Altered Book: Coming Into Bloom

Altered Book: Coming Into Bloom

This particular book started out as a sample for the altered book class I taught a few weeks ago. It’s a very different book than what I’ve used previously because it’s a children’s storybook with colour illustrations and very large print.

Altered Book: Coming Into Bloom - detail
Altered Book: Coming Into Bloom - detail

Each page was folded, tucked back into the centre of the book and glued into place. It then became a very clunky form I’m not entirely happy with, and the shape felt difficult to work with as well. So I decided this needed flowers and more colour.

I started making flowers using a cherry blossom punch with red paper and attached each one with a straight pin. The different coloured balls in the centre of each flower are the pearlized heads of the pins, and they seem to increase the whimsy of the piece. With so much red between the flowers and end pages I decided it was a bit overkill and toned it down the addition of white flowers.

Altered Book: Coming Into Bloom - detail
Altered Book: Coming Into Bloom - detail

I did a similar process last year at this time – punching tiny flowers from paper in an effort to call forth the real thing and kick off spring. Between the flowers, end pages, and the illustrations in the book this is the most eye-blasting altered book I’ve created yet. Happy Spring!

Materials used: book, paper, rubber stamp & ink, straight pins, and gel medium.

Altered Book: Kangaroo is the Life of the Party

Altered Book - Kangaroo is the Life of the Party

Often when I’m working on these altered books I catch myself thinking about how many odd things I end up doing and the hilarity of trying to explain these out loud. Take for example this altered book. I had to figure out how to attach a kangaroo to a spring and then attach them both to a chair. Imagine trying to explain that one to someone asking about what I’m working on. Nevermind that it’s not a real kangaroo, or a full-sized chair.

Altered Book: Kangaroo is the Life of the Party - detail

By the way, trying to sew a kangaroo on a spring to a tiny chair is about as aggravating a task as you can guess. But it’s no one’s fault but my own for coming up with ideas I have to find elaborate and painful solutions to execute in order to get what I want. The stitches were the best way I could come up with to keep the spring secured to the chair but also allow for enough movement that the kangaroo can bounce around.

Altered Book: Kangaroo is the Life of the Party - detail

Altered Book: Kangaroo is the Life of the Party - detail

This is another colourful and wildly patterned book, which I’m happy about. The little chair came from Nicole’s studio garage sale on the weekend, and I painted it red to stand out strongly against the busy background. The eight wooden tiles came from a bag of sudoku tiles Ariane gave me. I decided to treat the number 8 as if it were a shape and not a number.

Altered Book: Kangaroo is the Life of the Party - detail

The kangaroo is the fifth new altered book I have made in preparation of the Eastside Culture Crawl. Very soon I will get everything framed and ready for sale.

Materials used: book, tissue paper, sudoku pieces, wood chair, metal spring, red thread, wood toy kangaroo, glue, and gel medium.

Altered Book: Constellation Of The Great Bear

Altered Book - Ursa-6

When I pulled the bear out to work with I started thinking about polar bears but then inspiration led me (and I can’t remember how) to the constellation of Ursa Major. I felt this was a much more interesting idea to work with and sorted through my other materials looking for further items to incorporate into the composition. I was glad to find a star map in my paper box to use as the end pages in the book. But when I rediscovered the rusted bed spring, scavenged from Bowen Island a year ago and forgotten about, I then had everything I needed to complete the work.

Altered Book - Ursa-2

I really wanted to do more with this book. The last two I’ve made have left the books as flat canvases. With this one I decided to fold and cut the pages and make it a three-dimensional piece. I spent a long time cutting and shaping the space in the pages where the bear would rest because I wanted to make sure he would sit flat and be well supported. The rusted bed spring also needed a lot of careful work to have it supported where it’s inserted inside the book. I reinforced things between the pages with cardboard so the spring would float over top rather than rest on the pages on the outside.

Altered Book - Ursa

The metal stars and red thread were a final touch. These are meant to echo the star shapes and the lines that connect them on the end pages map. I always find working with thread rather aggravating because it slips away from me as I wind it around things like the spring and stars, but I love the affect.

Altered Book - Ursa-5

Altered Book - Ursa-4

This work will be available for sale during the Eastside Culture Crawl in November. I’m creating as much new work as I can to entice people to visit me for the Crawl.

Altered Book - Ursa-3

Materials used: book, wood bear, rusted bed spring, red thread, metal stars, star map from an encyclopedia, glue, and gel medium.

Altered Book: Heralding The Dawn Of A New Day

Altered Book - Heralding The Dawn Of A New Day-6

The bag of animals made of wood has been a wonderful thing to work with so far. I’m enjoying pulling out each animal and choosing a different one each time to create a home for in an altered book. I’ve always adored this rooster for his proud posture and decided to run with the cliche of having him crow at sunrise.

Altered Book - Heralding The Dawn Of A New Day-5

As I began work on this I took a detour into studio cleaning as I went through my storage boxes of paper looking for things to use. All of the boxes were a complete mess and sorting through them allowed me to discover paper I’d forgotten all about. I used two of these to create the very colourful sunrise in the book. The triangle with bricks printed upon it is from collection of wooden toy blocks I picked up at RubyDog’s Art House, and it serves nicely as a rooftop for the rooster to stand on.

Altered Book - Heralding The Dawn Of A New Day

This altered book came together quickly and easily, which surprised me. It always feels a bit wrong when an artwork seems too easy, but I’m not really sure why. I’m really happy with it though, and love how colourful this is.

Altered Book - Heralding The Dawn Of A New Day-4

Altered Book - Heralding The Dawn Of A New Day-2

Altered Book - Heralding The Dawn Of A New Day-3

Materials used: book, sewing pattern paper, origami paper, wooden rooster, wood triangle, glue, and gel medium.

Altered Book: Of Animal Folklore and Fables

Altered Book: Of Animal Folklore and Fables

For the next little while, I have decided to focus on creating two series of altered books, one based around a collection of toy animals made from wood and the other around the blank books Siobhan gave me. It’s been awhile since I’ve made new work so this week I dove into the bag of animals looking for inspiration and came away with the idea to use four of them at once.

Altered Book: Of Animal Folklore and Fables - detail

I started thinking about fables and folklore using animals to teach lessons and explain things about the world. I couldn’t find a suitable tale on which to base my composition but I kept thinking about Chicken Little and the Town Musicians of Bremen. The calf, goat, piglet and chick are in a tale all their own. It involves piling one on top the other to try and reach the sky, but also the wearing of special party hats. I leave the details of the story up to you.

Altered Book: Of Animal Folklore and Fables - detail

Altered Book: Of Animal Folklore and Fables - detail

I’m starting to make new work in preparation for the Culture Crawl in late November. This piece will be framed and available for sale at my studio, along with much of the work currently listed in my etsy shop.

Altered Book: Of Animal Folklore and Fables - detail

Materials used: book, wooden animals, tissue paper, Japanese paper, cardboard, acrylic paint, wooden blocks, and poppy seed pods.