Altered Book Art

December 25’s post was a page from the altered book that I have started.  There were a couple of questions/comments in from readers, and I wanted to say a couple of things about altered books.

First off, the most recent altered book I can be seen here.  It’s by Kim who’s other blog is SkybellArts @ Blogger

If you Google for Altered books, or altered arts, you’ll find lots and lots of resources.  Lots! LOL!

For a gallery of altered book projects, you can visit the International Society of Altered Book Artists

I even found a magazine:  Altered Arts Magazine

I’ve also just joined a Yahoo group — http://groups.yahoo.com/group/alteredbooks/ — which seems to have tons of links and suggestions in their archives.  I haven’t spent a whole lot of time there (yet), but one of the original things I was looking for was thoughts about copyright issues.  Apparently, they don’t allow conversations about copyright in their group anymore (too much controversy…), but there are a few links in their Link section.

The reason I went looking is that the book I picked to start with is a relatively recent book (published in    ).  I had seen a few notes in various places that in order to avoid copyright issues, you should work with a book in the public domain.  Unfortunately, when I got the bug in my ear to start this, I did not have any old books to use.  The reading I’ve done suggests that while I’m probably OK to continue using this book for my own purposes, displaying it probably isn’t a very good idea.  At least if I intend to alter it in such a way that the text is still at least partially visible.  If I were to completely obscure the previous text, I’d probably be OK.  This is just my opinion, and probably may not even be true, but it is how I’m interpreting the articles and information I have read.

So, I’m on the hunt for an old book to use.  I thought I hit the jackpot at the library today (in the used book sale room, and no, I wouldn’t dream of using a library book!), but the copyright on the book I picked up as been renewed, so I don’t think I can use this one, either.  Phooey. 

As far as what to do (and how to do it…) — the short answer is to do whatever and however you want.  Make it up as you go along.  My plan is to try to do every page, and yes, the other side of the page might impact what I’m doing.   Of course, with something simple like colored pencils, that’s not a big deal.  One thing I did (and will do more of) is to glue a group of pages together and treat them as one.  I punched holes around the edges and wrapped a ribbon around the edges.  There are a gazillion things you could.  I think the main thing is to keep it 2-D — you can’t really embellish with beads or buttons or other things of that nature.

All of the ideas that I’ve got so far have come from looking around online.  I’ve also seen a variety of books at the bookstore that have suggestions, too.

And Debra was right in her comment — I want to be perfect at XYZ right NOW.  Not tomorrow, not in 10 years after lots of practice — I want it NOW.  What a goofball I am.  I didn’t get to be the kind of quilter I am today overnight — I won’t be the kind of artist/quilter I want to be in the future overnight either — it takes work and practice, and I’m looking forward to the New Year and the new creative opportunities that I intend to make for myself.

One comment

  1. Debra Spincic says:

    Interesting about the copyright on the books–who would have thought? I have a little trouble bellieving that if you leave a word here or there you are infringing on someone’s copyright license. I certainly would go do what you want. Your chances of displaying your early work is probably pretty slim!

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