What to do with a blank book?

Posted June 29, 2013, at 10:19 a.m.

Anna Low of Purple Bean Bindery will be at Arts in the Park in Belfast on July 13 and 14 with her books.

She says: The question I am most often asked, which both delights and vexes me, is what to do with a blank book. I have filled hundreds of books. I have travel journals for almost every trip I’ve gone on. I have books with snap shots in them. I just started a book with pasted in scraps of paper. I carry an idea book with me almost all the time, and I have at least 10 full idea books and counting. I have a book in my car for notes. At home we use a book to write down phone messages. I have several books filled with menu plans from past dinner parties. I have books with class notes, garden notes, photo notes and hiking notes. Blank books are to be written in, doodled in, drawn in and used!

I made my first book in kindergarten – a simple, stab bound book all about me, and bookbinding has stuck with me ever since. In college I took a bookbinding class and my eyes were opened wide to book arts. I blame this class for my liberrhoea. I love making books. I love the form, the techniques, the materials. I delight in thinking of every book I make as a collaboration between myself and whoever ends up filling the pages. I love books as functional art. I love that my work is held in peoples’ hands, travels around the world and used to record momentous events and everyday life.

Her formal education is in photography and art education, and she now divides her time more or less equally between the three and the rest of life (which includes a wonderful family, a sassy rescue mutt, hiking, cooking, and serious vegetable gardening). Her home studio is bright and sunny, in Auburn, Maine. If you’d like ot see her photographic work, please visit www.alowphotography.com.

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