Brick & Mortar since 1991. Blogging since 2006. From Jason Thompson, Rag & Bone founder & creative director. We write about the things we love: bookbinding, book arts, paper arts, the bindery, personal stuff, our kids, our travels, sometimes food and sometimes art.
Chronicle is releasing “Dan Eldon: Safari as a Way of Life”, due out April, 2011. If you’re not familiar with “The Journey is the Destination”, a collection of Dan’s illustrated journals, Chronicle is also releasing a paperback version of this classic book. “Journey..” was the first art book to introduce me to journaling and it still holds a special place on my bookshelf. Dan Eldon, a photojournalist and journaler, was killed in Mogadishu in 1993. His journals leave behind a portrait of an adventurous and creative young man. From Chronicle books:
DAN ELDON: SAFARI AS A WAY OF LIFE
Photojournalist Dan Eldon left behind much more than the astonishing illustrated journals that would form The Journey is the Destination when he lost his life at age twenty-two while on assignment in Somalia. He also bequeathed a life story that has inspired students, teachers, artists, and creative activists—as well as a forthcoming film, an apparel line, and the Spring 2011 collection from Tom’s Shoes. Raised in Kenya, Dan grew up with a unique outlook on life. Through adventurous safaris and benevolent crusades around the world, he crafted a philosophy of curiosity, creativity, and charity. This unique visual biography showcases previously unpublished artwork from Dan’s acclaimed journals, letters, and snapshots that takes readers on a journey through Dan’s life and beyond, exploring the impact made by this remarkable artist on everyone who has encountered his story.
Helene Leroux-Hugon (Author)
Juliette Vicart (Author)
Xavier Scheinkmann (Photographer)
45 spectacular designs for handcrafting with paper cuttings.
The art of paper cutting has a long history. Ancient cuttings, some dating from before 1000 B.C., have been excavated in China’s Xinjiang province. Today, paper cutting is a popular handcraft worldwide, with a variety of applications.
Paper Cutouts features 45 designs of stunning motifs that can be used around the home or framed as elegant artworks. Each design includes a full-sized template to photocopy in advance. The authors provide step-by-step instructions that explain how to fold and cut, with the intricate designs revealed in white or colored paper.
Looks like a good book, I’d love to see more paper cutting techniques - especially how to use a scalpel. Helene Leroux-Hugon has written other books for children, mostly illustration instruction books, this is Juliette Vicart’s first book.
The current issue of Ampersand is now available. Ampersand is the quarterly journal of the Pacific Center for the Book Arts and contains “articles about all aspects of the book arts, from historical commentary to profiles of working artists to practical how-to tutorials. The informative articles are generously illustrated with photographs.”
Ampersand is a paid periodical, current and back issues are available for $15 (includes shipping in US, California addresses will have sales tax added) or $18 to non-US addresses.
The Spring 2008 issue is now available. In this issue:
• History of the Book / Broadsides
• On Collecting / Coveting Type
• Doing Business / The Public Record
• Exhibitions / Conceptually Bound
• Tools / A Studio To Go
• Doing Business / Getting Permission
Book artist Emily Martin answers the question “Is there an (artist’s) book that has particularly affected your own work?”.
The latest issue of “Ampersand, The Quarterly Journal of the Book Arts” is now available. Ampersand has articles about all aspects of book arts, from historical commentary to profiles of working artists to practical how-to tutorials.
Amazon just purchased one of the 7 copies of J.K. Rowling’s handwritten and illustrated “The Tales of Beedle the Bard” at Sotheby’s in London. As you can imagine, there was a lot of interest in the book. It’s handbound and handwritten by one of the best selling authors of all time. The purchase price was $3.8 Million dollars (1,950,000.00 GPB), petty cash for Amazon.
There are three pages of images available at Amazon, but here’s the kicker: the book is not really for sale. I don’t know, but if you’re going to post it on Amazon, it should be for sale, right? The site is just a gallery, which is nice, but at least Amazon could have put a crazy price on the book. Like maybe 100 million Galleons or wizard dollars.
I think NotCot had it right when they said, “Amazon posted pictures to make us all happy or jealous.”
The latest Journal of Artists’ Books is available now. By subscription only, but worth the price. Each issue is a work of book art in itself:
The Journal of Artists’ Books provides a platform for both theoretical and creative expression. As a forum for the study of artists’ books, JAB publishes critical and theoretical articles, reviews of artists’ books and exhibitions, and commentary on conferences and and other book art-related activities. JAB also regularly showcases creative work in the form of artists’ statements and artist-designed pages and covers.
Book designer Irma Boom [I keep mistyping her last name as “Book”] works on unusual and special bookish design projects. If you google her work, you’ll find lots of wonderful Dutch inspired book designs, many awards and credits. Her most ambitious book design project took up five years of her life, culminating with a book so large, so dense, she developed backaches just working with it. Although she had an unlimited budget (wha, wha, whaaat???) and a generous patron, Paul Fentener van Vlissingen, Chief executive for the Dutch conglomerate SHV, the project took over her life.
All [Paul] said was, “Make something unusual,“” Boom said. “It started out as a dream project but became a nightmare, because of the time.” Having decided to compile the book from found text and images, she …scoured SHV’s archives for material and traveled all over the world to find more. When Boom had to cancel the order for her first choice of paper (after being told by the Japanese producer that it would take 14 years to make) she invented her own paper.
Wow! That’s some undertaking. I haven’t found information about the print run - is this a one-of-a-kind? Not sure. I can’t imagine taking five years to design a book.
New York architect and artist Raylene Gorum has been sketchbooking (is that a word?) for several years and recently gathered together images for “Sketchbooks, Volume I”. There’s plenty of inspiration for the rest of us sketchbookers and plenty of material for further volumes in the series.
Raylene has a spare, illustrative style with an eye for the everyday. More of an artist journal than a scrapbook. When not sketchbooking, she is …”making tape drawings, lightbox art, designing apartments, modular furniture, traveling and staying out way too late.”
Sketchbooks Vol I
A book within a book, culled from five years of sketchbooking. All works siphoned from the world around me; a manner of dialoguing with art exhibits, books, fossils, architecture templates, food wrappers, RV culture, love, cats, photography, sake, childbirth, cities, graphics, origami, tape, people on the street and landscape. Bon appetite!
Kansas City bookseller Prospero’s is burning books again. They held a public book burning over the summer which was unceremoniously shut down by local police for lack of a public fire permit. It seems they have their permits in order and have begun burning again. There were only a dozen or so books burned, and if they are simply looking for press and recognition, they got it.
Is this such a bad thing? If a local car dealership burned an unwanted used car just for attention, we’d roll our eyes. But the folks at Prospero’s (both of them) are trying to make a point about readership. I can’t say whether I agree with their tactics or not, but if you want to save the books, they’re offering to sell them - cheap:
We’ll ship anyone books in orders of 20 or more for $1 a book plus $1.5 shipping and handling. Or you can drop by Prospero’s (1800 W. 39th Street, KCMo 64111 816.531.WORD) and make us an offer.
Even nicer are the “Honor system” bookshelves out on the sidewalk after hours. “Payment is on the honor system,” said Prospero’s co-owner, Will Leathem. “Several mornings a week, we find dollars shoved beneath our door. It has been a great lesson in human nature.”
Jack Kerouac typed the manuscript for On The Road on a single, taped-together, roll of paper. He was such a fast typist - 100 words per minute - that by the time he was on a roll (so to speak) he would be at the end of the page and have to stop his concentration and replace the paper. I don’t remember when I used a typewriter in school, how difficult it was to change the paper, but I can see how losing your concentration would be a concern. Kerouac simply taped all the pages together and typed continuously on one long scroll. It took about three weeks to type, not including subsequent edits.
The manuscript was bought at Christie’s for 2.4 million dollars and it is currently on view at the Boott Cotton Mills Museum in Lowell, Massachusetts. How appropriate that the manuscript was a scroll, like a holy relic, the publisher even referred to the book as “The bible of the beat generation”. The scroll is single length of paper rolled out like a road.
Using a manual typewriter in a New York City loft, Jack Kerouac produced the original manuscript of On the Road during a three-week period in the spring of 1951. Fifty years and one month later, Colts’ owner Jim Irsay purchased the widely-acknowledged icon of the Beat Generation at a Christies auction in New York, less than a mile from where it was created. Kerouac produced the continuous scroll by taping pages of semi-translucent paper together to feed the typewriter and write without interruption. The text is single-spaced, without paragraphs, and edited in pencil by Kerouac.
On The Road Exhibition
Boott Cotton Mills Museum
June 15 – October 14
Lowell National Historical Park
Images from the book Paper Sculpture by Alan Allport  a how-to-book with pictures and instructions for making paper models, paper dolls, miniature theaters, puppets, toys, and other objects from paper.
I had a hard time finding an image of the cover of this book, but an abebooks.com seller has a copy for sale
Dawn DeVries Sokol is curating a book for Rockport Publishing [they’re my publisher too - a fantastic company, if you’re looking to author a creative book, contact them] tentatively titled 1,000 Artist Journal Pages.
She is in need of submissions for the book, specifically - you guessed it - images of artist journal pages, preferably already in a journal. There is a submission form on Dawn’s website with all the details you need to get started.
Deadline is May 15th
That’s right around the corner!
Artist, Illustrator and all around talented designer Julia Rothman likes books. Who doesn’t like books I ask… but Julia takes her passion one step further and lovingly photographs and presents her favorite books on her “Book By Its Cover” website. She says,
I want to share all the nice books I regularly notice and have collected over the years. Please email me if you have any suggestions or books you want to share. I am an illustrator and pattern designer located in Brooklyn, New York.
I was first introduced to Julia’s work when she submitted pattern designs for Rag & Bone custom printed fabrics. Be sure to visit her book site and her website for lots of design inspiration. Thanks Julie for sharing with the world, I forgot how beautiful Henrik Drescher’s Postal Seance was!
If you’re familiar with paperbackswap.com, you’ll probably like Book Mooch. The premise is the same, though the website is a little slicker. Simply list your books on Book Mooch, and every time you “share” a book, you receive a point in your account to “receive” a book from another member. Book Mooch adds one extra incentive - you receive a tenth of a point for every book you list on the site, which I think is a way of propagating their database. We joined paperbackswap and shared a dozen books or so, but either we have unusual tastes in books, or there wasn’t much we were looking for. However, the premise of sharing books is a great one. How do these guys make their money? Not sure about that point…
If you’re in Buffalo, New York this weekend, check out the Buffalo Small Press Book Fair. This one-day event brings together booksellers, authors, bookmakers, zinesters, small presses, artists, poets, and other cultural workers (and enthusiasts) in a venue where they can share ideas, showcase their art, and peddle their wares. Sounds like a good time for all. I’ve been to a few book fairs in my day and my suggestion is show up early. You’ll invariably strike up conversations with vendors and before you know it, you’ll still have half the show to check out and the day is almost over.
In addition, poetry readings, performances, discussions, and related lectures are scheduled to go on throughout the day. Check out the schedule of events for details.
March 31st, 12pb - 6pm
Karpeles Manuscript Library Museum, Porter Hall
453 Porter Avenue
Buffalo, New York
I’ve been waiting to post these images, I just love them. Photographer Thomas Allen takes classic pulp paperbacks, cuts and rearranges the covers a bit to create narrative dioramas. The clever compositions accentuate the paperback titles. His photographs have been used as contemporary paperback re-issues [see the James Ellory re-issue below] which is appropriate. This is such a clever idea, and well executed.
Thomas Allen’s work is on view at the Foley Gallery.
547 W 27th Street, 5th floor
New York, NY
“Inspired is a book about the creative process, the journey that begins with a blank piece of paper and an open mind.”
That’s a wonderful description for this art-book which peeks inside the creative process of artists and designers. I’ve mentioned this before, but one of the greatest aspects of being part of the journaling and book arts community is getting to peek inside the journals of my creative friends. I don’t know what it is about journals that get me excited. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy gallery nights, but the creative process is sometimes even more interesting than the final outcome. Like the title of Dan Eldon’s book, “The Journey Is The Destination”.