Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Women Who Create Books – Bookbinders and Book Artists

My mind is on other things and they are making me sad. It seems that for every step a woman takes forward there is some human determined to drag us back to our base nature. At times like these I look for inspiration, beauty or something that will engage my curiosity. 

Bookbinding is as old as the creation of books themselves.Traditionally we tend to see pictures of monks and scribes crafting books one letter at a time. We’ve also seen Guttenberg at his press and the modern presses. Creating a book can be a personal solitary experience and as I hope to show in this post that it is an art form that is being carried forward into the future.

I started with Roz Wound Up who explained her process on creating a book. Some of the advice she gives on constructing a book could be transferred to other areas of life:
In fact, maybe you should never expect perfection, even when you are high on the learning curve. Maybe it's healthier to just stay open to the results and enjoy them for what they are, a point in your development. That way, when you are truly gifted and you make a flop you've still got a way back to point 5 (being kind to yourself when you mess up!)
Alice Austin’s Book Art web site just makes me want to go “wow”, I didn’t know about this type of creativity concerning books. I can’t pick one photo so you should just go and gaze.’s blog is called The Bindary doesn't just create books, she creates various forms of art. On her blog you can find examples of papermaking, book binding and stationary art.  She also has a story on Etsy where you can view samples of her work.

I kept searching and I discover It’s Just Me Kim. Kim also works in a variety of media but she creates metal embossed bookbinding and frames. Her other work isn’t bad either and she makes me feel like a shrub or something. It is more talent envy than I can usually handle.
For those of you that are of the green persuasion Rhonda at My Handbound Books has a bit of fun with recycling cardboard to create She doesn’t just recycle cardboard for books, I’ve seen edible book creations and I’m truly digging her Steampunk collection.

There is different medium for each artists. Some artists use leather. Bibliophile’s Bookbinding Journal tools and skills were passed down to her by her grandmother. In this post she explains how to create a simple journal book.
When I started learning bookbinding my grandmother not only gave me all her bookbinding tools, but also a couple of shopping bags full of leather and leather scraps.
Delanie at Shiny Happy Fit of Rage is making notebooks using music album covers. Not sure how I feel about that, it is age thing. There are albums that are going with me to the great beyond so the idea of cutting them up, well, it is something I would have to work through. But the journals are lovely. 
Well, I feel a little better. There are bad people in the world but there are more people that are making it better in small incremental ways. Every act of creativity expressed is a voice for sanity in an insane world. If you know of other bookbinders and book artists please drop them in the comments.
This post originally appeared on BlogHer where I am a Contributing Editor.

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