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March 9, 2010

Books as Art: Carol Owen's mixed media

books as art carol owen

In part two of our Book Art Week, we're featuring Carol Owen, a North Carolinian who crafts dreamy reinventions of books. Her creations, which she calls "altered books," have the "found-object" and Victorian feel of Joseph Cornell's boxes. I'd love to see her version of Alice in Wonderland. Here's our Q&A with Carol:

How long have you been working with books and/or paper? I’ve been working with paper for a long time. I made my own paper for several years, and created wall pieces with it. And with the shrine Spirit Houses I do, I use handmade Japanese rice paper, and collage with various papers.

What is it about books that connects with you – and with buyers? I got into altered books about 5 or 6 years ago. I’ve always had a love of books, since I was a child. And with the altered books, people are fascinated with holding a book in their hands and turning pages to reveal the art work.

Name a favorite book, and tell us why you liked it. Nick Bantock’s books, specifically the Gryphon and Sabine series, started me on my fascination with altered books. And I collect Robert Sabuda’s pop-up books.

What have you read lately that you’d recommend? I’m in a book club (actually, I’m in two book clubs!), and my favorite read lately was The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society. It really grabs your heart.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 10:30 AM | | Comments (1)


absolutely gorgeous.... I love her work, her books remind me of the kind of work I do. However, what do you do with it after you make it? Do you sell to galleries? Who buys this kind of thing? And how many of them can you give away as gifts or do you fill up your house with them????

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About the blogger
Dave Rosenthal came to The Baltimore Sun as a business reporter in 1987 and now is the Maryland Editor. He reads a wide range of books (but never as many as he'd like), usually alternating between non-fiction and fiction. Some all-time favorites: A Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole; Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupery; and anything by Calvin Trillin or John McPhee. He belongs to a book club with a Jewish theme.
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