Monday, February 12, 2007
My Special Book Place
Above is my latest photography book, filled with pictures of a spectacular home. I discovered my affinity for photographing homes years ago when I made my first home photo album as a Christmas present for my employer, a real estate investor. He liked the photos so much he hired me to photograph his buildings. I've since given photo books as Christmas gifts several times and people come back later and tell me how much they mean to them. As a wood sculptor and bibliophile it was only a matter of time before I began carving my own book covers and figuring out how to make them work. This book is carved out of mahogany, 8" x 12", with a jasper cabuchon in the center. I used a set of tiny old brass beads to hold the (coptic) binding together and accent the wood. I carved the year on the back cover so that it would lie flat. The pages are acid free and I painted both sides with green and gold paint, before cutting them down to size. I bound everything together and glued the photos inside. I spent less than two hours photographing this off-the-grid house in the Santa Cruz Mountains, but came away with over 100 beautiful shots. Here are some of the pages.
For years before I made my first book I'd been collecting information. I learned how to make paper and read everything I could about the process of bookbinding. As a photographer, writer and sculptor what better medium for my work could I find? "Manifestations" is a compilation of 17 short stories about a four and half year trip I took in the mid 1970's from Australia to Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. This is the first book in the series. Carved from spalted maple, the pages were photocopied by the best copy machine I could find at that time. I've always admired Medieval books so this series is heavily influenced by that and the collection of amulets, charms and stones that I had accumulated on my travels. The silver is from Afghanistan and my story about my adventures in that country is inside, along with other strange tales. The Buddha was to mourn Bamayan, bombed out of existence by the Taliban.
"Manifestations", Cherry, approximately 9" x 12", onyx cross, geod slab and stamped metal. Owned by the Mudd Library, Special Collections Department, Oberlin College.
"Manifestations", spalted maple with silver milagros, approx. 9" x 11"
"Manifestations", spalted mapple with carved bone, approx. 9" x 11"
"Manifestations", black walnut with white coral, 9" x 11", story about picking the coral up from the beach on the Red Sea inside. Private collection.
"Maggie's Journal", spalted maple and a copper fly, approx. 9" x 11". My friend Maggie has been keeping a garden journal for 19 years. She wanted a special book in which to put her poetry, photos, sketches and notes about the animals and plants in her garden.
"Being Human", cherry, two amanite hematites and a scarab, approx 7" x 9", 105 black and white photographs of people. Private collection.
Goddess Book, black walnut and bone with red suede used to stabalize the binding. Blank pages. Private colelction.
Cross Book, cherry with red suede bindings, approx 9" x 12", with blank pages.
Carol's Book, spalted maple and beads, approx. 8" x 11", with blank pages. Private collection.
"Morocco and Ireland", black walnut slabs and brass, photo collages alternated with hand written stories about Morocco and Ireland. Below are photos of a few of the pages.
"Being Human", cherry, approx 7" x 9". 105 of my favorite black and white photographs of people. Purchased by the Cincinnati Public Library, Special Collections Department.
"Being Human", black walnut, approx. 7" x 9". 105 of my favorite black and white photographs of people.
"Being Human", black walnut, approx 7" x 9". 105 of my favorite black and white photographs of people.
"Being Human", maple, approx 9" x 11". 105 of my favorite black and white photographs of people.
"Magical, Mystical Jewelry", cedar covered with charms and amulets, approx. 10" x 12". Photographs and the history behind many "good luck" charms and beads.
"The Bird Sanctuary", wormy cedar, approx. 8" x 10". 100 color photographs of a bird sanctuary in Southern Ohio. I thought cedar was impervious to bugs, but evidently not.
Bark Book, poplar, approx. 8" x 10", blank pages. I began creating books with textured covers after I dropped a log on my right wrist and fractured it.
Cedar Book, cedar, approx 8" x 10", blank pages. Also created as part of the texture series.
"Owen's Barn", 150 year old Hemlock barn siding from my friend Owen's barn, approx. 7" x 9", filled with 100 color photographs of his barn which he uses as an art studio. Below are some of the open pages.
Barnsiding Journal, approx. 7" x 9", blank pages.
Celtic Book, cherry, approx. 7" x 9", blank pages.
"Believe", spalted maple, aprox. 8" x 10", blank pages - journal commissioned by a friend.
"The Red Sex Pants", spalted maple, approx. 6" x 10". painted red - blank pages to be made into a book of poetry.
Laura's Flower Book, mahagony, 9" x 11", pages to be printed out by Laura - of her flower photographs - then bound into the book.