22×30 polyester plate lithograph, Joomchi, 2016
I make Artists’ Books because, for quite some time, my work had included music and a variety of different types of text. Each piece was sequential but confined to the rectangle, and it made perfect sense to me to transform the work into book form.
While experimenting with a variety of Artists’ Book structures, I became more and more interested in sculptural forms and the different ways in which books can be bound (or unbound), which asks the question as to whether each “page” can exist on its own as a strong and resolved image; or whether it needs the sequential context in which to exist.
My current work uses a 500-year-old Korean papermaking technique called Joomchi. In this process you dampen layers of thin mulberry papers, then agitate them together for approximately 40 minutes, unrolling halfway through and rerolling in the other direction. You then unroll them and either let them dry or sculpt them and then let them dry. I am fascinated by this process, and have since integrated it into my work.
The images begin with photographs that I’ve taken, either of my studio floor, twigs sticking out of the snow or other seemingly mundane things that I happen upon. The origin is inconsequential – it is the alteration that gives the image its new life.
Laurie Alpert is a Printmaker and Book Artist from Brookline, Massachusetts. She has her BFA in Painting from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and her MFA in Painting from Massachusetts College of Art. She is a Professor in the Department of Fine and Applied Arts at Curry College in Milton, Massachusetts. Alpert’s professional affiliations include membership at the Bromfield Gallery in Boston’s South End and Full Tilt Print Studio, a professional printmaking cooperative, in Hyde Park. She is also a member of Boston Printmakers, the Monotype Guild of New England and the New York Center for Book Arts. Her work continues to be exhibited widely.