Interview With The Artist – Kate Bufton of Book Transformations

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We have admired the work of the very talented Kate Bufton for a long while now and last year began stocking a small collection of Book Transformation pieces. Below is an exclusive interview with Kate about her work and inspiration:

Your work is so unique, how did you get into working with books ?
I started working with old books at university, we were given a brief in our first year to do 500 drawings and not being an avid drawer I found a book with 500 pages and started to fold it. I then created my first series of book sculptures and went from there. I had worked with books previously at college and created a piece for my A-Level exam so I had always had an urge to work and sculpt with the pages.
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Kate’s A-Level Book Sculpture
Where do you source all the beautiful pages you use?

I tend to source them myself, through a variety of second hand book shops and libraries, I will stand and look through a book and almost get a feel for it before purchasing it. As I have worked with books for so long now you know which ones will work well and which ones won’t. I am fascinated by the colours in some of the beautiful pages and I know these will work well for my framed compositions.

Talk us through the inspiration & design process of a piece of work
I wish I could tell you that I have design processes but its usually just a spur of the moment idea that comes from nowhere that I work on, I don’t sit and plan any of my ideas I just pick up the paper and fold it to see what happens. I think inspiration is all around me, my studio has a lot of my work on display and is filled with old books and papers. The joys of being an artist is all about experimenting and seeing what happens next, I think this is how my designs evolve.
Which artists are you inspired by & why?
I have always looked at the work of Su Blackwell and Jennifer Collier throughout my university days, they are both extremely talented paper artisans and their work is phenomenal. However recently I tend to find inspiration through many other every day sources, mainly through exhibitions at galleries or even Art Fairs. I tend to not focus on artists work so much now as there are too many artists making similar work which I don’t think is truly fair to the original artist. Its good to be unique and different to try and create work that nobody has seen before, which is incredibly difficult considering how rich the art world is.
Do you have a favourite design of yours?
I don’t really have a favourite design as I enjoy and love all the pieces that I make, I just find that paper is such a great material to work with it has endless possibilities. All my designs are unique as even though the forms can be replicated the paper can’t so it would be difficult to chose just one of the many designs I have.
Can we have a sneak peek behind the scenes in your studio?
Here is a little sneak peek into my studio, I have had some photographs taken by the local newspaper the ‘Leigh Journal’. The article itself is to raise awareness of an evening course that I will be delivering starting this month. Introducing local people to the ideas and possibilities of book art and sculpture.
IMG_9052Photo Courtesy of the Leigh Journal

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You can see our available collection of Book Transformation pieces here and don’t forget to keep a look out for the ever popular christmas trees which will be available soon.
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