Artist Books

Claire Van Vliet | Circulus Sapientiae

he term book arts, refers to the arts and crafts in the making of a book. Binding, papermaking and printing are all part of the book arts. Book artists, in the sense that this blog will address today, are artists who employ all these crafts, and contemporary technologies into creating unique, often extremely limited editions of highly artistic books. Book artist are not unlike fine artist in that their work can be of a unique personal style and very collectable. There is a magic to well designed and executed artist books. It takes the idea of the author and transforms it into a sensory story using words, illustration, interaction and often, sculptural effects. My reason for introducing the book artist at this point in time is to expose you to the magic of artist books. You will need to find this magic for your edible books – that idea that you translate with food stuffs that moves your reader. Enjoy the the beautiful books below by contemporary book artists. To learn more about the book and the artist, click on the image. Can you identify the magic?

Pat Smith | Hidden Ancestors
Lark Burkhart | The Good Book Kit
Bonnie Thompson Norman | The Windowpane Press
Chela Metzger | Bird Book
Margery S. Hellmann | The Holburne Press
Gloria Helfgott | Arachne: Vida Lobo
Margery Hellman | Ulysses
Charlene Matthews | Virus: A Love Poem
Jody Alexander | Due Date: It’s No A Popularity Contest
Alicia Bailey | December 1: The Hunt
Su-Ju Wang | Esther
Todd Pattison | Little Library
Claire Van Vliet | Tumbling Blocks
Karen Hammer | Even Before You Left the Farm
Emily Martin | Naughty Dog Press

Patience from Glowing Heads on Vimeo.

The Icebook (HD) from Davy and Kristin McGuire on Vimeo.

Hitch from Pascal Monaco on Vimeo.

Books of Ice, by Basia Irland from Orion Magazine on Vimeo.

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Artist Books

Printing The Book Beautiful

Block

Wooden

Iron

Stereo

Hoe

Platen

VIDEOS

Vandercook Proof Press 
A popular letterpress found in many letterpress shops today.

A Short Letterpress Documentary
Beautiful video that explains the process of letterpress printing. Full of terms on printing and type. If you watch only one video on this page, watch this one.

Arion Press Tour and the resulting Bible

Making Books A 1947 documentary on printing commercial books produced by Encyclopedia Britannica Films in collaboration with The Library of Congress.

Modern Heidelberg
This link is an example of contemporary offset lithography commercial eight color sheet fed printing press. If your book is printed after 1960, it is most likely printed with offset lithography.

BOOKS

Stereotyping & Electrotyping
by Frederick John Farlow Wilson, John Southward

Moxon’s Mechanick Exercises: Or, The Doctrine of Handy-works Applied to the Art of Printing, Volume 1
by by Joseph Moxon with Preface and Notes by Theo. L. De Vinne 1896. De Vinne’s reprinting of Moxon’s famous 1683 work.

Moxon’s Mechanick Exercises: Or, The Doctrine of Handy-works Applied to the Art of Printing, Volume 2
by by Joseph Moxon with Preface and Notes by Theo. L. De Vinne 1896. De Vinne’s reprinting of Moxon’s famous 1683 work.

devinneMoxon_03

SITES

Introduction to Letterpress in the 21st Century by David S. Rose
Printing Yesterday and Today
from the Harry Ransom Center

Boxcar Press
Makers of polymer plates for use with contemporary letterpresses instead of metal and wood type and blocks.

IMAGES

Wooden Hand Press

Iron Hand Press

Platen Press

Printing The Book Beautiful