Appetite for Metal Art?

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The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – Aristotle (384-322 BC)

“Mares eat oats and goats eat oats” … and everything around them. I can’t remember the exact lyrics of the song my sister, brothers and I sang in our childhood but it went something like that.

When I saw these billy goat lawn sculptures at Art in the Park, they caught my attention. They’re reminiscent of Hanratty, one of the childhood pets in our family’s menagerie.

A very creative artist took the lyrics to the song literally and created these metal sculptures from found items. The guts of the animal reflects exactly what goats are known for “trash eating.” Garden tools, tin cans, children’s metal toys, hubcabs and more are incorporated into these fun to look at garden ornaments.

I laughed when I saw them. A short time later when I returned to the display to show my husband, several had been sold. A good indication that others appreciated the humor and ideas of the artist in designing this craft.

Do you have treasure in your basement or attic that you could reuse to make something special? Even if it it’s just for yourself you can have fun creating. Art is therapeutic and a good way to cure whatever is ailing inside of you.

An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision. ~ James McNeill Whistler

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This blog is brought to you by Sue Batton Leonard, author of Gift of a Lifetime: Finding Fulfilling Things in the Unexpected and short stories Lessons of Heart & Soul.

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Fairy Tale Paper Artist

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I was a great reader of fairy tales. I tried to read the entire fairy tale section of the library.” ~Beverly Cleary

Last week I posted a blog about ways to creatively recycle book pages. Su Blackwell, an artist from the U.K.,  creates three dimensional book sculptures made with discarded books. Many of her creations are scenes from fairytales and folk lore stories.

Her work is reflective of the books she read and the fulfilling make-believe world she created while playing in the woods during her childhood. Blackwell went on to study arts, specifically textiles, obtaining a M.A. degree at the Royal College of Art in London.

“The Quiet American” was her very first sculpture which was created from a second hand book called the Kao San Road she purchased on a trip to Thailand. She says she reads books once or twice before she begins her creation of a scene from the book.

The trend of repurposing books to create art sculpture is becoming popular in many places, including here in Colorado. Artist Kim Keith, exhibits and sells her geometric shaped paper sculpture and other mixed media, at the Red Contemporary Gallery here in Steamboat. She says her creations keep “alive the tactile sense and physicality of “book”. http://bit.ly/PrThwI.

Click here for books on repurposing books for art projects.

 
For more information, on the amazing work of Su Blackwell, please visit this link. http://bit.ly/RTrcwA.

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Book Pages to Paper Posies

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“All the flowers of the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.” ~ Indian Proverb 

The other day, I saw a wonderful floral creation made with recycled book pages. Depending on your time and skill, one single paper posey or a full bouquet can be crafted.

These handmade flowers are long lasting. Help to keep news print and other printed paper out of landfills by making them. This type of floral decorating needs no watering, saving natural resources from being depleted.

 Here are step by step instructions, along with photos , of how to create these sustainable flowers  http://bit.ly/Qb4myY

Lately, I have seen many ideas for recycling paperback books. It seems to becoming a fulfilling hobby. If you are looking for unique gifts for the someone in your life,  think about re-using paper products creatively.

With the emphasis on recycling, my husband  may decide he has bought me enough live flowers throughout our thirty-two year marriage. Some day he may draw the line and say “I am no longer buying the real deal, you already have the resources needed to make floral arrangements in those books you are discarding. Get to it, get inspired!” 

If I want to keep peace in the family and celebrate a golden anniversary, I’d better side with him.  The thing is, a puny nosegay is not very effective. I’ll want an overflowing bouquet, a real armful of paper posies,  for a bountiful look. For my 50th anniversary maybe  I’ll have my original wedding garb re-designed to reflect a new era – using recycled materials in artistic bridal clothing.

I better make a vow to get started now, producing my own book page bouquet. Eighteen years from now I should have enough blossoms to make a real fashion statement.  

Want to help make some flowers? I’ve provided the instructions, you provide the paper, from all those newspapers, hardcover and paperback books, they say, are going out of style.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Digital books: Conserving Gas and Trees

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What’s cheaper than a gallon of gas? An e-book. Save a dollar, stay home and read!”
~ Shandy L. Kurth 

At the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair, there was a lot of discussion about the e-book industry. Digital books are gaining popularity globally. In fact, according to an article in Publishers Weekly Magazine, people in India top the charts as leaders in e-book buying. Thirty nine percent of the respondents to a survey say they have bought an e-book. Other top countries of digital book buyers are the United States and the United Kingdom.With each passing year, there is healthy growth in the electronic publishing industry, indicating an increased interest in digital reading content. 

If you have ever had any doubt about whether Americans are consumed with buying books, volunteer at a donation center for a thrift shop. Three or four hours every Saturday, I help out in a donation center run by the local churches. The amount of books that come through the doors is astounding. Each week, I gain a greater understanding of the value of buying e-books.

Electronic books take up less space for one thing. For readers who read a book once and then get rid of it, the new generation of books makes more sense. Sure, the reading experience is a little different. There are no paper pages to turn or to dog-ear to mark a spot. But, the story is still the same whether we are reading it digitally, in a hardback version, paperback or listening to an audio book. 

I am grateful the books have not ended up in the landfill and I know they are very much appreciated by the people who buy them. They are resold at a minimal price – usually 50 cents up to a few dollars. Sometimes a little more if the book is a large volume or a special collectible publication. Many of the donated books are in “like new” condition. Read once, then discarded. 

If you would like to know more about this growing trend among publishers, please read this article. It is a good source of information, brought to you by Publisher’s Weekly Magazine, digitally. http://bit.ly/Trf7RF.

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Art Installations from Recycled Books

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“If civilization has risen from the Stone Age, it can rise again from the Wastepaper Age.” ~Jacques Barzun 

Can you imagine how many books have been thrown in dumpsters and landfills over the years? More than I care to think about. 

Overprinting books means wasting money by having to pay rent for storage space. It also uses up natural resources – trees. 

Thanks to print-on-demand, and the development of electronic publishing (e-books), future generations will be much wiser in the way they produce books.

Last week the U.S.A. Today newspaper cited how for the first time ever, in 2011, e-book sales have exceeded hardcover sales – up 28% from the previous year. That is progress towards sustaining the environment and the publishing industry. To read the article, please visit this link. http://usat.ly/MhU10F

Digital publishing also means that updating books is economical and easy. To post new e-ditions you just download the new version through a computer. Gotta love it! 

What to do with all those books sitting in warehouses taking up space because the publisher has over-estimated sales and over-printed? 

Here is a creative solution:

 

Photo: A library information desk made out of recycled books. 

Artists, do you have other good ideas for large permanent art installations made out of outdated publications, that will spare landfills and dumpsters from receiving them? We would love to hear from you.

This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.

Books Made to Order

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Economy is the method by which we prepare today to afford the improvements of tomorrow.” ~ Calvin Coolidge 

Approximately 4 or 5 years ago, I was introduced to the EBM– the Expresso Book Machine. As I stood in front of the machine, I was amazed to watch it’s speed in downloading PDF files, collating, printing, binding, trimming pages and covering a book all within 15 – 20 minutes time. Not only that, the machine had the ability to print a book in many different languages. 

When I saw the EBM in action, it was still in the testing phase. The Northshire Bookstore in Manchester,Vermont http://bit.ly/qSD5Ib was the first retail store to acquire this print-on-demand book machine and, in fact at the time, it was only available in 5 other locations in world. 

Imagine that!  A paperbound book, made to order, in a language of your choice is now as easy as 1 -2 – 3! This option in book printing is good for publications of 200 pages or less and for very low print runs. For instance: if you need a paperbound copy of a book out of print, often it can be located through digital catalogs and printed just for you! It is also a good choice when it comes to printing a few copies of family memoirs or poetry collections. 

Test trials must have gone well! In less then a half dozen years, there are now 50 Expresso Book Machines located in public libraries, retail bookstores and University Libraries. For more information on the EBM, please visit http://bit.ly/hSAIe2

There can be drawbacks to print-on-demand, however. The costs of using print-on- demand can be more expensive if you are printing in larger quantities. Now many book printing companies will print less than mega quantities. Times have changed in the book manufacturing world. 

Weigh your choices very carefully. If this is your first attempt at self publishing or as a first time independent publisher, sometimes it is better to test your market first. Ordering through print-on-demand will allow you to establish how quickly the book is selling. Overprinting could result in high inventory storage fees. Save  dollars by making wise choices when you print your books.

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Through the Independent Film Lens

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“Take time for all things: great haste makes great waste”. ~Benjamin Franklin



Mark your calendars! Next week, on Tuesday, April 19th at 10pm Waste Land, can be viewed right from the surrounds of your own home. This film about Brazilian artist Vik Muniz will be aired on the PBS show, Independent Lens. 

On the outskirts of Rio de Janiero sits the world’s largest garbage dump, the Jardim Gramacho. Renowned artist, Vik Muniz sets out to create from the photographs he took of the catadores (garbage pickers), human portraits using recyclables from the dump. 

Despite the garbage picker’s lack of traditional employment and non-existant monetary stability, Muniz witnessed camaraderie and good spirit between this eclectic group of people. Muniz engages the catadores in collaborative work to gather recyclables to create his art, and gives the proceeds from the sales of the finished pieces back to the trash pickers. He raises their living conditions, repairs trucks essential to their work, and even builds a library to help them become more educated. All in all, he creates an environment whereby the trash pickers can have more fulfilling lives. 

This independent film demonstrates how trash from an overly-consuming, throw-away society can be recycled into a project of transformative art. For more information on viewing this powerful film from your area, please visit http://to.pbs.org/2ojlVz.

 This blog brought to you by www.CornerstoneFulfillmentService.com.