4

Pleased to announce our newest book arts acquisition: 

The Deep by Kevin Steele.


Colophon:  

“The Deep is a tribute to maritime folklore and tradition developed over centuries of nautical exploration… [It] is a circular accordion pop-up book which unfolds to an oversized eight-point compass rose. The compass, arguably the sailor’s most valuable instrument, not only enables accurate navigation but brings good luck, ensuring safe passage home and protecting against a watery end in the Deep.”

Visit the artist’s website, for many more beautiful views of this work and additional description!

If you want to take a look in person just stop by the desk in our reading room and our librarians will probably offer a bit of assistance.  I particularly recommend getting a group together and stopping by since it is a great one to gather around. 

See it in the catalog: http://infohawk.uiowa.edu/F/?func=find-b&find_code=SYS&local_base=UIOWA&request=007449255
7

The (Tarnished) Silmarillion

Full-leather fine binding of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion. The Two Trees are surface-gilt on the cover in metals that will tarnish, so over time the book will literally reenact their destruction. However the one fruit and flower that became the sun and moon are surface-gilt in gold and palladium, and will stay bright.

The edge decoration, sprinkled gilt and palladium over gouache, depicts the fate of the silmarils: “one in the airs of heaven, and one in the fires of the heart of the world, and one in the deep waters.”

The titling is done in palladium with finishing tools that I made myself, because I couldn’t pass up the chance to use Feanorean letters to title the book where Feanor is one of the central characters.

(longer post about the binding here, written when I originally bound it)

3

Minnesota: Land of 10,000 lakes and 1 floating library

There are lakes everywhere in Minnesota and now one of them has a floating library.

Thanks to Sarah Peters the contraption above is open for business on Cedar Lake in Minneapolis. Designed by Molly Reichert the 8 foot structure will hold upwards of 80 books for water travelers to peruse and check out.

Canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, skiffs, rowboats, or even inner tubes are invited to paddle up to the Library and browse the shelves from inside their watercraft. The library has both circulating and reference collections of artists’ books contributed by artists nationwide. A staff of friendly floating librarians facilitate the check out process and make reading suggestions

There are even drop off boxes on the shore to return the books.

About the project, Peters told the Minneapolis Star Tribune “Art books are not a widely known art form..And so there’s an element of delight and surprise. First of all, canoeing along and coming across a library. And then having it stocked with books that are totally unique. It’s like this double whammy of inventiveness. It can expand people’s ideas of what art is.”

True enough but it could also ruin a lot of those unique books. Granted one cannot enter the library but the confluence of books and water rarely ends well.

Perhaps a shore-based library by the landing dock could have achieved the goal of exposing people to the pleasures of book arts and artists books without  the high risk. But then again maybe the reward is in the risk.

Story at the Star Tribune: The land of 10,000 lakes now has a floating library 

Floating Library website

Flickr set of the Floating Library, 2013

h/t Shelf Awareness

6

Shakespeare’s sonnets : in two parts / illuminated by N. Leoni.  [Cambridge, Mass.?] : Geo. D. Sproul, 1901.  Saint Dunstan ed. 

MERLIN catalog record

“Eighteen copies only of this edition have been made for sale in America, and twelve copies only for sale in Europe, and … no future edition will be issued … this copy … has been specially illuminated throughout by Nestore Leoni for John E. Berwind, and no two copies are alike.”  Our copy is no. sixteen, signed by the illuminator and publisher.

5

Where My Wild Things Are by Serene Ng

Inspired by Maurice Sendak's Where The Wild Things Are - one of my all time favourite stories. The persona here is Bunnyman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery and indeterminacy. It will go wherever floats its boat.

9

So, at the request of the lovely pondweed, I’m in the progress of creating a photo essay (not quite tutorial) on the process of creating and casing in a hard cover book. This is part 1. I’m not sure how many parts there will be. Fewer than 5, I hope. 

Binding a French Groove Book. 

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Appendix (video)

Step the first: Raid your stash! Find all the amazing papers and cloth you’ve been collecting and pick a few. Maximize the awesomeness of color/texture/pattern/style mixing. 

Step the second: Prep your text block. You gotta fold your signatures and then sew those puppies up. In this example, I’m using a french link style. After you sew, you’ve gotta press and glue. (And later on, we’ll reinforce and do headbands and stuff. But first, that’s in the press). 

Step the third: Cut your boards. You’ll need a front cover, a back cover, and a spine board. 

Want even MOAR detail on the steps I took? Check out the full album (since it was too many photos to upload here) with lots o’ fun captions. I’ll be adding more pics there and here as I finish up the book. 

I hope you enjoy this book-y madness!