Block print, fold-out panel book.

Interactive Books Are Not Always Digital Books

Puget Sound Book Artists Show Off Intricate Creations

If you find yourself in Tacoma between June 6 and July 31, 2013, head to the Collins Memorial Library at the University of Puget Sound where the Puget Sound Book Artists are holding their Third Annual Members’ Exhibition.

Acrylic Cube with Onomotopotic Text and Ball Bearings
Resound (or Shake Me Up, Judy) by Judy Lynn

In a well-lit passageway just beyond the library desk, you will find a small, but exceptionally well-curated collection of hand-made interactive books.

The Puget Sound Book Artists use found objects, handmade paper, woodblocks, scissors, even bias tape and more to create amazing works of art that tell a story (or amazing stories that are also works of art–you decide).

After spending the last few years keeping up with the changes in the ebook world and the last nine months acquiring a digital publishing certificate at UW-Seattle, it was refreshing to look at these amazing creations.

The Trickster by An Gates; flexigon structure, block printed ravens
The Trickster by An Gates

Crows and ravens are among the favorite subjects of these books, but almost anything is fodder for a creative imagination. These are books that fold up in many different combinations; some are accordions, some feature cutouts, some are built of postcards and envelopes, one features military medals. All are beautiful, thoughtful pieces that make you want to pick them up and work them. Alas, they are all behind glass.

Folium by MalPina Chan; accordion binding monoprint collage
Folium by MalPina Chan

I missed the opening reception because of a conflicting engagement, but there will be a conversation with the artists on June 20, 2013, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm. I am planning to be there. Please join. The opportunity to speak with the artists is worth the trip.