Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The New Breed of Scrapbookers: Scrap City by Paul Gambino

So loving parents of large families do it, that one's a given. Professional mermaids do it, too. So do the members of Bettie After Midnight, and tattooed sword-swallowers.

Of course they scrapbook. Everyone does nowadays. Good in that antique key stickers, rub on type and stunning handmade papers can be found in your local Micheal's. Bad in that unless you're into pastels and cutesy sayings, you'll have to dig around for suitable materials to illustrate such events in your life as "My First Day at the Strand, or Why Rie Isn't Allowed to Buy More Books Than She Can Carry" or "Marina's Day Scaring Necking Couples in the Greenbelt." Or maybe that's just my life....

Fortunately, within the past year more publishers have been coming out with material for the atypical scrapbooker and then some, this book being one of them. Featured within Scrap City are artfully preserved memories of a photoshoot in an antique train yard, a season's collection of art bras (no, really, with a collaborative Panty Journal to match), and anti-war protests in Italy. The styles range from Tracy Galasso's deftly simple pages with glassine envelopes and spidery text to the darkly baroque digital collages of Estelle Ever. Each artist was given free range to describe their work and techniques; my only regret is that more of them did not choose to write about the process and emotions going into the work as opposed to the actual construction of them. Though the artists receive top billing, the book closes with a short section on crafting your own scrapbook--I was especially impressed by the thorough discussion on archival materials.

Pick it up if you're a Somerset Studios kind of crafter and want something both pretty and practical for the coffee table.

Scrap City by Paul Gambino
Official Website (history, multimedia bits and bobs, sample pages, a place to submit your own pages, and so on and so forth), Barnes and Noble, Powell's

Inspired? Try Silver Crow Creations for the "
fun to funky, pretty to poetic, esoteric to ethereal - gifts, artistic rubber stamps, art supplies, and sundries of all kinds," Turtle Arts for "journals, sketchbooks, journaling and altered book supplies" and FLAXart for arty gifts and chichi supplies to drool over.

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