Open Letter to Lark Crafts Publishing

Dear Lark Crafts:

A copy of Bound: Over 20 Artful Handmade Books by Erica Ekrem arrived at my library yesterday. As you can imagine, being a bookbinder, I’m always excited to see a new Bookbinding book on the shelves. I immediately popped open the book and began to flip through the projects. I was stopped dead in my tracks, mouth agape, on pages 40/41 when I saw the Preserve-A-Memory-Mason-Jar Book.

You see, I am also a published artist through your company. I created the Book Jar that was published in Eco Books: Inventive Projects from the Recycle Bin (2009, pages 48/49). It is a Mason Jar filled with small books. There’s even a little picture of it on the spine of Eco Books.

The picture peering back at me from page 40 of Bound is of a Mason Jar filled with a book. The only difference between this and my Book Jar is the size of the jar and the little square of fabric.

I am amazed that these since these two projects are published by the same publishing company that nobody bothered to check to see if someone had created something like this before.

I am not at all happy about this situation.

Not. Happy. At. All.

My Book Jar was made as a way of healing from the death of my grandfather. The book pages were selected around themes associated with him. The meditative state of tearing down paper into pages and stitching them together with threads from my grandmother’s sewing kit was key in the healing process the year after his death. The entire idea was inspired by one of my grandfather’s favorite quotes that he would say to me each day when I came to visit after school. The inspiration for my Book Jar was detailed in my submission paperwork for Eco Books when the project was originally submitted in 2008.

As you can see, my Book Jar is very clearly a Memory Jar like the title on page 40 of Bound claims for the title of Erica Ekrem’s piece.

I am not sure what can be done about this situation. I am not at all pleased with your company’s negligence in checking through your own past published books to see if any of the projects in Bound could be compared to work from other artists. I wonder if other artists published in your books have noticed their own work and ideas recreated or claimed as original by another artist(s) in this or other books that you have published.

Cassie O.

This was originally posted on The Crafty Kitten Facebook Page.