'Grandmother Was A YoYo'

1917 Italy Engraved Map

Sachets ... Coming Soon!

Manolo Blahnik Sketch Book Lithographs

Freeing The French Hats 10 07 28

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


I've been staring at this book on my work table for nearly a full 2 months now. On top of the book casually rests an x-acto knife with a brand new blade ... quietly foreshadowing what most definitely is to come.

About once, sometimes twice a week, I'll be approached by someone asking how it is that I am able to "butcher" books (their words). Usually I'll get the anonymous conversation sent to me in one of my shops ~ seldom will they identify themselves in their note. And their tone is invariably angry, hostile.
I'm always surprised when I get these ... I long ago came to a deep and agreeable self-understanding and was able to make my peace with this, my chosen profession along with the tools the profession requires. It was a moment of clarity for me and, since that moment, I have never had one single moment of hesitation or unrest. 
I pull apart books so they can continue to live and enrich others with their grace and beauty.

A book on a shelf does nothing for anyone. I mean, really. The *idea* of a vast personal library is lovely and all, but ... really? It is only when the book is opened, read, admired, studied that it is being "used". And how many books can one have open at a single time?

And, as much as everyone saaaaaays they love books ... how large is your library? How often do you open the odd volume?

If I am to cut into a volume, I will read the book first, if I'm able. And there are many times where the volume with which I'm working is completely un-read-able.

The final understanding of what I do came to me at a church bazaar a number of years ago. They had a table stacked high with books for sale. All donated by well-meaning people, wanting to help raise funds for the church.

I'll be the first to admit that I cannot pass by these sales. I'm completely, emotionally and physically incapable of passing them by.

At this particular and very dramatic flea market, I found books stacked tremendously high on the cafeteria folding tables ~ browsing through the titles, one after another, I discovered that the books were sealed shut from moisture and gruesome mold. Those good people running the market either didn't care the donated books were glued shut or, really what would be worse, they didn't notice.

On one particular selling site (a site from which I'm slowly divesting my goods), it's become the hipster kewl thing to create listings of group books together and sold as "room decor". Like everything else on that site, books have become a 'faux' style.

So, I no longer take the anonymous accusations to heart. When a book comes to me which can no longer claim to be accurate or current or it has damaged 'bones' ... I don't think twice about reducing the book to its parts and allowing those parts to become art supplies or decor or artistic inspiration.

And so ... this is where I am with this book. I’ve already mentally set aside a good two dozen chromolithographs which I'll keep. And I'll take some photographs of the book, complete and untouched, first. 

I always keep the Frontispiece, whenever possible. But the rest ... ? Tomorrow, my trusty X-acto and I will free the beauty that is within this book.

I've begun listing them in Le Petit Poulailler on Zibbet, here.






2 comments:

fabriquefantastique said...

Karen.....love the images. Also like the manner in which you are presenting the zibbet shop.

July 28, 2010 at 8:42 AM
PetitPoulailler said...

Thanks, Jan! That's lovely to hear ... I'm have great fun with it all xo

July 28, 2010 at 10:23 AM
Related Posts with Thumbnails