A book needs to open well and it needs to have a certain balance of materials for it to ‘work’; the spine needs to support its contents. Function is a core element in the designing and making of a book.
I identify as a bookbinder and a book artist. These are related but distinct ways of being. For me, the term bookbinder encompasses the skills, discipline, knowledge and craftsmanship involved in the fundamental construction of a book. As a book artist I take those skills and use them to design and create unique books. The balance between functionality and beauty is key to book heritage. I am especially drawn to historical bindings which were designed to be both structurally sound AND aesthetically pleasing. They are a good example of the integral relationship between function and design.
The relationship between the practical and the intangible also relates to the difference between he physical presence of the book and the imaginative contents it holds. The ability of a book to be used to house an artist’s work and also be an extension of thoughts and ideas was what initially drew me into the world of bookbinding and is what continues to inspire me. I like the challenge of balancing a solid binding structure with unique design, materials and ideas. I seek to be well trained in all the fundamentals of the ancient craft of bookbinding. At the same time I am always exploring ways to innovate with these elements and push their limits of flexibility and usability to design unique books.
‘Give Me a Home’ and ‘Bow Low’, two of my recent artists’ books have both been accepted into the Art of the Book 2018 in the Artists’ Book category.
Art of the Book 2018 is an international juried exhibition of the Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild. The exhibition will be travelling across Canada for two years, arriving in Winnipeg in August of 2019.