|Muir is shown above at right using the Library's preservation equipment. At left is Muir's illustration for the Library's inclement weather book bags. The design appears on the 2000 version of the bags, which have a silver color and the emblem 'Help save the human record: Protect your books.' Photos courtesy University Library|
Art and design always have surrounded Muir. His mother was a professional artist who did design work for Gerber Baby Products first in Oakland, Calif., then at the companys headquarters in Fremont, Mich. Muir studied graphic arts after high school and, prior to 1985, worked for the now defunct Michigan Free Press in Ann Arbor, did graphic design for Litho-Crafters, worked as a shoe salesman and was an elevator operator at University Hospital.
In 1985, Muir saw a job notice for a bookbinder in the Librarys Preservation Unit. Thinking it involved printing and was a way to get into the graphic design area at the University, he applied and, much to his surprise, was hired by former staff member Martha Little. During the successive 15 years, Muir has gone from taking workshops on book repair to teaching those same workshops, and has become a member of the Guild of Book Workers.
Muirs sense of detail also is evident in his paper cut art. Starting with plain paper and using a scalpel, Muir painstakingly cuts out small areas and creates a delicate, intricately designed paper pop-up book. His paper-cut books have been featured in several exhibitions, including the Michigan Book Artists exhibition in the Special Collections Library. In addition, Library Director William Gosling has acquired a number of Muirs books.
|Featured here is one of Muir's pieces, created using thin layers of wasp nests.|
In 1994, Muir was approached by Maria Grandinette to design a preservation weather bag. Muir added plastic bag art to his repertoire, devising the Librarys walking book that has become a signature of the inclement weather bags.