During our Book Arts exhibition we had an especially wonderful visitor, who talked with me about the work of Hedi Kyle. Ms. Kyle is both a highly regarded book conservator and book artist. I find this combination of roles, one dedicated to the preservation of an existing structure, and one to exploring the seemingly never ending possibilities of structure, to be truly fascinating. Ms. Kyle has reflected about her different roles:
In my daily work as a book conservator I utilize constructions and binding techniques that have proven sound by the test of time and use. Here I do not venture beyond the acceptable methods of my profession.
In my personal work, however, another process takes place. Although inspired by a wide range of traditional and historical book forms, my books are not the kind usually found on library shelves. What I have seen and observed is somehow transformed into book objects of quite a different nature.
I like to think of them as liberated books that have escaped their function but still reflect the intrinsic characteristics found throughout the history of the book.
Quote taken from http://www.centerforbookarts.org/exhibits/usa/kyle.html
Ms. Kyle is also credited with formulating many book forms including the blizzard spine-folding technique and the “Flag Book"
Hedi Kyle, 1979
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Recently, a book honoring Ms. Kyle, Hedi Kyle Festschrift 2009, has been released. It seems like a great mix of how-to and academic essays, and is high on my must-read list. You can learn more about the book here