For the past two weeks I’ve been working on a proposal to do a large scale project of altered books. I’ve never done something like this before so it’s been quite a challenge to figure out the best way to approach working with multiple books in a series. Normally I make my altered books as one-of-a-kind pieces and can spend as much as ten hours on each one. For this project I’ve had to simplify how I work with them, come up with a common theme, and develop a process I can apply to making each one.
My plan is to take twenty-five volumes of a set of Funk & Wagnalls encyclopedias and insert natural objects into a niche custom cut from the pages of each book. The book pictured here is the second one I’ve completed, and as you can see the shape I had to cut was fairly complicated. The objects I chose to work with in this piece are two seal vertebrae scavenged for me from Pebbly Beach, Bowen Island, by Anne. The bones are very beautiful and I like their odd shapes protruding from the pages like two gargoyle faces.
I was over on Bowen last weekend and spent most of a walk along the beach and forest collecting things to use for this project. I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to come up with twenty-five different items but I came home with piles of stuff to work with.
Pictured here are crab bits, drift wood, oyster mushrooms, a pine cone, lichen, seaweed, and bones from a deer. (I had to scrounge through decaying remains to collect those, which is not for everyone).
I’ll reveal more about this project in coming weeks. For now I’m counting down as I work my way through the twenty-five volumes. As of today there are twenty-two more to go.