Good Site: Book Art

Feb222012

Thanks to Rox for this link to Brian Dettmer’s gorgeous, gorgeous art from old books (click picture for full size):

Filed in Sites & Blogs

33 Comments to 'Good Site: Book Art'

On February 22, 2012 at 4:15 pm Lynda said...

The art and craftsmanship are amazing, but I have a very negative gut reaction to anything that involves destroying books, regardless of what the books are. Just me, I guess.

Thumb up 3

On February 22, 2012 at 8:02 pm Jenny said...

I don’t. Books are paper and ink. As long as they’re not the last copy, or a well-loved copy somebody has had for so long that the book itself is a memory token, I see no problem in interacting with a book. I write in mine, turn down corners, press flowers in them, and I’m about to tear up a copy of Thief of Time (I have two in paperback and one on my iPad) for an art project. I would object to words being lost (Fahrenheit 451) but not to the thousandth copy of Maybe This Time out there.

Thumb up 1

On February 22, 2012 at 11:12 pm Cathy M said...

Is that Tony Hillerman’s Thief of Time? That’s one of my favorite books and my favorite Tony Hillerman. I really miss having a new book from him to anticipate.

Thumb up 0

On February 23, 2012 at 8:54 am piper said...

Or Terry Pratchett’s? Love me some Pratchett.

Thumb up 0

On February 23, 2012 at 9:13 am Jenny said...

Nope, Pratchett. I like Hillerman, too, but Pratchett’s Thief of Time is brilliant.

Thumb up 1

On February 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm Louise said...

I’m hoping they’re old books saved from a garbage tip and he’s recycled them.
It is amazing, intricate work.

Thumb up 2

On February 22, 2012 at 5:30 pm colognegrrl said...

That’s fascinating. Makes me want to touch and explore which would probably not be good for the artefacts.

Thumb up 0

On February 22, 2012 at 6:18 pm Micki said...

I agree with Lynda . . . but I’ve seen so much book art that’s really, really good. And I know from experience, there are some books that are no longer readable (sometimes from the content, sometimes because the cats have decided to make some art (-:). We no longer live in a medieval society where there’s only one or two copies of a book floating around. It’s really, really better for a book to be loved — and better as art than as firestarter. (And yet . . . I want to find out more about the “Modern Painters”! Sigh. I’m such an addict.)

Thumb up 0

On February 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm Jenny said...

I have a couple of books on making things from old books, and the stuff in them in fascinating. I think one of the things that’s lost on us as readers is that the book production itself is an art. There are old books that have beautiful vintage covers in aged colors whose pages are falling apart, and I think I have tended to look at those as unreadable rather than beautiful, something to be preserved doing a different task than covering rotting pages.

Thumb up 2

On February 24, 2012 at 5:26 am Micki said...

This is true . . . I’ve often thought about doing something with my daughters’ old books — the ones that have been chewed around the edges, but still have darling illustrations. Maybe decoupage or something, except perhaps that will need to wait until grandchildren . . . . But I have such ISSUES about destroying something in order to make beauty . . . I’ve been trying to paint over a plywood wall for years. Probably some sort of childhood trauma )-:. OK, that’s something for ReFab . . . I will destroy something and make it even more beautiful before Easter. That would be really seasonal, too, what with rebirth and all (-:. My admiration goes out to people who can see potential beauty . . . .

Thumb up 0

On February 22, 2012 at 8:52 pm Skye said...

I like boxes made of books, or gluing together a stack of books to make a lamp base, stuff like that. I mean, some books are simply just cool old paper after awhile. (And I do adore books, simply for themselves.)

Thumb up 3

On February 22, 2012 at 9:45 pm Thea said...

I’m in charge of divesting a library. My town library came and got several truckloads of books for their annual sale (some of the books were first acquired there), but the shelves are still half full. Vintage bookstores I have offered the remainder to FOR FREE have no need of more stock no one buys. My town library used to send leftovers from their sale to overseas libraries, now it is cheaper to pulp them. I may end up doing this too. *shudder* For me, it’s personal. I knew the collector, and he spent his life gathering his books. He read them all.

Thumb up 0

On February 22, 2012 at 10:37 pm Jenny said...

That’s awful, it really is.
You know if you hooked a local craft group up with the crafting instructions, they might take them. Or check with art teachers to see if any of them are interested. The sculptural things you can do with books are amazing.

http://www.amazon.com/Repurposed-Library-Craft-Projects-Books/dp/1584799099/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1329968155&sr=8-1
http://www.amazon.com/Playing-Books-Upcycling-Deconstructing-Reimagining/dp/159253600X/ref=pd_sim_b_1

Thumb up 7

On February 22, 2012 at 11:33 pm Thea said...

Thank you. I’m misting up. Really don’t want to pulp those books. Yay, an alternative to investigate!

Thumb up 2

On February 23, 2012 at 11:29 am Sure Thing said...

Surely someone somewhere would be willing to sponsor books being sent to the developing world for use? It can’t be cheaper for those countries to buy new rather than shipping costs?

As for art- damaged books and obsolete textbooks are one thing, but useful literature? Hmm, dunno. I recently (pre RDJ film) saved Sherlock Holmes from being removed from our library and sent to central library hub because it wasn’t borrowed at all. I s’pose sometimes there *are* different books that are popular in different areas.

Thumb up 0

On February 24, 2012 at 5:28 am Micki said...

Sadly, the US post office doesn’t deliver sea-mail anymore. Airmail M-bags are about the cheapest rate you’ll find for books. And that’s not cheap.

Thumb up 0

On February 23, 2012 at 12:07 pm oneoftheotherjennifers said...

I don’t know where you’re located, but have you tried contacting a local homeschooling group? They would swarm that place like locusts.

Thumb up 1

On February 23, 2012 at 6:09 pm Thea said...

Thank you, Oneof and Sure Thing. Appreciate the thoughts (I’ll investigate) and the thoughtfulness.

Thumb up 1

On February 22, 2012 at 9:46 pm Thea said...

The artwork is fabulous.

Thumb up 0

On February 23, 2012 at 12:04 am Kelly S said...

At my library we have art books but these were books that were designed artistically to match the story the author is writing. We are building a website that should launch next week to highlight them. I’ll post the link once it is live.

Thumb up 0

On February 23, 2012 at 9:26 am Ginny said...

I can’t find the original article right now that was on NPR but this will give you a taste for the fantastic. I love books but this artist is just amazing.

http://thisiscentralstation.com/featured/mysterious-paper-sculptures/

Thumb up 2

On February 23, 2012 at 9:40 am Jenny said...

Oh, that’s wonderful. I’d seen the first ones but not the later ones. Thank you!

Thumb up 0

On February 23, 2012 at 11:24 am jackie said...

I have some strong feelings about respecting books, too, and I love there physical art as well as there content. But we can’t keep everything. We need to reduce – if you don’t need it don’t pick it up. Reuse – if you don’t need it anymore find some one who does. Or recycle – the last choice, but much better than just mucking up the planet with it.

That being said, I think those sculptures are beatiful.

A few weeks ago my sister and I sat down next to a man that was drawing in an old book. We got to talking, and mentioned that we were working for a company that was scanning old architectural drawings for the federal government. His eyes lit up, and he WANTED some of that paper! It appears that old books and ledgers were made of types of paper that interacted with ink in ways that modern paper does not. This guy is constantly looking for old books and ledgers – both used and not – to draw in.

Here is his website.
http://buttnekkiddoodles.com/

Thumb up 1

On February 23, 2012 at 1:27 pm Sarah said...

Our library has a current exhibit of artists books in the main lobby. They are absolutely amazing. Our Art Librarian has created a guide about the exhibit and how to find more information about artists books.

http://infoguides.gmu.edu/artistbooks

Thumb up 0

On February 23, 2012 at 9:53 pm Librarian Betty said...

Whenever I weed the school library, I put all the books in boxes and have someone bring them upstairs to the art room. I’ve seen some really fun projects come out of it. There’s something almost subversive about writing in a book let alone painting it, cutting it up, etc. (I write in my own books all the time– call it “personalizing”). It’s sort of a guilty pleasure.

I also want to put it out there that, as librarians, part of our job is maintaining the library collection. That includes both adding new stuff and getting rid of things that are either in poor condition or no longer relevant. For example, I found a book in my high school collection that indicated that cocaine was not addictive. No, that one went right in the trash, NOT to the art room. And, don’t get me started about the books about the planets or foreign countries. That whole Pluto-is-not-a-planet deal…

Before anyone starts worrying that libraries are tossing items with abandon, let me reassure you by pointing out that most librarians are about the biggest packrats going– we have a hard time throwing out anything. I am no exception to the rule myself hence all the books going to the art room.
I can get rid of it if I know someone else will use it.

Thumb up 0

On February 24, 2012 at 5:34 am Micki said...

(-: See, it’s subversive. I’m a GOOD girl, LOL. See your point. (And also, just finished a book about “How I Killed Pluto, and Why It Had It Coming” — charming book, just charming! I don’t feel so bad about Pluto anymore.)

Thumb up 1

On February 24, 2012 at 3:48 pm oneoftheotherjennifers said...

Whoa- that’s seriously disorienting… what’s going on with the background on the blog?

Thumb up 0

On February 24, 2012 at 5:14 pm Jenny said...

Uh, mine’s okay. Is yours vibrating or something?

Thumb up 0

On February 24, 2012 at 6:28 pm oneoftheotherjennifers said...

Maybe it’s my computer, but I did check several other sites and I’m only seeing weird stuff here. The background is black, and unless I highlight them so are all the comments. The dates and the names on the comments are in red, and as I scroll around to check what I’m talking about now the whole screen goes… I don’t even know how to describe that. Like someone has dragged an eraser back and forth over it? Oh, I so hope I don’t have a virus. But it’s just this site. Here’s hoping you don’t have a virus, either.

Thumb up 0

On February 24, 2012 at 8:58 pm oneoftheotherjennifers said...

Logged in using Internet Explorer instead of Firefox, and now it looks normal. I’m still not having any problems with other sites.

Since no one else has said anything, it’s probably me. Sorry to bother you.

Thumb up 0

On February 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm Jenny said...

No, no, always bother us with stuff like that. Thank you!
I did check it on Firefox and it was okay there for me. But if there’s something going wonky, we always want to know.
We are going to start revamping the site, so somebody might have been tinkering with it. Or trying to hack it although why is anybody’s guess.

Thumb up 1

On February 24, 2012 at 9:28 pm Jill said...

Didn’t Heidi do an embellished Crusie book a few years ago ? I am a book keeper. Every year I tell myself that I will donate my non keepers to the annual library book sale. And I do sometimes. But the bulk of my ‘in the sunroom’ collections will go to the daughters-who will have not a clue what they are worth.

Thumb up 0

On February 24, 2012 at 9:33 pm Jenny said...

Yes, she did. She did one for SEP, too.

Thumb up 0