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Re: [BKARTS] Trends and Influences

           See The Exhibition Online, And Order Your Catalog.

 Dear Friends

    I am just getting around to responding to the conversation on Trends in book arts,
content, etc. I don't know if I would call it a trend but I am meeting people who are coming
into the book arts from other areas of art, in particular photography. They are attracted to
the book for its capacity to involve sequence, to add text, and to bring separate images
together into a cohesive whole. I think one approaches new material differently when one
comes from another field.
     My first entry into the world of visual art was calligraphy. When I discovered
letterform and the pen, a whole new world opened to me. I was primarily self-taught the first
few years and later took workshops. I was interested in learning everything. I worked my way
through all the hands, read all the background history that I could, studied books of
manuscripts as well as collections of contemporary work. I was like a sponge. As time went
on, I started to become more interested in the gesture and movement of the calligraphic
stroke than in the form of the letters and I began to write my own texts. I came to feel I
wanted more than what was happening on the flat page and turned to the book.
     When I came to the book arts, I was not the same person who discovered calligraphy. I
had content in mind and a sense of what I wanted to say, and I was looking for a new vehicle
for that content. I was much more selective in what I wanted to learn. I was drawn
immediately to the simpler forms. I had no desire to make a hardbound multi-signature book
and I still don't today. The simpler structures allow me to think about the content in a more
three-dimensional way.
     One of the things that I loved about calligraphy is its immediacy. You put pen to paper
and you make your mark. While it takes lots of practice (I was a driven soul with pen and
paper for years) to make the marks you want, the results are immediate. I find that working
with the simpler book forms also offers a certain immediacy. I think itís also why I was
never interested in trying letterpress but have been intrigued by the possibilities first of
the copier and now of digital printing.
     As always, I appreciate these conversations.

in good spirit
Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
Newburyport, MA


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