Hand-i-Work: Making Books

Hand-i-Work: Making Books

Picturing Bookmaking…the work of our hands.

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Saying goodbye to summer 2016 “Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio. Cherish the memories!

Until next year…walk in peace, and make books…read them too!

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Bookmaking: A Handy Form of Expression

Bookmaking: A Handy Form of Expression

A Picture Poem giving new meaning to hand work…handiwork…the work (play?) of our hands!

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These students HANDle the form well!

Bravo!

A Visit to Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio

A Visit to Wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio  

Five weeks of bookmaking with students aged 5-10. An incredible opportunity to witness and nurture creativity in action!

WEBaTaking an existing book and altering it.

WEBdSome students had no problem cutting right into the book…(a paperback)…and others were more hesitant.

WEBeSome students think of books primarily as a space for their many writing ideas….

WEBfand others are focused on the visual, enchanted my the material possibilities.

WEBaGiving new meaning to the term “Getting Your Ducks in a Row”…

WEBbAnd the story idea…: “A Bunny With Fairy Wings”


WEBd  Re-purposing tags as flags in the flag book.

WEBe - CopyThe purple tee-shirted bookmaking sistahs!

WEBg - CopyConcentration. Beginning to write after creating a glittering border.

WEBh - CopyBook End (table end) inspiration.

WEBaHandmade Portfolios using hanging file folders and shoelaces.

WEBi - CopyPortfolio, and the joy of glittery stickers.

WEBjCreating dimension with “pom-poms”.

WEBkBead embellishment

WEBmTreasure hunting.

WEBnOur piece of heaven: the supplies table.

WEBbSketch book…

WEBcWorking in a single signature book. Why use one pencil when you can use three?!

WEBaCreating scrolls…an ancient book form. We added wooden dowels later.

Thank you for visiting our summer wonderland: The Book Makers’ Studio. You can always create your won…with whatever you have on hand to create with!

 

PaintedPages2: The Painted Book

PaintedPages2: The Painted Book

Painting on denim, reading color, the ties that bind, the vocabulary of color. 

These are themes that come to mind when creating “painted books”.

WEBeA multiple signature book, bound with hemp cord, covers of board covered with painted denim,  pages made of painted denim bifolios.

WEBaOne piece covers front and back covers, and spine piece.  Creating a book with a painting..

WEBdEdges left raw.

WEBlInside front cover is unpainted denim, overlaid with painted piece.

WEBb    The acrylic painting gives the pages a satisfying heft…WEBcThe content is color…

WEBnand texture.

WEBkAnd a river runs through it…when do the elements of shape, texture and color come together to create an image that would be interpreted by the viewer as in generally the same way?

When does a collection of elements become a “thing”?

Painted Pages: An Investigation

Painted Pages: An Investigation

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Paper, Board, Canvas, Denim, Hemp Cord.

Painting with Acrylics.

Single and Multiple Signature Bindings.

What comes next?

The French Connection or How I Learned to Love to Link 2

The French Connection or How I Learned to Love to Link 2

Books made for children, featuring the “French Link” stitch

WEB1   I continue to play with the “French Link” stitch I recently learned. The best way to learn and skill is to do…so inspired by some special upcoming birthdays, I went to town with color, ribbons, and, of course, the “x” -like French link stitch!

WEB5Using “Eco-fi” felt (made of recycled plastic bottles, no less) in brilliant colors. The pink and green pop, in complimentary fashion. I hope the heart is seen as coming together, not breaking apart. This book was made for an eight year old girl!

WEB4The French link stitch over ribbons, using hemp cord.The knotting below and above the French linking gives the effect of a chain stitch, though each knot is independent of the others.

WEB1The flowing ribbons are folded in half, the loop pushed through a slit in the cover, and the ends then pulled tight through the loop.

WEB4The theme here is outer space, based on the ribbons, hopefully the polka dots elicit the feeling of planets roiling about in space. The red and black color scheme is meant to be positive,  powerful and masculine, with a bit of white to soften the effect.

WEB2The shape of the ribbon ends brings a sense of flags and heraldry to the piece, while the imagery on the ribbons remains playful.  This book was created for a six year old boy (after all!), who is fascinated with space.

WEB1   Designed for a spirited three year old girl, this book sports pink, purple. polka dots, and pastels. It’s green ties are made from shiny cord, knotted at each end.

WEB5The connecting ribbons are woven through two slits on both covers, with the end of each folded under and glued down. The polk-dotted ribbon glued to the page is the same colors, but a different scale then the connectors. it is fun to play with scale!

WEB4The extra slits for the ribbon create a pattern, and add an extra bit of zip to the cover design.

This work isn’t only pure love, it is sheer delight and great fun. Of course there are challenges and ups and down in the process, but the result is arresting and gratifying to the soul. Link On!

Pushing the Envelope

Pushing the Envelope

Using the form of the envelope to create an artist’s book can be evocative, provocative,  crafty, conceptual, fun, somber, expressive, “artistic”, creative, engaging, and baffling. As with many artists’ books, the question can be raised, “What are these for? What is their purpose? Are they meant to be read, observed and perused, handled, shown behind glass?”  And in the case of the envelope book “…sent through the mail?”

I don’t presume to answer these questions, and can imagine another post which delves more deeply into them.  In this one, my  intent is to share a few of my own envelop books, the materials used in them, some of the motivation, thinking and feeling behind them, and let the observer draw their own conclusions, and perhaps becoming inpsired to explore, and even create one of their own.

Note: in this post,  we see books created in the form of an envelope…as opposed to books created from existing envelopes, which is a whole other story. Also, hemp cord was used to bind the sewn books, and acid-free UHU glue sticks were used as the adhesive for anything glued on all the books depicted.

WEBa WEBbCutting, Folding, Stamping, Sewing…

In this book, the basic form is cut and folded, and a single signature is sewn into the last fold with a pamphlet stitch.  A single rubber stamp image stamped in varying ways is used to develop and adorn the piece, and delicate handmade paper containing plant material adds a finishing touch to the pages.

WEBdWEBaWEBbWEBcLone Stories Connect…Discover “I Think I Can”…It’s Everything

In the piece above, the basic structure is cut and folded from a sketchbook cover, and the pages created by a concertina/accordion folded paper strip glued into its next to last section.. The collaged elements, ranging from printed material cut from magazines,  personal writing, repurposed corrugated paper, ribbon scrap and copied illustration images, tell a story of pain and isolation with the potential of redemption through connection and story.

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This mini book opens on four sides, with pages sewn in a single signature into one fold. Soft handmade paper is used both for adornment and  pages, attached with a running stitch which is threaded back into the sewing holes so that the two ends can be tied together. The single message greets the viewer right in the center. What does it mean? Well, ponder it for awhile, and notice your associations with the phrase, “Painfully Animal”. What does the term evoke for You?

WEBa WEBb WEBcMixed Media Envelope Book: Work in Progress

This mixed media message piece has been underway, along with a number of bookish siblings, for over two years.  It’s structure is cut and folded, like the first envelope book depicted in this post, and it’s graph paper pages stacked into a single signature, and sewn into the end fold with a running stitch as described above. The  painstaking, step-by-step process of developing the book’s content requires time and focused attention.

Every bit of image and text must feel ‘right’ in how it looks, what it evokes and where it is placed in the book. The ‘story’ that emerges, however non-linear, is discovered in the doing as much by the artist, as it may be later by the observer. Time itself is one of the most significant materials used, as such a piece can’t be rushed.

In these works, many aspects of the creative process come into play: patience and impulse, technique and tension, methods and materials, effort and evocation.

The medium of the envelope book may be on  a mission to become a missive to the outside world from the maker’s heart and soul, hands and head. If it gets a little heady, or crafty in-between, well, that might be just another aspect of this long strange trip we’re on.

Books3: Bookmaking, Artist’s Books, and the Art of Emptiness

Books3: Bookmaking, Artist’s Books,  and the Art of Emptiness

I love to take materials that I have..either saved, given, or just sort of showing up in my life, and set myself the task of weaving them together into unique/one-of-a-kind handmade “artist’s books“…sometimes literally weaving.

The books below are single signature bindings, a signature being a gathering of folded pages, as the marvelous book artist, teacher and author Alisa Golden would put it.

To give the books more heft, I sewed boards, several of which already had holes in them, (because the were backings for sketchbooks, and that’s how the drawing paper was attached…through those holes), to the insides of the covers. Other materials were sewn where they seemed to need to be.

Animal“, repurposed board, paper and business card folder, hemp cord, ribbon.WEBbWEBa

BookShow“, repurposed board, paper and business card folder, hemp cord, collage.WEBaWEBb

Like White on Rice“, repurposed board, paper and business card folder, hemp cord, ribbon.WEBbWEBa

There is an intentional emptiness in these pieces. There is very little text in or on them, and the pages are primarily blank. They aren’t made to be written in either.  They just are. A pure exploration of materials floating through space, bound together, literally, by hand.