Sunday, March 14, 2010

artists' books; stationers bindings

spring walk
this time last year, i began weaving together many of the threads from my different loves: smallness, dyeing, spinning, weaving, simple looms, vellum, stitching, story. the first book i made was my exemplar.
vellum exemplar
peter verheyan at syracuse university and the brodskys bring an expert in the field of library, conservation, and book arts to syracuse university library for a weekend lecture and workshop. two novembers ago chela metzger came and presented a wonderful talk about the field of library and conservation science. the workshop was on medieval and early modern stationer's bindings. working with chela was eye opening, the simple, functional, and exceedingly elegant bindings were the equivalent of ring binders today-simple, cheap, easy to make, simple to store; but mostly they did the job well, unlike a three ring binder. chela took us through the process of making a secondary tacketed binding, using paper for textblocks, vellum for the binding, tacketing the sections into the binding, and making typical closures. this teaching stewed until a first book came along, actias luna, a book made using many of these techniques, but my own sensibility. the materials are linen case paper, my overbeaten daylily paper, a beaded moth, and waxed linen thread. the text, a poem, was written in ink on white gouache applied to the pages.
actias luna
then came three small shifu books, and there are a couple more in process. the thing that ties together all of these books, artists' books, is story. each one is a narrative of an event, or a time, or a learning, or even a poem. they are ways to frame the exquisite or mundane experiences in a mechanism that provides the reader a personal glimpse, a haptic adventure into book. for me this is when spinning, weaving, dyeing, textiles meet paper, words, and books. what more could be better? 
spring walk, sewing detail
i posted this on sunday, and some of you get a notification of that. i really don't understand how that works, but i withdrew the post. then, today, i reread it. i hope i haven't shifu-booked you to tears. feel free to skip this-


Caro said...

If you've shifu-booked me to tears, they are tears of delight and pleasure. Absolutely beautiful work! You bring it all together perfectly.

Deb G said...

Not bored, this is something I want to learn about!

neki desu said...

i know. there's something with the notifications sometimes i read on my dashboard and when i come to your blog they're not here.
no big deal, just weird.

Dianne said...

Your work is beautiful... and I've yet to tire of your narratives. This is one of the loveliest I've read... It's a powerful rendition of how you started making your books and I find it very interesting that you titled it after one of my favorite creatures, the Luna Moth (which I so love that I have a large one tattooed on my shoulder). You've also reminded me of an experience with one that that I will write about on this blog later. Thank you for sharing this part of your life.

Velma said...

i'm thinking about doing a photo essay on shifu making.

i'm still learning this blogger thing.

a luna always on your shoulder!

Jeana Marie said...

Velma, they are so very beautiful and I love reading your thoughts about them. I did see this over the weekend, but am glad it's here so I can say how much I liked it!

I think the feed for your post must have been pulled(?) by feed readers in that small moment between publishing and withdrawing...(I think that's how it works, but I don't know the right words to describe it...)

marionjoy said...

would love to see a photo essay on this technique .. your photos are lovely .. and the textures of the paper are beautiful ..

Anonymous said...

So glad I was able to read this - the link hasn't been working for me either - well worth waiting for, thank you. I love to see (and make) handmade books.

Anonymous said...

Great idea! Love seeing a creative mind work and gain success!!!!!! Hope it continues to grow!


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