6/12/10: Working on artist’s books

June 12, 2010 at 9:01 pm (art, books, culture)

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New book: Middle, 2008-9

September 28, 2009 at 6:56 pm (art, blog, books, culture, drawing, interesting, life, personal)

This is a book that I started at least a year ago (may have been longer, I’m not sure) and only completely finished just now. It’s strange for a project of mine to take that long, but this one went through so many different changes as I learned more about book-making and pop up books. There is a real ceiling when you’re making things where your abilities and your ideas sort of clash; for me, that ceiling of ability kept constantly changing (I’d learn something new and it would go soaring up or I’d totally screw up another project and it would scare me enough to basically have it clamp down). And I am really, really trying to find a way to combine this idea of the pop-up, which I absolutely love, with my work so that it’s not just gimmicky or cute but instead refers to this interior space which is infinite.

Anyway. At very long last, here is the book.

The cover:


Side view:


Here is a picture of my gimpy hand opening it (not sure why I always show my hand in these pics but I do so why stop?):


Inside the cover:


Then you turn the page and you reach this part you have to assemble:


So it’s not a pure “pop up” in that you have to do some of the work, but it is incredibly easy to assemble. The five-sided cobweb basically comes out at you and all you have to do is latch the side into a little perforated latch I created. When you do, and interior part naturally falls down and it looks like this from above:


…and like this from head-on:


You fold it up to read the rest of the story, but from there on it’s just symmetry in terms of the design part:


and the last spread:


I worked like crazy trying to get the hinges on the pages so that it could be opened and assembled over and over and over (100s of times) with no worries about damaging it… and in the end, I think it has to sort of remain a fragile work of art.

Ok, I’m excited! I think this is a big step!!

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September 21, 2009 at 9:51 pm (art, books)

It’s funny for me to think that there was a time several years ago when I absolutely swore I would never make artist’s books, because I really felt that the whole medium had become this ghetto that women artists for whatever reason gravitated to, only to have relatively few people/institutions collect them… and in that way it was a sort of self-perpetuating ghetto. Why would I ever choose to put myself in a category that is so routinely ignored and overlooked? Why would I basically go out of my way to make my life and my work so much harder than it is already? But I’ve done an about-face on that as I have with crafts and sewing – it’s not so much that I don’t care about that ghetto (I think it definitely exists and is very real) but more like I want to exploit it, to examine it in some sort of way, and maybe… I don’t know… report back? Do something interesting with it?

I’m not sure. But this is the conversation I’ve had in my head over and over today as I bound and re-bound a book, trying to get it just right. It took 12 hours… of course not continuous work, but setting it up, waiting for glue to dry, tweaking it, cutting this or that, waiting for more glue to dry, and so forth. Frustrating as hell. And yet I’m leaving the situation wanting to make more books and thinking that craft-based projects and books may be what I spend the rest of the year doing.

Pictures soon. I just have to get the binding just right…

p.s. sculptures out of paper, too. I was thinking about that all night after I wrote this.

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The tunnel book that really doesn’t want to be photographed

September 15, 2009 at 9:44 am (art, books, culture)

That is the only way I can really explain it: The tunnel book I have labored over for the last few weeks is somehow sentient and has decided for itself that it doesn’t want to be photographed properly.

That is why these photos are so… lame.

I’m really frustrated. Few things make me feel quite as satisfied as working on a piece, getting it just right, and then posting a triumphant photo on my blog. It’s kind of a big downer when the photos suck.

Anyway. Bah. Here’s what we have for now.




No, really – it looks awesome in person. Trust me.

So bitter.

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Tunnel book progress

September 6, 2009 at 10:33 am (art, books, culture, interesting, life)

It’s slow-going, but here is a shot of the tunnel book about halfway done:


I really wanted to make one that was tiny (actually, I wanted to make a series of them that were tiny – like maybe 2 x 4″ when laid flat), but it just wound up being way too difficult – I was so limited by the amount of text I could put on it, that it just didn’t feel right. This one is a little bigger (don’t have it in front of me, but maybe 5 x 6″?) and I’m still limited, but it’s much better. Anyway, once this one is done and bound and everything, I’m going to make a nice little box for it to live in, and I would really like to do a few more with in that format.

Meanwhile, the Tiny Fabric Houses are going amazingly well – I have such a backlog of orders, I’m not really sure when I’ll ever be caught up. And add to this that I’m trying to constantly keep coming up with new models to keep things interesting and… I have a lot of sewing to do!!

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What my better half is up to…

August 29, 2009 at 10:21 pm (art, books, culture, drawing, interesting, life, personal)

Ok, I had to plug his project, sorry!

Me, I’m off being obsessed with tunnel books. Tiny, tiny tunnel books, that open up like a little world in the palm of your hand. More on that very soon…

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New book! (Finally!)

June 2, 2009 at 1:13 pm (art, books, drawing, interesting)

Oh my god, after way too long, I am really happy to say that I finally have a new edition of artist’s books!

This is sort of a sneak peak of the project… here’s the deal:

A small number of them will be on sale starting Thursday at the Honey Space benefit party(June 4th, 7-9pm, honey-space.com for address – please come!). I haven’t totally decided on a price yet, but they will definitely be under $50 each. After the benefit, I’m going to sell them here on my blog, but the price is going to go up. Not by too much – the idea is that this is an affordable piece that just about anyone can buy – but by enough that it kicks my butt into getting the whole edition done and mailed out to people who want it.

So stay tuned for all that. But for now, here are some pictures:


How Things Work is an accordion-fold book made out of sewn fabric and collaged paper. This is what the cover looks like. And here I am, opening it:


There is a little tab with a snap on it that keeps it all together. Here I’m opening it more:


Eventually the whole thing opens up and looks like this:


It’s about 41″ long when it’s totally unfolded. Here are some closeups:



The background is all fabric; everything collaged on top of the fabric (don’t know if you can really see it in these pics or not but: the girls, the gears, the stars, and the text) is a print out from my computer which I then stitched to the surface of the book. The text is a conversation I’m having in my head with someone about the way that things work, and the book is a simple scene of a nighttime sky with gears and pulleys taking the place of constellations. At the end of the book, you see the girls are the ones making the machine run by turning a crank.

I’m really happy with how it turned out… I hope these pictures capture it at all – it’s hard with the dark colors and the lighting in my studio. It is an open edition, but I would estimate that I’ll make around 50 of them.

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New artist’s book

January 2, 2009 at 8:54 pm (art, books, culture, drawing)

This is hard to see because the background is white on white (the book is made of a kind of off-white paper and then there are trees cut out of computer paper, which is bright white), but it’s the best pic I can get for now. It’s a small, accordion-folded book that I finished this morning.


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A book about the ocean (part two)

April 7, 2008 at 2:29 pm (art, books, culture, drawing, interesting, life)

Am I the only one having problems running this new version of WordPress on Safari? I have to switch over to Firefox, which I really don’t like (and yeah, I know: I’m the only person alive who prefers Safari to Firefox). Ah well.
Anyway, I finally got my book about the sea finished, just in time for the Chicago fair:

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(as yet untitled) accordion-fold book

March 29, 2008 at 12:47 pm (art, books, culture, drawing, painting, personal, thoughts)

Ok, I finally got this book done and I am ridiculously pleased with it. It’s an accordion-fold and really needs to be photographed by someone better at photography than I am, but here’s more or less what it’s like:


The lower half is your standard accoridion-fold. It has my girls walking along a river and talking about secrets (by which I mean, the idea of secrets – things that are kept secret from us or that happen in a hidden way). The top half is composed of electrical wires and posts that I made out of paper. It’s incredibly delicate, with each post and wire being free-standing, cut-out collage, off of the more solid lower half.

Here it is with the first spread open:

I need to make a case for it – it doesn’t have a standard “cover” as most books do, so I want to make something to protect it and that will also act in a conceptual manner like a cover usually does. So that is one of my many tasks today…

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