Altered Books - Tips and Hints - Part 2

Last Updated 10/14/09

dotArt depends on the artist. Some books are mostly visual, but some artists use the stories in the books more, or write new stores on *top* of the found book.

dotCut away holes, or make little boxes by cutting away several layers of pages.

dotI added collage elements, of course, and added stitching in a meandering path, reflecting the journey theme.

dotI also have a big pile of found collage elements, from magazines, books, the paper scrap box, etc.

dotI painted over pages with acrylic paint; I cut windows out of pages, to show peeks of pages later in the book.

dotUse a lot of metallic thread from the fabric store, and dark red bookbinding thread.

dotIn my opinion the best-altered books begin as a comment about the original book.

dotI've used melted beeswax, which leaves a scent.

dotJust do your cuts slowly, a few pages at a time, and be sure to use a sharp knife.

dotJust like the color of paint that you have at hand will make a big impact on what you decide to paint.

dotLeave the spine. Or not, but be sure to leave some of the spine. Remember, it will be art, and not subject to as much wear and tear as a traditional book

dotLet's talk about finding the perfect book, if you don't already have a collection. The book you decide to use will direct the process and content. You can find them at library sales, discard piles. Flea markets, friends, rummage sales.

dotI removed pages, glued some pages together, and cut windows out of others.

dotTo make an altered book, an artist begins with a book that is already bound, or has a given structure.

dotPainted out words, left some words unpainted, and thus reformed the text into a found poem about journeys.

dotUse sandpaper to sand away holes in the pages (or covers).

dotSaw holes with a scroll saw.

dotSaw the entire *book* with a scroll saw! Make a new shape.

dotThe altered book could be about music, family records, or memories that the artist wants to record, etc.

dotThe artist (and you are **all** potential altered book artists!) Can tear away pages, cut away parts of pages, draw, paint, stamp, color, or write on the pages.

dotThe artist can add 2d and 3d collage and assemblage elements

dotThe book can be sculpture, and does not have to close.

dotThere are many decisions to make when making your artist's book, and if it should close or not is one of them.

dotThere are many things to do! You can cut out holes, windows, or entire pages.

dotThere are two kinds of rivets- the hardware store kind that they use to connect canvas or metal together.

dotThink of using other things besides glue to stick things together, too.

dotThis book contains images and/or text that fits the artist's purpose, is usually printed and mass-produced. The book that the artist chooses to alter is the perfect size, color, number of pages, is made up of the perfect type of paper and *feels* good.

dotWhat the book could become, the possibilities that a book possesses should be at the back of your mind as you are searching for alterable books.

dotWhatever feels like it needs to be done, can be done.

dotYou can put 3d objects into, like a shadow box.

dotA book will present itself to you, and the ideas will flow directly from that.

dotIf you make "mistakes," you can figure out how to use them to your advantage.

dotThe book you choose should relate to what you want your artist's book, the altered incarnation, to be about.

dotCut windows around some images, and through some pages to show words on the *next* page.

dotYou can add images and text, or work with the images and text that is already in your found book.

dotYou can collage on top of pages.

dotYou can glue pages together.

dotYou can make it into what you need it to be.

dotYou can mark *over* words, or you can highlight words to make them stand out.

dotYou can pull pages out of the binding.

dotYou can punch holes with paper punches.

dotYou can reinforce the spine with glue, or even re-sew the pages, but I've never needed to when I've cut my books into shapes. If a page looks like it will fall out.

dotYou can use many tools to make marks on top of the page. Stamps, markers, pencils, collage pastels, clay, etc.

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