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Topic: AHEM... Question about altered books  (Read 596 times)
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Berry Apple
« on: July 30, 2006 06:32:09 AM »

Erm, from what I can gather, these are books that have pictures and/or writing covering the original text? Correct me if I'm wrong. Also, what would you actually do with an altered book?
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siclady
« Reply #1 on: July 30, 2006 06:36:52 AM »

Yes, I think you're right. Have a look at this page: http://www.art-e-zine.co.uk/
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« Reply #2 on: July 30, 2006 03:04:01 PM »

Berry, there is a very good AlteredBooks group on yahoo, which has extensive online archives so you can see what other people are doing.  Also if you goooogle the term, you will come up with many many sites and galleries for further ideas.  As to "What are they for?", well what is most art "for"? Smiley
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« Reply #3 on: July 31, 2006 06:24:01 AM »

Here's a good place to start learning about altered books: http://www.littlebit.com/ab/alteredmain.htm  The links page takes you to a lot of other artists' gallery pages.  The Yahoo group mentioned above is a really good one.  There are also several books in the Design Originals series (small booklets packed with crafting information) - NO idea if they are available in the UK (check with your local library?), but I recommend Altered Books 101 and 102 and the Altered Books Materials Guide.

Here's the site of a woman who does incredible altered books http://www.karenswhimsy.com/- you might also want to look at "The Humament" http://www.tomphillips.co.uk/humument/index.html, which is sort of considered to be the granddaddy of all altered books.  Not everyone uses the text on the page in the way these two artists do, but I love the "found poetry" aspect of it.

Some folks use these techniques to alter a journal, leaving part of the pages blank to write on (particularly to explore art topics and techniques); other folks just turn the whole book into an art object.  Sometimes the title/content of the book reflects the topic/theme they express in their artistic transformation of it, but sometimes it's just a sturdy, well-made book that will hold up to the "abuse."  (For instance, I just bought a Russian grammar book because I think the pages will be interesting to work on, not because I have any affinity for Russian.)
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heini
« Reply #4 on: July 31, 2006 11:17:28 AM »

but what would you use altered books for?
Well, in my opinion you don't have to use them for anything. Turning a useless book into a piece of art is better  than throwing it away or just having it in your bookshelf even if you or anyone else never reads it.

But, if you want, you can also make usefull altered books. I have one gardening diary, in which I've wrote more or less important things about gardening. I'm a beginner, so I don't know exactly how to do everything, for example I've had problems with my tomatoes, but now they're fine. I've written about that, so I hope I won't make the same mistakes again next year. I also have some plants in my mom's backyard and I drew a map about it and next year it will propably be helpfull when I/we decide where to put different plants. I also love altering books, so this is a great excuse to do so..

To me turning an useless book into a usefull book is important part of altering. I've used an old school book, because it's so old my little sister or anyone can't use it at school. I've used another old school book as my Christmas book, in which I've included many Christmas recipes (mostly desserts), some Christmas cards and stuff like that. In the future I think I'll make some cook books too. For them, I'll propably buy some Readers Digest -books from a second hand shop, because I think nobody really reads them ever and they would be better than school books.
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« Reply #5 on: July 31, 2006 12:04:40 PM »

Use the "search" function & search "altered books" for info & images.
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« Reply #6 on: August 01, 2006 08:45:24 AM »

I borrowed a book yesterday from the library called "New Directions in Altered Books" by Gabe Cyr that is really the best I've found of the books currently available on the topic.  If you're interested in this artform, I highly recommend it.
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