Tag Archives: Altered Books

Transform and tinker…

2 Mar

This is a recipe for escape – an altered book – is now complete and installed in the Book Arts Exhibition at Cardiff Central library together with other bits of my work. Here is a spread from the finished piece – click on the image to look further inside this book.

If you want to have a go yourself at altering books and tinkering with text, I am running a 2 – day weekend workshop  on 16 – 17 April, as part of Cardiff Open Art School.

During two intensive day-sessions you will learn how to revamp an old book with all sorts of paper-cuts, pop-ups, folding and gluing. Taking inspiration from contemporary book and paper artists, you will alter the content and shape of the original pages and gain an insight into how to completely transform the size, shape and function of a book. The book will be your canvas, and your task to use what it already contains to create something unique.

Click here for further details and to book your place.

In researching altered books and paper sculpture I’ve come across some stunning artwork, a few pieces of which I’d like to share:

The incredible book sculptures of Brian Dettmer, crafted from encyclopaedias, dictionaries and antique texts:

Brian Dettmer Altered Dictionary

The living breathing creatures that are Georgia Russell’s paper-cuts:

and the magical worlds which grow from the pages of Su Blackwell’s books:

Click on each image to link to the artists’ websites, see more examples of their work and find out a little more about the ways to tinker and transform books and paper.

A recipe for escape…

25 Feb

Reading is a form of escape – you begin the story, turn pages, absorb the characters. Curious, you continue. You are hooked, making that world your own. You ‘become’ the book. This act of stepping into stories is the concern of my current altered book. I am using paper cuts, print and hand drawn letters to explore the way our consciousness shifts and imagination opens up once a book ‘lets you in’, as it were.

Below is the first page. Click on the image to see a little further into the book.

I will be exhibiting the finished piece at Cardiff Central Library’s book arts exhibition in March, so come along to see it in the flesh.

Angela Carter once remarked that “Reading a book is like re-writing it for yourself. You bring to a novel, anything you read, all your experience of the world. You bring your history and you read it in your own terms.”

So perhaps readers as well as artists are alterers of books? Carving the settings and characters and ideas to create their own version of the text…

I’m escaping Cardiff myself to attend the Bath Literature Festival which kicks off this weekend. There’s folk music and discussion to be enjoyed at Electric Eden on Saturday evening followed by a talk by another of my literary heroines, Marina Warner, on Sunday morning.

Lastly, today I found a woodcut of a peacock that I made a few years ago. I’d cut away some of the image, but below is what was left on the wood –

Have a marvellous weekend!