Book Arts Class

Skylar and Sloan

It’s four a.m., and I can’t sleep. It’s very dark and still except for the glow of the monitor and the hum of the CPU fan. Today will be my third consecutive day staying home from school. I have a nasty cold. It started with a sore throat and cough last week. I tried to fight it off by drinking lots of water and basically willing it to go away, but the cold had more tenacity than I did. By the end of school on Monday, I could barely talk. So I decided to just stay home and take care of myself. It’s hard to be in front of 130 twelve year olds when you feel lousy. And then I have the added joy of having to oh-so-discreetly cross my legs everytime I cough. It’s not a pretty sight. My husband hates it when I’m sick. Yesterday he said that if I would just think positive and act like I feel healthy, then I would be okay. So it’s all in my head, eh? Bring me a kleenex and leave me alone.

I’m not very good at lying around the house and doing nothing for the sake of getting better. So yesterday I scheduled some more ebay auctions for my gothic fairy collages. I’ve sold three so far but am in a quandry about how many times to list a piece before removing it from circulation. I don’t feel like giving up just because a collage hasn’t found a home yet. I know there’s somebody for each one of my small blessings; they just have to find their rightful owner. Maybe I’ll pull them after listing them three times and put them on the collage art page on my web site and try to sell them there.

Later on in the day I made some little sample books for the Book Arts class that I will start teaching on Monday after school. I have ten young ladies signed up for the class, and I’m very excited about making books with them.

For the first class I’m going to show a powerpoint presentation of some incredible artist books so they can get an idea of the unlimited possibilities for creating artist books. Many of the images I used are from the Guild of Book Workers’ 100th Anniversary Exhibition. You should really take a look at this site when you have some time to kill; the variety of artistic vision is breathtaking.

Next we’re going to make some 3″ X 4″ books that are folded from a single sheet of 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper. I got the recipes from Shereen LaPlantz’s great book Cover-to-Cover. I’m going to have lots of colored paper for them to use. I thought this would be a good way to introduce them to different types of folds, how to use a bone folder for scoring and creating nice tight creases (we’re going to use old credit cards as cheap imitation bone folders), and how to safely use an exacto blade for cutting.

I wanted them to make a little box in which they could put their finished books, and I found this neat Super Deluxe Tuckbox Template Maker where you can enter the dimensions of the box you want to create and it will make a custom template that you can print out on your computer. (The calculations on the template maker are a little off, so if you do this be sure to add .25 to all your dimensions, otherwise it will come out too small.) I printed my template on cardstock and made a cute little tuckbox for the books to fit in. I think the girls are really going to enjoy this.

I also plan on showing them my texture box so they can start collecting textures of their own since the next class will be all about decorating paper. I’m going to show them how to make a string stamp as their homework assignment. Hopefully at the next class we’ll have ten very cool string stamps that we can use to decorate our paper. I can’t wait!

7 thoughts on “Book Arts Class

  1. Don’t give up on selling your pieces……..they simply have to find the right home..I LOVE, LOVE my two pieces and will certainly add to my new collection. Feel better!!! Try the Emergen-C……..I have seen it knock a cold right out of people!! ~ Best ~ Cindy (Rella)

  2. Thanks so much for the encouragement, Cindy! I’m not giving up, just wondering about another way to approach the process of getting my art work out there.

  3. I wish you to feel beter, I have the same problem for more then a week now. And it is not in our mind:) And I also tried to do some work. I love what you do!

  4. Karen: I am thrilled to have “discovered” your blog. You are a true inspiration to us all. Like you, I am a mother, an (ex)prof, and an avid explorer of creativity. I took the liberty of using one of your public domain vintage cards (with the requisite source link to you, of course). I just started my blog less than a month ago and I am truly fascinated with the incredible talents I am encountering in the blogosphere. It’s like opening a birthday gift each and every day. May I have your permission to link your blog to my list of favorite sites? You do not need to reciprocate. I want to add it because I truly like it. Thank you

  5. hi, I was just looking around for artwork and altered art because I love to look at this stuff. I am artistic as well but find I have No time to do anything I really want. How do you do it? I live frustrated a lot because when I begin a painting it takes me months or yearsf to finish anything. I did an altered book 2 years ago and it was real nice. I do these things only for myself because my family take all my time and I don’t know how to go about selling any of it. Which I would love to do because
    I really need to work. I read all the time now if
    you do what you love ‘the money will follow’. Well
    I love art. I can do it all day long. I really get
    frustrated because I look forward to a project and can’t get to it, until the idea fizzles away. Then I
    am left with unfinished pieces and projects andd my husband is always throing away my ‘junk’. Which hurts me because it is who I am. I know I could succeed in art because it comes very easily for me.
    I have absolutely no formal training yet I am proud of some of the things I have done. Can you give me
    some tips on how I can sell book arts. What a web site you have! would you like to see some of my work?
    I only have a few pages of my altered book becaus one
    day I go so depressed and ripped it up and through it
    away. Now going through some altered book sites I see mine was pretty good.

  6. You may want to look into building an ebay store as a means to sell your art.

    My advanced art students seem to be having some success with it.

    It is all about using proper keywords and coming off professional in the store. I used to sell art work in a gallery but I have moved everything online now.

    Email me if you need any suggestions, I think your art work would sell quite well given the proper sales outlets.

    An example of what has been working really well for my student artists is to make prints of their painting, that way they add to their inventory and make more of each painting. Then they make sure that it is targeted with keywords, you would be amazed how often people search for “cat paintings, or wine still life, or paintings of palm trees” on ebay.

    Your art is very unique so there would also be a lot less competition for it too.

    Ebay moves about 45 billion in merchandise every year now.

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