I make altered books, artist books, illustrated journals, and art journals. Sourcing original ephemera for my work takes me around the world where I scour flea markets, antiquarian book alleys, dark shops on unlikely corners, and plain old junk stalls, looking for old books, maps, handwritten postcards and letters, vintage ads, tintypes and cabinet photos, and a vague assortment of paper ephemera and brocante from another era.

My altered books and artist books  are influenced by a variety of traditional book arts, from the ancient creation of papyrus and vellum to 16th century hand illustrated devotionals, from 17th century paste papers to the French livres d’artistes as well as the mixed media from the 1920s on.

I truly believe that sometimes these things are waiting for someone to find them, create something with them, and make sure that they are seen, and if so, why not me? This is an important part of the creative alchemy that happens in the studio. Surrounded by relics and touchstones that come with few if any clues, their original stories mostly lost, belonging to no one now except me. It is a trust, and I spend my days with words, wings, prints, engravings, old lace, rust, twine, and glue living up to it and into it.

I am the author of A Drinking Companion: Alcohol and Writers’ Lives.

Contact me at: kelly@bookandpaperarts.com