Literary Corset ~ The Artist Books of Tamar Stone

by Marina Rybak
societys-corset-insideIt was a seductive discovery, when I stumbled upon the art of Tamar Stone. I have never seen anything like that before. Fascinated, I reached out to the artist immediately. Once the connection was established, I proceeded to journey into the Corset Work world of one-of-a-kind handmade books, created with vintage corsets, girdle paper advertisements and lingerie salesman manuals from the years past.

Society’s Corset: Hints to A Fashionable Lady © 2007 Antique salesman sample girdle with net trim, satin ribbon and vintage corset lace. Machine Stitched, cotton embroidered text.

As a photographer and a filmmaker Tamar naturally stepped into the realm of bookmaking. Her inspiration emerged from the personal history of wearing a corset/ brace herself due to spinal curvature and herniated disk. A sensitive contemplation on the female form and “a need to fit in” is delicately woven into the original, dimensional narrative. The series captures “moments in women’s lives when issues of appearance, self esteem and assimilation become paramount…”

What to Wear, Vol. 1: The Cultured Waist (Her Valiant  Fight Against Time) © 2004-5

The experience of “reading” the book engages a reader/viewer to participate in the ritual of untying and unwrapping, alluding to various stages of undress. It is tactile, sensual and thought-provoking process. The storytelling unfolds through embroidered text on structured satin or cotton, contrasted with the fluidity of the chiffon-layered pages. Lacings, grommets, buckles are the backdrop for artistically manipulated lingerie ads that offer a lot of promise to achieve the ultimate physical perfection. This spectacular textile collage invites an intimate self-reflection and a meditative introspection, hinting that the restless quest for attaining a body image ideal continues.

From ‘The Pink Corset’ book (2000) From 1940 vintage corset book cover to
Antique Wrap-around Doll Corset.

Mechanics of Beauty: Antique flannel child corset vest with buttons. Machine stitched cotton embroidered text. Book Cover and vest lining: machine embroidered image and text on cotton flannel fabric. Binding: Hand stitched with twill tape and sewn pages. Vintage metal watch gears sewn onto corners with metallic thread. Book attached with loops and antique buttons.

Health, Strength, Grace and Symmetry, Vol 2: Develop to the Highest Degree of Attainable Perfection © 2007. Interior Cover Corset and Book Cover front. Digital ink jet images/text printed on cotton twill fabric. Machine stitched cotton embroidered flower image and text. Machine and hand stitched 18 fold-out pages with cotton trim.

Individual Design Support  © 2008.  This project was inspired by antique salesman sample book for Spencer Corsets and a salesman sample girdle.

What to Wear, Vol. 2: Perfect Figure, Graceful Lines… and the Re-birth of Charm © 2006
This project is a continuation from What to Wear, Vol. 1, in exploring the usage and meanings of corset/girdle advertisement through the use of paper dolls.Interior Dolls. Ink jet printed girdle and doll images on Quick Fuse Ink Jet Fabric Sheets. Machine and hand stitched girdles and dolls, connected with satin ribbon.

Please visit The Art of Tamar Stone to see all of her fascinating art books.

2 Discussion to this post

  1. Karen says:

    Thanks Marina. Once again a really interesting find that combines history, fashion and creativity.

  2. Tracy Ellyn says:

    Likely one of the most exquisite and fascinating one-of-a-kind art books I have seen. Outstanding! Thank you so much for sharing this unique vision.

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