This is my first attempt at restoring a book from the 1870s. 19th century natural history is just about the greatest thing ever, so I hope that I’ve prolonged the life of this little chunk of it for a lot longer. If you’re interested in repairing and restoring your own books, you should check out some of the tutorials I used and the videos I watched!
Posted this on my main tumblr awhile back, but I thought it was fitting for my art one as well.
Here’s what I’ve been up to lately: paper dolls! I’ve been painting and printing these poseable, articulated paper dolls to sell in my brand new (well, mostly) etsy shop, Character Zoo. These four thumbnails are my first four designs, but I’ll be putting new designs out every week!
Last year, I went to a festival in Andong, Korea, and saw this guy walking barefoot along a giant dragon-shaped knife. I took this photo (with bigfoot-sighting levels of blurriness):
This year, I finally got around to painting him and making him a little scaly dragon envelope to live in. The scales are 3D cut-out layers, so they actually have the texture of scales. Mmm, tactile.
I made this pocket shrine to David Bowie out of an old Altoid tin. When David Bowie was a kid, he got punched in the eye (which is the reason his pupils are uneven.) I thought that perhaps when he got punched, he received some sort of extraterrestrial vision of his identities to come, based on a book he had as a child…which I also…made up. Uh…yeah, this is kind of weird, but bear with me. On the back of the shrine, you can open up his head to see the divine vision within:
Here’s the inside, with three of his personas layered on the right, and his accordion childrens’ book on the left.
The gold circular hooks are about the size of a quarter, and you can unhook them to release the tiny book inside.
The book itself is chock full of Bowie references…see if you can identify them all…
Book closeups. This was really small, so I ended up painting some of it with a needle:
And, finally, the back of the book:
Finally, a way to worship Bowie on the go…
I made this card about eating coagulated cow’s blood soup. When you remove the card from inside (which just has a small bowl of soup on it), the cow on the envelope begins to bleed, like this:
LOVE your mail art. amazing!!
Thanks so much! I don’t know why I’m so drawn to mail art, but it’s a concept that never loses its appeal for me. Maybe I’m just an electronic-era correspondent fetishizing the correspondence of the past?
hey I'm Stephanie and I will make a handmade book too, is a project to university. In the book “The Driftwood House” that you made, how you make the cover tipography, is a print, is bookcloth? what is? hope you answer! :)
Hello! The cover of “The Driftwood House” is indeed black bookcloth, with a white letterpress title page. I designed the cover in Photoshop, made it into a photopolymer plate, and printed it with a press to get that nice indentation :D I hope that answers your question, and good luck with your book!
Julia’s Coffin: Here’s yet another letter I made. This one’s about my great friend Julia, who has way too many things to juggle in life. The outside of her coffin is inspired by traditional Korean Buddhist temples, and it clasps at the top to keep shut. The black space in the middle is where I’ll eventually paint in my Korean name (Han Hyo Rin.)
Each of her arms is fully jointed and moveable, and she’s holding a different worry in each hand. I made the doll so that she could lift up the hand of whichever concern is worrying her most at the time.
Made this letter yesterday about my first experience eating live octopus. The octopus’s tentacles are jointed with tiny brads, so they can move around inside the mouth!