For those of us who lament the claim that electronics will eliminate the need to ever hold a book with real paper pages and gorgeous binding: take heart! Meet Sharon Sharp and she will reassure you that the art of books is alive and well and growing. You just need to take another look!
Sharon Sharp, Boone, NC, is an artist, a poet, a teacher, an editor and probably a few other things of which I am unaware! When I met Sharon I immediately liked her and hearing she was teaching a class in bookmaking at the Florence Thomas Memorial Art School, in Glendale Springs, NC. I signed up. What an education I received! I will never be a bookartist but I learned some new skills which will enable me to make a few gifts; I also gained an enormous respect for those that do make these beautiful pieces of art.
Isn't this intriguing? The folding book fits into the lower shelf of this beautiful box (which has a lovely closing leaf) and the six little cubbies you see at the top all contain handmade books as well.
Here is a shot of two covers she did previously. Every inch of these pieces is exquisite and original. Being a poet, Sharon has graced some of her books with her writing, others are blank for journals and others are meant to hold things in their pockets. There was no end to the ideas and creativity she showed us. I just wanted to ohh and ahh and start a new shelf in my library for handmade books....and while she swears they need to be used, I think they are very much collectors' items.
The class was great fun: a neat group of students and a very patient, talented instructor.
And a p.s.: As a painter I definitely gathered some new ideas to enhance my painting efforts...things I want to try in collaboration with some of the bookmaking techniques. I am a big believer in "cross training" in the arts because I sincerely believe the cross pollination will ultimately make our own products much more interesting.
Visit her website at the link on her name to learn more about this art.