Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Book Arts Tuesday-Making Handmade Books

Alisa Golden, author of Making Handmade Books: 100+ Bindings, Structures, & Forms, has a terrific blog where she shares her thoughts about making art, teaching, and writing. She thinks deep and wide and shares her insights gained from her own work and her extensive reading. She comments on the visual life around her that inspires her (The Murals of Clarion Alley in San Francisco), tells the story of the development of artists books she has made (Altered Text and Jacob's Ladders), and shares step-by-step tutorials (Making a Cigar Box in 4 parts). Here's a taste of her writing:

Artists (and I mean all creative artists) need incubation time. You go into your studios, or clear off your kitchen table and make work, practice technique, and explore materials. You can practice a binding over and over until you can't see it anymore or you've poked too many holes in your fingers. Then it's time to take a walk, to let the information settle, and to shake loose a new idea. Maybe you see a father directing his young son how to wash a car. Or a man walking his three dogs who keeps saying, "Come along, girls." The three dogs could trigger an idea for three books leashed together. You have no way of knowing when or from where those creative sparks will emerge, but I have found that they are more likely to reveal themselves outside the workplace.

Moderation. Balance. You've heard those words before. You do have to find a balance between intake and output, but you also have to engage and work hard. Once you make dozens, maybe hundreds of one binding, you'll be good at it. Keep bringing your observations of public life into your private workspace, then make pieces to relate and release back out to the streets.

Making Handmade Books

Alisa's Website

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