Ex Libris – marks of book ownership of excellence

José Vicente de Bragança, Ex Libris Artists & Collectors Blog

Her interpretation of the themes is invariably original and revealing an awesome display of imagination and culture. In the composition nothing is overlooked, details filling in within the whole in a harmonious and balanced way, avoiding superfluous additions. Special care is given to lettering so often disregarded by other fellow artists who follow the principles of free graphics then ex libris.

In the engraving process the artist frequently uses the die cutting of the copper plate to a desired shape «…in order to enhance the visual content of the image, the text, as well as introducing the printing technique with the gold leaf» (Elena Hlodec Web Site- Biography). The latter technique – gold leaf – was systematically researched and tested by Elena Hlodec based on her previous experience with restoration of old books and manuscripts, and applied to prints in etching. In 2011, she registered the copyrights of this technique and started to employ it in ex libris creations with stunning results.


  • Modern Women Bookplate ArtistsMota Miranda, Artur (Editor), Contemporary International Ex-Libris Artists – Modern Women Bookplate Designers, Braga, 2014, pp. 57-68
  • BOEKMERK, 38 (2012/2), 43 (2014/1), Graphia, Sint-Niklaas
  • MITTEILUNGEN, Deutschen Exlibris-Gesellschaft e.V., # 2-3/2014, pp. 51-52
  • Jos van Waterschoot. TWO ROMANIAN EX LIBRIS ARTISTS: Elena Hlodec and Marius Martinescu, in «EXLIBRISWERELD», 2013

«The graphic work of Elena Hlodec (1972)shows an expressive dream world which is full of (or: which is brimming over with) mysticism and tension, presented now and then with a humorous flavour. On the etched ex Libris for the Fleming Dirk Mattelaer she shows the spectator an overwhelming image of the three Moires or Fates (P.S. In the Dutch text the author wrongly writes ‘Schrikgodin’ (Goddess of Fear) instead of ‘Schrikgodin’, which means ‘Fate’ and which is what he means), Klotho, Lachesis and Atropos. The thread of life, which is controlled by the three goddesses, is present in a dominant way. To the left of the image the thread as the beginning of life arises with Klotho. In the middle Lachesis directs the thread as the fortunes in life. Bottom right Atropos with scissors decides when the end has come. It is a story one watches in a breathless hush and of which the tension is intensified by the sparkling composition which reminds of the hectic time of life. In this bookmark, as well as in her other work, Elena Hlodec shows that she masters the technique of etching in a perfect way. She prefers the line and dot technique to suggest forms, light and dark, shadow and space. To obtain accents she sometimes uses a golden colour as first edition (or: print?).
This addition enhances the expressive character of the etched images… Elena Hlodec herself says that she tries to place the classical graphic technique in a contemporary context in which composition plays an important part. A composition that attracts attention and conjures up emotion, but which at the same time presents the pure beauty of the game of black and white in an excellent way…».

  • A.F.C.E.L., News Letter, August 2012

FISAE näyttelykirja raj

  •  The Best Ex-Libris in the World 2010-2012, Exlibris ABOENSIS, Naantali, 2012
  • Elena Hlodec Ex Libris, by José Vicente de Bragança