This lovely book based on shadow play incorporates delicate paper-cut forms which, when lit from the side, cast shaped shadows onto the facing pages. As a light is moved to various positions, the shadows move, too, interacting with the illustrations to complete them in a wordless dance. Designed by Japanese artists Megumi Kajiwara and Tathuhiko Nijima, the books are made to order by hand. To see the book in action, watch this delightful video.
October 30, 2014
March 20, 2012
Traditionally, the book has been both a container of information and a physical object. With the advent of digital technology that has changed, and today some books exist only in electronic form. But physical books are still part of our world, and some artists are using them as raw material for their own expressive pieces in the fields of art and architecture. The weburbanist site has mounted a small show of twelve artists’ bookworks at various scales. We love the idea of buildings made of books, while the smaller-scale sculptural pieces are also both jarring and thought provoking. Visit the show for more images of the works by clicking here.
March 9, 2010
It’s a small but wonderful exhibit on display at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art: a show of lists created by authors, artists, and art personalities. The lists are quite varied. There’s one of Joseph Cornell’s purchases at an antiques fair, with notes about what he later did with the objects. There’s a visual packing list and a list by author H. L. Mencken of his personal beliefs and general thoughts. And there’s one by architect Eero Saarinen outlining the jobs he needed to do over the course of a day. Some are written, some are typed, some are collaged together, and all give a bit of insight into their creators’ personalities. The show, with the full title Lists: To-dos, Illustrated Inventories, Collected Thoughts and Other Artists’ Enumerations will be on exhibit until September 27th, 2010.
And while you’re there, check out the Portrait Gallery show One Life, Echoes of Elvis just down the hall. It’s a quirky look at The King by artists working in a wide range of media.
August 2, 2008
Chris Northey did this inventive 3-dimensional book animation, called “Start Running Pico,” while living in Japan. It speaks to the dynamic balance between creation and distruction that is part of most mythologies. Watch it here on YouTube.
May 4, 2008
Since August, 2003, artist Shelley Jackson has been “publishing” her 2095-word story, one word at a time. Volunteers to the project agree to tattoo a word that Shelly assigns to them somewhere on their bodies. The word must be in a classic font and large enough to be readable by the naked eye. The project is ongoing, and documentation of it can be seen at her web site, www.inedradicablestain.com If you want to volunteer for your own word, you can sign up through the site.
August 16, 2007
Lesson plans on how to incorporate book arts into standard classroom curicula will be available this fall on a new web site sponsored by the National Museum of Women in the Arts. The web site will be posted in September. Please pass this information on to any teachers you know who might be interested in utilizing this important free resource within their classrooms! Email me and I will send you an announcement with the web address when it is up.
ABC (Art, Books, and Creativity) is an elementary-level arts integration curriculum that helps students make connections between visual art, writing, and other classroom subjects. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, ABC is a model for integrating the visual arts into core school curicula. I have been involved as one of the artist-teachers in this program from its inception, and have found that teaching kids to make their own books empowers them to improve their storytelling and writing skills, explore new subject matter, and develop three-dimensional design and trial-and-error problem-solving techniques.
In an era when the arts have been reduced or cut from many school programs, this is an important way to incorporate them back into the classroom as a vital teaching tool. Please take advantage of this resource!
July 27, 2007
Between classes this summer, I’m continuing to work on volume 2 of my workbook series, The Pocket Paper Engineer. The upcoming volume will demonstrate how to construct and glue pop-up props and platforms. It’s a big job. First I design the pop-up projects, then I photograph them and adjust the photos in Photoshop. Next I write and illustrate the step-by-step instructions, add more examples of finished illustrations, and test out the results. Since I’m also the publisher, I’ll be “on press” in China, checking color and positioning. I’m anticipating volume 2 to be out in the Spring of 2008.
The Pocket Paper Engineer, volume 1, got a great review on the BoingBoing web blog this week. If you’ve never seen this site, billed as “A Directory of Wonderful Things,” it’s worth a visit. The review was also carried on another interesting blog, Geekdad.com.
July 8, 2007
I was on the road in June, teaching classes at Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland and at the Focus Book Arts Conference in Forest Grove, Oregon. Travel was an ongoing theme. The carousel books produced in the OCAC class referenced trips and places. (From upper left ) Ann Coombs’ untitled carousel book includes collage images from various sources. Susie Jensen incorporates a trove of old maps and brochures salvaged from her parents’ home in her carousel book “Travel Reflections.” Lynn Whitehead’s carousel book “Hans in Luck Revisited” incorporates illustrations from a children’s book by David McKee. And Michelle Johnson’s book “The Best Places to Spend the Summer in Michigan” has a title that speaks for itself. To see more carousel books, visit the Popular Kinetics Book web site at http://www.popularkinetics.com