For the last few weeks I've been working on a large bookbinding commission. I was asked by the Women's Center at Lakeland Community College to make this year's Women of Achievement Awards. The award recognizes women that have made a difference in the lives of other women, and each year the award is created by a local female artist. This year that was me!
I made 11 art books, one for each of the 10 recipients, and one for the Women's Center to display. Each book has 3 signatures with a variety of decorative papers, handmade paper, and Mohawk superfine text weight paper.
To make each book individual and special for the award recipient, I selected passages from the nomination letters to incorporate in the book. I also included in each book the definition of the word achievement.
As an added decorative element, I drew motifs from the decorative papers on some of the blank pages. This helped to tie the whole book together and make it more of a keepsake item.
I was honored to be able to do this project for the Women's Center and participate in the awards ceremony on March 24th. I had a chance to meet many of the award recipients and see my artwork on the program for the event.
Meet Eva the Girl Astronaut, mascot of the International Women's Air and Space Museum
Over the weekend I participated in the International Women's Air and Space Museum's Family Day by demonstrating and talking to people about book binding. The event was held at Cleveland's Burke Lakefront Airport and there were all sorts of space related activities for kids and families.
I had such a great time at the event! I love space and astronomy (as you can see from my Astronomy Alphabet book) and after my demonstrations I got to poke around and have my picture taken as an astronaut. (Best. Day. EVER.)
Look, I'm an astronaut! Pretty convincing, eh?
Anyway, back to the books! For the demo I brought four unfinished books I've had sitting on my work table for a while. The covers are old cardboard mounted slides, with plain white paper for the signatures, measuring 2in x 2in x 1/2 in. I got the slides when I worked for the Art History Department of my college. The slides were old, discolored, and hadn't been used by the department in years. I snagged one of the boxes as it was being thrown out, and set it aside until the right project came along
The first two slide books I completed at the demo, and the other two I finished at home. The next book project I'm working on is a big commission, and I can't wait to tell you all about it! The project will be completed in the next week, so keep an eye out for a post about it.
This week I tried out a new variation on recycled book structures. It involves gluing patterned card stock to the back of recycled boxes and connecting the covers using book cloth. The pages are sewn in using a pamphlet stitch with four holes instead of three.
This is the kind of project that is easier to do "in bulk" as opposed to one at a time. I made 7 of these over the course of a week. All fourteen covers on one night, the book cloth a couple days layer, and preparing and attaching the pages on Saturday while waiting for software to install on all our computers at work.
At this point I am just over halfway to where I should be on my 365 challenge. (March 4th is day 63 of the year, I'm only 27 behind...) The good news is, I have been hired to do a big book binding commission! I am making 11 or 12 books that will be presented as awards later I'm the month. I've already started the books, keep an eye out for updates!