Artist's Books

In the class Artist's Books, we made many different kinds of books to explore the different ways of binding books and presenting the content inside. We had five main projects to complete along with about 13 dummy books that the instructor demonstrated during class. The course was a lot of work, but highly informative and inspirational. Now that I have the practical knowledge of making handmade books, I am looking forward to creating more of my own self-promotional books and materials.

The first assignment was to recreate an existing book as a sculptural object. I took the book "Pink Box" and turned it into a peep box, controlled by hand-cranks on each side. The main contents of the book are photographs pasted on a vertical roll of paper and wound between two dowels connected to the cranks. The text pages are glued to the insides of the box.

For the second project, we needed to make a book with eight signatures sewn and glued into the hard cover. My quarter-bound book called "Excerpts" contains 15 article excerpts juxtaposed by a black and white illustration. The text and illustrations were printed by lacquer transfer onto off-white Stonehenge paper.

The third assignment was to create a series of three related books. For my books, I made a special snap-closure container book to hold them. I like how tall and skinny it is.

Inside, the three books can be folded out from where they are held in place, or removed to view them separately.

The books are accordion-fold books, and the content is a conceptualized time-line of my methodology behind making an oil painting, a watercolor painting, and a charcoal drawing. The content is printed on vellum and looks fantastic.

The fourth assignment was to create a clamshell box containing a book and at least three additional objects in individualized compartments. My box is a personal kit for loose-leaf tea and it smells wonderful when it's opened because of the contents. The first layer inside is 12 sheets of paper that I handmade. Each sheet has a different tea mixed into it, and information about the kind of tea is printed on it.

The second layer contains a Japanese stab bound book about life with tea and it's influences on
Western society, printed on Japanese paper. The compartment that holds the book is easily removed by pulling on the hemp strings, revealing the hidden layer beneath.

The third layer contains individual compartments for filled tea bags, empty tea bags, and a teaspoon. I purchased empty tea bags and altered them with thread and hemp cord, giving them pull-string closures, if that makes any sense.

The final book project was a collaborative assignment with another classmate. My partner and I decided to make a personal coffee table book by combining my drawings with her photographs. We printed my drawings on coverstock paper, and put her photos over each of them on vellum. We were required to make three copies of the book, which we called "Perspectives" for how it expressed our personal perspectives in our images and also how it created a new perspective through the overlay of her photos to my drawings. The books are Japanese stab bound with snap button closures.