Back to the Books

Art using books always calls to me.  There is something about that medium I find very appealing.  Maybe because I work surrounded by books everyday but mostly because I've always loved books.  Books are wonderful creatures.  I can't imagine them ever being replaced with electronic media.  I love technology and all its gadgets and conveniences as much as anyone, but as far as I'm concerned, a Kindle is no match for a real live book with real live pages.

Besides, you can't make cool art with a Kindle when it becomes outdated.

I see creating art with old books as a way to give them new life, because while some books are ageless, many others do become outdated.  Part of my job is to discern between the two and keep the library's collection vibrant and relevant.  That results in lots of books that go on the sale table; and just like the awkward kid that is always picked last for the team, there are those books that ultimately get picked over. It is at that point that I begin looking at them not for their old content, but for their size, shape, color, and texture--not for what they were, but for what they can become.  

Somewhere back in all the searching and researching I do, I saw a wall hanging made of book covers.  It stuck in my mental to-do file.  When my daughter recently needed something to fill a blank space on the wall, this image came back to me.  I took pictures along the way to show you how I did it.

Gather some poor outcast books.
I ended up using fifteen for this project.

Using a box knife or X-acto, carefully cut the bound pages from the cover.
The pages come out as a unit, not individually.
*Books that are sewn into the cover will not work*
Cutting at the wrong angle will result in cutting the back off--ask me how I know.

The 'innards' removed:

Arrange the covers insides down.  Stack and overlap until you get a design that pleases you.
I used three large covers on the bottom layer to create a sturdier base to build on.

Once the arrangement suits you, glue to covers together.
There will be places where the covers may not touch without a little pressure.
I emptied my pantry to help out.

I don't usually prime, but it seemed like the thing to do in this case.

Then I sprayed on two coats of Krylon "Ivy Leaf" gloss.
After it was completely dry, I brushed on/rubbed off  Ralph Lauren "Smoke" glaze.

Here she hangs at my house just before moving to her new home.

I'm already thinking of variations : multiple colors? adding "hardware" to the collage? maybe a quote?
We'll see what develops.


Kristin said...

Ah, so much to say!
1. I love the new layout and header!
2. I love this project!
3. I too love books! I must have gotten it from you.
4. I love the table! I didn't know you finished it!

Linda Jacobs said...

A nice, pleasant surprise when I got here. Love the new look!

And that wall hanging is pretty neat. It's such a great idea. I can see there are many possibilities for it!

Cindy said...

I love my Kindle but I only use it for recreational reading. Serious stuff requires a book! Whenever you are weeding the library do you ever ask someone to weed/assess a book you 'might' be emotionally attached to? I do. That book wallart is off the chain. I love it. I have seen something similar done with plates. Can you imagine multiple colors and maybe some locks and keys? Cool! The possibilities are endless. As you can see, you touched many topics that I am passionate about.


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