One Page at a Time: My Altered Book Experience

My favorite poolside pastime isn’t reading books, it’s altering them.

Seth Apter’s blog about artist Brian Dettmer inspired me to take an exacto knife to my latest altered book project, “Liquid Topaz.” In a process far less elaborate that Dettmer’s, I’ve been cutting parts of the page in front of the one I’m working on to use as a stencil for spraying glitter mist.

One of the biggest challenges I find with altered books is how to present them to an audience. My current solution is to treat each page as an individual art piece. I’ve scanned them, then framed the digital prints.

Shelley M. House with "Anyone Will Do," at the Atlanta Artists Center 2008.

This allows the original book to stay intact.

My concern with “Liquid Topaz” is that a print won’t do justice to the glitter mist and gold leaf I’m using. So I’m considering cutting my finished pages out of the book to frame and present as a series of originals. This will destroy the integrity of the altered book, but I’m ok with that. As Dettmer explains with his “Chronicle” project, the book can become an artifact, an intermediate step in the process rather than the final work of art.

My plan is to document my process here in my blog, one page at a time.

Visit my Slideshare site for examples of my previous altered book projects, and stay tuned to this blog for my progress with “Liquid Topaz.”

Other blogs in this series:
Liquid Topaz: The Story Begins
Liquid Topaz: Fun with Found Poems
Liquid Topaz: What I Learned Today
Liquid Topaz: Flowing Organically
Liquid Topaz: Art on the Run
Liquid Topaz: Useful Sounds
Liquid Topaz: Golden Polka-Dots
Liquid Topaz: The Art of Discovery
Liquid Topaz: Fire of Life
Liquid Topaz: Now she feels it
Liquid Topaz: Searching for Words

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3 Responses to “One Page at a Time: My Altered Book Experience”

  1. Liquid Topaz: The Story Begins « Art by Shelley ~ Life * Love * Coffee Says:

    […] One Page at a Time: My Altered Book Experience […]

  2. Liquid Topaz: Fun with Found Poems « Art by Shelley ~ Life * Love * Coffee Says:

    […] One Page at a Time: My Altered Book Experience […]

  3. Café Crem Says:

    […] by to share a cup with some old friends. This piece is part of my new altered book series, “Liquid Topaz.” It’s been a fun summer project. I should be finishing it up this week, so I can call […]


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