04 January 2010

While you were sleeping!

I have added these bonnie lassies to my ETSY store NOW

I am so honoured and really tickled pink that people find these appealing.

It is so heart-warming and I am truly honoured people are buying them

So here's one for your bloke or about your bloke

Thanks to Joanna Pierotti and Robyn Gordon for being so kind and highlighting my books on their blogs.

I very much appreciate it and am humbled by your generosity.

I have added some of the other journals that I highlighted in one of my previous posts.

{Sold thank you}

I do wonder what other bookbinders think when they see what "appears" to be a spine coming off, like this one.

But little do they know that I have repaired it so it will surely never come off.

As we all know, appearances are not always realitites.

I mean look at the title: tales and stories:

It just has to remain somewhat tattered looking, don't you mixed media artists agree - {thats the appeal for me anyway?}

I wonder what stories this book will behold soon?

Available in my Etsy Store which closes today sometime


Karin Bartimole said...

I think they are fabulous! I love the worn and used "tattered" look, knowing these covers passed through so many hands. Seeing them being reborn this way is just wonderful!!

Morgaine said...

These are absolutely beautiful!

Seth said...

Tattered is always better!

Four Seasons in a Life said...

I love the art that you produce and yet I have a concern that you are using original tintypes. I own two and cherish them greatly and would never consider reusing then. I would try to duplicate the tintype as not to destroy the original and in the meantime improve the images appearance.

This way the original is preserved.

Your views or anyone else who wishes to view their opinion on this matter is greatly appreciated, as I wish to learn.

Warmest regards

Judy said...

Hi Egmond,
Thanks for your input.
My opinion differs from yours in this way:
I am preserving the tintype

Leaving it in its original state - simply adding it as a book cover does not destroy it, in fact, it is bringing it to life once more, rather than staying locked up in an album forever.

Those artists who buy the book will make an object de art out of the book - thereby giving it a new lease of life.

Simply put, it is repurposing an already beautiful image, giving it the grace it deserves as the front cover of a book, awaiting a story to be told.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

Thank you Judy for your input to my question.

I personal have a huge obstacle to overcome when it comes to using an original item and repurposing it. As I had recently mentioned regarding getting started in my first altered book.

There is also an element of fear, the fear of failure, but that is another issue.

I really like these tintype notebooks of yours, they are truly beautiful and I clearly understand your position and it is very clear that others like them too.

As I said, it is my own barrier that I must overcome and maybe if I stick around long enough on your blog there could be hope for me after all.

Warmest regards

azirca said...

What delightful little books.

Happy New Year to you and your family. May 2010 be filled to overflowing with much happiness, creative energy and good health.

Leslie said...

I agree Judy. You are not destroying the tintype, and if you're like me, you have many beautiful tintypes of no one you know. I have always felt that it was a shame that these images were no longer in the hands of the descendants. Using them as you are just puts them out there to be enjoyed and yes, given a new lease on life.

I hear the same thing about repurposing old books into new journals or art, but the argument is the same.

I recently made a necklace using a very tiny original tin type as the focus, and I like to think that the woman in the image would be pleased and honored to have her photo out in the world all these years after her death. I know I would.


Seth said...

Interesting question about using originals such as tintypes in artwork.

I use only originals in my artwork. Like Judy, I believe that even in an altered (and sometimes unrecognizable) state these types of treasures are given a second chance at life by being used. And I feel that using the original also adds further meaning and substance to the artwork itself.

That being said, I do have quite a few original treasures that I love just "as is" and would not use as art materials, at least for now! And Egmont, I can relate to your sense of fear in using a one-of-a-kind item -- but once you begin to do just that, I think you may start to appreciate the beauty of repurposing.

JoAnnA Pierotti said...

Judy, I so anticipate with excitement to receive my journal - and yes, to write my hopes and dreams for 2010.

I have heard this convo before regarding using original photos in our work. First of all, if they were really honored like they should have been, these photos would still be in the hands of family. I find it sad that they managed to drift away -found at flea markets and such. Being rediscovered by us mixed media artists, well, it gives them back their honorable place.

What you have done with them is just so beautiful and will be treasured forever more. Tintypes are one of my favorite sources to use in my creations.

I always think these past souls would be so pleased to see them brought back to life long after they have left earth. I know I would be.

xo joanna

KC Willis said...

Hi Judy...I understand the way Egmont's feels toward using an original of something, but that's a personal preference of his and nothing more. He chooses not to use the original and you choose to use it. I think if it was something of huge value you may re-think it, but tin-types are items you can get readily and I agree that you are honoring it in a way it would never receive otherwise in many cases. People are mortified sometimes that I use original old quilts or fabrics in my work and sometimes they won't even sell them to me when they find out I might cut them up...BUT I use only pieces that are worn beyond their original use and breathe new life into them in my work. I am honoring the materials I use as much as the women whose faces are on my work by giving them a second chance. You are giving the tin types you use a second chance. They touched the person who first received them many years ago and they are touching a life again today when you make work out of them that brings joy. So basically Egmont and you simply look at them differently. Neither is wrong in my humble opinion...merely a different way of looking at things. xxoo

~Izabella said...

Judy all your work is presented in the most amazing manner and you always pay respect to these long lost treasured photos~

I believe that these lost objects are.. "lost little souls" just waiting to be reinvented... starving to be remembered...mysterious families & people just awaiting to come alive again. I think repurposing old photos, tin types, old ephemera is an amazing way to help them come alive again~

It is sad that these photos are not with the familys any longer & end up in auctions, antique shops, but that is not the artists' fault. I personally, ALWAYS, look for names & do research to see if I can just happen to stumble upon the rightful family owner, and..only then.. I will use the "original" vintage images in my art & I know that Judy has gone above & beyond, on researching out family backgrounds & helping in aiding to remembering these past lives & bringing them back to life again, so as not to be forgotten.

thank you Judy for your constant inspirations you are someone who will be in the history books of the mixed media art world, for helping in bringing to us, the more serious side of art.

Four Seasons in a Life said...

I really appreciate the input to my question and I agree there is no wrong or right answer, it is all a personal preference.

A few of you wrote 'where are the people, the relatives' to treasure these tintypes. As I collect old photographs, the greater majority, over 90 percent come from individuals were there are no known relatives.

If it were not for some individuals at retirements homes or apartment managers who donate all the belongings to recycling centers or other similar services.

It has always hurt me to know that so much ends up in landfill as I try to save fragments of someone's life, someone's history.

Thank you Just for allowing us to have this discussion on your blog.

Warmest regards to all,

Ricë said...

thanks for inviting me to comment, judy. interesting discussion. i have a couple opnions--first, i think if you're (and here i mean "one," not any of you in particular) making art with old stuff, then it should be the original old stuff--whatever it is--rather than copies that just look like Old Stuff, esp. if you have any intention of selling it. i've talked to artists from both sides of the argument, but if you're making art to sell, you need to use The Real Stuff and not copies of it.

i don't see anything wrong with using old stuff--photos, quilts, books--in art, as i don't think there's value in things simply because they're old. nothing lasts forever, and while it's of value to preserve and display examples of things no longer in existence so that others can view and appreciate them, things that aren't being preserved in that way should be used however we see fit. it's not a question of respect and dignity--these are just things and, like us, will eventually cease to exist. the best thing to do with any of them is to use them and enjoy them as fully as possible before that happens.

Renee Troy said...

I think they're amazing and love the small size of some. We give these individuals and books new life and meaning when we create with them and release the energy they once possessed. Almost like a Frankenstein creation.

Jen Crossley said...

Judy I love your use of the tin photos in your books as you know I use them as well in my jewerly,I feel we are preserving them in our art work as well,they would only be put away in a cardboard somewhere un seen. In our work you will get to see and enjoy them more everyday.Everyone has there own point of view on using original photos and pieces in there work I guess

Jilly Geraghty-Groves said...

Judy, they're amazing. I adore them.

Personally, I love that they're the original images. I love to feel that I am bringing to life something that would otherwise be lost and forgotten. I love the fact that the originals have been loved, have been real people with real history and I love to imagine their real lives. To think that originals may well have been discarded is heartbreaking and I love that now they are brought back into life and enjoyed and adored in all their glory.

domslittleshop.com said...

judy your books are so lovely i think i may just have to purchase one. i not sure which one because you make it so hard to choose.
really love them all.

Judy said...

I am glad Egmond brought up the topic, I think a healthy discussion like this is wondeful and enlightening. It's great to hear so many opinions.
Hopefully we that choose to recycle and re-use someone else's discards will assist in reducing our carbon footprint but also bringing back to life books and photos some would ignore.
Egmond, I have had many a student who has feared to repurpose a book but after a workshop they realise that I restore books lovingly to give them new life.
Most of those books I use have been discarded or found. I take great care to repair them and re-invent them so they dont end up in landfill. I respect and appreciate your trepidation though for as Seth said there are many antique objects i would never alter.
I agree with Isabella Joanna and Jen that it is sad that those families who ought to have the tintypes, dont any more. KC is correct when she says we all have different ways of viewing things and thats the choice, we artists make, just as the viewer has a choice whether it appeals or not.
Rice's point about using the originals is spot on, for me with one exception. When working on a Visual Anthology for a client, I never use the original images, they must stay preserved for future generations to enjoy. When I see kids who have used originals ifor school projects prior to computers and copies - I want to cry for ultimately their preservation has been tampered with.
Thanks Dom for the compliment and Jilly we are on the same page. Leslie and I have spent many hours on used bookshops drooling over someone elses discards so I know we are soul sisters in that dept.
Thanks everyone.

vivian said...

love these beautiful little books judy, you make 'old' stuff come alive!

to add to this interesting discussion somewhat, personally i am all for using originals in artwork. when stored away in a shoebox no-one is able to enjoy these images. my dad (he is an only child) once was given a box full of old photographs and memorabilia by his mum who just doesn't know what to do with all that 'old stuff' anymore. he in turn didn't know either and now i've been given part of it, to use in my art because they know what i do and they gave it to me happily, preferring it to be used rather than stored away. some items have real family value so i choose not to use these but others i am totally happy to use, cut up, tear apart whatsoever, with respect and gratefulness.

keep doing what you do judy, you have this ability of bringing stories back to life!

Sharon Manning said...

Awesome discussion going on here, one that pops up quite regularly not only in the Mixed Media world I'm sure but any genre of art.

Having known Judy for sometime now and worked side by side (literally!) I know for sure that her dedication and care to preserving an original piece of history is paramount to her final work. Isn't that what it's all about when we work with "old stuff".

Egmont I hear you loud and clear when you say you have a huge personal obstacle to overcome when it comes to using an original item and repurposing it. Also your element of fear, YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Every artist I know has these fears, some still have them, some are working through them and some are over them. Me? I'm still working through mine with the help of my artist friends around me, their work gives me inspiration to try something new and continue on until (hopefully) one day I can have no fear. There is no right or wrong when it comes to art but "your way". It's all about growth and a journey (I know that sounds cliche but it's true). We all change paths - Judy has veered onto a different path with these books and selling them to us - hehehehe, I bought the very first one and I so can't wait to get it in the mail. I have many ideas what I want to do with it, but I do know one thing I will be cherishing it and preserving it.

Thanks Egmont for your healthy discussion here and thank you Judy for sharing your talent and inspiration with us all!

Irene said...

thank you so much for sharing. these are absolutely beautiful works of art.

yona said...

hi all, i am another one who is awed by originals. I have a difficult time believing that copies of something hold value. for me it's all about how many eyes have seen this picture? how many hands have touched it? what can the picture tell me? are there fingerprints that i can't see? old photos tell amazing stories... as do old books... yona

kelsey said...

Yep, certainly an interesting discussion. I must say how impressed I am by the thoughtfulness that has been expressed by the different responses to this question. Often a subject like this can deteriorate into an "I'm right and you're wrong" type of argment but Judy, once again you've shown you're a class act by the calibre of blog followers that you have and the fact we can all have differing points of view and still respect each others opinions. I'm including myself in that category.....hahahahaha

p.s. I agree with everyone, I use originals as well as copies, depends on what it is!

deMeng said...

Now this is a juicy dialogue...
I was in an antique store today and they had lots of vintage cameras...which for me is a plethora of parts and pieces for assemblage. to some that might be sacrilege but to me it is giving new life to that which has less of a use now. The idea is to change it into something rich and strange

From The Tempest

Full fathom five thy father lies
Of his bones are coral made
Those are pearls that were his eyes
Nothing of him that doth fade
But doth suffer a sea-change
Into something rich and strange

sukipoet said...

wld love to buy one but yr Etsy store is always closed or empty despite what you say here. Beautiful books.

sukipoet said...

ps I always use originals of anything when I can

layers said...

I think slightly tattered is more interesting-- restoration is important too-- but I love weathered, textured, worn stuff too. what you do seems just right.

Julie H said...

I meant to comment on the last post Judy - wonderful idea - I have used the tiny ones in a booklace and always feel I am honouring someone whose family has not (for whatever reason)been able to keep the image.Your binding and pages are super neat! Lovely.

Judy said...

Sukipoet - my ETSY store only closes when I am on holidays. I did warn people it is closing and most of the books sold. You can get an rss feed when the store re-opens, glad you like the books.

Carol said...

Beautiful books Judy, as always, and what a wonderful collection of comments. Such a fascinating subject and your readers have shown great discernment in their replies. I guess I'm on the "use the originals" side though there would be times, as you say with your clients, when I believe the originals need to be kept safely.Certainly I can see that all this material is very safe in your hands Judy, and you are a true artist.

Carol said...

Judy I hope you don't mind but I just linked to your site in my latest blog post. I want everyone to know how inspirational it is. Carol

Skellyton Art said...

What wonderful creations they are!

Gaby Bee said...

These books are fabulous. Love especially the first one.

Karen Cole said...

Whoa...I certainly missed a wonderful discussion here. Love the work and the conversation. Art is always a fuel for thought. These new little books are great.

I say use it, as long as you don't abuse it.....and you certainly USE it wisely.

Judy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Patti's Artful Design said...

Absolutely beautiful!

Kari of Writing Up A Storm said...

I love the tiny books ~ such little jewels. You are making art out of art ~ what a wonderful thing to do! xo Kari

Alina said...

How beautiful! full of magic. I love your Blog.

Kim said...

How did I miss this discussion? I understand Egmonts hesitancy over the prospect of failing with such a unique items inclusion in an artwork and feel that this is something that each artist must decide on personally. The inclusion of original items in an artwork just adds to the uniqueness of the piece for me. Artists who incorporate these items usually treat them with respect and value their historical perspective. I cannot think of anyone who is a better example of this reverent accord than Judy. I have felt connected with Judy's work from my very first glimpse, and much of that connection comes from her inclusion of these original items.

Chris said...

Wow. I'm late to this. First, Michael's Tempest quote is music to my ears. I haven't read it in so long.

I have only worked with original family photos in making my artwork, but I don't use the originals. I fear they will deteriorate, so I digitize them and use them on acid-free papers so that I can keep the original and also have a somewhat less-destructible copy. However, if I were working with someone's discarded (for whatever reason) images, I would probably work with the original with the same goal in mind as many others have mentioned--to honor them and bring them back to life as a record of that period and that person's existence.