Books as Art

Anita Allen is a woman of many talents. She transforms fabric, beads and buttons into the most incredible creations, and the minute she has her Etsy shop up and running, I’ll post a link here. Not so long ago she saw a picture of a dress made from the pages of Little Golden Books. On that day, mischief was born.

I am a woman who saves everything, even pages of books that aren’t fit for publication. It just so happened that I had quite a few interiors of the limited edition of The Honey Month lying around due to an error on the part of my printer. It also just so happened that I had a corset hanging in the closet that I’ve never actually worn. And it also happened that the author of The Honey Month, Amal El-Mohtar, might just fit that corset, and Anita and I thought “ooh”.

Here’s Anita telling the story:

“Now I had never seen this new fad of creating outfits from book pages and maps, so as a costumer I was intrigued. Erz said how awesome it all was and I said how much I wanted to try my hand at it but buying all those books was prohibitive. Erz said she still had the leftover pages from Amal’s books, they were too pretty to toss out, but she didn’t know what to do with them. I said I would take them and make something for Amal. Erz had a corset she thought might fit Amal and so mailed me a package. I conspired to get Amal’s measurements. The corset came in close enough that I left it unaltered, it can be taken in with darts along the lacing panels to get a better fit later.”

Anita worked her magic and the end result was The Honey Month Corset, pictured here in two views, with details.

The Honey Month corset, front.

That’s what I call Interstitial Art — this corset is a little bit of everything. Text by Amal, illustrations by Oliver Hunter, spare books and corset by me and a glorious composition by Anita. Here it is again, from the side:

The Honey Month corset, side view.

And some close-up shots, so you can see the care and detail Anita gave to this project:

A goldrenrod embroidered in by hand, to match the illustrations.
Pretty aster flower matching the illustration, also embroidered by hand.
A honey drop on the page.

I am seriously stunned by the beauty of this thing — not that I ever doubted Anita, I just had no idea that she’d add so many wonderful touches to these poor, neglected pages that were probably destined for the recycling bin at some distant point in time. The woman is wonder, and it was my privilege to help make this kind of mischief with her.

All we’re lacking is a photo of Amal wearing her new corset, but you know the minute we get one, I’ll post it here.