“For thirty-six weeks, a sketchbook was sent in random order between four artists: two in Brooklyn, two in Belfast.

Every Wednesday, one participant would receive book. In order to maintain schedule, it was sent out the following Monday, giving each artist five days to complete a spread in response to the one that preceded it.

A small portion of each entry extends on to the following page. Beyond this, there was no communication between the artists concerning the content of book during its making.

book’s first trip across the Atlantic was on 2 June, 2003. Its final trip was on 2 February, 2004. By the time it was completed, book had travelled over sixty thousand miles.”

Here are some of the individual pages:

First Page week08 week09week15

week16 week19 week26 week33

Each participating artist does work besides “book held” art, as Mac Premo calls the book page art.  They all have snazzy websites too.

Mac Premo

Duke Riley

Oliver Jeffers

Rory Jeffers

Winning Smile and a Really Big Kiln

Josh Josh

Josh is a buddy of mine from the days of  old when we were baby art makers.  Since then, he’s grown up, completed various ceramics programs and has really “gone for it” in the world of hand-crafted pottery.  I think he’s destined to be a big success.  He’s got the drive (or the fire, as I like to say), he’s a natural networker, innovative in creating a community around craft and his work is awesome.

Bowl by Josh Lidded Jar By Josh Jar by Josh

What does all this have to do with books you say?  Well, it’s no secret that Josh is also an avid visual journaler.  He was having problems with stuffing machine made books too full of mixed media finds and popping the binding.  So, we came up with a Copus book design that would allow him to pack them good and full.

Below is an example of how crazy his journals where turning out before we modified the structure.  See what I mean! You could lay your head down and take a nap on this thing.

Big Ol' Fat Book Detail of Journal Page Detail of Journal Page Detail of Journal Page Detail of Journal Page

This is what we came up with; fewer pages and more substantial spaces between each signature.

Journals Before they are Filled Detail of Space Between the Signatures

Josh is a member of Clay Space Studios in the River Arts District here in Asheville, NC.  He is also participating in an upcoming show at the Blue Spiral called Fall Salon.  The opening is October 1st, 2009 and runs through December.

Flyer for Fall Salon

My Inspiration Book List #2

Here is segment #2: Journaling!

The Diary of Frida Kahlo, Carlos Fuentes

Diary of Frida Kahlo

How to make a Journal of Your Life by D. Price

How to Make a Journal of Your Life

Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself and Brave on the Rocks by Sabrina Ward Harrison

Spilling Open Brave on the Rocks

The Journey is the Destination ed. Kathy Eldon

The Journey is the Destination

Wreck this Journal by Keri Smith

Wreck this Journal

The Artful Dodger, by Nick Bantock

Artful Dodger

Once Upon a Time…

Cover of Artful Storybooks, Published by Lark BooksCover of Artful Storybooks, Published by Lark BooksCover of Artful Storybooks, Published by Lark BooksCover of Artful Storybooks, Published by Lark Books

Once upon a time storybooks held a special place in our lives, filling our hearts with wonder. Thanks to this extraordinary crafting anthology we can experience that magic again in a marvelous new way by recreating and reinterpreting the picture book. An overview outlines a variety of structures and techniques, from simple collage to gluing. But above all, these highly visual pages offer ideas and inspiration, with talented artists presenting lovingly designed story spreads and covers. Take a fantasy vacation via a travel booklet fashioned from vintage, nostalgic postcards. Follow The Queen of Tarts in a story that unfolds in a miniature puppet theater motif. And two different artists offer their revised versions of a classic: The Princess and the Pea. ”


Old Hickory CoverOld Hickory OpenedDetail of one of Susan's Lino Prints

Susan McBride and I collaborated on a hand-made storybook which is featured in a new book titled: ArtfulStorybooks: Mixed-Media Artists Create Handmade Tales, published by Lark Books July 2008.  Simply put, I made the book and she filled it.  Its called Old Hickory and is a commemoration to happy childhood vacations spent by Susan McBride and her good friends at a cabin in the Allegheny mountains of western Pennsylvania.

Susan gave me a sort of “care package” of memorabilia that reminded her of that time in her childhood and the cabin itself, my favorite being two wonderful old book covers.  She wanted a house, or rather cabin, shaped book and after some brainstorming I decided on a multi-needle, Coptic stitched, gatefold book structure with two salvaged buttons as a book closure reminiscent of door handles.

We had a great time with this collaboration and, feeling that our work looked good together, ended up doing a joint show in December 2007.  After the publication of Artful Storybooks we were asked to teach a Mixed Media Storybooks class at Asheville Bookworks in the Spring of 2009 inspired by this piece.  (The class description is below.)  Its wonderful when one thing leads to another so smoothly; particularly in the collaborative art world.

Thanks to Susan for including me in her creative endeavors and to Lark Books for supporting regional artists and crafters through quality publication.


Detail of Stencil and Collage Imageryimg_4282_0086img_4283_0087

Asheville Bookworks
Tuesdays, 6-9pm
April 28, May 5, 12, 19, 26 & June 2 2009

In 2007 Asheville artists, Susan McBride and Annie Fain Liden, collaborated on a book making and story telling project that was recently featured in The Artful Storybook: Mixed-Media Artists Create Handmade Tales published by Lark Books 2008.  Their collaboration also inspired this workshop.  They will share their combined skills in mixed media illustration, story development and book construction to guide students through the exciting process of developing their own story book.  Students will choose from 3 interactive book structures, make the book from scratch, learn to use a storyboard method to plan the tale and use linoleum block printing, painting, drawing, collage and simple book closures to illustrate and embellish their own unique storybook.