As a follow-up to a post I've just written for my own blog, I thought I'd try to initiate a little discussion over here, on this collaborative forum dedicated to the book arts.
I was wondering whether anyone else has read the article by Doug Spowart in the current (at the time of writing) issue of IMPRINT (i.e. Summer, 2009, vol 44 (4)?
The article is a review of the SCU 5th Acquisitive Artists' Book Award, which was held last year in August. The guest judge was Tara O'Brien, "an internationally recognised book artist from Philadelphia, USA. ...(who) is also a conservator and teacher of book arts."
In the article, Spowart explains the thorough approach taken by O'Brien in making her selections for the SCU collection, as well as providing some of the highlights from her speech at the announcement of the selected works. O'Brien commented on the conceptual strength and the high quality of fine press works, but did have some reservations about certain technical practices she saw.
I thought it would be good to present these here and see what both the writers and readers of this blog think.
So here they are, quoted directly from the article, with some editing for brevity only:
1. "O'Brien....discourages...the screw-post and the stab stitch forms of construction. The reader needs to 'fight' to hold the book open....Stab stitch was...generally inappropriate in Western book making except for books paying homage to Oriental style."
2. "The use of buckram as a cover material was also contentious; in her opinion there are many more suitable materials."
So what do you think? Do you use screw-posts, stab stitch or buckram in your work? Why did/do you choose them over other methods/materials? Do you agree with Tara O'Brien's opinions, or not? If not, why not?
I hope you'll jump in and tell us what you think - it's good to examine our practices and see if we have solid reasons for the technical and material choices we make.