Wednesday evening was the preliminary meeting for the organization of a new group: Puget Sound Book Artists. I really love our little Book Arts group, but it is, and shall by choice always remain, an unstructured, informal group of friends. PSBA is planned as a more formal organization, and I am excited to see where it is headed. We were invited to bring a piece or two of our work to share, and I bravely decided to bring something to represent the "rank amateur" faction. I brought the accordion-style Dream Book I made several years ago (I'll post photos later), but I also wanted to try something new.
I decided to construct a book from Gabrielle Fox's The Essential Guide to Making Handmade Books called the Non-Adhesive Accordion book. I was interested to see how I could use the prints I had chosen to cut up for this project in an interesting way. At this point I guess I need to back up a little. Mr. B's brother Mike died unexpectedly on Dec. 25, 2008, and we have been given the task of dealing with the contents of his house. That meant everything-pots, pans, antiques, collectibles- was packed into a pod and sent to us from Arizona. He was an artist who, in his early days, had done a lot of printmaking, and I am here to testify that anything he didn't sell, he kept. Consequently, as I was going through things, there were huge stacks of very large etchings on gorgeous paper, and the etchings were not really things we wanted to keep. Maybe one for posterity, but not fifty copies, you know? So I had the idea to recycle the prints by cutting them up to make books. I think Mike would have liked the idea, and I am sorry he isn't around to see how his work has been given new life.
The book is made of a strip of paper folded accordion-style, whose ends slide into front and back covers. I made the covers from poster board, over which more paper is folded. All the pieces fit together and hold each other in place. The spine is another little piece of folded paper that slips right into the cover along with the folded pages.
I like the way the beads play off Mike's textured prints. Cutting the long strip from the edge of the print made it look like some sort of landscape. I envision someone writing or drawing on the blank paper at the top of each page.
Perhaps a poem about being lost in the desert?