Book Art Object – My Experience

by Angela

Now that the call out for the 3rd Project of Book Art Object has gone out and we are getting started I just wanted to write a little bit about my experience.

I can’t remember how I found Sara Bowen’s post on her Blog DoubleElephant. I think I got lost on the internet one day and found it 🙂 (1st July 2009).  I felt cautious about committing myself. I work full-time and barely had time to do my own work let alone commit to something like this. I think I was also a little bit scared and intimidated. I had done quite a few bookbinding courses at CFPR, UWE Bristol and made a lot of books, but had never made an edition.  I suppose in my mind I was ‘dabbling’ and didn’t really have the courage to call myself a Book Artist.

Well to anyone who is teetering on the brink and has similar concerns I say jump in! If you have never made a full edition of books and are scared like I was it is a great experience for many reasons. Making a one off book can be difficult enough and the thought of making 9 or 14 more of the same is very daunting, but it really improves your skills and for me this was a great way of putting into practice what I had learned. It does become less scary as you go along and by book 9 of the edition the fear is nearly gone 😉

The best part for me (apart from getting an edition of the most beautiful books through the post!) is connecting with other like minded people. I love to see the work in progress posts on the blog and hear about the processes people go through, failed experiments, rejected ideas,  sometimes despair (!) and then the final elation when the book is complete. The most fascinating part is when we are all working from the same piece of text and the responses and approaches we come up with are so different. I really love this bit, I don’t know why but it still amazes me the way someone will come up with something which wouldn’t have occurred to me in a million years.

I am really glad we have chosen Sarah Bodman’s great book to work from. The possibilities are so endless, the minute Sara posted it on the blog I was excited! If you are worrying about deadlines I believe that we are aiming to submit for the Libris Awards in Australia. You would need to have at least one book of the edition completed ready to post to Sara Bowen by June 2012 so there is no big pressure to have the full edition completed by a certain date. You can double check with Sara on these timings if you are interested in joining up.  Last and by no means least (its hard to say this without sounding like a creep!) its a lovely, friendly, relaxed, and talented bunch of people and I have really enjoyed getting to know everyone.  So as I said if you are wavering or teetering, give it a go 🙂 

(Link to original Blog Post with call out)

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Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) 29th December 2011 - 11:58 am

Thanks Angela! I'm so happy to be joining you this time around. It is a mildly intimidating commitment, especially knowing what terrific artists are in my group! But one thing that has always come through at the BAO blog, to me as a previously lurking non-participant, is how encouraging and supportive everyone genuinely has seemed. And the work that comes out of it is fantastic!

Although now that I've picked my title, I find myself wondering… what made me pick that one? Ha… I will have to find out, I suppose. I'm really looking forward to seeing what everyone winds up doing.

Angela 29th December 2011 - 12:57 pm

I am glad you've joined I love your work and can't wait to see what you come up with 🙂 It is a bit daunting but I think it really pushes you too. I know with me it gave me a long awaited kick up the ass (!)

I like your title. I have been thinking about exploring ideas of superstition in my own work. This was one of the prints I was working with (another Emily Dickinson poem).

By the way I just remembered I had a dream about one of your pieces – The Literary Cure.

Someone was making me take the pills to cure me of something but I can't remember what it was now. I should have written it down, it was a few months ago and just remembered it when you posted on here 🙂

rObfOs 29th December 2011 - 9:40 pm

Hey Angela, thanks for this post – as a new participant in BAO it's really good to hear about other's previous experiences and observations. The rubber stamp making looks fascinating and I really like the printerly quality of your stamp work and the obvious desire to explore and experiment with mediums and ideas that shows through in your work.

The Elephant's Child 30th December 2011 - 7:38 am

And as a non creative soul I am in awe and wonder at the things you create and LOVE being privileged enough to see them. In draft and in final versions.

Angela 2nd January 2012 - 8:27 am

You are welcome Robyn. Rubber stamps can have a lovely printerly quality. I suppose in some ways its similar to lino except much easier to carve and I find a more forgiving medium – meaning if you make minor mistakes it doesn't ruin the print and sometimes even look better because of it.

Angela 2nd January 2012 - 8:29 am

Glad you are enjoying the all our blogs Elephants Child. I enjoy yours very much, especially your beautiful exotic birds 🙂

Paper Chipmunk (aka Ellen) 5th January 2012 - 10:17 pm

Thanks for the link to your print. I don't think I've ever mentioned that when I was in high school, several of the kids actually thought I was a witch capable of cursing them and were afraid of me. (I fit in at my small town conservative high school like…well, a metaphor escapes me, but I'm sure you can imagine.) You've given me something new to ponder.

As for the dream…! Oh my! That must be the first time anyone has ever told me that a work of mine was the subject of a dream. I'll never think of the Codex bottles the same way again! I'm glad you told me that. It's a great mental image.

I suspect BAO will be a kick up mine as well. I'd sworn I was going to take it easy this year and not commit myself to anything, but this I couldn't pass on. I am really happy to be joining all of you.

Belated happy New Year!


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