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March 10, 2010

Books as Art: Val Lucas' bowerbox press

book art bowerbox press

For today's look at bookish art, we visit with Val Lucas, a Baltimore artist. Her bowerbox press has great cards (including a Poe-inspired Raven) and journals. Here's a Q&A with Val (and here are previous features on artists Jim Rosenau and Carol Owen):

How long have you been working with books and/or paper? I started learning about bookbinding while I was interning at Pyramid Atlantic in 2005. Since then I've taken a few classes and experimented with binding on my own. I've always been working on paper, it seems -- drawing since I was a kid, papermaking classes and printmaking in college, and now a combination of everything.

What is it about books that connects with you – and with buyers? Books are such an intimate thing- you hold it in your hand, close to you, and really only you can see what's in the book. I've always loved books, and collected different versions of my favorites just for a new cover. I think the tangible nature of the book is something that a lot of people still connect with, as a little private moment during the day.

Name a favorite book. Why did you like it? Of all time? "Dune" by Frank Herbert. Science fiction epic at its best. It's a story that I can re-read over and over again, and it feels like visiting old friends (old friends caught up in a planet-changing war, but still).

What have you read lately that you’d recommend? Right now I'm reading "The Book on the Bookshelf" by Henry Petroski. It's an interesting history of how books were treated throughout history, and methods of storing them (as I contemplate building a bookshelf for my print-related books). I'm also reading Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle again, just for fun.

Posted by Dave Rosenthal at 7:00 AM | | Comments (2)


Yay! I am so happy to see this since I am an admirer of her art. I purchased some of her cards and a lovely print of an owl at the holiday art sale at the Visionary Art Museum and they have made me so happy. And now this makes me happy too!

Books always looks beautiful in White Floating Shelves

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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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