Marilyn Worrix is a book
artist who maintains both a working and a teaching studio in McMinnville, Oregon. She offers hands-on classes for all skill levels in techniques such as Ethiopian, case, clam shell, accordian and codex bindings. Her materials include art papers, book cloth, leather, metals, driftwoods, paint, wax, inks and fiber. She keeps a stash of found objects from which to build sculptural artist books, often visual puns or more serious reflections on life, language, history, botany and philosophy.

All content © Marilyn Worrix.
All rights reserved.

My general love of books turned into a passion for making them after I took a bookbinding class several years ago. The combination of carefully engineered structures, conjoined with unlimited creative freedom, make for the ultimate self-expression.

I treasure the intimate nature of a book, the private connection between viewer and artist. Unlike many other art works, books are meant to be touched. You get to feel the materials as you hold them and as you turn each page, creating a sequential viewing experience over time.

My love of paper is also a part of the enjoyment of the bookbinding process. Just feeling it, folding it, smoothing it, pulls me into the creative experience.

I particularly like making both historical reproductions and one-of-a-kind artist books. There is a special joy in knowing that while making—say—an Ethiopian binding, my hands are doing the same things that others were doing in the 5th century.

Today’s artist books stretch the definition of a book with their limitless possibilities. They often present new ways of relating content to structure and can incorporate many different materials. Creating books is a continuing evolution of ideas, form, content and materials with so many variations that I feel impelled to finish one book just so I can start the next. I now walk through the world with a bookbinder’s eye, constantly asking, “Can I make a book out of that?”

—Marilyn Worrix