A couple of months ago, I received a copy of Thread Loves Paper in the mail. Now most of you must know by now how much I love the combination of thread and paper. A recent visit with Tony White, head librarian at MICA (which, by the way, has an awesome artists book collection), reminded me of Buzz Spector’s pieces with handmade paper and string.
Buzz had an incredible showing of these works at the now defunct Alysia Duckler Gallery in Portland, OR, which I reviewed for Hand Papermaking Magazine.
Thread Loves Paper is a book Emily Marks self published – no small feat, but it is becoming increasingly easier in the digital age. Mark’s had two main reasons for self-publishing: the subject matter was too narrow to interest a conventional publisher; and she wanted control over the material.
The book began as an exhibition at Marks’ local library In September of 2010, in which she displayed photos of a group of artists’ books that utilized thread. Next Mark’s began collecting images and statements about the work of twenty five artists who use thread in a variety of ways to make artist books, and she enlisted Green Graphics to design the book.
Marks researched printing in America, but determined that she could not get the job done for the price point she needed. In fact, many of the printers she contacted could not do what she wanted and told her they would have to farm out my job to others to do it for them. Marks found a rep for DiYA USA printers (based in China) who lived just two hours away from her in California. She met with him, and he guided her through a number of decisions pertaining to paper selection, customs fees and shipping, among other things.
This book details the use of thread in 25 contemporary artist books. It starts with a short history of thread and books, then moves to chapters about covers utilizing thread, thread bindings, embroidered book pages, books that incorporate machine stitching, and altered books. Each chapter begins with a historical perspective on its subject and contains full color pictures of exemplary artist books and statements by the artists themselves. Thread Loves Paper draws a picture of how artists think, what kinds of materials and past experiences go into making a unique artist book.
I’m sorry that I don’t have more images to share, but there are many to be seen in the book, which is now available from Oak Knoll Books as well as from Emily Marks directly.
And I think it is worth mentioning the artists represented in the book: Madelyn Garrett, Cathy DeForest, Alisa Golden, Marie C. Dern, Brooke Holve, Emily Marks, Jody Alexander, Carol Barton, Dolores Guffey, Natalie A. Stopka, e Bond, Lin Max, Peter & Donna Thomas, Catherine Alice Michaelis, Adele Crawford, Michelle Wilson, Margery Hellmann, Erin Sweeney, Sarah O’Hala, Bettina Pauly, Macy Chadwick, Luz Marina Ruiz, Lisa Kokin, Adele Crawford, Marilyn L. Geary, and Ehren Elizabeth Reed.
Have you used thread and paper? Do tell (by leaving a comment below)!