Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Lindsey Mears

On the other side... Artist's book by Lindsey Mears
Lindsey Mears is a Charlottesville-based studio artist who creates handcrafted bags and books from vintage goods. Many works in her portfolio are artists’ books, a term with which your correspondants were unfamiliar and will therefore explain now. According to Stephen Bury via Wikiedpia:
Artists' books are books or book-like objects over the final appearance of which an artist has had a high degree of control; where the book is intended as a work of art in itself.
Here Lindsey talks with Craft Attack about the lost art of bookmaking, using found objects in her work, and fulfilling her childhood dream with Duran Duran.

I do hand-bookbinding and traditional leatherwork with a twist—my materials are largely recycled/upcycled. My leather bags are made with leather leftovers from upholstery and saddle-making. My book covers are made from library discards and old floppy discs, among other things.
Details from Wants a Situation, an artist's book by Lindsey Mears

She felt the weight of the aurora daily but would never see its light...

I learned bookbinding in 1999, in a night class at Portland Community College in Portland, Oregon. Truly, as soon as I finished my first book, I knew that I wanted to spend my life learning everything about books—binding, printmaking, letterpress, papermaking, inks, all of it.
I also make mixed-media work combining found objects with photographic prints I make using 19th-centuries processes I’ve studied—daguerreotypes, cyanotypes, and gum bichromate printing.
My inspiration comes from a bunch of places—hand-painted business signs on buildings, great old fonts found in unexpected places, like the entrance to the Baltimore Harbor Tunnel and on detective office doors in film noir films, in nature as I walk the dogs each morning, and in old Montgomery Ward catalogs and other vintage ephemera. The inspiration for my leather bags comes from the Pony Express era of simple rugged utilitarian satchels, and early train conductor bags.
Ask again tomorrow...
At this point in our culture, what motivates me is keeping alive obsolete technologies of printmaking and bookmaking. There is no better feeling than spending all day setting lead type, inking up the Vandercook’s massive rollers and discovering the impression it makes on a sheet of cotton paper. It connects me to printers throughout time, and all over the world. That is magic.
I’m most proud of my leather bags made from scraps of upholstery and saddle leather—each one is unique, and totally handcrafted. I spend so much time with each, making them the old-fashioned way—punching each sewing-hole with an awl and sewing each stitch by hand with two heavy-duty needles and linen thread. They are built to last.
I met with a client recently to discuss making an edition of books of his photography. At the end of our time together, he said that I had somehow verbalized and sketched out what he’d had in his imagination for years. It was the greatest compliment!
One thing most people would never guess about me is that I jumped onstage at a Duran Duran reunion concert and kissed John Taylor and Simon LeBon, fulfilling an elementary school dream.
Visit Lindsey’s website to see more of her incredible portfolio work, and be sure to drop by the Cville Holiday Craftular this weekend to marvel at the details in person!

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