Explosion Box

My blog is fulfilling its goal, I’m meeting and talking, or should I say emailing artists more than ever. 

I love to communicate with other artists I enjoy the interaction—the main reason for my blog. What a great day when emails are filled with wonderful images and accompanied information. It’s like Christmas!

Lots of work goes into blogging, and it takes time away from my most important priority creating artists’ books and taking photographs. Posts demand planning and communicating in an efficient manner. I am very grateful for those of you who responded on such short time frames.

Talking about lots of work, let's congratulate Helen Hiebert on her 100th blog post last Sunday! 

My blog is receiving more and more subscribers thank you for the support. I’m giving away a volume of the original 7 volumes of my series City Shields to the first brave subscriber to my posts and to every 15th subscriber on the list. I appreciate the compliments on my book box Finding Home. We are never alone in our experiences, I’m pleased my book conveyed a sense of place.


With the sun out and the forsythias loosing their blooms we know it is SPRING! So with camera in hand I photographed the first flowers that made me smile!

 © 2016 Louise Levergneux

© 2016 Louise Levergneux


Back to business and the explosion box/book box. I like the last term! Susan Bonthron created a double explosion box (box within a box) based on the Chinese sewing box. Wonderful!

 © Susan Bonthron

© Susan Bonthron

 © Susan Bonthron

© Susan Bonthron

Another book box creation of Susan’s is entitled Almost There and was part of the Philadelphia Atheneum exhibition From Seneca Falls to Philadelphia: Women of the Centennial.

Susan emailed the colophon printed on the inside of the lid of Almost There. A great insight into the work:

« The story of how the idea came to me is interesting. I looked at the call for entries for the Atheneum show, and thought, "No, I'm not going to enter that; it's political and not up my alley." But one night I saw the book in a dream--the scroll encased in a "jail" box, with windows made of upside-down American flags, the women visible on the outside of the scroll appearing to be "captured" in jail (Susan B. Anthony was jailed for attempting to vote), and the inside of the scroll printed with the Declaration of the Rights of the women of the United States (presented by the National Woman Suffrage Association on July 4th, 1876 at the Philadelphia Centennial). The call for entries required a design for a book to be made specifically for the show. I drew my dream book and sent it in, and it was accepted. Then I had to figure out how to make the book! Fortunately my husband, Gilbert Ruff, is a cabinet maker, and he constructed the wooden scroll and its plinth. I made my first "exploding box with windows" for the case, printing the American flags on acetate and gluing them between the double frames of the windows. Quite a job! I created the scroll itself by researching the suffragists and finding images of them from which I drew and created silhouettes. Not all the important women fit onto the scroll, so I also included a list of the ones whom I could not create images for. On the back of the scroll I printed a reduced copy of the entire Declaration of the Rights for Women »—Susan Bonthron

 © 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

© 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

 © 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

© 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

 © 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

© 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

 © 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

© 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

 © 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There

© 2013 Susan Bonthron, Almost There


Book Artist Kerry McAleer-Keeler also creates book boxes. I enjoyed viewing Boxed Spirits: Franny, Zooey, and Everyman a box structure inspired from the J.D. Salinger novel Franny and Zooey and the allegorical tale of the Everyman.

Inside the box structure one finds photographic transfers amongst a monotype printed background. The transfers represent the two main characters as children to their adulthood. Kerry used period family photographs as source material for the images. The main box also houses 3 smaller cubes that are containers for horse hair spheres that reflect the spirits of Franny, Zooey, and all of us. The piece exemplifies the spiritual search for Franny in the novel and for all of us in real life.   

 © 1999 Kerry McAleer-Keeler, Boxed Spirits: Franny, Zooey, and Everyman, part of the rare book collection at the Gelman Library, George Washington University in Washington DC

© 1999 Kerry McAleer-Keeler, Boxed Spirits: Franny, Zooey, and Everyman, part of the rare book collection at the Gelman Library, George Washington University in Washington DC


How do you express yourself and your ideas?

Bah! Grumble! Grumble! Got to take care of a printer misfeed. I’m printing business cards, another hat I’m wearing today, so have fun creating.