3: Paper & Books

3: Paper & Books

Book Arts is a growing field, and there are many innovative uses of paper in contemporary artists’ books. The following is just the tip of the iceberg and documents my own experience with various instructors over the years.
I met Ed Hutchins in the early 1990’s when I took a workshop with him at Long Island University. In one day, we created approximately 25 different book structures, all from copier-size sheets of paper. Ed used the now-defunct gocco printer and photocopier machine to ‘print’ many of his editions on single sheets of paper, and then he cut the sheets and folded them in a multitude of ways to make various book structures.  I own a copy of the Mystery of the Magic Box, pictured below. The book and box are all constructed from one large single sheet of paper which was printed and then cut in a way that it folds up into a box that holds the book.
I’ve never met Keith Smith or Scott McCarney, but I admire their instructional books, as well as their artists’ books. Keith made this lovely string book, which has been inspirational in my work.

And check out Scott’s amazing alphabet book:

Alphabook 3, by Scott McCarney

Alphabook 3, by Scott McCarney

I had the good fortune of assisting Susan Joy Share in a workshop she taught at The Penland School in 1996. Susan’s books are often interactive: I remember gasping when I saw two books which were revealed beneath her feet when she took a few steps; she had two accordion books strapped to her feet! The workshop was incredible. She taught collaboratively with Nancy (I’m sorry I’ve forgotten her last name) and we made books that we ‘performed’ with. Susan also introduced me to using all kinds of fasteners which can be used in artists’ book construction, like magnets and zippers.
Zip-off fence, by Susan Joy Share

Zip-off fence, by Susan Joy Share

I took traditional bookbinding and box making classes with Barbara Mauriello at the Center for Book Arts in New York City. Some of her books are featured in Playing With Paper.
artists' book, by Barbara Mauriello

artists’ book, by Barbara Mauriello

Hedi Kyle, who is also featured in Playing With Paper, has also taught many people how to make books, and she has developed unique book structures, including the flag book.

Flag Book, by Hedi Kyle

There are many book arts programs at colleges and universities, and there is a professional group called The College Book Art Association, which holds an annual conference. There is also a national Guild of Bookworkers, with several local chapters around the country. And there are dealers who specialize in Book Arts: it is worth taking a peek at these websites, because they carry the work of important book artists working in the field today: 23 Sandy Gallery, Vamp & Tramp Booksellers and Wessel & Lieberman. And there is even a summer camp for book and paper artists! Check out the Paper and Book Intensive, which is held in May of each year.
What other book art resources do you know of? Please share them by e-mailing or leaving me a comment below.
About the 25 Days of Paper: In celebration fo the publication of my new book, Playing With Paper (in stores January 1, 2013) I’m going to be a crazy blogger in December, featuring cool paper products, projects, blogs, books, or papers each day. Join in the fun by reading along! I’ll also post links on my FaceBook page. Enjoy the season!


  1. Linda K. Fendley says:

    Very Immaginative! Thanks for all the great links.

  2. Becky Luening says:

    Membership in the North Redwoods Book Arts Guild in Arcata, California is open to anyone in the world, and has a tradition of hosting a book exchange every month. Beginning and experienced book artists are welcome to submit a handmade book on a specified theme. Three months have set themes: February (Valentines), September (Second Chance) and December (in which participants make an edition of a holiday card design). Everyone who makes a book gets one in return (via random drawing). http://www.norbag.net/

  3. Helen says:

    I like your blog very much! I myself am a member of http://www.stichting-handboekbinden.nl/home.php That is in the Netherlands. I just participated in a exhibition where you had to bind a book from signatures. I was surprised to find that also people from the States send in a book! So we are sort of international.

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