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Artists’ books
Handmade books
[senior editor, Ray Hemachandra].
New York : Lark Books, c2010.
Bookmaking is one of today's fastest-growing crafts, and this on-the-page gallery presents the unlimited potential of the form, from leather-tooled covers and handmade papers to exotic bindings. The talented contributors include Jeanne Germani, David Hodges, Laura Wait, and a host of other artists. With nearly 100 selections taken from the best-selling 500 Handmade Books, this pocket-sized book will delight handmade-book devotees!  
     
Celtic, Viking & Anglo-Saxon embroidery : the art & embroidery of Jan Messent
Jan Messent.
Tunbridge Wells : Search, 2010.
In a rare fusion of contemporary art, embroidery, and history, this book celebrates the art of Jan Messent through her re-creations of Celtic, Viking, and Anglo-Saxon artifacts and works of art. The works combine a myriad of materials, including hand-stitched threads, glued papers, fabrics, fibers, paints, and beads. Beautiful photography captures the precisely executed creations for a stunning visual feast, while historical facts are ingeniously interwoven to enhance the centuries-old tradition of embroidery in England.
     
Book + art : handcrafting artists' books
Dorothy Simpson Krause.
Cincinnati, Ohio : North Light Books, c2009.
In this in-depth look at the book as art, you will be guided through not only a wide variety of binding techniques and structure styles, but you will also learn a variety of mixed-media applications to create various works of art. See the form and function of making a book in a new light - viewed as a piece of art. Step-by-step photos and complete instruction will guide you through each binding technique.
     
The book as art : artists' books from the National Museum of Women in the arts
Krystyna Wasserman ; with essays by Johanna Drucker and Audrey Niffenegger.
New York : Princeton Architectural Press, c2007.
Artists' books have emerged over the last twenty-five years as one of the most engaging contemporary art forms, addressing subjects from poetry to politics, incorporating a full spectrum of artistic media and bookmaking methods, and taking every conceivable form. Female painters, sculptors, calligraphers, and printmakers have played a primary role in developing this new mode of artistic expression. The Book as Art presents more than one hundred of the finest artists' books culled from the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. These exquisitely crafted objects are certain to provoke unexpected and surprising conclusions about what constitutes a book. Book jacket.
     

Artists get their inspiration from many objects. The book’s form has spawned a whole genre of art expression called “Artists’ books.” These sculptural pieces are based on the familiar book, but their creator pushes the physical boundaries of a book to make something different.

Book artists are limited only by their imagination. One artist writes about her childhood of the 1950’s and fixes those words on an icon of the time: Wonder Bread slices. Is this a “book?” What defines a “book” and how is that separate from “art?” This piece blurs clear lines of demarcation

Who Collects?

Should libraries collect and display Artists books? Or do they belong only in art galleries and museums? There is no clear answer.

Some libraries buy them because they are books. When the artist has created both physical form and content that is important, the object may fit within a library’s scope of collecting.

Art museums collect them as an important expression of contemporary art. Artists’ books are increasingly popular in art and craft circles, and museums that wish to reflect contemporary trends have been collecting them for years.

Any medium is fair game for creating these unusual art objects. Traditional materials of paper and leather form many Artists’ books but you may find wood or porcelain books in an exhibit. Metal, glass, and plastic have been utilized by artists. Fabric lends itself easily to replicating parts of a book, and fiber artists sew their product using traditional fabric techniques like quilting as well as embellishments of buttons and ribbon.

Books that have been changed in some way are known as “Altered books,” part of the world of Artists’ books.  Craftsmen start with an existing book and refashion it using any number of artistic means, molding it into something that has meaning. Beautiful specimens show off painting, paper folding, or decoupage techniques where pages have been torn or glued and covers embellished.

Artists’ books  appeal to book lovers as well as those who appreciate interesting art expression.  

Article by: St. Louis Public Library staff