This year I have resolved to use more of the materials that I, as a found object collage and assemblage artist hoard on a regular basis-I just can't help it!
One of the items that I love to pick up for almost nothing at garage sales, and flea markets are vintage books. Now I am not talking about vintage first editions or antique books in perfect shape-I am talking about books that are falling apart or are almost non readable and would otherwise be thrown away. I usually pull the books apart and use the pages as collage backgrounds and collect the covers because I just can't stand to throw away any material that might be of use in a future project or class.
So what do you do with all those book covers?
I have recently started to use them as bases for assemblage. They are sturdy and can support the weight of a light assemblage and often have beautiful designs that can be incorporated into your art. Above you can see one of the latest assemblages that I have created doing exactly that. In the middle of the piece is a beautiful book cover I collected last year-it has an Arts and Crafts flower design in Black and red. This design reminded me of the garden of talking flowers in Alice in Wonderland(don't ask me why). So standing in the middle of the flower design I placed an antique doll dressed as Alice. To mirror the Alice assemblage I collaged a photo of a woman standing in a rose garden above it and surrounded it with paper flowers and leaves and berries. This little collage very effectively hide the book title-which I did not want in the assemblage. I also thought this collage/assemblage needed a little more color so I attached it to another plain yet rough textured book cover in red with heavy gel medium-making the entire piece a little more substantial. On top of the red book cover surrounding the middle Alice assemblage I collaged a design I cut out of a sheet of music. Someone valued this piece of music so much that they tried to tape it back together just like I might have. I loved this sentiment so I left the tape there and incorporated it into my design. I added 3 white mother of pearl buttons to balance the design and the white color in the antique doll. I punched two holes in the red bookcover and added vintage ribbon and buttons so that this piece could be hung on a wall. On the back of this assemblage I added hand made paper in red and black with a quote from Alice that reads:
"Never mind"! Alice said in a soothing tone, and stooping down to the daisies, who were just beginning again, she whispered, " If you don't hold your tongues, I'll pick you!" There was silence in a moment, and several of the pink daisies turned white. "
Here's a close up of this piece:
hummm... now what to do with the other cover?....