For the past two years, I have been posting about a collaborative project that I have been working on with Jen Worden and Seth Apter. I can’t even remember when the idea to work together happened, it might have been when I still lived in Seattle! I knew that I wanted to work with Seth as I admire the way he uses collage and paint to create incredible texture in books. We decided to ask one more person to join us and I suggested Jen Worden as her work, whether it is collage or assemblage, has always intrigued me. I was so excited to work with them as we began discussing the shape and form our collaboration would take.
My only caveat was that we each approach our books as something to challenge ourselves with, either via concept or medium. And then along with that, we had to be open to the challenge with the spirit of exploration. We were going to challenge each other, but most of all have fun and experiment. I said, let’s not get caught up with creating “masterpieces”, this is for experimentation. I would rather have a page in there that was a botched attempt at pushing oneself than a pretty page. Where’s the interest in just a pretty page?!
The way it worked was that we each created a “page” or “spread” in each other’s books, then mailed it to the next person. I always mailed mine out to Jen, then Jen mailed hers to Seth, then Seth to me. We had to respond visually to the page that had just been done. I wanted each book to read like a visual dialogue.
I am happy to announce that our books are all in the last stages of final binding and my plaster book is completely done! I took photos of the book this week and I hope to share the other books with you in future posts.
Book of Trees
cover art, by bgmills
I will start with my book. The title of this book is “The Book of Trees”. I asked Jen and Seth to interpret the theme however they felt. Pretty simple. The challenge for us all was the fact that the book was made out of plaster pages bound with thick metal wire.
on one of her turns, Jen did her magic on the wire, curling them up, adding metal embellishments. I was thrilled when I saw this as I know nothing about working with metal.
We are all not only happy to have finished this collaborative project, but thrilled that our three books are going to be part of an exhibit called “Come Together” this summer in Chicago at the Milwaukee Avenue Art Festival, curated by Jane Michalski. A perfect ending to a project that we each dedicated more than 2 years to! These books have been through so much, traveling from Chicago, to Nova Scotia, to New York City. Going through lags while Jen trained for Iron Man and Seth for several marathons, and for me when my daughter was born. I couldn’t be more happy with how this project developed and working with Jen and Seth who were the perfect creative partners.
More info on the exhibit later!