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Posts Tagged ‘book arts’

  1. Book Artist of the Month: Amy Borezo

    May 29, 2016 by Erin Fletcher

    SomeLines-AmyBorezo

    For the final installment in my month-long interview with Amy Borezo, I am featuring an artist book she made in 2013/14. Some Lines was printed and bound in an edition of 40 copies. The first twenty copies were printed and bound by graduate students at the University of Dallas while Amy was a visiting artist; the remaining twenty copies were printed and bound by Amy with the last 5 copies bound in a deluxe edition.

    Some Lines is bound as an accordion binding and housed in a cloth presentation box.

    Something that I enjoy about your work is the complexity behind the clean and simple imagery you employ. Can you talk about the concept behind Some Lines and the swift timeframe in which this book was first printed?
    I was doing research for another artist’s book on Artificial Intelligence. I am interested in distilling complex ideas down into their most basic form. AI is incredibly complex, but most teaching around it starts with Aristotle’s Categories in which he attempts to classify everything into a few simplified categories (substance, bodies, living bodies, animals, man). AI is doing something similar–teaching a computer how to classify everything that can be classified. From Aristotle’s classification system, the first branching tree information diagrams emerged. The Porphyrian Tree is a diagram of Aristotle’s Categories.

    SomeLines1-AmyBorezo

    I worked with the Porphyrian Tree diagram for a while and it wasn’t quite coalescing into a book. In my research I also came across another early branching diagram that showed the geneology of Christ. I was fascinated by this diagram because it contained a narrative within it, a story. I was also interested in how diagrams are often used to represent a viewpoint, not necessarily a fact. Data can be manipulated in its presentation. Those are some of the ideas behind Some Lines. I am also interested in the idea of drawing through time, a concept I explored in Labor/Movement. The roundels in the diagram each represent a person and most are linked by a line to another roundel through either birth or marriage. In this way, the geneology diagram represents a drawing made through generations.

    I designed the book to be printed and bound in an edition of 40 in 4 days during a residency at the University of Dallas. I had graduate students in printmaking helping with the printing and binding. We only ended up completing half of the edition there and I bound the second half in my studio. I didn’t know when designing the book that the University of Dallas is a Catholic university. It was a great experience to create that work there and have discussions with students about the concept.

    SomeLines2-AmyBorezo

    Within the description of Some Lines on your website, you mention an interest in AI (artificial intelligence). With the growing focus and development with AI and virtual reality, I am wondering if you plan to incorporate this topic into a future artist’s book?
    I might go back to AI in another work. I do have a partially finished artist’s book *in my mind* around this concept. But then again, it might be time to move on. I am not sure yet. I am quite interested in science fiction as a genre, as I’ve mentioned before, as I think it’s an extremely useful lens through which to examine the present. I love allegory. But of course, AI is no longer science fiction–it’s already here. Maybe that’s why I am not as interested in it as much right now! There usually needs to be a sense for me that a subject is fresh for examination.


  2. Book Artist of the Month: Amy Borezo

    May 15, 2016 by Erin Fletcher

    RaisingTheSupineDome1-AmyBorezo

    Amy Borezo completed Raising the Supine Dome in 2010 in an edition of 35 (a few copies are still available). Text and imagery are printed on thick rag paper, Holyoke Fine Paper and then adhered to the both sides of a continuous sheet of Tyvek. Therefore, this accordion binding has double-thick pages with exposed Tyvek hinges. Laser cutting occurred after adhering the pages to the Tyek. Cave Paper is used as the covering materials for the front and back boards.


    This binding has such a satisfying weight and heft to it. During my visit to your studio, it was a delight to examine its construction in person. You used Tyvek at the hinge to connect each panel. I wanted to ask about your choice of material for this step and how it has held up over time.
    The Tyvek has held up very well over time. I just saw a copy that has been in a collection that gets heavy use and it’s like new! I like handling it because it feels so indestructible and architectural, in keeping with the concept of the book. I believe I came across Tyvek as a material while working at the Wide Awake Garage. I knew I’d be hinging together pages and I wanted the hinge to be tough. I used a heat sensitive adhesive like Fusion 4000 to adhere the Tyvek to the pages. You do have to experiment with Tyvek as sometimes excessive heat can make the Tyvek warp a bit. But I didn’t have any problems using it.

    RaisingTheSupineDome2-AmyBorezo RaisingTheSupineDome3-AmyBorezo RaisingTheSupineDome4-AmyBorezo

    Buckminster Fuller was a visionary, forward-looking architect. Tyvek has a somewhat futuristic flavor – a paper that doesn’t tear and is made from synthetic material. It was a perfect fit for the project. Because it doesn’t tear, it almost feels like you can arrange the panels of the book into various architectural shapes. Going further, Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes are visually all about the lines where two planes meet. The hinge areas become important as reflections of the design of the geodesic dome.


  3. Book Artist of the Month: Amy Borezo

    May 8, 2016 by Erin Fletcher

    LaborMovement1-AmyBorezo

    Labor/Movement (seven workers) was printed and bound by Amy Borezo in 2012 in an edition of 25. Bound on an unsupported concertina binding with folios pamphlet-sewn to the peaks of the concertina. The folios were then sealed along the fore edge. The text is nestled inside a cloth covered case with only the back hinge of the concertina adhered to the back of the case. This constructions allows the reader/viewer to pull out the first flap of the concertina, expanding all of the pleats fully and exposing a portion of each page to be viewed simultaneously (as shown in the image below).

    I want to focus primarily on the structure of this book, which engages the concept of the text in a very subtle and beautiful way. The text and imagery is developed around various forms of movement; the pages themselves can be turned and expanded in various ways that mirror the ideas within the text. How did you develop the structure for this book? Did you work through several models before finalizing the look?
    I made another book many years ago with this structure, which I believe is based on a design by Keith Smith. I love how the book expands in a very physical way. Even the sound that the pages make when they slide on top of each other is very satisfying. This book has to be performed by the reader/viewer, which ties in nicely with the content of the work. It asks the reader/viewer to be aware of her actions and body in space, and this ask is reiterated in the text.

    LaborMovement2-AmyBorezoLaborMovement3-AmyBorezo

    When the book is fully extended, you can see a portion of each page simultaneously to each of the other pages. I feel that this is a very cinematic way of experiencing the book, similar to stop-action animation. The series of images in Labor/Movement show a pattern of movement over time, and when you see a portion of each image overlapping the next, the connection between the images is much more fluid than if you were seeing one whole image and then turning the page to see the next whole image. I don’t think I considered any other structure, but I did make a few dummies to make sure it would function well.

    The structure also allows the book to be read in many different ways. It can also be opened and paged through like a traditional codex. I like to make artwork that is multi-layered in form and content.

    LaborMovement4-AmyBorezo


  4. Kids in Book Arts No. 1

    February 8, 2016 by Erin Fletcher

    KidsBookArts1

    The kids just finished up their final project of the semester. In the Turkish Map Fold project, we asked the students to draw us a map to an imaginary location complete with symbols and a key describing those symbols. One of my favorites came from our student Rocco. Each island is connected by a long, wooden bridge (well except where sea monsters have destroyed the bridge). The waters are also inhabited by dangerous pirates navigating around Monster Island and Trident Island (shaped like a trident, of course).

    We also got a collection of Thank You’s from our students! Some included pop-ups, cut-outs and flaps, such a great and innovative group of kids.

    KidsBookArts2


  5. April // Book Artist of the Month: Natalie Stopka

    April 1, 2015 by Erin Fletcher

    Botanical-NatalieStopka

    Natalie Stopka has conducted extensive research and experimentation with natural dyes, which is partly what drew me to interview her on the blog. I’ve long been interested in incorporating natural dyes into my own work. So it’s fair to say that I’m quite inspired by Natalie’s work.

    At the end of your year at the Center for the Book, you presented on a series of natural dye experiments in a pretty brilliant way. What drew you to focus on natural dyes and how did you to come to present your findings through embroidery?
    I became interested in natural dyeing as an antidote to city life. I was initially drawn to the process of foraging and dyeing itself, but the more I studied the history behind the process, the more it became apparent that our culture has devalued and forgotten the vast majority of the dye artistry we once possessed. This artistry is akin to alchemy, because we still do not scientifically understand what functions many colorant compounds perform for the plants that create them, or how many dye processes occur on a chemical level. I was surprised to learn that each part of a plant – its petals, leaves, bark, and roots – create different colors. These colors can be manipulated into a greater range of tones by using a variety of mordants and fibers. I decided to explore the full range of colors accessible in a single plant using these methods.

    I chose three trees I had access to in upstate New York; birch, crab apple, and black cherry. From these I responsibly foraged leaves and bark, and used them to dye alum-mordanted silk, cotton, wool, linen/wool, and silk/wool thread. I then treated the dyed thread with the color modifiers copper sulfate, ferrous sulfate, an acid, and a base. I was left with about 40 samples in a range of colors and textures representing each tree’s dye potential. Some samples had very little color at all, but some were vivid and strongly varied.

    Botanical2-NatalieStopka

    I had known these experiments would become a series of embroidery pieces from the beginning, and I wanted to illustrate the clear distinctions in the dye colorants accessible in different parts of the plant. I adopted the form of the traditional botanical illustration, utilizing the thread dyed with the analogous plant part to illustrate it. That is to say, the leaves are depicted with leaf-dyed threads, and the bark with bark-dyed threads. For the birch tree embroidery, I also differentiated between the inner and outer barks.

    Botanical3-NatalieStopka

    LEFT: birch MIDDLE: black cherry RIGHT: crab apple

    The final element of these pieces is a question pertinent to any bookbinder: time. Not only are natural dyes sensitive to ultraviolet light, but the modifiers I used degrade fibers over time. The ephemeral nature of natural dyes is a sad reality for an artist, but I think it can also be beautiful. These three pieces each have a lifespan, and to measure it I enclosed a sample of each thread used in the embroidery behind the frame. There it will be protected from light, and can be used as a point of comparison over time.

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    I became aware of Natalie Stopka’s work while visiting the Center for the Book in New York, which in happenstance was exhibiting the piece above. Since then I’ve continued to keep an eye on her portfolio, especially the work she does with natural dyes and marbling. Natalie’s work encompasses not only the prior mediums mentioned, but she also dabbles in book arts as well.

    Check out the interview after the jump, then come back each Monday during the month of April for additional posts on Natalie’s work. Need a reminder? Subscribe to the blog.

    read more >


  6. Book Artist of the Month: Sarah Bryant

    December 29, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    Shift-SarahBryant

    Sarah Bryant is apart of the five-person collaborative group Shift-Lab, which she discusses more in-depth below. The image above shows the full spread of their first collaborative project, Shift, which was created in 2014 in an edition of 20. Each of the five artists created a small letterpress printed book that reflects a shift in perspective as well as a matching print. Both the books and prints were displayed at the San Francisco Center for the Book in 2014.

    The books are housed together in a custom drop-spine box shown third from the left with a printed title label.

    ShiftBaldwin-SarahBryant

    detail of Katie Baldwin’s book

    ShiftTreacy-SarahBryant

    left: detail of Tricia Treacy’s book | right: detail of Denise Bookwalter’s book

    ShiftChadwick-SarahBryant

    detail of Macy Chadwick’s book

    Can you discuss the collaborative group Shift-Lab. Who are its members and what type of projects do you work on together?
    Shift-lab is made up of myself, Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, Macy Chadwick and Tricia Treacy. We started as a group in the summer of 2013 and since then we’ve produced a book project (Shift) for an exhibition at the San Francisco Center for Book Arts, staged a pair of printing events (I had to be a remote participant, unfortunately,) and met for a week in North Carolina to print a project together. We will be exhibiting together at the Codex Book Fair in February, and are working on plans to meet for a skill share/book project next summer. You can find us all at shift-lab.org.

    Shift is a set of five books all with the same theme. Each of us created an edition of 20 books of the same dimensions. These five books are housed together in an enclosure. The books vary in content, Katie’s is an exploration into the different diggings of the Erie Canal. Tricia was interested in the shift key on a keyboard. I was having trouble sleeping while I was working on this project, and so my book evolved into a body shifting and moving in bed.

    ShiftInPosition-SarahBryant

    For your book Shift in Position, how did you monitor your sleeping behavior and then transfer the imagery into a print?
    I was spending a good portion of each night around this time rolling and repositioning myself in the hopes of getting to sleep. I didn’t monitor this activity, exactly, but took dozens of photographs of myself as I repeated the familiar movements I was doing each night. These photos were taken against a white background. I traced the shifting line of my body over and over again and layered these lines, creating the basic imagery for the book. The “book” is actually a series of panels that can be rearranged. Some of the imagery locks in together, some doesn’t. Text related to shift and change printed on the top and bottom of each panels always locks in to make some kind of sense. I wanted the process of rearranging the panels to be reminiscent of the kind of non-restful process dreaming that I was slipping in and out of at night.

    ShiftInPosition2-SarahBryant ShiftInPosition3-SarahBryant


  7. Book Artist of the Month: Sarah Bryant

    December 15, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    AlMutanabbiStreet-SarahBryant

    For the traveling exhibit Al-Mutanabbi Street Starts Here, Sarah Bryant crafted Al-Mutanabbi Street to memorialize those who lost there lives to a car bomb on March 5, 2007. Bound between two boards is an entangled ribbon of red paper letterpress printed with an incomplete list of names. This altered accordion lays open in a custom box; the colophon is print on the base of the box hidden under the book’s cover.

    AlMutanabbiStreet2-SarahBryant AlMutanabbiStreet3-SarahBryant

    The text of this artist book rests in a position of entanglement and chaos, but in fact the lines of paper can be separated rather easily. The names printed on the underside represent a portion of those who lost their lives. I’ve seen a variety of books from this show and really love the simplicity of your piece, which is also largely impactful. It presents itself like a memorial; can you talk about your concept for this artist book?

    I wasn’t sure how to approach this book. I had no personal connection to the bombing or to the affected community, or, frankly, to any tragedy of this scale. I was concerned that in an attempt to honor the dead and the community to which they belonged, I might make a bumbling and insensitive book. So I tried to keep it simple and avoid pretending an understanding that I could not have.

    I printed the names of the dead in Arabic and English, each name lining up with it’s counterpart on the two sides of the strips of paper, and housed them in a structure that I hoped conveyed a sense of violence and loss. I wanted the names to be legible, but fragile, and in a position of distress. The box is vaguely coffin-like. I am glad to hear your reaction to the book, thank you.

    AlMutanabbiStreet4-SarahBryant


  8. Book Artist of the Month: Sarah Bryant

    December 8, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    Biography-SarahBryant

    In 2010, Sarah Bryant completed Biography, which explores of the alternative roles played by the chemical elements found in the human body. Each element is represented as a specific colored rectangle, which are used in various diagrams throughout the book. As you progress through the book the diagrams become less clear and are interrupted with blind stamped organic shapes. Biography won the 2011 Minnesota Center for Book Arts Prize in addition to receiving the Award for Artistic Excellence at the Pyramid Atlantic Book Arts Fair in late 2010.

    Printed in an edition of 75 using letterpress techniques from polymer plates on Zerkall Book, Biography was bound as a hardcover drum leaf enclosed in a clamshell box. Numbers one through ten are bound as a deluxe edition (pictured above), which include additional prints from the book, as well as a ghost print creating during the printing process. The deluxe edition comes in a larger clamshell box designed to house both the book and set of prints.

    Biography4-SarahBryant Biography3-SarahBryant Biography5-SarahBryant

    In The Bonefolder article Evolution of an Artist’s Book, you mention that Biography took 2 years to complete. The inspiration led to extensive research and preparation before embarking on months of printing. Is this an average amount of time needed to complete a project?
    Most of my big books take about two years. Dave and I first conceived of Figure Study in January of 2013 and I have set a release date to coincide with the Codex Book Fair and Symposium in February of 2015. I started working on Fond when I was at Wells College in early 2011 and released it in the fall of 2012. Two years seems to be my average these days. But in the background there are other things emerging. While the larger projects are proceeding at their slow pace, I am working on quicker, smaller things. A book I printed with Shift-lab, a collaboration between myself, Katie Baldwin, Denise Bookwalter, and Tricia Treacy took me about six months in 2013. Simulations on a Two-Dimensional Grid, a book I created for the Ideation by Chance show at the Seager Gray Gallery in Mill Valley, California, took me a few months. Those books were done in smaller editions and in response to external collaborations and deadlines.

    Since I’m not a printmaker, the printing process behind You are part of something larger than yourself is puzzling to me. Can you walk me through the printing steps for this particular print?

    Biography2-SarahBryant

    Aha! Yes I can. And, in fact, if you really want to know more about it, a lecture I gave at Wells college several years ago contains a detailed description of that process, with photos! Thanks to Peter Verheyen, you can find it on youtube here:

    My description begins at 29:09 and ends about three minutes later.

    That spread and one other in the book toward the end, (described in the above video,) are pressure printed against a polymer plate of the periodic table grid. I inked the press in two colors (for a color shift) and printed the first run, then cleaned the press and inked it again in the reverse and so on so that there are many layers and colors at play. The blob-shaped forms are generated by paper cutouts that I have attached to the impression cylinder of the press. So the printed imagery is coming from the combination of the traditional, inked relief surface (the grid in the bed of the press) and the uneven pressure created by the paper shapes on the cylinder.

    BiographyProcess-SarahBryant


  9. Book Artist of the Month: Roni Gross

    May 26, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    TheNightHunter3-RoniGross

    The Night of the Hunter is another collaborative artist book between Roni Gross, Peter Schell and Nancy Campbell.

    The text comes directly from a poem by Nancy Campbell of the same title, which was based on her residency on a remote island off the coast of Greenland during the winter of 2010. Roni reinterprets the text as a visual pattern of drawn colored lines repeating as the language repeats creating a unique landscape housed within a palm leaf structure. The poem is written as a pantoum, where lines repeat in specific patterns.

    TheNightHunter5-RoniGross TheNightHunter6-RoniGross

    The book is paired with an interactive board game constructed from salvaged wood and game pieces made from found materials that have been shaped by Peter Schell. On Nancy’s blog, she explains these material elements of the artist book “are a perfect physical expression of the austere Arctic environment that I had tried to capture in the poem.

    TheNightHunter2-RoniGross

    The objects stored inside the rawhide pouch are meant to be placed in the depressions on the board. Can you describe the interaction between the reader, these objects and the story itself?
    This work is an example of our interest in having the viewer participate in the telling of the story by feeling the objects – stone, bone and metal – and then placing them on the game board. There are not a lot of raw materials in Greenland, and so the materials are found or repurposed. The wood of the covers is driftwood, the cordage is made from dogbane – a natural fiber, and the game board was found wood. By holding these object, materials that the night hunter might encounter, you are entering his realm. Your freedom to place the pieces as you wish involves you in the unfolding of the poem.


  10. Book Artist of the Month: Roni Gross

    May 19, 2014 by Erin Fletcher

    AnniversaryCommission-RoniGross

    Roni Gross crafted this celebratory gift for a couple’s 50th anniversary. The piece is housed in a birch plywood box distressed with milk paint and includes the stenciled word ‘TULIP’ in red. The text printed on the inside of the lid is a poem by Frank O’Hara called Having a Coke with You. 

    AnniversaryCommission2-RoniGross

    This is such a beautiful commissioned piece for a couple’s 50th anniversary. Can you talk about the relationship between the elements: poem, wooden typographic map and the book necklace?
    The couple are collectors of art glass, and are more visual than literary. The wife enjoys collecting wacky jewelry and so I thought that a book necklace would make sense for them. I am motivated by language however, and I told the daughter that I needed some text to start working from. The poem, by Frank O’Hara, is a avery New York poem, and we thought that a sculptural topographical map of a place in Riverdale would be an interesting reference for people that have lived their whole lives in NYC. The waterway provides the trough for the necklace to reside.

    AnniversaryCommission3-RoniGross

    – – – – – – – – – – –

    The text which makes up the poem by Frank O’Hara (see the poem in it’s entirety below) was printed, cut and sewn as a coptic structure along with monoprints. The wooden covers of the coptic book necklace have also been treated with milk paint.

    Having a Coke with You by Frank O’Hara

    is even more fun than going to San Sebastian, Irún, Hendaye, Biarritz, Bayonne
    or being sick to my stomach on the Travesera de Gracia in Barcelona
    partly because in your orange shirt you look like a better happier St. Sebastian
    partly because of my love for you, partly because of your love for yoghurt
    partly because of the fluorescent orange tulips around the birches
    partly because of the secrecy our smiles take on before people and statuary
    it is hard to believe when I’m with you that there can be anything as still
    as solemn as unpleasantly definitive as statuary when right in front of it
    in the warm New York 4 o’clock light we are drifting back and forth
    between each other like a tree breathing through its spectacles

    and the portrait show seems to have no faces in it at all, just paint
    you suddenly wonder why in the world anyone ever did them

    I look
    at you and I would rather look at you than all the portraits in the world
    except possibly for the Polish Rider occasionally and anyway it’s in the Frick
    which thank heavens you haven’t gone to yet so we can go together the first time
    and the fact that you move so beautifully more or less takes care of Futurism
    just as at home I never think of the Nude Descending a Staircase or
    at a rehearsal a single drawing of Leonardo or Michelangelo that used to wow me
    and what good does all the research of the Impressionists do them
    when they never got the right person to stand near the tree when the sun sank
    or for that matter Marino Marini when he didn’t pick the rider as carefully
    as the horse

    it seems they were all cheated of some marvelous experience
    which is not going to go wasted on me which is why I am telling you about it


  • 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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