Feature Articles

April Issue 2000

Print Studio South Presents Handmade Books at the Charleston County Library Gallery in Charleston, SC

Print Studio South presents The Art of the Book, an exhibit of handmade books, at the Charleston County Main Library in the Saul Alexander Foundation Gallery in Charleston, SC, through Apr. 29. Participating book artists include; Patrick Aubert, Susan Avent, Katiri Berry, Sharon Koenig, Arthur McDonald, Bette Mueller-Roemer, Helen Newton, Gert Simon, Kristi Ryba and Mary Walker.

People have been making books for hundreds of years in all shapes, sizes, materials, and colors. Thanks to Gutenberg and his invention of movable type by 1455 we had the first printed book, a Bible. Now we have thousands of books and other printed material available right at our fingertips everyday. But imagine how it was before. Think of beautiful old prayer books and of monks laboring for hours hand lettering and illuminating biblical texts on vellum and binding them in handsome leather cases.

Despite the advances in mass production there are still people who make books by hand because books can do so many different things. You may want a book in which to keep your most secret thoughts or, as a place to collect a series of images or photographs. Making a book can also be a way to enter an imaginary world, relate a narrative, hold a collection of objects or ideas, or, as a way to do all of these things at once. Books can be beautiful, fun, and incredibly rewarding, especially when they're made by hand.

There has been a genuine renaissance in hand bookmaking in the last 10-15 years. While most of this activity has been centered in the large cities of the Northeast, it has intermittently and progressively made its way to Charleston. Here, various teachers and artists are passing along what they know of the traditional and non-traditional structures.

Although bookbinding is an ancient craft practiced by master craftsmen, in this revival the craft is practiced by whomever has an interest in producing hand bound books for whatever reason - artists, writers, poets, calligraphers, photographers, etc. Print Studio South is proud to be a part of this renaissance. In this exhibit, The Art of the Book, all of the Artist's Books were made by artists currently working in South Carolina.

For further information check our SC Institutional Gallery listings or call the gallery at 843/805-6801.

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