I guess just the idea of BoiLeD BooKs makes them a fascinating art form. At shows and workshops I talk about the uniqueness of each piece; how the deliberate layout I create results in a beautiful (usually!) spontaneous pattern reflecting my intentional design collaborating with nature’s glorious colors and shapes. But it wasn’t until I wrote out a submission for an opportunity to be included in a special issue of The Lakelander did I really think about the collaboration between artist, florist, and patron in the realm of my BoiLeD BooK world.
Take a look and see what you think. I think its all pretty awesome!!!
First to answer the question of “What are BoiLeD BooKs.”
BoiLeD BooKs are journals, stationary, and paper that I make with 100% cotton ragcloth paper. I design each BoiLeD BooK piece by creating lovely color and patterns using fresh leaves, flowers, seeds, and other natural elements. The books are pressed then boiled – yes, actually boiled in a pot of water on the stove – for several hours.
After cooling, I peal the flowers and leaves off; the papers emerge from the process stained with the enchanting beauty of nature…each piece unique. BoiLeD BooKs are used as art pieces, journals, photo albums, sketchbooks and more; for any reason that you would normally use a blank book.
What makes BoiLeD BooKs special?
There are so many reasons…the process of staining paper with fresh flowers and leaves is an art form that only few know about; the books are a unique form of art that invite the purchaser to take them further by adding their own flair to them; but I think one of the best local reasons is because they are beautiful functional pieces of art that are created out of a collaboration. I am a Lakeland artist and many of the flowers are provided by a small business with a long history in Lakeland: Petals, The Flower Shoppe.
Linda Vinesett, the owner of Petals, and her staff graciously put aside the flowers that don’t meet the quality level for their arrangements. Instead of these flowers being thrown away, their beauty gets to shine in a unique preserved way. These natural beauties may not make the grade for quality floral arrangements, but they have colorful essence that make a lasting mark in art.
Once the flowers and leaves are pealed away from the pages to reveal their beautiful stains, they have a unique ecological benefit. The flowers and leaves are used as compost and mulch, helping other plants to grow instead of being thrown away. (For workshops and large shows/orders, I do have to purchase from a variety of sources to get the large quantity of flowers and foliage needed.)
In addition to the collaboration between me, the Lakeland local artist, and Petals, the Lakeland local florist, there is the Lakeland local customer. Between Dixieland Art Fest, past booths at the Lakeland Curbside Market, and a demonstration for the Lakeland Art Guild, BoiLeD BooKs have become a piece of functional art that many locals are happy to own. There are several people in town that have taken my workshops to make their own BoiLeD BooKs, and there are several that purchase from me. To my knowledge, BoiLeD BooKs are only being made by just a few artists in the world – yes, in the world- so I guess you can say that Lakeland is the home of BoiLeD BooKs!
BoiLeD BooKs bring local collaboration and nature together to meet my vision of inspiring others to release their individual expression, create from their dreams, and record their journey. I have several locals that frequently purchase BoiLeD BooKs, from a young adult that tosses pizza by day and writes by night, to a gentleman that finds me wherever I show and buys each time because of how the journals inspire his writing. Who knows, perhaps the next great American novel will be penned by a Lakeland local on the pages of a BoiLeD BooK!