2017 Book arts and text-based art

Celebrating my 20 years of book arts! While I’d been making embroidered tapestries since 1990, I started my first embroidery panel intended to become a book in April of 1997. It was this piece, eventually the ‘Noon’ page of ‘Book of Hours’.

(Yes, ‘The Frog and the Moon’ tapestry was my first *finished* piece in 1997, but not my first started one.)

I’m hoping to jam out a lot of book arts pieces this year. Four or five large projects have been ‘in progress’ for several years, and are just now reaching completion. I have Trump & Co to thank for some of the newest ones that are more political than I’ve done in the past.

Tempe Festival of the Arts award ribbons, Spring 2017

(18) 16″ x 4″ category ribbons, (3) 20″ x 5″ Best of Show, Best Display, People’s Choice ribbon, (2) 9″ x 3″ Honorable Mention ribbons.

Based on the sculptural basketry and ceramics work of Featured Artist Hannie Goldgewicht.

Materials: ultrasuede fabric, digitally printed cotton, raffia fiber, semiprecious stone beads, wood beads, waxed polycord, cotton. I write more in depth about these here. As I suspected, they’ve sparked some new (old) ideas for book art with basketry and coiling techniques.

Breathe  3″ x 3.5″ x 1.5″ Modified sewn binding with fabric and shell pages, woodburned and painted covers with porcelain beads, and 7″ ornamental beaded tassel anchors along spine.

Twelve rectangular fabric pages consist of padded cotton ‘windows’ inlaid with handpainted rectangular white shell beads. Single word per page. Collection of linked Latin mottos:

Dum Spiro Spero. Dum Spero Amo. Dum Amo Vivo. Dum Vivo Prosum.

While I breathe, I hope. While I hope, I love. While I love, I live. While I live, I do good.

Covers are woodburned and painted .25″ thick poplar wood. More information here and here.

Materials: cotton fabric, polyester batting, cotton embroidery thread, waxed polycord, poplar wood, porcelain, shell, glass, leather, acrylic.

Enlightenment 1″ high x 20″ – 28″ wide. linen, cotton, polyester ribbon, 22 count cotton Hardanger cloth, waxed polyester, Peruvian card-woven wool strap, leather, redheart wood, rosewood, varnish, glass.

I’ve been experimenting with book art jewelry for a few years, and recently some great pieces on Pinterest inspired me again. After a few false starts, I have another direction to go in! I started with the pages from the Dia de los Muertos books from last year, which I’m rebuilding. That left me 15 tiny .5″ pages in rainbow stripes on linen and cotton.

Times being what they are, I wanted a science-and-knowledge-positive piece, so the theme of ‘Enlightenment’ was an obvious choice. I’d recently scored some 22-count cross-stitch fabric, which lent itself to tiny letter squares worked in red thread, then frayed and sewn into place on the pages.

Coptic-binding the pages with two tiny redheart wood covers was easy, but I wanted a richly textured way to display and use this book. Cue some Peruvian wool straps I found at a thrift store 25-ish years ago, plus glue and crimson leather, and some strategic braided polyester in scarlet and gray-green for added support.

The whole assembly is joined by a double-drilled rosewood bead and two large red/black/white striped glass beads. It’s a versatile necklace, wrap bracelet, or even hatband…as well as a nice piece of bookcase bling. I love the layout so much I’m planning more.

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