When I got engaged last summer, I knew that I wanted certain elements of our wedding to reflect my artistic interests. Because I am a book artist, I knew that our invitations would be handmade books, but I also looked for other ways to incorporate books into our ceremony. Soon, I hit upon the idea of creating flower-shaped books as my bridal book-quet. I started asking my friends in Bay Area Book Artists (BABA), if they had seen any flower-shaped books that I could use as a starting point, thinking I would make 10 or so identical books.
When BABA founder Jone Small Manoogian heard what I was doing, she came up with the most amazing idea. "Why not ask BABA members to each create a flower book of their own design," Jone asked. I got a little teary-eyed at the prospect. As a recent transplant to the Bay Area, the wonderful artists of BABA had been my lifesavers. Not only did I consider the other members my dear friends, but I also knew that they were outstanding artists, each and every one. The idea of carrying a book-quet created by people (BABA) that I love and admire was overwhelming.
I immediately set out to create some loose guidelines, leaving room for the enormous creativity that exists in the group. I asked only that each book be no larger than two inches by two inches, that the artists either attach a stem or create a spot to attach one, and that they use my wedding colors of sage green and metallic gold and/or accent colors in sunset shades of red, pink, peach, orange and yellow. Beyond that, each artist was free to interpret the idea of "flower book" however they chose.
The artists presented the finished books when my fiance Stephen Bay and I hosted a meeting for Bay Area Book Artists. The flower books were beyond my wildest dreams. I couldn't believe that I would be carrying such a beautiful and unique book-quet. Everyone shared something about their book, and, because of all the beautiful things that were said, I was reminded again how much these people mean to me.