Left: Brian, my new T-Rex from Schleich, came with his own buddy (Todd) for scale. Click on the image to view an enlargement—and yes, this is an Hiatus post so the image doesn't connect with the topic of Altered Books at all. Read below for that information. I just thought you'd be as thrilled to meet Brian and Todd as I am.
I get asked about altered books all the time. In the interest of keeping with the hiatus and keeping posts short, but answering questions about altered books I'd like to call your attention to a series of posts I wrote in the fall of 2008 about an Altered Book Round Robin that the MCBA Visual Journal Collective (which I founded and was coordinating at the time) under took.
You'll want to look at MCBA Visual Journal Collective Meeting and Altered Book Round Robin first to see what the "goal" was and how I set about first starting to alter my selected book. I also write about selecting a book.
Part Two of the Altered Book Round Robin series contains details on my design strategies for the cover of my altered book.
Altered Book Round Robin Part III includes on strategies as well as gluing (glues), and other materials used in working to alter books. It also shows examples from one of my altered books "Mysteries" and provides a link to that gallery of pages on my website.
Note: On my website you'll find journal selections from 1998 through 2008. I posted 1998 to 2003 images when I actually put up the website. To go back further would have meant endless days of scanning and when I started that section on my website it was for helping my students; it seemed an appropriate cut off. After 2008, when I started the blog, there was no point in posting journal selections on my website because I post and write about my current journal work on my blog. If you aren't familiar with this catalog of visual journaling examples you might want to go through and check some of them out. I post images and write about what was going on in my life as well as include comments on materials and techniques. At some point I'm going to have to update my entire website, but I'd rather work, and blog for now.
You can always find this journal gallery link by going to the left column of this blog and finding the "selections from my visual journals" image that shows Gert, my rubber chicken puppet. In that column you'll also find a direct link to my Daily Dots journals: Selections from my daily life drawings of my Alaskan Malamute bitch Dottie.
If you want to see how the project ended and see a lovely photo of some of the books at the final meeting you can read about the project end here.
For many of you the idea of altering a book may cause waves of nausea. It might just seem "so wrong." I have to admit that for years and years I felt the same way. Then things happened. I got older, my life changed, belongings meant less to me, and the joy I take from drawing on lined or graph paper exploaded to include book pages covered with text. I really don't believe that you should struggle too hard against joy.
If you are intrigued by this sort of project and live in the Twin Cities Area (or nearby—we have members coming in each month from different parts of Minnesota) you might want to check out the MCBA Visual Journal Collective. It's a great group of creative, adult visual journal artists. You can share your work, hear speakers, and participate in projects. We meet the third Monday of every month.