As you know, I am working through the process of displaying my work and I’ve pretty much landed on handmade books and boxes. One of the things that I have discovered along the way, that has been quite interesting, is other people’s reactions to these items. The images that get put in the boxes really need to be either all landscape or all portrait. I am not a fan of a horizontal images on a vertical piece of paper, and I’ve noticed people ‘fumble’ with images that are of a different orientation as they flip thru the stack. This is true for books; all images the same direction. The problem with my books, however, is different; I have completely neglected to identify the front of the book! I have figured out printing, covering, binding. Everything but the cover. This results in people, 9 times out of 10, starting upside down and backwards. Sigh.
My instructor, Russell Phillips and I brainstormed a bit about this last night. He had a couple of ideas of which this one is the one I am going with….emboss the cover. This means cutting out a square on the cover of the book and peeling out the cardboard layer within it. This leaves a small indention that, once covered with paper, looks really nice. Russell thought it might be cool to make the square about an inch big and put a stamp sized image in it. Below is a scrap piece of cardboard where I cut out the cardboard and covered with paper. Looks pretty cool!
As for the class assignment; I am half way done. The box and images for the box are completed. I do need to trim down the sheets so that they are all the same size. The image order for the book is just about done. I need to swap out one image (or add one) to break up all the architecture images. I should be able to get all of this completed within the next three weeks – just in time for a portfolio review with Mary Virginia Swanson.
Semester is over and I did complete ALL the books I set out to do. 15 total book, 5 of each series. It was a LOT of work. And I learned a lot about printing and book making:
my Japanese Stab bound books had way too many pages and the covers I used were way too heavy. A number of the covers have already broken. My mom, who is a quilter and has dreams on how to fix things, has come up with a number of alternatives to the cover that I used.
the accordion books, which is a much easier binding, needs to be more carefully constructed. Because my images were not all on one sheet of paper, I had to glue 6 sheet together to make the final book. If I continue to do this type of binding (which is highly likely) I’ll need to put together some sort of frame to keep the entire strip of images even and straight. I wasn’t that careful on my original accordions so that some of them have a strange ‘twist’ to them.
Practice makes perfect. My next class is Portfolio Presentation. Starts on Wednesday.
I had my first individual meeting with Gayle last night to go over the progress I have made on my project. She seemed pleased with what I have done so far (picked most of the images for the column series, prototyping accordion books, thinking of different ways to present the images, figuring out templates, and taking classes).
Gayle also gave me some suggestions for images in the accordion book (‘tip’ them in so that they are hinged mounted at the page folds, try Jeff’s suggestion to have the print the page, wax the images to protect them from fingerprints and drips, expand the project!)
You heard me. She agreed with Jeff that doing three different small books was a fabulous idea and she wants to see this at the end of the semester. Her idea ( and I have to admit I love it) is to do one accordion book with images on both sides (see image) then do two bound books. Her vision was to have the books almost be an ‘installation’; bound books upright on the end with the accordion upright and open in between.
I have signed up to take an extended projects class. I spoke to my instructor, S Gayle Stevens, at the end of last semester for things I could do prior to the start of class. Her reply; Figure out a project.
That is easier said than done…..
I have spent all summer thinking that I would use my 4×5 camera for this. I have since changed my mind. I have decided to use iPhone photos that I take for fun, and for posting on Instagram, and print 3×3 kallitypes of them. I will present them in accordion books using old book bindings as the cover. After spending a few hours culling thru all my iPhone images, I narrowed down my selections into three different themes; trees, columns, and buildings. I shared my ideas with the wonderful photographer Jeff Curto and he asked Why not do all three? Oh, and you ARE going to make more than one copy of each book, like maybe 3 or 4 copies?
So, it looks like I have mywork cut out for me this semester.
If you are interested, the Kallitype process can be found here: Kallitype process
Instructions on different types of accordion books can be found here: Different Styles
Basic Accordion book instructions: Basic instruction: