Friday, September 29, 2006

Topic #21 - Miniature: Artists books

Left: Little Red Book of the Body
Dim. (closed) 5cm x4.7cm; (open) 5x28cm
For Artwords this week I am submitting a miniature concertina book. It is really a maquette for an artists book I am working on and will be part of my MFA work investigating impermanence. The finished book will have quite a different feel from this miniature. For the final piece I will use more fragile paper and the covers will be translucent porcelain. I am thinking of dipping the paper in wax to give it a preserved "feel". I am also planning to use solvent transfers for the imagery to create a more mysterious and aged effect.

So...this little miniature is really nothing much like the final version will be, except for the imagery. It has been a great opportunity to play around with the layout and lots of fun!

Left: Inside imagery
I am totally hooked on artists books at present. I see it as my new direction. For some reason, the way ceramics are used as a canvas to explore all sorts of subjects has never really made sense to me. But a book? Well there is inherent logic in that, isn't there?

A little over a month ago I went to my first workshop on making books. We learnt how to make 6 different types of books including simple stitched bindings, portfolio books and wonderful folded books, like a triangle and a square book. I love papers and all sorts of books but some of the more sculptural types really lend themselves to clay. I can really see how the area could expand for me. Now I am trying to find ways to incorporate books into my MFA - a totally different direction from the ephemeral installation work I was pursueing! I haven't dared tell my supervisor yet - he'll think I've gone mad! I'm having enough trouble getting through the Masters with my health problems as it is, without changing directions at this stage.

Anyway it has been terrific to make my first real book and I will definitely be making more...And I'll be putting more shots of this one up on Flickr later today.


  1. The maquette looks exciting - I hope you will post the more sculptural book when it's done!

    Tiny books might be just the thing for working within the constraints of limited time or energy. I've been making one tiny book a month for over five years as part of my "artist's book of the month" club, and have found it to be a wonderfully rewarding way to work. There's something about continually searching for a narrative that keeps you on your toes.

    For sculptural works you might want to look up the book work of Judith Hoffman - she does wonderful things with metal in the bookarts.

    Keep at it! Good stuff!

  2. i love this book!! that red cover... ooh, it speaks to me!

  3. The book is wonderful!
    nevermind about supervisors!

    Lauren - so typical! you n your red...