For years photographer Rob Howard has filled journals with collages and photos to record his work and travels. "I never thought of it as scrapbooking," he says, but now he finds himself part of a huge nationwide movement. Today scrapbooking is an estimated $2-billion-a-year industry, with Web sites and TV shows devoted to the subject.
When Rob and his wife, Lisa, who is also his business partner, decided to throw a scrapbooking party at their house in New York's Catskill Mountains, they put an artist's spin on what Rob calls a "middle-American sensation." Rob and Lisa invited friends from the design world and asked them to bring photos and ephemera from a recent trip; the Howards supplied artists' pencils and markers, colorful patterned papers, straight and scalloped scissors, and glue.
"It's as if we're reliving Victorian times, with handicrafts like knitting coming back into style," said Wook Kim, an artist and wallpaper designer who came to the party with mementos from a summer in Scandinavia. "Making things by hand reminds people of what quality really is." Wook lined the pages of an accordion book with pieces of his playful rococo wallpaper, including a design inspired by giant lily pads in the botanical gardens at the Finnish Museum of Natural History. Using a drinking glass as a template, Wook cut photos he took on a boat in Sweden into circles. "The shape conveys the idea that I was looking out of the porthole," he said.