Sunday, April 24, 2011

I am going to be submitting, for the first time, two artist books to an exhibition in London, Ontario.
I chose a Tunnel Book I made called "Winter Through the Window" and an Accordion Book, "My Garden".

"Winter Through the Window"
This is the front cover of the book.  I found a picture frame that looked like a window with shutters.  The dimensions are about 5x7".
I put lace on the inside of the shutters to act as curtains.

The window area is 4x6".

The backdrop and tunnel elements are digital manipulations of pictures from stockxchng.  They are then cut out and added to the panels that are attached to the accordion hinges that form the sides of the tunnel.

When all the elements are in place, the hinged panels are added to the front and back covers of the book. 

The view through the tunnel looks like this:

The quote: "In the midst of winter, I found within me, an invincible summer."

The distance between the panels give the perception of depth to the elements and a sense of 3D to the scene.

My second book, "My Garden" is an accordion book with cast paper covers.  I used rubber stamps for the cast paper covers and for the embossed paper flower illustrations that were used throughout the book. 

The stamps were from Hero Arts.  Clockwise from top left: Large Fabric Design, Butterfly Field, Flower Bird Garden, Silhouette Bells, and Floating Garden.

You can see that the stamps are the inverse kind where the actual design is left unstamped.  This means that it is an excellent candidate for embossing or casting paper.

Here is the front cover of the book.
I used paper pulp from scraps of tag board and other cotton based papers that I use.  I soaked this and rubbed it with my fingers to make a rough pulp.  I did not strain it because I wanted a heavy texture.  I placed the large stamp face down and packed the pulp (after I had squeezed most of the water out by hand) evenly over the surface.  I then used a sponge (not a foam one but a regular cleaning one) to press the pulp into the depression of the stamp and absorb the water.  I would wring out the excess water and continue until most of the water had been removed. 

I didn't want the pulp that overlapped the stamp to dry curved upwards so I turned the stamp over gently, laid it pulp side down and pressed the edges flat away from the stamp.  When it was possible, I carefully removed the stamp and left the cast paper to dry.  If it did dry with a bit of a curve, I simple gave the back a very light spray of water, straightened the cover and placed it under a light weight to dry again.  (don't get it too wet or place it under a heavy weight or you'll lose your design). 

I repeated the same process for the back cover.

For the text portion of the book, I used a poem by Wordsworth.  I used Arches Text Wove paper for the accordion portion of the book and decided where I would place the embossed paper flower illustrations.  I then arranged the text on facing pages.  The text pages were given a wash of colour and the text lightly penciled in.  Later I went back and redid the text in a complementary ink to the colour wash.

The embossed illustrations were also made using rubber stamps.  Here I used layers of handmade paper that were soaked in hot water and pressed into the indentations of the stamps.  The paper had inclusions, some of which were removed) which can be seen in the final product.  Once again, a sponge was used to apply pressure and to remove excess water.

Embossed illustrations:

Here is an example of the watercolour wash with text:

The entire book looks something like this:

Each of the first four right hand pages has an embossed floral illustrations, while the left contains lines from Wordsworth's poem.

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