This body of work was inspired by the subset of OCD called Bibliomania.
Although OCD has only recently come into the awareness of the general populace, there are historical examples (albeit lurking under an assortment of different names), each reflecting the time period in which they were categorized. One particular example is bibliomania, a form of hoarding in which the sufferer is compelled to hoard books and manuscripts.
Bibliomania was so pervasive amongst wealthy and titled personages in England in the Eighteenth Century that it was commonly known and referred to as “The British Malady”. One notable bibliomanic is Sir Thomas Phillips, (1792- 1872). His collection was so vast-- totaling over 160,000 books and manuscripts-- that by the end of his life, he was in debt, having squandered his fortune on books; he and his wife were reduced to living in three rooms as his enormous estate was completely filled with books. Interestingly, Sir Thomas Phillips did not deny that he had a problem, though he used the term “Vello- Maniac” to describe himself, rather than the more common “Bibliomaniac”.
In fact, it had become quite fashionable at this time to suffer from “the English malady”, and as a matter of fact, signified “a very human essence, and to be a characteristic of genius, good birth, and good character”, as well as a side effect of too much learning. This outlook lessened or entirely removed the stigma of mental illness that existed in earlier times, and made it an acceptable eccentricity.
The making of the work was reflective of the malady, involving many books, chosen for content as well as appearance.
For the disc necklaces, each books pages were sorted according to text and image density (so that the necklace would change color according to the angle of view), sealed with acrylic, cut into circles (averaging about 3000 for each), and strung onto cord or wire, and finished with silk ribbon as the fastener. The Brooches and link necklaces were also made of books- the pages of individual books were torn from their bindings, glued together to form a solid mass, then that mass was cut and carved either into links for the necklaces, or into small blocks that were assembled and glued together, tetris- style for the brooches.