Stitches and Prints IV
(Fourth of a series of Four)
Artist’s Miniature sample book
2.5 x 3 inches
Catalogue No. J4045
Handmade by Catherine Mommsen Scott
This series of miniature* textile artist’s books** is influenced by antique sample books, many of which are found in museums with internet presence. “The sample books were used as memory aids, as ways to spread stitches and designs, as an educational tool for learning and practicing needlework, and as a sort of resume or CV.”(Textile Research Centre).
I’m interested in the system of samples, and in the textures and qualities of stitching and ink. The books are also influenced by other historical handmade books and embroidered book covers, such as medieval prayer books.
The book covers of III and IV differ from the first two books in the series in that they are hand-stitched. The first two covers were machine stitched.
The rest of this book is mostly machine stitched with a standard machine, using either a standard foot or a free motion foot. The images are from my collection of favorite and retro carved block stamps.
The pages are largely cotton muslin which have been through a stabilizing process with gesso and various natural dyes, including tea and cinnamon. This book has about 40 pages, including a few blank pages to encourage you to add your own art.
My books are intended to be “lived” in, a collaboration between the two of us. They are made to be added to, painted over, stitched ... if there is a feature that you don’t especially like paint or glue over it. I like the raw, wild feel, but if the threads and strands hanging out bug you, just cut them off.
Please convo me with any questions or comments.
* In the US, a miniature book must not exceed three (3) inches in any dimension.
**I am sometimes asked what artist’s books are for. Artist’s books are three-dimensional works of art, just as sculptures, paintings, collages and drawing are works of art. The distinction is that artist’s book are in one of several book forms (codex [what we usually think of as a book, with two covers and pages bound together inside] scroll, accordion, and many other variations) and contain a series of works of art within. They are for the same purpose as any other work of art, although some are interactive in the sense that spaces are left for the owner to add their own art to the original, or the book may include journaling cards and/or pages.
(Paintings, drawings and collages are normally single two-dimensional pieces normally displayed on vertical surfaces such as walls or panels. Each piece is a stand alone work of art although they may also be one of a series. Sculptures are three-dimensional art objects, usually displayed on a horizontal surface such as a shelf or table, as are artist’s books.)
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