Sunday, May 31, 2015

beyond books

This was in my morning news feed, so yeah, I spent a few minutes in visual daydream heaven.

Who doesn't love books? My mother was trained as a teacher and she also collected books. She read to me often while I grew up, nestled together on the couch with the book between us so I could follow along. Those hours on the couch shaped me into the book lover I am. She volunteered at the local library where we went every week for a new stack. 

She got me a job at the library when I was 15. I loved that job the best of all my jobs. If it wasn't the case that librarians were having trouble finding work in the late 70's, I might have been one. Instead I took a winding path into IT. This winter I took a class in data management given by the library staff at 7 VA universities. Librarians have certainly moved beyond books!

On another path, artists have always shown their love for books by pushing their boundaries, too. There have always been art books. I've been to the Cloisters and have seen the intensely illustrated holy books of the Middle Ages. There are countless beautiful books that present art made in other mediums, what we traditionally think of when we say "art books". There are accomplished book designers who blur the lines between art and book, like Irma Boom. There are artists who create books from the paper on up. There are artists who take books apart, such as Brian Dettmer, Su Blackwell and Cara Barer. And last but not least, are the poets and the photographers, who use books as props.

Of course, fabric artists have to get in the game. Fabric and paper are similar in many of their properties, so fabric books are a natural extension of bookmaking. I found examples of embroidery samplers made into books. Fabric books look like great ideas for FloatingLeaf to explore. This news article claims the VCU art book collection has over 4,000 items. Must add a trip there to my Art Day Out schedule. My favorite piece from this list is the embroidered composition notebook. Love it!!

“Common Threads: Volume XXXVIII,” 2012
by Candace Hicks

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