Sub­texts

Artists’ book­maker Karen Han­mer gives a lec­ture

Pasatiempo - - NEWS -

Karen Han­mer, a maker of artists’ books, has been show­ing her work through­out the United States since the 1990s. Her in­ter­est in his­tory, pol­i­tics, cul­ture, and tech­nol­ogy as well as per­sonal nar­ra­tive of­ten drives the con­tent and aes­thetic of the books. Maps, pho­tog­ra­phy, per­son­ally sig­nif­i­cant im­agery, and found ob­jects make their way into Han­mer’s finely crafted works. For in­stance, though Me­dieval Gir­dle Book sounds like it might be about a tor­ture de­vice, it is ac­tu­ally a model of a type of book and car­ry­ing ap­pa­ra­tus that dates to the 15th and 16th cen­turies that was at­tached to a trav­eler’s belt by a dec­o­ra­tive leather ex­ten­sion. A very dif­fer­ent project, The Anatom­i­cal Ex­er­cises of Dr. Wil­liam Har­vey: Con­cern­ing the Mo­tion of the Heart and Blood, is a trade re­print of a 1653 edi­tion housed in the Yale Univer­sity’s Med­i­cal His­tory Li­brary that Han­mer took apart and re­made with a laced limp vel­lum bind­ing, hand-sewn silk end-bands, a gilt top edge, and Cave end­pa­pers — turn­ing an old tome of med­i­cal il­lus­tra­tions into a kind of sculp­ture. Still an­other book hon­ors the writer Wen­dell Berry and his 1996 pub­li­ca­tion The Farm, with a de­sign of foil tool­ing on Khadi hand­made pa­per that re­flects Berry’s text about the go­ings-on at a farm in Ken­tucky over the course of four sea­sons.

Han­mer, win­ner of the jury prize for bind­ing in the 2009 He­len War­ren DeGolyer Amer­i­can Book­bind­ing Com­pe­ti­tion, and au­thor of Con­tem­po­rary Pa­per Bind­ings: A Guide to Book­bind­ing Tech­niques, Tools, and Ma­te­ri­als speaks about her work in “Retro Tech: Artists’ Books and Bind­ings,” a free pre­sen­ta­tion hosted by the Santa Fe Book Arts Group at the Santa Fe Com­mu­nity Col­lege board­room (6401 Richards Ave., main build­ing), on Fri­day, March 10, at 7 p.m. For in­for­ma­tion, visit www .santafebag.org. — J.L.

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