What IS an Altered Book?

I recently taught a DREAM class (and I DO mean dream!) at my cozy studio. You are probably on pins and needles wondering what made it so magical so I will keep you waiting no longer! The class was an “Altered Book” class and one that I love teaching  because it provides such a strong catalyst for individual, creative expression. Altered books are a form of mixed media artwork that changes a book from its original form into something different, therefore altering its appearance and/or meaning in the process. These books are becoming increasingly popular in the contemporary art scene, providing a FUN means  for personal exploration and experimentation. The lively class of lovely ladies who participated in this class truly amazed me with their talent, openness and willingness to take risks. CREATIVITY UNLEASHED-LOVE IT! Together we painted, printed, scraped, stamped, folded, cut, collaged & reflected. I watched in amazement each week as their own unique styles emerged.

The best classes to teach are the one’s where I learn as much as my students, where a community is formed through learning from each other, where we all widen our horizons and stretch our thinking.THIS IS THE MAGIC and THIS is what happened in this class and why I will be forever appreciative. My wish for all of my classes is to provide a sunny, comfortable, unique, safe place for learning, often with yummy treats and assortment of lovely teas drank from antique china teacups. Even with all of this, it is ALWAYS the students that make it so special and I want to then to know how grateful I am and how TRULY special they are!

In honor of this creativity and community we are having an exhibition of the work this Friday, May 21, 2010 at the Riverside Artists Studio & Gallery, 8-12 Broad Street in Westerly, RI. Participating artists include: Linda Comstock, Millie Donovan, D’Arcy Hollis, Kathleen Neal, Joyita Neerkaje, Kathy Johnson and yours truly, Laura Gaffke.

  • The Show will run through June 18th. The gallery is open by chance or by appointment. You can contact Millie Donovan at milliedonovan@sbcglobal.net as well as read the thoughtful post she wrote about this class HERE. Hope to see you  at the Opening!

Cheery Smiles, Laura

*** For more information on Altered Books and GROOVY upcoming classes visit http://www.lauragaffke.com. I would love for you to be a part of our next wonderful community!

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