Turning Books into Books: The Artful Alchemy of Creative Salvage
Participants in this workshop will magically transform salvaged books into new works of art. We will explore a variety of inventive ways of working with old books, combining mixed media and vintage ephemera, with traditional book and box making techniques. We will create hand bound journals with exquisite exposed spines, covers made from the fronts of reclaimed books, and found papers inside. We will create new worlds within rescued vintage Reader’s Digest Condensed Books, using the art of three dimensional collage. We will create an archival box from a larger book that will house a fascinating assortment of small scale books, collages, and additional treasures. A cornucopia of mixed media and traditional book arts techniques will be covered, including making custom book cloth, collage with found images, image transfer techniques, paper cutting, carving stamps for relief printing, and more!
All skill levels are welcome, from absolute beginners to skilled book arts practitioners.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, Lesley Patterson-Marx has lived in Nashville since 2001. She has exhibited her artist’s books, prints, and mixed-media works in galleries, art centers, colleges, and universities across the United States, Great Britain, and The Netherlands. Her work has been featured in publications including New American Paintings, Craft, and ReadyMade, and can be found in the collections of Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, Vanderbilt University, and Mississippi University for Women. She received her BA in Fine Art from Murray State University and her MFA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You can see more examples of her work at lesleypattersonmarx.com.
Through the process of making prints, drawings, artist’s books, and mixed-media work, I express wonder at the connections between human life and the natural world, order within chaos, and the sublime mysteries that lie within the mundane. The subject matter in my work arrives from the process of collecting. In poring over old magazines, sifting through jars of buttons, arranging stacks of sepia and black-and-white photographs, and collecting bug-eaten leaves, four-leaf clovers, and cicada wings that I find on daily walks, I arrive at the images and textures that move me to make something more of them than they could be on their own. Arranging them within my work reminds me that I am a part of something familiar and cyclical that would otherwise seem vast and unknowable.
Website: Lesley Patterson-Marx
- #11 Xacto knife with extra blades
- Utility knife with extra blades (I like Olfa snap-off blade utility knife)
- Self healing gridded cutting mat
- 1 or 2 8oz bottles of PVA glue
- Matte medium or Mod Podge
- Bone folder or other paper folding tool (I like the Teflon folder from Talas)
- Small inexpensive brushes for glue (bring a variety of sizes from 1/8” or smaller to 2” chip brush)
- Light duty book binder’s awl
- Pencil and sharpener, or mechanical pencil
- 18” metal ruler (6” and 12” metal rulers optional, transparent gridded ruler optional, but would be helpful)
- 2 yards of Heat-n-Bond Lite
- 4-5 pieces of fabric for turning into book cloth, in a variety of colors, 11x17 or larger. Linen, quilting cotton, and heavy weight silk work well.
- Your favorite drawing materials such as colored pencils, markers, acrylic inks, drawing pens, etc.
Bring your creative collections! Bring a variety of old books with interesting covers and illustrations. You can find some great stuff at library book sales, antique stores, flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales. Bring paper ephemera such as old (or new used) magazines, maps, used postage stamps, vintage photographs, your own photos or other artwork, sheet music, old greeting cards, paper from used tea bags, old wrapping paper, old sewing patterns, natural objects, any small found objects that you’d like to incorporate/enshrine in a book, buttons, beads, embroidery thread, sewing thread, vintage lace, linens, and embroidery scraps, or anything else you can think of that you’d like to add to your books.
Bring images and photographs that you love for adding personal content to your books. These can be photocopies to hand color later, images to use for reference for carving stamps, or use for image transfer techniques that will be demonstrated. Clip art and other high contrast copies of photographs work well. Black and white and color copies work well for some image transfer techniques that we’ll use as long as they are printed on a laser copier or printer. Color or black and white print outs, or actual photographs will work well as imagery. Photos printed on transparencies can be fun to play with too.
- Bring an assortment of decorative papers of different types and weights. Small scraps and larger pieces will both be useful. You could purchase a variety pack of handmade papers in an assortment of colors from an art supply store. A sheet of transparent paper, such as Kozo, would be fun to try. I will bring a variety of papers for you to try as well.
- Bring a pad of 18x 24 drawing paper (I like Strathmore 400 series, medium tooth). You are welcome to use any drawing paper that you’d like for creating your blank sketchbook/journal.
For our classroom flea market table: Bring materials that you no longer want or need that you think would be fun for others to use. We will have a communal “flea market” table of items to share in our classroom.