Archives for posts with tag: book art

Recently, a photographer friend of mine, Rebekah West, introduced me to a special room in Boulder – the Special Collections department of the CU Library. One collection they house is a beautiful set of Artists Books.

Artists Books are works of art, in the form of a book. Some are altered books, others are handmade books made from handmade paper, others are handcrafted books of meticulously pieced together digitally printed pages. Rebekah arranged a special viewing for us, and the librarian brought out some of the works that they purchased from Booklyn. We felt so grateful to have this opportunity!

Here’s a cool example of a beautiful puzzle-path encapsulated between the covers of a book. Artist Red Charming created an accordion-style book that folds out onto the table in many directions:

The book is called Walking Middletown. She tells the reader that there are 13 towns in the country called Middletown, and these are polaroids that she snapped in one of them, but she doesn’t say which one. I’ve always liked mysteries… One after another, we viewed books, each one more unique than the last.

Takeaway: the ways to be creative are absolutely limitless, and there is intricate beauty behind every corner and page. The thing that really struck me is the depth and breadth of book art (which also tends to involve a lot of printing, both in the printmaking form and the letterpress form).

Layer after layer, I continue to uncover a world of “making” that seems to be endless – where do all of these creative people live? (All over the world, if my twitter account has anything to say about it.) What do we do during the day, or for money? It doesn’t seem to matter. We are ever bound by our desire to work with our hands and create something out of nothing – perhaps trying to test the chaos theory, or to provide more fodder for it.

Please comment (to the left), subscribe (below), and share this page with friends…

On a recent trip to visit a friend in Portland, I got a tip to check out Em Space, a letterpress studio and book arts center. Very cool place.

Em Space is located in the heart of the industrial part of the city (south-east), and we noticed that there were other commercial printing companies around, so we suspected we were in the right place.

Em Space is a co-op, where membership allows you rights to use the member-owned-and-loaned presses, sets of type, and more. Rory, the founder, was very cool and explained a little bit about the structure of the organization, and she was very open to sharing ideas for those who want to start a print co-op in their own city.

One of the presses they have in the studio is the Vandercook, which celebrated its 100th birthday in 2009! New York printers Barbara Henry and Roni Gross enlisted artists from around the world to create works on this press in honor of its place in history. The collection is named the Vandercook Book. Em Space was lucky enough to have access to one set of the prints, and we checked them out on the studio wall. Amazing work.

“The company was started in Chicago in September 1909 by R.O. Vandercook. Designed to proof a page of type before being sent to the press, the earliest proof presses depended on a roller and the force of gravity to make an impression of type on paper. The Vandercook proof press built upon this technology to incorporate a carriage and cylinder that could be finely adjusted.” (from The Museum of Printing History)