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Old 03-16-2002, 03:41 PM
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Altered books anyone?

Since I see we have gone into collage, which I so enjoy, I thought I'd ask if there is anyone here that has ever altered a book? I am in online art communities that have a list dedicated to this art challenge, with over 1,000 member from about 34 countries. The idea being to take a sad, old book, that nobody wants and is still in fairly good condition and begin altering the pages, using collage,paints, cutting holes for 3 dimensional objects, etc. The ideas are endless & it's quite artistic. Currently I am in a pass around altered book RR where we have a group of 7 that we pass them to the next person and art pages in their books according to their theme. I could never understand this concept until I get the book from the last person who worked in it and I learn amazing things from what everyone did!!
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Old 03-16-2002, 04:33 PM
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As an amateur bookbinder, I found your post fascinating. Do you have any before & after photos or can you give us some examples of what was done to some of the books you got as part of your group? I'd love to hear the stories!



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Old 03-16-2002, 04:53 PM
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Bon jour Rose Queen! As an ameteur bookbinder as well < thought you might well be be horrified, as to the sacredness of books, etc> I have found altering books that might have been discarded or tossed out, are given new life. Instead of giving you many uploads that I'd have to resize, I will refer you to a web site of a friend, who put some of my pages up from my Paris altered book theme----these are only pages I have done, before I sent it out. There are also other art pursuits, journaling, paintings, assemblage.

www.art-e-zine.co.uk/cathleenperkinsart.html
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Old 03-16-2002, 05:57 PM
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The site I referred to above is slow to load so I thought I would add a picture here, this is the first page of an old French book that I painted the page over with acrylic paints, then glued down an antique postcard for my title page, stamped the title words and glued {all w/Golden's heavy gel medium} an antique optician's test lense and added some gold chain to a reproduction Art Noveau brass finding. I use small eyelets into holes made in the side of the pages {I glue two pages together before even beginning, for strength} to then add charms or photocopied old antique tags placed into the holes with thin wire or metallic threads. It's just using your imagination & what sorts of things you have on hand to create a look you want. The books end up quite facinating really and are now being shown in galleries. Many books end up quite full, as in 'the art is spilling over!'
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Old 03-17-2002, 01:44 PM
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What a wonderful idea... I've always wanted to do something with Shakespeare (which I love) but couldn't really think of something interesting other than a painting inspired by a bit. Rather predictable really. But I have 6 complete works editions! I could do something with one of them. My Riverside is rather outdated...

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Old 03-17-2002, 04:10 PM
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Book mutilation -- Quelle horreur!

Much as I love books, I do recognize that they sometimes get to a point where it would be better to transform them into something more interesting, artbabe. Your friend's website is very interesting and I really enjoyed looking at how you transformed the book that's shown there.

So, do I understand that it really doesn't matter what the subject of the book is, relative to what you're going to make the book into? In other words, the book you transformed into "Paris: Looking into the Past" didn't necessarily have anything to do with Paris or France at all; is that right? And the photos, postcards, trimmings, etc., you select, cut out or buy to further the theme?

I'm sure you know of this magazine, but just in case you don't, you really ought to subscribe to Somerset Studio, a paper arts, art stamping and letter arts magazine published bi-monthly in Southern California. A lot of the artwork in that magazine is very reminiscent of this piece you've shown us. You can check them out at http://www.somersetstudio.com

Anyway, do post more of your transformations as you do them; they're really quite lovely and I very much enjoy seeing things like this!



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Old 03-17-2002, 04:43 PM
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Rose Queen wrote--
Book mutilation -- Quelle horreur!

Haaaaaaaaaaaa!! That's what many puristists think, they couldn't imagine altering a book as they are so sacred! I appreciate that many books should be preserved, but they obviously don't see some need resurection to a new life!

No, it doesn't really matter what the book is about unless you plan on leaving or using pages to add to your theme. Some people are into the idea of using words on pages as a message in itself, by using frisket over them before they paint a wash of color over the page. This happened to be a French language book
but it could have been any book for my purpose as I intend to cover most pages, many people do not.

Rose Queen wrote--I'm sure you know of this magazine, but just in case you don't, you really ought to subscribe to Somerset Studio

Yes, I do subscribe to it and have in fact I've been published in it several times. It's where I have been playing whilest taking a break from my oil painting. I am so glad you were able to access the web site, as there are many pages from this book, so you have an idea of what sorts of things can be done. It's like doing small art canvases on the different pages, that are done in your leisure. Timelady I hope you give this a try with a book, adding Shakespeare images, quotes and such.
If either of you are interested, there is a group I mentioned at yahoogroups.com called alteredbooks and you can subscribe to it to learn more. They have vast files of information & scans of others work.
thanks for looking and your comments!
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Old 03-17-2002, 04:46 PM
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Thanks for the tip about the yahoogroups; I'm gonna run right over there!

Also, may I know which issues of Somerset Studios you've published in (and under what name)? I'd like to check them out!



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Old 03-17-2002, 05:31 PM
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Rose Queen, I hate to sit here & list the issues but if I don't you'll think I made it up---that will teach me to open my mouth!

Jul/Aug '99--pg.13--goddess deck
Jan/Feb '00--pg.86--Mardi Gras Tag using my own stamp line
May/June--'00 name on cvr, Cathleen Perkins, Creative Hands feature pg.38
Mar/Apl--'01--pg.115--collage
May/June'01--pg113 Noveau purse--assemblage
these are ones I can remember, there might be more. Many of the contributing artists are my continuing online friends that participated in that goddess deck project pre Somerset.
Cathleen~
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Old 03-17-2002, 08:53 PM
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I'm sorry! I didn't mean to put you to any trouble... I'm gonna be lookin' those issues out, though! Thanks, Cathleen



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Old 03-17-2002, 09:40 PM
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Rose Queen-----you didn't put me to any 'trouble'---in retrospect I felt sorta foolish, like I was tooting my own horn by even mentioning that I'd been in the magazine---Cathleen~
PS--what is your medium/mediums of choice??
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Old 03-17-2002, 10:19 PM
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Watercolor, actually, with bookbinding a close second, although I make them with blank pages for the most part.

And, listen, tooting your horn is what WC is all about; we're your own personal cheering section!



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Old 03-17-2002, 10:27 PM
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Watercolor!!!!!!!! Wow! I AM impressed! I am much too undisciplined to do watercolors! I stick to oils that are more forgiving! Whata sissy, huh? Do you sell the books or are they just for you? I make mine for journaling in, all my signatures are blank as well. One of my fave books was made with 70# paper that I painted { as in paste papers} then dried & ironed the signatures before I sewed them in! It's a gorgeous book!! I used acrylics to paint the pages----Cathleen~
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Old 03-17-2002, 10:40 PM
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Well, now, don't be too impressed, 'cause I'm a rank beginner, but I do love the medium, despite the fact that you can't always recover from your mistakes the way oil or acrylic will permit. However, my parents made me do a lot of paint-by-number as a kid to develop patience (didn't work...) and I can't stand the smell of oil paints now as a result. Acrylics are OK, but I figured I'd pick a medium and just do my best to master it, so that's what I'm doing!

I haven't sold any of my books yet, but I've made a lot for friends (photo albums, journals, watercolor sketchbooks). By the way, I am now the 1,500th member of alteredbooks at Yahoo! Thanks!

Tell me what you mean by "paste papers," please.

In the meantime, here's a photo of three miniature books I made in a slipcover for a friend (the spines are a bit obscured by beads, but I had a good time making them!).



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Old 03-18-2002, 09:59 AM
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Hi Cathleen
What a wonderful idea.

I really love this forum.
There is always new and interesting things to learn.
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