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Derivation – Unity, Style, & Cohesion (part 2)

April 21, 2011

Cont from Derivation Part 1

In the beginning, when I started my Etsy shop I wanted everything I created to go there. Knitted things, photography, books, jewelry, etc etc. I quickly realized I needed some cohesion, some consistency, and I decided to go with what I Loved most; books and paper. So, everything I create now is some derivative of book and paper. I could wrap my head around that- it seemed unified to me. A theme. As an English major I could identify with that relatively tangible ‘common theme’. I thought I had cohesion in the bag.

But when I look at my work, when I look at what’s on the table I see two very distinct styles. Or, maybe more correctly I see two very distinct ‘products’ and I guess it’s becoming increasingly harder for me to reconcile the two; leather bound books & hollow books. But, this is what I want to make. I find joy in making both of these items and I need the differences in them to complete me artistically.

On the one hand I create sleek, sometimes rustic, leather bound blank journals from reclaimed leather and recycled paper. I come from an English past so this makes sense to me. I write all the time- I’ve always kept a journal. I Love the feeling of leather in my hand and the knowledge that it’s been recycled/upcycled. More than that, I Love a beautiful book with the smell of paper and years that will be written down there. I Love everything that has to do with a book, and that’s why I make them.

On the other hand, I take old, discarded, often misused and abused hard cover books and turn them into things of beauty, humor, tradition and romance. My hollow books have been and can be used for graduation (flask), Valentines, engagements, and weddings (hearts), gag (gun), or many other personal holidays (horse, bird, shamrock, etc). The list is really endless. I’ve recently started creating a line of book clutches that I absolutely adore- the book is coming BACK into fashion even with the advent of the Kindle and the Nook.

So, I Love what I do . . . but how do I create a cohesive unit with these two very different passions?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 21, 2011 8:34 am

    In my head I don’t see these two products as being too different from each other, actually. They are both taking something old and making it new again. They are both well made. They often have similar color pallets. It’s good to have some sort of variety in what you sell, I think. The only product you sell that I thought stuck out as being very different from the rest is your baby books. They are absolutely beautiful, but very different from everything else.

  2. admin permalink*
    April 21, 2011 2:56 pm

    Thanks Candice for your feedback;) I definitely know/see where you’re coming from when it comes to the baby books and the sameness in my other work. I’ve felt the same way in the past when it came to the hollow and leather works, but when submitting to shows with only photos and nothing to explain WHY they go together . . . it just feels a lot less cohesive i guess. 🙂 Thanks!

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