Sunday, June 21, 2009

Hedi Kyle Festschrift

If you've ever made a blizzard book or a flag book, you can thank Hedi Kyle for inventing these structures among many others. My book arts teacher, the late Shereen LaPlantz, attributed both her inspiration to create artists' books as well as numerous projects to Hedi in her final book, The Art and Craft of Handmade Books (Lark Books, 2001). Shereen loved to tell Hedi stories in class; tales of inventing book structures in the car on the way to teach the class (thus was born the Interstate Highway Book, later renamed the Slip and Slide).  A few years later, my friend Smudge (Becky Erickson, from Dayton, Ohio) brought us a blizzard book and a sheath of photocopied hand notes on how to make it. I spent the next few months taking apart and reassembling the model, interpreting and rewriting the notes, until I could successfully make it on my own.

Written on my bucket list is "Take a class from Hedi Kyle," something I have never quite managed in all these years. If you have a similar wish and experience, take heart--I may have found the next best thing. In conjunction with the recent book arts conference sponsored by The Hybrid Book/University of the Arts in Philadelphia, a wonderful collection of articles on Hedi Kyle's work written by many noted book artists has been published. My copy arrived last week and I haven't been able to put it down. 

The spiral bound, soft cover booklet is 330 pages, black and white, with many illustrations, diagrams and photographs, in addition to written contributions. It is jam-packed with lots of how to do it instructions for several of Hedi's creations, as well as for structures created by the various artists who were inspired by or are based on Hedi's work.  Contributors to this Festschrift (anniversary booklet) include Keith Smith, Pamela Spitzmueller, Emily Martin, Carol Barton, Julie Chen, Betsy Palmer Eldridge, Timothy Ely, Susan King, Claire Van Vliet,  and Peter Verheyen, just to name a few. As you can see by the scanned photo above, there are enough post-it notes on my copy to keep busy for several months. 

The book is available from rutherfordwitthus. Now I must go find my bucket list so I can rebind it in a Hedi-inspired format!


  1. I ordered mine last week, very excited about it. Thanks for your great review, good to know you liked it so much.

  2. I didn't know about this book, so thanks for passing along the info. All I had to see was the name on the cover, and I ordered!!

  3. Thanks for the heads up Pam!
    I'm looking forward to getting one too!
    Best regards,