What I’m really excited about in this class is the chance to see books as art forms. I’ve been in several classes that talked in depth about the e-book shift, and while I’m a fan of my Kindle, the fact is that I read physical books easily ten times as often. Now I’ll have a justification–look how much more beautiful they can be! I’ve also journaled since I was nine, and picking out a new book to write in is a process that gets more refined (and more demanding) every time.
That said, I’m still learning what my style of bookmaking might be. This site, a gallery of book artists, was a great springboard for me. Here are my favorites:
1. Laura Davidson’s Book of Hours combines clean, centered geometry with a scattering of steampunk gears and an interactive poem: when you rotate the stacked circles on the facing page, the words combine into small poems about time. I love the balance of structure and play, and the way she takes care to fit the form to the subject (another of hers is a tiny book called “Hum,” about hummingbirds).
2. Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord gives a new take on the “found objects” theme other people have mentioned. She presents her books as though they grew organically and she found them, ruffled into a nest or sprouting like mushrooms in the hollow of a tree. My favorite looks like the wind blew it into a branch.
3. Almost all of Dineke McLean’s books look like books, unlike the other two. That is, they have fronts and backs and pages in between and aren’t surrounded by branches that look like you could break them too easily. She makes books that I am drooling to touch. There are saturated colors, nubbly stitching, rich materials like leather and heavy paper, and other temptations. If I dared (and had loads of money), I’d make my next journal the Button Book. It’s just so gorgeous and friendly.