Sunday, April 24, 2011

A Trio of Books

Three finished books from the printmaking and bookbinding class I took over the last two Saturdays. I have one more in the works, but it will take a little longer, I think, and of course I have loads of ideas! At any rate, from left to right... the little one is made from one of the prints from last week.

It's a very simple construction, made by folding the paper and cutting along some folds but not others. The instructors called this version a "maze book." I found instructions for it in one of the bookbinding books I own, How to Make Books by Esther K. Smith, where it is referred to as a variation of accordion book. Here's a photo with my hand in it, to give you a sense of size.

One of the really nice bits about making this book from a larger print is discovering the compositions that result when you cut it up and make it small. Different parts of the whole are isolated, revealing (hopefully good) surprises. It's quite liberating to slice up your artwork.

The spread-out book in the main photo is an origami book made from three sheets of folded rice paper glued together so they form one larger tricky-looking folded construction. But it's not tricky, of course, once you know how to do it.

These pages were printed twice, first in a gelatin print process and then using the press with a plate made from drawing on an acetate plate with a hot glue gun. When the glue dries, it's hard and raised, so you can make a print from it. The "ABC" images are from the glue plate. I love this idea, and it's something we can definitely do at home. The origami book folds up flat, and its front and back covers are made from boards covered with two more prints from the series.

The third book is another accordion fold book, with pockets. This is made simply by folding the paper back and forth.

It's meant to hold pieces of prints, as a means of displaying them, but the pockets are empty right now. I glued a few pieces together to increase the number of pockets. If I were to do this again, I'd attach three short lengths of ribbon in between the covers to form a hinge on the back spine so that it opens more like a book. I suppose then it wouldn't strictly be an accordion anymore?

If you're unfamiliar with bookbinding, I can tell you that all three of these books are very simple to put together, requiring only boards, paper, and paste. (I learned a new trick! Applying the Yes Paste with half a credit card, to scrape on a thin, even layer. Much easier than using a paintbrush to cover the boards, although I still like a brush for the flaps of paper that fold over the edge on the inside.) None of these have sewn bindings. The maze-accordion book can be folded up in a few minutes.

If you're interested in bookbinding, the book linked above is a good place to start. My kids and I also like the same author's Magic Books and Paper Toys.


Bells said...

oh this is a thing I know almost nothing about so it's interesting to watch. I know what you mean about isolating parts of prints. I've noticed that more since starting to sew - something that looks one way as a big piece of fabric is quite different when cut down to a small piece!

So glad you're getting to explore your love of book binding like this - the results are lovely.

Carolyn said...

Your books are gorgeous!