Artist Books 3.0

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Barbara Simler
  • Female
  • Kamloops, British Columbia
  • Canada

Barbara Simler's Friends

  • Dave Rollins
  • Dina Eugenia
  • Marcela Peral
  • Volumina
  • Rhonda Miller
  • Hilke Kurzke
  • Elissa Campbell
  • Abigail Thomas
  • Charles Brownson

Welcome, Barbara Simler

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Moon and Hare
I'm interested in medieval limp leather bindings, and make quite a lot of them.

I also make Coptic books with wooden covers. In making my Coptic books, I'm inspired by the Japanese aesthetic principles of Wabi-Sabi and Shibui. I make books that are simple, imperfect, and natural, using wood, mica, flax paper, lichens, fossils, and other organic materials.

I'm not particularly focused on making Coptic books that are formally beautiful. For me, these books are more like meditations -- a way to explore memories I have of growing up in the mountains of the Northwestern U.S. I spent a lot of time roaming around in the woods, so trees, rocks, fossils, mica, bugs, volcanic rock, rusting farm machinery, worn wood, cows, horses, and many, many other things are part of (some things more specifically than others) my books.

I learned to make books with wooden covers from Jim Croft, a wonderful teacher, and book making in general mostly from exploring on my own -- Keith Smith's books, The Archaeology of Medieval Bookbinding, by J. A. Szirmai, and many other helpful books.
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Barbara Simler's Blog

New Coptic Books

Posted on January 16, 2011 at 16:09 1 Comment

After several months spent doing other necessary things, I'm starting work on some new coptic bound books. Makes January (almost) enjoyable...

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At 18:03 on February 2, 2011, Ellen Golla said…
Thanks Barbara. Much appreciated. I've seen your bindings before--very nice!
At 21:32 on April 9, 2009, Hilke Kurzke said…
Hi Barbara,

thank you for your comment of my book. I am glad that you like it. You even said you liked the drawings!
I feared that viewers may only notice that they are very simple. And they *are* very simple! But I am proud that I managed to tell a story with these restrictions. And I am really glad that someone out there noticed that :-)

(I answered you question regarding the paper on the picture. I am not sure how people usually reply to questions on their pictures. Anyway, the short answer is: It is handmade paper, but not made by me.)

Best wishes,

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The exhibition presents two connected bodies of material: a survey of artists’ books by Australian painter, sculptor and bookmaker Robert Jacks (1942-2014), and an extensive selection of publications drawn from Jacks’ own collection, many of which were purchased from Printed Matter in the early years of the organization.




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