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Blog Posts by Subject: Design

All About Next Week’s Handmade: Crafternoon.

On Saturday, September 12th, Maura Madden (author of Crafternoon) and I will kick off our Handmade: Crafternoon series, and we hope that you can join us. This crafty gathering is free, and there’s no advance registration required. Here’s what’s in store for you that day: Two special guests will join us and share their approaches to crafting with unusual and alternative materials. Jessica Vitkus (author of

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A Wise Old Owl.

I’m often amazed by how paper sculptors--working with a practically two-dimensional material, and one that is treated as quite ephemeral--can create inventive and elegant sculptural forms. Artists whose work in paper I’ve been admiring quite a bit lately include Su Blackwell, who conjures complex literary scenes from book pages, and Yuken Teruya, whose tiny forest worlds created from discarded paper bags and rolls invite us to reconsider habits of consumption.

Would 

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Mark Your Calendar for Handmade: Crafternoons!

Calling all craft-loving, library-loving readers! Please join me and my co-host Maura Madden (author of the amazing guide to crafty gatherings, Crafternoon) for a new FREE monthly series called Handmade: Crafternoons! Each day we'll focus on a different handmaking theme, and I'll post details about them here on the blog in advance of the date. What's in store for you at a Handmade: Crafternoon? Each event will include an inspiring spread of books and magazines (especially vintage books 

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The Craft of the Book: Reading List.

This past Saturday I taught The Craft of the Book and, as usual, I had a great time meeting attendees and learning what brings them to the Library. My classes always include a little spread of books from the Library’s collection to give people a peek at what we offer. And below, as requested by a few of the students, I have listed the books shown that day (with links to the Catalog records for each). Thanks for coming! 

Paper cutting by Annye Allison

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The Craft of the Book: Saturday the 25th, 2:00pm.

It might be summer, but at the Library class is in session--craft of the book class, that is. If you would like to learn more about hand-press era bookmaking, come to the Library Saturday afternoon for an illustrated talk on the craftsmanship of paper making, printing, and bookbinding.

And I'll have some books from the collection to share too. It's a free class, and you don't need to register. And attendees get to take home a handy guide to the subject (pictured above, atop a great wood type specimen book that I'll have to share too!). This 

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The Craft of the Book--TONIGHT!

Interested in learning how books were made during the hand-press era? If so, please join me at the Library this evening for an illustrated history of the craftsmanship of paper making, printing, and bookbinding. I’ll be gathering some how-to books on book arts from our collections to share with you too, to help you get started making books.

There's no need to register, and it’s a free class—here are the details:

Wednesday June 10th, 6:00 to 7:00pm (classroom will open at 5:45pm) New York Public Library

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DIY for the Kindergarten Set.

Last weekend, as I sat and ate my lunch in Bryant Park, I had the unexpected treat of listening to Geoffrey Hayes read from his children’s comic book Benny and Penny in Just Pretend. The day’s readings and activities were linked to Children’s Book Week, which runs all this week. And I left the park thinking about children’s books that I loved when I was little—books that encouraged me to make, create, and 

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Lawyers for the Arts at NYPL.

Many New York artists and makers will at some point face the befuddling legal issues of intellectual property, copyright, and more. To help to answer your questions and set you on the path to being legal-savvy in your own creative work, NYPL’s Mid-Manhattan Library will present Ask the Lawyer: An Artist Career Development Lecture on Monday May 11th, at 6:30pm. This event, hosted by the Art Collection, is one in a series addressing the growing needs and concerns of New York City's independent creative workforce.

Presented in 

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Meet the Makers!

We're pretty excited at the Library today, because tonight is the debut screening of a documentary short of Design by the Book at the Brooklyn Arts Council Film Festival!

Design by the Book began life as a series here at NYPL, co-produced by Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge. It follows the experiences of five 

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American Textiledom.

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been doing so much sewing at home in recent weeks (and therefore spending lots of time shopping for fabrics), but I’ve been feeling awfully textile-centric as of late. Or perhaps it’s because I’ve been I’ve been spending time getting to know a textile industry periodical called American Fabrics at the Library.

American Fabrics (and its successor,

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Bibliographies (not biographies)

 As a librarian, I am a list maker, and lately I have been lucky enough to review the bibliography titles in the Mid-Manhattan Library Art Collection. Bibliographies are elaborate lists that contain citations, and sometimes abstracts, of other books, journal articles, etc., that relate to a focused subject. If you have ever written a research paper, you probably created a bibliography at the end, listing the publication information of the materials you used in your research process.

An 

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What's Your Inspiration? Design by the Book Flickr Group!

Did you enjoy following the adventures of our Design by the Book artists as they found inspiration at NYPL? Do you want to dig in to the Library's collections too, to find materials to fuel your own creativity? If so, then check out my User's Guide to NYPL for DIY Designers and Artisans--it will get you up to speed on the treasures and the quirks of the entire Library system. And with it in hand you can start your own hunt for inspiring stuff.

Once 

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Double Take

It seems that my idea of Richard Bruce Cheney as a two dimensional nefarious character was hardly original, but this manifestation of others’ lack of imagination is mind boggling. Exhibit A, the cover for Charlie Savage’s Takeover:

Exhibit B, the cover for Barton Gellman’s Angler:

Hat-tip to the Bernstein selection committee 

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Alvin Lustig

A few days ago, I remembered that I liked Design Observer—a collective blog that occasionally includes posts from the great Steven Heller. Anyway, there was a post or a link or some other worm hole a few months ago that led to a Flickr page of book covers designed by Alvin Lustig for New Directions in the late 1940’s. 

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Embroidered Letters

The latest issue of ReadyMade features a great DIY gift idea from Kimberly Scola: embroidered letters. The project brought to my mind a book on embroidered letters that I had seen earlier this fall. It’s called the Embroiderer’s Book of Design and it was published in London in 1860. Each page offers an alphabet in a differing 

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Design by the Book, Episode 2.

Watch as the Design by the Book artists come to the Library in search of inspiration and information! 

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The Cinderella of Sculpture.

(Yes, it's made of soap. From Lester Gaba's On Soap Sculpture.) I first came upon the subject heading soap sculpture in the Library Catalog a couple of weeks ago, and I just had to investigate. And what I found more than confirmed my love of the serendipitous nature of research.

I learned-—in looking through a few books on the subject as well as 

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Happy Birthday, Voltaire!

Voltaire the author and father of the French Enlightenment—we know about him, of course. But this influential philosopher also loved handmade work. Voltaire has a place in my heart, and I have devoted time as a librarian to cataloguing eighteenth-century books in The Martin J. Gross Collection of works by Voltaire and his contemporaries for the Library’s

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Design by the Book, Episode One.

I'm so pleased to be able to tell you, at last, all about a project that has been consuming me this fall at NYPL. This amazing project that I've been lucky enough to work on is a series of small documentaries following five talented local artists as they gather inspiration for their work at the New York Public Library. It's co-produced by Grace Bonney of leading design site Design*Sponge and my Library colleagues in the Digital Experience Group. The first episode is now out, and you can watch 

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Celebrating Native American Design

I’m slipping off and attending an exciting celebration on Thursday, so my next post will come on Friday. The National Museum of the American Indian in lower Manhattan will be holding an awards event, A Single Thread: Celebrating Native American Design and Style. Five native artists will be honored for their accomplishments, and most of them work in textiles and adornment. I know three of the artists personally, so this will be a fine time to let them know how much their contributions to the arts are appreciated.

Joe Baker, from the Delaware Nation, is one of those natives 

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