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Book Artist of the Month: Laura Davidson

April 15, 2013 by Erin Fletcher

guidebook1-lauradavidson

Guidebook – Museum Nazionale Romano was completed by Laura Davidson in 2011 after an inspirational visit to the museum in Rome. The four wooden pages of this accordion book are connected with handmade brass hinges. The painting on the cover and exterior sides of the book are based on a frescoed room housed in the museum. A transparent vellum holder on the front cover displays a two-sided replica of the museum ticket, which was drawn using ink and wash.

guidebook1a-lauradavidson

The interior pages of the book are paper mosaics based upon pieces in the museum’s collection. These paper mosaics are found throughout Laura’s work and are quite beautiful (even more so in person). Each mosaic is created by adding tiny pieces of paper to a line drawing. Each piece is then painted individually by hand. Laura works with a wide color palette as she paints her mosaics, slightly altering the pigment from piece to piece. Some images are also embellished with 22 c. gold leaf.

guidebook2-lauradavidson

After visits to the museum in Siena Pinacoteca, Laura becomes inspired to create another guidebook.

In Laura’s words:
These books are about specific places that have inspired me – the Siena Pinacoteca is a place I have a very emotional attachment to. There is one floor there that I know the works so well, I can find sketches from many different visits. I can see color influences in my work from there and the deep desire to use gold leaf. 

Guidebook – Siena Pinacoteca was also made in 2011 as a four page accordion book bound using handmade brass hinges. I had the opportunity to handle this book during my visit to Laura’s studio. The movement of the pages were very fluid, which allowed me to navigate easily through the book as both an accordion and codex. The paintings on the exterior side of the wooden pages are based on two works by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. This guidebook also includes a transparent vellum holder set in between two carved columns. The holder displays a two-sided museum ticket, which Laura recreated using ink and wash. I love this detail, the hand-drawn tickets act as souvenirs and create a connection between the artist and the viewer. 

guidebook2a-lauradavidson

The interior pages are ink and wash drawings depicting details of paintings within the museum’s collection. The images are embellished with 22 c. gold leaf.


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  • Visit My Bindery
    My name is Erin Fletcher and I live in Boston working as a Bookbinder.  This blog is an extension of Herringbone Bindery where I can share my inspirations with you.
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