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Posts Tagged ‘tunnel book’

  1. Bookbinder of the Month: Karen Hanmer

    December 8, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    The flag book structure has become a reoccurring model in Karen Hanmer’s work. She has quite an eye for transforming flat imagery into interesting movable objects. Bluestem was created in 2006 in a small edition of 25, the work is inspired by Willa Cather’s My Antonia and includes a quote printed on the rear panel.

    bluestem-karenhanmerThe grass imagery is inkjet printed on polyester film and bound on either side of the panels creating a double-sided variation on the flag book structure. As you open and close this book a nice rustle is created by the movement of the pages. It’s quite simple and beautiful. 

    Inspired by the work of Hedi Kyle, you have, on several pieces used the flag book structure. How does this structure best represent your concept?
    Women and Cars by Susan King was among the first artists’ books I saw, and it has remained an inspiration. King’s use of the flag book structure gave me a model for everything I wanted to accomplish when making a non-codex book. It pairs multiple narratives with photographs, can be held in the hand and read like a traditional codex, opens fully enough to look commanding and compelling on exhibit, and gives viewers enough to enjoy that they will not focus on the book being printed digitally if that is an issue for them.

    The Bonefolder chose flag books as the theme for our 2008 online Bind-O-Rama exhibit. Although my previously editioned flag books were quite elaborate with multiple texts and imagery on inside and outside of the spine and boards, Bluestem appeals to my minimalist side. There’s almost nothing there: just a few words of text from Willa Cather’s My Antonia on the rear board and lines representing grass printed on clear polyester film and paper, yet the piece also effectively represents the boundlessness of the prairie.

    destinationmoon-karenhanmerCreated in 2003, Destination Moon, is another simple flag book structure that involves a complex layering of material related to the moon. Archival images pertaining to the Apollo Manned Space Program are on the reverse of John F. Kennedy’s “Man on the Moon” speech in addition to the song lyrics for Roy Alfred and Marvin Fisher’s Destination Moon, about a romantic journey to the moon. 


    But when the book is fully opened, all the viewer sees is an image of the space shuttle on its way toward the moon.


    Besides the flag book, Karen has played around in a variety of movable and folded structures. In her work Celestial Navigation, the triangular pages can be held in the hand and read like a traditional book or unfolded to reveal star charts. The structure is quite playful and can be folded into fantastic sculpted shapes. 


    In Pride Prejudice Passion: Tunnel of Love, Karen appropriately uses the tunnel book structure. This works combines text from the classic romance novel by Jane Austen with images cut from covers of the modern romance novel. As the term suggests, the content can be viewed through the length of the structure, similar to peering down a tunnel. 



  2. April // Book Artist of the Month: Laura Davidson

    April 2, 2013 by Erin Fletcher


    Fort Point-Boston is part of an ongoing series of tunnel books from artist Laura Davidson completed in 2011. The point of view shows the harbor walk from the Gillette building to the Boston Harbor, passing by bridges and buildings along the Fort Point Channel. Each copy is numbered and signed. Laura’s tunnel books are available through her website or at the Made in Fort Point store.

    I’ve been working in the Fort Point neighborhood of Boston for almost a year now and I’ve already seen changes in the landscape around me. Laura has been in Fort Point for 30 years. After realizing that we are practically neighbors, Laura so graciously invited me to visit her studio. Laura pulled piece after piece out of her display cabinet, allowing me to handle each one. We discussed details of her work from the handmade hinges to the paper mosaics to the various nibs Laura uses to create her drawings. After surveying Laura’s work one can clearly see how her environment both in and out of the studio acts as inspiration. Laura has created several works showcasing her point of view of a neighborhood to which she calls home.


    Fort Point Flora and Fauna is an offset printed accordion book from 2003. One side showcases full color drawings of the various animal and plant-life in the Fort Point area that Laura has observed. The reverse side is sepia toned text giving explanation to the images. I first saw this lovely little book at the FPAC Gallery and it opened my eyes to the idea of nature thriving in the urban environment of Fort Point. Now as I walk around the neighborhood I find myself being greeted by signs of life. Most recently a wild turkey, but I image that was quite unusual.


    In 2006, Laura created Fort Point Illuminated, a miniature book filled with images of her neighborhood. Each image is painted with ink and wash and illuminated with gold leaf. The covers are sterling silver with copper and brass elements and is bound with a sterling silver necklace chain. This book is in the Collection of the Boston Athenaeum.

    It was a real treat to meet Laura and get a glimpse of her studio life. An organized and inspirational workshop is conducive to creating successful pieces of art. On one side of Laura’s studio is a completely magnetized wall, where Laura displays old tintype portraits, pieces of ephemera, fragments of her current work and photographs of her family. A magnetized wall is quite appealing and something I may implement in my studio. 

    I want to thank Laura again for inviting me into her studio and sharing stories of her work and life with me.

    Read the interview after the jump and come back each Monday in the month of April for more of Laura’s work.

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  • Visit My Bindery
    My name is Erin Fletcher, owner and bookbinder of Herringbone Bindery in Boston. Flash of the Hand is a space where I share my process and inspirations.
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