Books and Book-Themed Art!

Last week I attended several events at the Virginia Festival of the Book, an annual event sponsored by the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities in Charlottesville, VA.

For me, this year was all about the Book Arts and book-themed art.

With permission, (c) Blake Gore.

I had the pleasure of chatting with Blacksburg, VA artist, Blake Gore. Working in miniature and in an Edward Gorey-esque style, (near and dear to my heart), he works without magnifying glass or even the aid of reading glasses to create a miniature, (as in tea-bag label-sized art) world of literature.

Do yourself a favor and check-out his work here: www.blakegore.com . His images include his own hand for scale.

“The Secret Book Room”, (c)Sofie Couch

His display of art was book-themed for this event, but his work encompasses many themes. In fact, one of my little daily sketches this week was inspired by his work, although I believe my attempt was made in a scale about 4X bigger. And wow! That was hard! I think I’ll have to keep to a scale conducive to my eyesight.

coptic stitching the signatures (blocks of 5 pages) into a book.

Next, I meandered across the venue to meet with several members of the Virginia Center for the Book. There, the emphasis is on books, as in the construction of, as an art form.

Artisans gave demonstrations on printing, engraving using household recyclables, and the art of Coptic stitching – the needlework that goes into a well-made, hardback book. You can see their beautiful work at www.vabookcenter.org .

Fox etching using a soup box!

This coming week, the City of Charlottesville will be hosting the Charlottesville Design Week, a week of design-related programs.

Guess where I’ll be!

I hope you find time to make some art and read a book or two!

“Mitzy, employed as a bookmark.” – Sofie Couch

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