MAKING ARTISTS BOOKS
By Neverne Covington
Books have always been dominant part of my life. Over the past few years I’ve begun creating my own. Making them fills me with awe and wonder. Whether they are sometimes literal or sometimes not, whether they have a text or only pictograms, artist’s books provide intimate containers for the narratives that become stories in and of themselves. My artist books are a work of art that utilizes the form of a book.
Some of the books featured here are small and intimate before being opened, like the Dervish Dances, which is 6.75 X 6 unopened, expanding to 6.75 X 68 inches. Also shown hers, the Alchemical Text, opened is 4 x 2 feet, made of rusted ceiling tin tiles and, pages full of etchings, lithographs monotypes and drawings and embedded with hidden text. The matrix for both the Dervish Dances and The Alchemical Text was made by letting the Florida summer rains press paper into the rusted ceiling tin tiles to imprint a pattern forming a matrix as well as embossing the surface. Strips of kid glove leather adorn each book. The book Inviting Please was made with melting encaustic medium with a blowtorch. My smallest book is 4 x 5 x ½ inches closed traveled internationally as part of the exhibit Monumental Ideas in Miniature books. I incorporate different folding techniques when making these books; most of my books are either Accordion folds or French door folds, occasionally I will use a folio method for my books.
Whenever I start a one of a kind artist book, I never know where the story is taking me. The thrill is in the discovery; the story emerges later. Artist’s books are intimate, tactile, public and private. Making books initiates me into the story and narrative, to knowing and to the unknown, it makes me return to the private refuge of my childhood, books.