Back in December, while preparing for a book-making date with my friend, Sarah, I came across Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord’s website www.makingbooks.com. Susan is an artist and sometimes works with children in book-making workshops. You can find many patterns for handmade books on her website and she has a number of YouTube videos available with instructions on how to make some of these children’s books. In her own work, The Spirit Books, Susan uses a wide variety of natural materials as she explores “connections between nature, aesthetics and spiritual transcendence”. It is this use of raw, natural materials that drew me deeply to her work. When I first saw The Spirit Books I felt an immediate sense of wonder and curiosity. I wanted to touch and cradle each book carefully in my own hands, inhale the exotic, earthy scent and allow my heart to open (just like one of the Spirit Books) to the secrets and ancient teachings that lie within.
The Spirit Books bring together my love of the book and my response to the natural world that we see and the invisible one that lies behind it.~Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
Each Spirit Book is made with natural materials, handmade papers, coconut shells, etc., and features stitching and beadwork. Each book sits in a cradle of twigs, driftwood or twisted vines.
I feel a deep connection to older powers as I gather twigs, branches, vines and roots…~Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
“Reading” the book is meant to be a contemplative experience that takes the reader out of the everyday world and into a state of gratitude and reverence.~Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord
Susan has published a catalogue featuring this collection and I promptly ordered it for myself. Now that I had found The Spirit Books, I could not live without them. She also has a pdf version of the catalog on her website, so you don’t have to buy the catalogue in order to view and appreciate Susan’s work.
Beautifully photographed, I wanted to share The Spirit Books with you in case you, or someone you know- might also find Susan’s work to be both inspirational and spiritually nourishing. You may even want to try your hand at making a Spirit Book of your own. I know I want to! Many of The Spirit Books are available for purchase with a price range of $650-$1500. See Susan’s website for more details.