Handmade Books

During my first senior year of college I took a studio class called Bookmaking from a very inspiring professor.  Her class was the first studio class where I felt completely free to create without any restrictions.  She would begin our class with meditation, and then we would spend the following twenty minutes free writing or free drawing.  This by far was the most relaxing and organic start to get into the creating process that I have ever experienced.  We were all safe in that space to try new processes, materials, and concepts.  Nothing was ever forced or contrived and my classmates were comfortable in their own talents to share opinions and suggestions.  I even looked forward to group projects and collaborative work, a task that I dreaded in other classes.  Since this was my favorite class it is no wonder that I still treasure the books that I made that semester. 

Yesterday I mentioned handmade books on my new floating shelves.  These books were created from cardstock, thread, paper pulp, cereal boxes, Japanese paper, magazines, ribbon, wood accents, and of course- buttons.  Most are functional art that later became a journal but some are almost sculpture.  

This book was made with fiber paper, a vintage pattern, and ribbon.

The ribbon goes through the dress and ties the two covers closed and accessorizes the book. 

This is a mixed media book, with wooden covers, accordion folded card stock and sewn 'pages' that have unexpected messages on the front and back.

This burnt orange book was made with ribbon, wood flower accents, scrap booking paper, Japanese paper, and recycled brown wrapping paper.

'Home' was created with blueprints, vinyl, scrap booking paper, and brown thread. 

 I am excited to see this art form is growing in its popularity and the wide possibilities of being able to create new books out of old books and any found object that you already have lying around the house.  Since i was broke in college it really forced me to be clever in acquiring supplies, most that i got for free at a thrift store i worked at.  The vinyl came from my mother who was reupholstering a retro chair, and most of the paper came from a bookstore on my college campus.
Now that i am not living off ramon noodles and canned tuna, i still think it is smart to upcycle and give items new life.  It’s more of a creative challenge to use what you already have than to run out and buy new supplies.  I think that gives my books more charm and makes them worth displaying.  I was able to be innovative by manipulating unusual materials for my books, and i challenge you to do the same.

Who ever said don't judge a book by its' cover?  I dare you to.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Brittany. I know you are getting back into the swing of things with blogging. So to help you along and to get to know you better as well as letting your other followers and bloggers. I am 'tagging' you. The rules for the game are explained on my blog. Have a great weekend! -DeAnn http://thesipproject.blogspot.com/