Altered Books: Botanizing Hope Workshop (Online)
Altered books are well suited to reveal the layers of life in a changing climate. In this workshop, participants will learn basic techniques for altering a book to use as a journal in which to record observations of the natural world. This innovative workshop consists of a prerecorded instructional video and a live Zoom workshop session.
In the video, Lou instructs how to choose and alter a used book, offering techniques for editing pages and their content via cutting, pasting in new surfaces, gesso-as-artist’s-white-out, and creating pockets and cavities in the existing book structure. How to dry plants, foliage and flowers for use in collage will also be covered. Students can work at their own pace to alter their books and collect and dry plant materials from areas important to them.
In the August 28 session, students will share their blank altered books and plant specimen stories. Together, we’ll learn and walk through techniques for mounting and stitching the botanicals and collaging with plant material. We’ll draw inspiration from early botanists and their idiosyncratic notation methods, decoding scientific labeling methods and designing our own notations and journaling methods. Creating our own journals of the natural world will be a creative antidote for despair.
Scholarships available on request. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for additional information.
About the Instructor
Lou Cabeen is a Seattle artist who works with a range of media including botanical specimens, textiles, stitching and collage, all of which inform her work in book arts. She uses cloth, paper and stitching in order to emphasize the tactile nature of private experience. Making altered books to use as journals and sketchbooks has been a private practice for many years, and a standard assignment in her University of Washington fiber and book arts classes. Her approach emphasizes the value of daily life and the empowerment that comes from taking the discarded ephemera of our lives and by giving it form, using it to create meaning.