Bookmarks VII

For the third year, I’m taking part in the Bookmarks project run through the Centre for Fine Print Research at the University of the West of England in Bristol. Book artists around the world sign up and agree to contribute an edition of 100 bookmarks each. These are then distributed to venues around the world, where they are given out free. It’s been fascinating, and, I must say, I’ll never look at a bookmark the same way again.

My current submission is due in Bristol soon, so I’m working on them now. They are designed to plant nagging neurotic thoughts in peoples’ minds as they settle down to their books. Did you remember to turn off the oven? Is that iron still on? Door really locked?


A while ago I mentioned my design idea to my acupuncturist. She was horrified and accused me of being not very nice to people with OCD. In reality, I was thinking of my own tendencies.


This reminds me of a story. One day as I was leaving the house and had just locked up, I had to go back in to double check that I’d really, really remembered to turn off the iron. As I unlocked the door and walked back to the room where I’d been earlier, I silently chided myself for my compulsive neuroticism. Of course I’d turned it off. And as I entered, there it sat. The iron was turned on and steaming away….


All of the previous years’ Bookmarks projects are archived online. I was involved with Bookmarks 5 and Bookmarks 6. Links to previous years are available from those sites.

2 thoughts on “Bookmarks VII”

  1. Hi Ellen, I came across your blog while catching up on cataloging bookmarks I have from the Bookmarks project through the years (I’m a little behind). I collect and write about bookmarks and have followed this series almost from the beginning. I didn’t “score” one of yours from Bookmarks VII or VI but I do have the one you did for V. I like the way you incorporate medical things into your work. With a cat and a husband on lots of medication, I can appreciate how the things associated with it make you want to “tame” it somehow. I also am enjoying your thoughts on other paper and book arts topics (loved the recent post on children’s books). It’s good to know book arts are alive and well in northern CA (I’m in Oakland).

    • Hi Laine,

      Thanks so much for your kind comments. Much appreciated! I think you’re the first person I’ve heard from who has also been following the Bookmarks project year to year. And, come to think of it, probably the first person who’s told me they got one of my bookmarks.

      Is anything you’ve written about bookmarks available online? I must say, I never have looked at a bookmark the same way again since taking part in this. It was as though a whole new art form opened up to me.

      Ah yes… medication! Two of our 4 cats are on lifetime meds as well, as are both of the humans in the family. I figure if you don’t find humor in it, it will be too depressing to cope with. I feel for you!

      My husband, btw, is from Oakland and got all his degrees from Berkeley (many years ago). These days, we don’t get out of town much anymore… I miss visiting your part of the world.


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