB9WEB8WEB90Oranges and browns are set off by the brilliant, saturated colors of the pages.

WEB2  The ribbon add sensuality and languidness, and has a life of its own. Depending on how it lays, the completed book can look demure, like an attentive, obedient student,

WEB3  or, even like a Buddha.

 We have to turn each page…in turn…if we don’t want to miss the in-between. Which might be the most interesting part of the story…

T.B.C.

That Ribbon of…1

That Ribbon of…1

WEBa

It is fascinating to explore ways of integrating ribbon and tying mechanisms into book structures. An integrated tie mechanism encourages the user to engage with the object…opening and closing, tying and untying.

WEBb

In an ongoing process of attempting to meld bookmaking, decorative painting, conceptual, and “fine” art into the mysterious form known as the “artist’s book“, I am exploring the use of tissue paper and the like combined with adhesives to create a tactile, textured surface, and incorporating the ribbon or tie as an integral part of the piece.

WEBc

The textured surface combined with the ribbon or tie, can create a compelling, intriguing, and , incredibly satisfying object to gaze upon, to touch, to hold, and to use.

WEBdHere simple cardboard is covered with crinkled tissue once used to separate sheets of metallic leaf.

WEBaThis tissue, for lack of a better term, is thin, fine, ultra flexible, crushable, porous, adherable and absorbent. Perfect for texturing, which, when combined with adhesive, becomes almost like a glue itself.

WEBeHere, one ribbon defines the spine of the structure, while another is embedded between layers of tissue and glue, with tieable ends emerging.

WEBfHere gold cord is sandwiched between layers of adhesive-saturated tissue, connecting the two covers and creating a built-in tying mechanism.

WEBgThe thin tissue takes on the shape of the cord underneath it, creating a sculptural relief  or raised effect.

WEBjjpgA similar technique was used for this piece, with the ribbon is adhered to the surface, creating a strong graphic element.

WEBijpgEnds are left loose to tie the book closed.

WEBhWhat will go inside?

One step at a time.  We have to turn each page…in turn…if we don’t want to miss the in-between.

Which might be the most interesting part of the story…

T.B.C.

 

 

 

 

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