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Re: [BKARTS] core skills

Of course, -my turn to be condescending- you must all know that collage
has quite a distinguished history, with artists such as Kurt
Schwitters, Marcel Duchamp, Raoul Hausmann, and Robert Rauschenberg
participating (to name only a few). Artist's books and altered books,
didn't appear as an "under ground," anti-book "CRAFT." Some people have
come to altered books through this history. There have been recent book
artists who have also altered books or used their parts in their
artist's books, for example -Walter Hamady, who, pulling from some
wisdom, taught this to his students.

Grant you, there are many women currently pursuing this, perhaps as
amusement or as art. Though you seem to be in support to some extent,
you seem to be denigrating both (and I'm not just singling out the
person who emailed below).

As someone who studied in artist books...who chose NOT to craft my
books using leather bindings (as apparently many of you do, I resent
the "holier than thou" nature of some of these posts. Let me say, if I
were to need multiple additions of finely bound books, this list would
be the first place I would go to hire someone... I prefer to let
experts to their work, but at the same time... I wouldn't put any of
you down for your apparent lack of ability in creating an artist book,
whether it be with handmade paper on book board, or a deconstructed /
reconstructed book.

It seems that these posts define purely by negative comparison, which I
find particularly frustrating.

That which a person knows he has
is known to him by that which he does not have,
and that which he considers difficult
seems so because of that which he can do with ease.
One thing seems long by comparison with that
which is, comparatively, short.
One thing is high because another thing is low; . . . LAU TZU

Jean Haefner BFA, MFA
Artist | Designer | Educator

On Wednesday, October 29, 2003, at 07:41 AM, Julie Sadler wrote:

my perspective comes entirely from the underground art world.

i see many women particularly who got into this scrapbook thing. they
all got rubber stamps and someone told them they could cut and paste.
this was/is quite the fad and there was a resurgence of "craft" with
paper. along came the altered book crowd. i know this is the anti-book
craft! it is based on de- and/or re-construction of books, structure
AND texts! the skills here are more homespun and terribly
commercialized! pearly paints, embossing powders, strange and handmade
papers, old antique ephemera, you name it. the books are being
altered...plain and simple. i cannot believe how the newsgroups for
this type of book/artwork has grown. in the 5 years i have been doing
my own altering, i have seen some women come to the surface and lately
there is talk of publishing some artsy craftsy type instruction books
of how to alter a book. these people do not seem like they are
interested in traditional things. mostly they are interested in
personal expression and individualization.
however, that isn't to say that this vast hobby-type crowd would not
embrace these techniques! i have seen elaborate posts on the ins and
outs of many bizarre and archaic media and techniques!
it seems as though there is a vast separation between the more
traditional book craft and this mainstream event. i don't think the 2
paths are that far from each other!  book craft IS book craft. but it
evolves like anything else. traditional sewing techniques are also
evolving. isn't this a natural progression?
too bad there isn't a way to feed on the enthusiasm of this large
segment of people that like to do individual work on books. i know i
would appreciate the knowledge to create a very fine and hand tooled
leather cover! and so many of these people spend lots of money going to
workshops and all that learning how to deconstruct and reconstruct.
isn't way for these 2 things to converge?

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