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Altered Art, Altered Books, Altered Lives
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- The Altered Book: An Online Resource for the Altered Book Artist.
The Altered Book: Resources for the Altered Book Artist
Introducing Altered Art
This page introduces altered art, a trendy art form that involves changing a book or other object to create a creative shape or sculpture. You will find several projects with pictures and videos.
If you aren't familiar with the concept, it's this way. We take an object and alter it! We strive to do this in a creative, artistic way.
We turn old books, matchboxes, film canisters, cigar boxes, mint tins, tin cans, photographs, gourds, lunch pails, CDs and who knows what else -- into innovative creations great for gifts, showpieces or, for some of us, to sell. Altered books are perhaps the best known type of this form of art.
Did you notice the picture here to the right? That's an old pair of eyeglasses that I altered to create Victoria's Secret Spectacles.
Artists in this genre use a wide variety of techniques and incorporate an array of media into our projects. We use paints of all kinds, beads, flowers, polymer clay, wire, fiber, ribbon, decorative papers, rubber stamping, found items (ephemera) and anything else you can think of.
People ask us why we do it.
It's simple. Because we CAN
Want to get started?
Start with an Altered Book
Here's what you do:
1. Find an old book, any old book. You're going to recycle it and save it from the garbage so no need to feel bad about using it in this way.
2. Pick a theme for your project. Any theme. Can't think of one? Use your last vacation as the theme.
3. Now open the book to show two pages. Any two pages.
4. Glue decorative paper over the two pages. Let it dry.
5. Write, draw, scribble, attach a decoration to it.
6. That's a start. Now let your creative juices flow.
Did you realize that when we become involved in creative pursuits, our lives also alter. We have a sense of fulfillment. We enjoy expressing ourselves in a new way. We discover new friends among like minded people. And we have less time for household tasks because our muse leads us elsewhere!
Altered Book for a Round Robin Swap
This is a layout for an altered book that I did for a round robin swap. The theme of the round robin was "women and body image". My AB title was Fat Chicks.
A Round Robin Swap is a group activity in which each member does a couple of layouts in a book, then passes it along to the second member. The second member adds some art work and passes it on to the third, etc. By the end of the round robin, each member should get their own book back, with artwork in it from every member.
Altered Book Artists Poll - Where do you fit?
Would you ever make an altered book?
How to Make an Altered Board Book Video
-A children's board book became my canvas.
I made this board book with a St. Patrick's Day theme. It was a gift for a young boy on that special holiday.
An Altered Book Can be a Sculpture!
This is my first book sculpture
In this project, I used an encyclopedia, some white paint, a gold marking pen, some paper, a clay pot, some flowers from the Dollar Store and a good set of box cutters. It also took a lot of Aylene glue.
The flower pot is glued in the hole in the book. I think another possibility would be to use the book as a frame and put a picture inside the hole. You would then stand the book on its end and place the pot beside it.
An Altered Book Can be Circular
but you need good cutting tools!
If you feel adventuresome, and if you have good cutting tools, you can cut your book into a variety of shapes. This one represents my first attempt at making a circle book. Definitely a better cutting tool would have made it easier.
In the picture, the book is opened and you are looking at both covers. I called the book "Ring of Fire." It honors the late Johnny Cash. I made it at the time of his death.
You can find more pictures and the instructions at Altered Book -- Ring of Fire
Tin Box Becomes a Mini Album
This project shows two tin boxes decorated with an Asian theme. Both contain an accordion-style scrapbook. Sometimes this type of altered art is referred to as altered scrapbooking -- or sometimes just called altered art. Of course you would not need to put a scrapbook instead. You could use the box as a container for mementos of any sort.
If you would like to see a video tutorial showing the album inside these boxes, you will find one at this link.
Book by Mark Bernahl
an Altered Wall Hanging
In this picture, I started with some oddly shaped packaging material that came with a set of new cookware. Paint, images cut from a greeting card, metallic silver ribbon and small, white artificial flowers converted trash to a wall hanging.
This project recycles material, making it environmentally friendly.
PhotosClick thumbnail to view full-size
Decorated Egg for Easter or Spring
This altered egg for Easter started out as a plastic egg-shaped toy. It's decorated with eggshell mosaic, ribbon, fiber and pearls.
In one variation, the egg has a large purple silk flower. In the other version, the egg is plain, or without the flower.
© 2007 June Campbell