Judith Hoffman



Books were my friends when I was growing up. My dad was in the army so we moved almost every year. I was very good at entertaining myself by drawing, making things and reading. While studying art at San Jose State, I started binding small collages together to make books. These books were inspired by class discussions about how content can come from the things we treasure in our childhoods. Then I studied jewelry making because I was working in such a small scale. The jewelry skills lead to brass people-shaped books that had metal pages in their chests. Then I made a series of books with metal covers and painted and collaged paper pages. Now I go back and forth between metal and paper. Both have their strengths and weaknesses.

The content of my books comes from my dreams, personal mythology and stream-of-conciousness writing. I also draw inspiration from illuminated manuscripts and the components of modern books; the tables of contents, the page numbers and the chapter headings are all wonderful to me.

Artist's Statement

Did I dream last night of a game children play where they win when their shadows are gone? I have an image of standing near a tree trunk, raising my arms into the air, and seeing my shadow change into the shadow of a tree. But then it got to be evening, the stars came out, and we all won.


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Contact Information
eMail: art(at)judithhoffman(dot)net
Website: judithhoffman.net


  • "Artist's Books Cornucopia II," Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, Colorado. Juried.
  • "Photo Book Works," Abecedarian Gallery, Denver, Colorado. Juried. This show traveled to 23 Sandy Gallery, Portland, Oregon in January of 2011
  • "Box, Hole, and Film," Peninsula Art Museum, Belmont, California. Invitational.
  • "Polyglot," Gualala Arts Center, Gualala, California. Invitational.
  • "Metal Works North," Grace Hudson Museum, Ukiah, California. Invitational
  • "Conceptually Bound 3," University Art Gallery, California State University, Chico. Traveling to the Mohr Gallery, Community School of Music and Art, Mountain View, California. Invitational.
  • Book Arts Jam, Foothill College, Los Altos Hills, California.
  • "Unbound-Bound," Cultural Arts Council Gallery, Santa Rosa, California.
  • "Fifty Years in the Making: The Bay Area Metal Arts Guild 1951-2001," Velvet da Vinci Gallery, San Francisco.
  • "Books As Art: Art As Books," Triton Museum of Art, Santa Clara. Metal book.
    "Conceptually Bound," 1078 Gallery, Chico. Ten books.
  • "Kid's Lit 1.0.Wonder," Palo Alto Cultural Center, Palo Alto.
  • "Artist's Books, Art from Books, Sketchbooks," Sunnyvale Creative Arts Center Gallery, Sunnyvale.
  • One person show in conjunction with North Redwoods Book Arts Conference, Graystone Gallery, Eureka.
  • "Small," San Francisco Museum of Modern Art Rental Gallery. Spectacles, fish book.
  • More exhibitions on my website.

selected talks, articles, etc

2008 Panelist for Conceptually Bound 3 exhibit.
2006 Make a matchbox pinhole camera demo for the Book Arts Jam.
2005 How to make a metal book demo at Book Arts Jam. I showed all the steps in making a book like Instruction Manual for the Moon, in a Martha Stewart style of book making.
2004 Juror, Book Arts Jam.
2001 Article on making a metal book, Dog Eared Magazine.
1996 Juror, Metal Arts Guild Fair Competition.
1993 Juror, California State Fair, California Works Competition.
1992-1996 Articles on creativity, workshops and shows for "Jewelry/Metals Survey #2," (ed. David and Shereen LaPlantz) and Metal Arts Guildletter.


  • Kushnir, Tammy. "The Elemental Journal," 2011, pp 118, 119. Photos of "zero to twelve" and "Fern Book."
  • Cichon, Dottie. "Conceptually Bound," Ampersand, Spring 2008, page 11.
  • Lark Books, Tourtillott, Suzanne J. E., senior editor, Steve Miller, juror. "500 Handmade Books," 2008, pp. 7 and 212. Photo of "7 Extinction Events."
  • Tondreau, Alexa. "Bound to Inspire," Mountain View Voice, April 25, 2008, p. 25. Photo of "The Expedition to an Unknown Land by Ludmilla Paulsdotter."
  • Young, John W. "Page turners," Chico News and Review, April 19, 2001. Photo of "Man Moon-Go."
  • LaPlantz, Shereen. "The Art and Craft of Handmade Books," 2001. Photo of "Celestial Navigator."
  • McCreight, Tim. "Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing," photo of Bird Goddess Brooch. 1997.
  • LaPlantz, Shereen. "Cover to Cover, Creative Techniques for making Beautiful Books, Journals and Albums," photographs of four books. 1995.
  • Bragdon, Phyllis. "Artist's Books show wide array of works in visually distinct format," Mill Valley Herald, August 19-25, 1991, page 6. Photo of "Instruction Manual for the Stars."
  • Clagett, Leslie. "Bound for Art," SF Magazine, December, 1990, page 91. Photograph and description of "Instruction Manual for a Heart."
  • Turner, Priscilla. Gallery, Alaska Airlines Magazine, May, 1990, page 31. "Photograph of Instruction Manual for the Moon," and a short quote.
  • San Francisco Chronicle, Datebook, April 15, 1990. Photograph of "Man Moon-Go."
  • San Francisco Bay Guardian, 8 Days a Week, March 7, 1990, page 36. Photograph of "Instruction Manual for the Stars."
  • Thurston, Jacqueline. "Artist's Images, Memories and Dreams," C. G. Jung Institute, San Francisco, October 27, 1989. Jacqueline showed slides of work and read writings by four artists. Her presentation focused on how to hear the voice of one's own symbolic imagery.
  • More information on my website.

Oneiro 2009-10, The cover is a pinhole camer

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