Artists book · Book · Bookbinding

500 Handmade Books; book extracts

This book has examples of artist’s books and I’ve picked a few I like:

This one I picked for its 3D element; you open the book and pull the pages forward showing a scene in the middle of the pages. It’s a quick and completely visual way of showing information, a specific image or the insides of something through layering. Could be used to show the inside of the hive; there is a lot going on in there in different sections so could be interesting to look at and construct this. This could be a way of showing the life of a bee.

This one is a beautiful example of how an artist’s book doesn’t have to be a book. This one is simply rolled up pages in a bowl but it still convey information over time and has text of some sort. It can be interacted with. Think about this and consider how it can be applied to my own work.

I love the mixed media and collage used in this book and like the idea of stitching images into the book; it adds nice texture to the pages and can be used to put emphasis on something. The use of soft handwritten text in the background gives the book a personal touch and could be a collection purely for the joy of birds rather than anything else. It is still, however, an artist’s book. This again pushes what an artist’s book is through the context of it. I want to try mixed media, so this is a nice inspiration source.

This book has a beautiful bind on it; Japanese Stab without a spine so you can see the pages within the book. I love the use of translucent papers between pages as it gives the whole book a museum or archival feel to it; the use of pages offer protection, giving the book a longer life span. I want to create more Japanese Stab books and practice doing more complex patterns along the edge of the binds.

This book I chose for its rustic look – the copper covers beautifully strengthen the etchings within and give them a rigidity. Knots are strong and the covers only emphasizes that. I also like the fact that the actual prints are bound within the book, using different papers and transparent sheets for protection. It gives a nice feel to the book with all the different textures used.

This one I chose because I simply love the lino prints within it; they even use lino to produce the text, giving the whole book  continuity in its look. Placement of image and text was carefully considered when carving the lino and the resulting book and bind is beautiful.

I’ve given embossing a go before looking at this piece but I never got the defined prints made here. The paper used is a lot thicker so maybe I’ll consider this when I try again. This is such a delicate piece, which is something I lack in my works. They’re usually quite heavy handed so this is a nice alternative to try. The book seems fragile, just like a butterfly; Binding meets purpose.

I never thought of using paper cut and shadows to create images, so this is something to consider. The absence of something can also leave an impression or a picture to look at – I could work with this when playing with the idea of bee extinction.

I think this bind is clever; the box used is part of the bind and attached to the outer covers, leaving the audience to open up the artist’s book like a present. Given that the book is about jewelry, this is relevant and a good use of choosing a bind for a specific purpose. It would be a good method for putting together a package of sorts?

The decorations on these books were what drew me in initially; the binding on the spine is simply extended to run down the book covers for decoration. Putting a group of books together like this would be ideal for a collection of books on one subject or idea. Rather than outright saying that they were a collection, it could be a subtle hint by simply being put together in a handmade box. The books could seem unconnected, but be put together using this box would connect them. It would be up to the audience to make connections within the books.

I like the bind on this book as the pages are attached to a concertina, allowing the whole thing to close like a book but also open up and lay flat. Keeping it closed with a ribbon allows the user to control how open the book becomes and whether you want to read it as a book or opened up flat. I’m not sure how this could be used within my own project but I still want to try and create it.

This type of bind could be used to show some sort of cycle; the life cycle, metamorphic cycle, pollination cycle, and so on. I need to look into how to create this bind at this book only shows examples and not methods. It would be interesting to make.

I picked this one as I liked the extension of the bind onto the covers. Again I’m not sure what I could use this for but it would be a good skill to learn.

I’m going to continue looking at book examples and begin experimenting with what I can do.

Sources used in this blog post:
-Tourtillott, S.J.E. (2008) 500 handmade books: Inspiring interpretations of a timeless form. New York: Lark Books,U.S


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