Wednesday, January 21, 2009

handmade books ~memory keepers

I received a wonderful book for my birthday called How to Make books By Ester K. Smith of Purgatory Press.
I am quite thrilled with this gift because although I had a very productive year artistically last year I feel like aside from photos of finished pieces I have no record of my creative process. The book has great projects most are books that I have made in some form but the illustrations and fresh Ideas are all new to me and quite inspirational. I am especially keen on her cloth book examples~ For me the process is not only a reason I make art but also I find the process (esp thought evolution) to be an artistic entity in itself. In many ways I needed a break from all my "art" thinking. I needed to learn and practice the craft of sewing, but I am really beginning to feel a need for a visual/artistic synopsis of my sewing endeavors to help create depth and define boundaries.

~I love handmade books. They combine so many making methods that I am inclined to. I got my first sewing machine to help in my book and print making projects. I love the conceptual implications as well as the basic form and structure of books. The endless combinations of materials also draws me to the art of bookmaking. I have always kept journal/sketch books to help me record Ideas and sort through daily life.

~ This book was produced in my first formal book class that I took in the summer of 97 with Judith Golden ,at the University of Arizona. It deals with lost love, lost self, and loss of morale.

When I first started printing I used these journals so much that the lines between my prints and the journals became hard for me to draw. To me the prints were just not as strong without some of the information that I had in my journals. For this reason I started trying to combine some of the info from the journals with the prints and I fell into the world of art books. This was somewhere around 1995-6. I really got into bookmaking in graduate school; creating books as on their own and as accompaniments to installations and even some performance pieces.

~ this book was produced from ideas and materials used in a project that dealt with consumption and our relationship with the products we consume as well as how consumer culture effects personal relations
I continued bookmaking as a means to collect snippets of my thoughts and practice my love of drawing and collage long after I lost access to a press.

~this book I made in 2002 , It was traveling(Mexico) journal and also included alot of my frustrations with the state of the union in the aftermath of the 9-11 as well as what I was doing to help heal my own soul

~In the last year I have found myself in a position for the first time(in my adult life) without a journal book. And aside from my handmade cards I stopped making books as well.
I consider my handmade cards to be very much in the same category as my books, They are little tiny books that people give others in order to send a message.

~These two little cards are from last week
In October I started a journal that I will not let turn into and address book( my 2 journals from burger's first two years have both turned into address books)
I am not sure why I have been on a journal hiatus maybe part of i is this blog. I also think that burger and I have been so close it has been hard for me to be introspective.
Any way, this is the first post about books , I have many many books to share. these are just the first three. It was difficult for me to photograph them (but fun), Trying to show something virtually that is built to be a tactile experience is and interesting challenge.

~It is funny in the last few weeks I have made contact with a lot of my past. I pulled out my stash of handmade books in order to start documenting them with my camera and I had a flood of memories wash over me. I am the first to admit I have a horrible memory. I jokingly call it my coping mechanism. I am thankful to have all my books that give me little glimpses of my former self. It is interesting to me because at the time it was just a way for me to try and communicate with the rest of the world my perspective. Now 10 years later I am using them to communicate with myself.


Jennifer said...

I love this concept and your interpretations. Beautiful! jennifer

Blue Mama said...

I love journals and your prints/cards/journals are so beautiful! Love it!

born to fete said...

Hi Lady, your journals are beautiful! It has inspired me to make paper. We used to do it a lot with my mom when we were kids, and I haven' t since!

Will you be at Farmers Market this weekend? We are taking a trip to Austin and we'd love to stop by.

belle said...

thanks you guys is so nice to share old memories

Tanto~I love making paper I haven't done it in years either. we will definately be at the market this saturday 9-1....

hope we see you ! that will be so fun