The Art of Marbling

The average person on the street will tell you they don’t know what marbling is. But I bet they’d recognize it if they saw it. You know those colourful endpapers that look like someone painted them? Well, that’s marbling!

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That looks familiar, doesn’t it? The image above is from the Folio Society’s beautiful edition of The Duke’s Children. While we tend to think of marbling as something that lives only in the endpapers of old books, did you know it is still practiced today? In fact, there are contemporary marbling artists all over the world, whose creations will take your breath away.

Marbling is done by layering paint on top of water or oil (contained in a deep tray), and carefully applying, then removing, a sheet of paper (or other material). There is a LOT more to it than that, but that’s the basic concept. Here’s what wikipedia says about it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paper_marbling

Studio Robert Wu – Toronto, Canada
I was first introduced to Robert Wu’s work as a student at the University of Toronto’s iSchool. Our professor brought in some of Mr. Wu’s work, and I was instantly mesmerized by it:

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The Marbling Art of Robert Wu (8 of 39)      http://studiorobertwu.blogspot.ca

I went home that night and scoured studiorobertwu.com, amazed by what I saw. I decided that as a bibliophile, my home library (paltry though it is) would never be complete without at least one of Mr. Wu’s creations on the wall. I have not yet taken that step, but that’s only because my ‘favourite’ often changes – there are so many to choose from:

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Under the Willow Tree (22 of 39)       http://studiorobertwu.blogspot.ca

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Peacock (17 of 39)          http://studiorobertwu.blogspot.ca

Studio Robert Wu not only does marbling that is suitable to hang on the walls in your home, but Mr. Wu also does endpapers, bookbinding, miniature works, and more. I highly recommend you check out his website or Etsy page. Or go to @studio_robert_wu on Instagram for some neat videos and more beautiful art.

Jemma Lewis Marbling & DesignWiltshire, England
Jemma Lewis is another marbling artist, whose media include not only paper, but also textiles. And not just paper for endpapers, but dictionary pages, pages from children’s books, you name it.

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Hand Marbled Silk No. 3 from Jemma Lewis Marbling and Design

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‘Purple Bouquet’ peacock pattern from Jemma Lewis Marbling and Design

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Marbled Children’s Book Page ‘Secret Seven’ from Jemma Lewis Marbling and Design

I just can’t believe the talent and skill that goes into these creations, and I hope that more people become acquainted with this art form so that it gets the attention it deserves. My goals for owning marbled art keep expanding, with every new marbling artist I discover! Check out Jemma’s Instagram account @jemmalewismarbling, as well as her website to see more stunning examples of her work.

KatyEbruSiberia, Russia
Katerina Savelyeva practices Ebru, which I understand is the Turkish word or term for marbling. Katy also has an Instagram presence @katyebru, and the artwork displayed on her account is absolutely gorgeous. Some of the videos help to show the scope of her work, as well. Although a lot of Katy’s website is in Russian, the pictures don’t need translations to show more beautiful examples of marbling art and technique.

I hope these pictures and links have provided a nice change from the everyday for you. And if you happen to come across a book with marbled endpapers, maybe you’ll take it home with a renewed appreciation for the artist, and the talent that went into it.

 

Book Art: Malena Valcarcel

It’s been far too long since I’ve done a post on Book Art (almost exactly a year, oh my!), but I realized that although I have admired the gorgeous creations of this artist for some time, I somehow failed to do a post about them.

Malena Valcarcel is a book artist from Spain, and has a wonderful shop on Etsy. For the exceptional quality of work, her items are very reasonably priced. She even makes jewelry! Click on the pictures to go to the items on Malena’s website.

This is one of my favorites:
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And look at this one. Amazing!
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Malena’s work is incredible and ships anywhere in the world. I hope you have enjoyed looking at these treasures, and I also hope you head over to Etsy and treat yourself to some bookish art! 😉

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That’s a Book?!

In February I posted a TED Talk about Brian Dettmer’s work, but I thought I would make a post that draws my readers’ attention to more of his art. Check out his amazing art featured on his website. Dettmer’s altered books are absolutely fascinating. Pictures and illustrations always make a book better, and by changing the books so that their story is the pictures, Dettmer re-creates every one of the books he works on.
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*20th Century Medica (detail), 2012. Image courtesy of the Artist and Toomey Turrell Fine Art. Retrieved from http://briandettmer.com/art/2012/#p945

Another book artist who deserves some attention is Alexander Korzer-Robinson. It’s clear that his work is reminiscent of the collage style, and the books he alters are all older, so the illustrations that he exposes are often from the Victorian era or early 20th-century (though not all are). As a result, he transforms antique books into visual trips into the past. Click here to view his stunning portfolio.
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*Nouveau Larousse Illustre Vol VII, 1908 by Alexander Korzer-Robinson. Image retrieved from http://www.alexanderkorzerrobinson.co.uk/portfolio/402366_nouveau-larousse-illustre-vol-vii-1908.html

A Paper Craft Castle On the Ocean

Unfortunately this exhibition is several years old. BUT, the pictures here are worth seeing of this phenomenal work of art. Please click on “View Original” and enjoy this stunning piece!

Tokyobling's Blog

I had the wonderful opportunity to see this wonderful paper craft art installation by a genius of the name of Wataru Itou (伊藤航), a young student of a major art university here in Tokyo. The installation is hand made over four years of hard work, complete with electrical lights and a moving train, all made of paper! Clearly, this man must have created one of the most stunning examples of Paper Craft in the world? At the exhibition you will also have the chance to see a video showing Mr. Itou at work in his studio, cutting and folding piece by piece. The exhibition is called Umi no Ue no Oshiro (A Castle On the Ocean ), 海の上のお城. It is exhibited at Umihotaru, a place which in itself is a major attraction: a service area in the middle of the ocean, right between Tokyo City and Chiba Prefecture. If you…

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Bringing Calm to Your Hectic Life

I remember seeing adult coloring books and posters when I was a kid, but they are something I haven’t thought of for years. The other day, I stumbled upon Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford and I thought to myself how much fun it would be just get some fresh coloured pencils or markers, and sit with that book for an hour or two and let all my cares slip away. With that in mind, I would like to recommend some adult coloring books that are sure to bring some calm to your hectic schedule:

1. Enchanted Forest: An Inky Quest & Coloring Book and Secret Garden: An Inky Treasure Hunt and Coloring Book by Johanna Basford
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2. Color Me Calm by Lacy Mucklow (author) and Angela Porter (illustrator)
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3. Flower Designs Coloring Book (Volume 1) by Jenean Morrison
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More Amazing Book Art

This post is brief because I simply want to direct you to a TED video where Brian Dettmer shows his audience the wonders he creates from old books. For me, this art is fascinating. I love books, and to see them changed so completely from stacks of rectangular papers to these intricately detailed art objects is thrilling. I hope you enjoy this as much as I did.

The Creative Genius of Book Art

It’s been too long since I’ve done a post relating to Book Art. And to rectify that situation, I am posting links to some incredible feats of bookish artistry.

To start, Gretha Scholtz did a post in her blog on April 10, 2012 featuring some lovely book art creations, which can be seen here. Included in her post are many works by Su Blackwell and other book artists, and it’s well worth checking out.  Screen Shot 2015-02-02 at 9.30.29 AM

*image retrieved from http://www.sublackwell.co.uk/portfolio-book-cut-sculpture/

Next, one of my personal favorites, Book and Paper Art UK by Andrea Hudspith. You can find her work on Facebook and on Twitter @BookPaperArtUK. Here’s a sneak peek at some of her work:                                                                         Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.18.43 PM   Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.19.38 PM     Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.21.22 PM

*images retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/pages/Book-and-Paper-Art-UK-Andrea-Hudspith/267825323381496

Au pli des pages is out of France, and has some really neat designs, all folded into the pages of books! Go to their website auplidespages.fr or visit them @Auplidespages for more. (and here’s another sneak peek):                                                      Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.31.00 PM     Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.31.41 PM

*images retrieved from http://www.auplidespages.fr

An artist who is new to me, is Thurle Wright. She her website is thurle.com, and she can also be found on Twitter @thurlew. Her website is a delightful gallery of images, her installations, and exhibitions. Check it out!                                          Screen Shot 2015-02-01 at 4.51.58 PM

*image retrieved from thurle.com – gallery.

Book Art for Christmas

To some of us, books are sacred objects, and should be left in their natural state. To others, however, re-inventing or up-cycling a book can bring new life to one that would otherwise have sat unused and unread, gathering dust and providing no new joys or insights to its owner. With that in mind, I found some delightful tutorials on how to make festive holiday decorations using old books. May your books be merry and bright!

1. How to Make a Holiday Tree Using a Paperback Book by Jeannie Nadja

2. Recycled Book Wreath Tutorial by MadeByMarzipan

3. Christmas Crafts: Hand Made Christmas Tree Ornaments by Heather Minnow (2 out of the 3 ornaments use books)

More Book Art!

Hello! It’s been a while since my last post, and I do apologize for keeping all of my loyal fans perched on the edge of their seats in eager anticipation for so long. Seriously, though. It’s been a busy few weeks, but I thought I would get back into the swing of things by doing a post on everyone’s favorite genre of visual art: Book Art. If you love the art of the folded page, here is a very handy guide from Instructables.com on how to produce such masterpieces.

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(image retrieved from http://twentytwowords.com/turning-old-books-into-art-by-folding-the-pages-into-words-5-pictures/)

Inspiration Green also has some neat ideas and pictures of book art on their Art From Old Books page. Here’s an example:

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Jonathan Callan of London – “The Defrauder” joseebienvenugallery.com (image retrieved from http://www.inspirationgreen.com/art-from-old-books.html)

And last, but not least, is FlavorWire‘s post, “10 Visual Artists Who Use Books as Their Medium.” It’s got some really neat photos of work by Thomas Allen, Su Blackwell, Jeremy May, Mike Stilkey, and others. Check it out! Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 4.59.30 PM

“The Message” by Robert The  (image retrieved from http://flavorwire.files.wordpress.com/2010/12/the_message.jpg)

3D Digitization and the St. Chad Gospels

3D is the next step in digitization. Please watch the video below and prepare to be amazed:

If you’ve ever viewed a digitized book or manuscript, you know how very two-dimensional it is, and that seeing an image on a computer screen is nothing like holding the object in your own hands. Of course, a 2D version is far better than nothing, but it is limited in the information it can convey to you.

You do not need specific software to view the images that Dr. Endres and his team have made available, just an up-to-date browser. Imagine having texts in a language unknown to you, translated and viewable in your language, right on the page that still contains accurate stains, tears and cockling as found on the original. 3D can also digitally flatten pages that were so warped that reading the original artifact difficult. Each 3D page is built onto a digital wire frame that exactly matches the original page in every warp and wrinkle, and a full range of photographs is taken in every colour in the spectrum to create the truest possible representation. In short, while 3D acknowledges that a digital image in not the same as the real thing, its aim is to make a representation of the original that may be even better: the pages can be rotated 360* in any angle; infrared pictures allow us to see any corrections that were made to the manuscript that the naked eye can’t pick up; digital flattening of warped pages; and digital translations.

3D digitization is extremely time-consuming and expensive, which is why it is still very rare. But the more people who know about this, the better, so spread the word!

To see some 2D representations of the St. Chad gospels, click here:

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(image retrieved from https://lichfield.as.uky.edu/st-chad-gospels/features)

Or, click here:

http://www.lichfield-cathedral.org/about-us/treasures/st-chad-gospels