Sunday, December 28, 2014
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On December 13th I was invited, along with Carolyn Terry and Chele Shepard, to give a talk at the Sherry Grover Gallery that is housed within the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art. This is a beautiful space within the museum that houses Cynthia Sears' private collection of artist made books. With the gorgeous cherry display cases and some of the best examples of artists made books in the country, it is easy to find inspiration here. Cynthia Sears, seated at the far end of the table, suggested this gathering and encouraged us to talk about artist made books that we have in progress. It was such a fun event and a reminder to me that even if you had a whole room full of book artists, everyone has their own perspective ... of experience that led them to the subject matter ... of materials they like to use ... of techniques that work best for them ... etc.
Chele, wearing glasses in the middle of the photo, talked about a book (three small books actually) that use microfiche as pages ... this is one of her favorite materials for building books. In this type of book, stencils are often part of Chele's language. Another style book Chele makes is as personal as you can get. Using her daily journal pages (a big stack ... many years worth) as the basis for the work, Chele types them into the computer and then uses various software to scramble the words so that they are disguised in a code-like way. Sometimes this code is printed on top of the hand written text making it all 'not quite readable'....but almost.
Carolyn Terry, for years, has wanted to create a fictitious journal type book. She has a project in the works about a woman biologist/explorer who lived in the late 1800's. Within the journal will be sketches and drawings of observations and letters, written and received, that will help carry the story. To make everything seem as real as possible, Carolyn is researching and experimenting with aging paper... early envelope construction ... and even practicing penmanship that resembles examples of writing from that period. A second book Carolyn has in progress will be an ABC type book with beautifully illustrated alphabet pages that represent words borrowed from a military dictionary. Carolyn has chosen a harsh dichotomy on purpose ... one sure to stir conversation ... and to make the complacent uncomfortable.
(this photo courtesy of Laura Silverstein)
On a lighter note, I talked about a small book I am working on titled I WOULD GIVE TO YOU THE MOON AND STARS. This book will have an etched metal brass cover and is in the shape of a cutout hand. I won't say too much about it here because in another month it will be on display at Bainbridge Arts and Crafts for their February show titled THE MOON AND THE STARS. I will blog about it when that show opens. On the end of the table you can see a few of my books. Cynthia was kind enough to take my Oak Leaf Haiku book, the Garden Book and THE CLOUD COLLECTOR out of the display case so I could show them and talk about their components. I also told my story of how I came to book arts through the back door ... via metal sculpture and my narrative art boxes. Actually, that seems like a whole other topic for a blog entry ... maybe I will write about that soon.
Anyway ... a good time was had by all. A big THANK YOU to Cynthia Sears for organizing this event and to all who came to hear our stories and in turn shared their thoughts and kind words with us.
PS...just a note that Carolyn, Chele and I meet every month, along with our artist friend, Victoria Mournean, to talk about book arts ... art in general ... painting ... upcoming opportunities ... inspiration ... how to get unstuck when we find ourselves stuck ... and so much more. Carolyn and Chele are also musicians and occasionally, at the end of the meeting, we are treated to a little fiddle or accordion music sometimes accompanied by a stand up bass ...... sheer bliss.