Handmade Books

In 1995 I began formal study at the Center for Book Arts in New York City. I also studied calligraphy with Karen Gorst at the (now defunct) School of Sacred Arts in New York City. There I learned the humanist hand, the delicate art of gilding, medieval rechipes for paint and ink, and how to prepare and letter on vellum. I was then able to create a series of works that were hand-lettered on vellum, which I ornamented with drawings of flowers, birds and celestial bodies and illuminated with gold and semi-precious stones. One of which is “The Codicils,” details of which are shown below. They were exhibited at a one-woman show at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, as well as in upstate New York. My handmade books have been featured in shows in New York and elsewhere.

The Codicils, detail. Lettering by Irene O’Garden



The Codicils, from Psychic Politics by Jane Roberts. These are a set of twelve “alternate hypotheses as a base for private and public experience.” The Codicils struck me as ideas which are flexible and native to our consciousness. My design was intended to reflect this.







I handlettered The Codicils on pieces of chamois-skin and strung them together on a bamboo framework. The piece is designed to feel as though it can travel with us wherever we go. Detail of The Codicils, by Jane Roberts: 64″ x 20″ Japanese stick ink and 22Kt-Gold lettered on chamois, with bamboo and leather supports.










The Codicils, detail.


































































Whitman Sampler, Candy box, hand-painted paper, Gocco-printed “chocolate” books with quotes by Walt Whitman.








COOKIE THAT MOVES IS A GIRL: incised neon plexi cover, copitic bound “window” pages of aluminum incised, dyed and stitched to mylar. Text by artist.
























GLORIA: Book 3 1/2 ” x 6″, Folding box 4″x 6 1/2″ Handhold, incensed and dyed aluminum, stitched with metal thread, adorned with beads in a handmade box using silk-rayon and velvet.








































Recent explorations have involved lettering children’s poetry on muslin for the Hudson Highlands Land Trust River Of Words Outdoor Poetry Trail. here are a few shots:










1show current page