Archive for the ‘books’ Category

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I found this image via one of my new favorite websites: bookshelfporn.  I believe I’ve mentioned how much I love books?  This site is exactly what it promises to be – lots of photos of bookshelves in all their booky glory.  I would love to know who did this particular image though. Internet? Help me out?

[via bookshelfporn]

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Treasure book marriage proposal

This is probably one of the sweetest and most time consuming marriage proposals I’ve ever seen.

Illustrator Joel Kimmel wrote and illustrated short story describing the “history” of the ring he was using to propose to his girlfriend with. He then pasted the pages into an old Collier’s Cyclopedia and in the last bit, carved out a little hiding spot for the ring itself.

Here is the last page with the flap in the middle:

Which opens to reveal the ring!

What a huge amount of work!  Thank goodness she said Yes!  🙂

[via Joel’s blog]

Book excavations

It is no secret that I am a huge fan of books and book art.

This is the work of Brian Dettmer.  I’ve seen his work around without actually knowing who was doing it.  I love the idea of taking old books and finding something new in them.

From the artist statement on his website:

When an object’s intended function is fleeting the necessity for a new approach to its form and content arises. By altering preexisting materials and shifting functions, new and unexpected roles of old materials emerge. This is the area I currently operate in. Through meticulous excavation or concise alteration I edit or dissect a communicative object or system such as books, maps, tapes and other media. The medium’s role expands. Its content becomes recontextualized and new meanings or interpretations emerge.

Explanation of Book Dissections

In this work I begin with an existing book and seal its edges, creating an enclosed vessel full of unearthed potential. I cut into the surface of the book and dissect through it from the front. I work with knives, tweezers and other surgical tools to carve one page at a time, exposing each page while cutting around ideas and images of interest. Nothing inside the books is relocated or implanted, only removed. Images and ideas are revealed to expose a book’s hidden, fragmented memory. The completed pieces expose new relationships of a book’s internal elements exactly where they have been since their original conception.

I’ve done some work with altered books, but I can only imagine the amount of time and patience it must have taken to work on these.

This last one I found on his flickr stream which I highly recommend you all go check out right now.  He seems to have done an excellent job posting a lot of his most recent work there.  What caught me first about this piece was the title: Do it, Complete Yourself Man (2010)

and here is a detail from same work:

For more on Brian and his work, you can check out his wikipedia page.

Ikea Cookbook

I found this a while ago and just forgot to post about it.  I love love love how the ingredients in this Swedish Ikea Cookbook Hembakat är Bäst (Homemade is Best) are laid out.

These are the ingredients for Gingerbread people!

Here are a few more.

This becomes Vanilla Horns:

This becomes Almond Tarts:

Here are a few more of just ingredients (they just look so cool!!):

Photos by Carl Kleiner (who you should really go check out! I didn’t know his work before these images, but he has done some really cool things!)

Styled by Evelina Bratell.

[via craft]

Desk made of books

I find this desk totally appealing:

{via Recyclart}

The best part?  It is the Information Desk in a library!

UPDATE: The desk is located at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands. From inhabitat.com“After the devastating fire in the Architecture building that took a portion of the library’s reserve, the school set out to establish a new collection that would consist of the salvaged books that went unburned and a bounty of others newly purchased to replace the destroyed volumes.”

I love how you mostly see the pages in the books and they used the covers as just a hint of color.  They could have gone the other way and arranged all the books spine out.  But I’m glad they didn’t.  It is very trendy right now to organize your book shelf by color. For example:

While I can see how that would be very eye catching, the pragmatist in me thinks, “But how would you ever find what you are looking for?”  Books are for reading and looking at, not just for being pretty on a shelf!  If your books aren’t organized by author, or by subject, or even chronologically, you’d have to remember if your book on contemporary art had a red or a blue cover to ever find it!  That is not how my brain is organized! Gah!

Sorry, tangent.

Tops and Tails and Monsters

I discovered the blog Agence Eureka a while ago by accident (I think maybe via BibliOdyssey). I don’t know much more about it than the poster is female, from France and seems to have an unending supply of the most awesome ephemera just hanging around waiting to be scanned. Her tastes (on this blog anyway) lean towards kids card games and books, turn of the century magazines and souvenirs of travel, none more recent than the 1960s.  She is not shy with the big files (all easily downloaded off her flickr page) and I love what she has been posting lately.  This particular card game that she calls “Tops and Tails – zoo” has tickled my fancy in a big way:

zoomelo 19

zoomelo 10

zoomelo 14

I’ve loved mix-and-match things since I was a kid. One of my very favorites was a book called Mix ’em up Monsters [interesting side note: I can’t find ANYTHING on the publishers of this book online. They are called Current, Inc. and the book was published in 1980, code 3221. The one Amazon link is to the wrong book – or at least it has the wrong cover. Come one internet, help me out. Anyone? Bueller?]  I was just going to post a link to whatever online reference there was to the book, but since I couldn’t find anything, I figured I might as well dig out my old copy of it and take a few photos.  Good thing I had a vague idea which box it was hiding in…

Mix 'em up Monsters cover

This Gruesome Grump

This Greedy Glutton

This Persnickety Pest

This Slippery Scoundrel

I loved how each one had that whole alliteration thing going and the drawings were just awesome (in retrospect, very late 70s). And each time you read the book, you could make it say something a little different. I’m also fairly certain this is where I first learned the word “persnickety.”

Pigeons and School

So my (never truly) stellar track record of posting every day has somewhat dropped off lately.  The reason is quite simple – I have returned to school!  I’m in the Intermedia MFA program at the University of Maine in Orono.  You may be wondering What (the %^$#) is Intermedia?  Intermedia is by its very nature hard to define.  It is the in between spaces.  It is where things overlap and new things become.  Personally, I’m interested in the places that art, technology and traditional craft overlap.  Other students are interested in where food and art come together.  Or sound and art.  Or writing, art and biology.  The list goes on and on. Most of what unites this group is that we don’t quite fit into any of the other traditionally defined departments within the University structure.  Which is what makes this whole experience so very exciting for me.  We are bounding forward into the unknown and hoping to come back with something amazing. Last week was the very first week of school this fall.  And there have been a lot of adjustments.  Something had to slip a little and it turned out to be this blog. I’m hoping to incorporate this blog as part of my art practice so it is my intention to be better about maintaining it.

ANYwho.

I’m trying to figure out what it is I’m going to work on first.  I think I’m going to go with the spark that was ignited earlier this summer by another class I took at the University.  I believe I mentioned before that I took a book binding class this summer and what a huge impact it had on me.  It reminded me how much I love making books.  Not that I’d really forgotten, just that it had been so long since I’d made one that other things were clouding my memory.  I’ve been wanting to continue playing with books since then and I think this is my opportunity.  So I’ve started doing some research. It’s funny though – research can often be entirely accidental.  You just have to recognize that what you are looking at could have larger implications for you. I’ve been hanging around the library on campus in between classes.  This early in the year, it is nice and quiet.  And it has comfy chairs and wifi.  As I was wandering down one of the mustier isles, this caught my eye:

The Natural History of Animals - spine

My first thought was that it was a skull. I stopped and pulled it off the shelf and looked at the cover:

The Natural History of Animals

Now it was beginning to make sense. I flipped through it just to see if it happened to have any other cool illustrations. And on the last page I found this:

Pigeon - closed

Which was kinda cool. But then I realized that it opened out. And it became SUPER AWESOME.

Pigeon - all three layers open

Each layer revealed something different about the inner working of a pigeon.

Pigeon - circulatory system

Pigeon - wing open

Pigeon - skeleton layer

So. Cool.

And I would have never even known it was there. I just bumbled onto it because I liked the spine of the book. There was no search term that I would have ever thought to use that would have ever turned up something like that. But once I found it, I totally loved it. I’m not sure if I’ll ever do anything with the idea, but just knowing it is there makes me happy.

Yay for libraries!!!

Fogler Library - UMO