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A mummy-hand holding, (former) biker gang affiliating, hippie influenced semi crunchy granola mom's ramblings and reminisings on an off-kilter life

Thursday, November 7, 2013

book arts

I am doing a few art projects at once, all book arts. One is an altered book. You get a book, glue pages together to make thick pages, and "alter" it, paint it, add mixed media,whatever. This is my first attempt at an altered book.

It is taking forever and will take months to complete because...here is the process...

1. find a book with a hard cover and sewn binding with folded signatures, that is in good condition and a good size....whatever size you are looking for.

2. Get a general idea/theme

                         (1 and 2 are interchangeable, for this book I did #2 first)

3. Plan out the thickness and number of pages. plan twice because you want it right, kind of like "measure twice cut once". So for example I scribbled down "page 1, 4 pages thick, page 2, same, page 3, 8 pages thick". I am cutting a small hole on page 3 and wanted added stability.

4. Plan out a more specific idea like "page 1 will be......"

                       (3 and 4 are interchangeable, too....I did #4 before #3.)

5. Make double certain you know thickness of pages. Also if you are cutting things, decide if to glue first or cut first...almost always, you glue first.  Oh and here is where signatures matter....a signature begins (or ends) where you can see the - - - - part of the sewn binding in the seam, or where the pages all fold together like a smooshed V and its the top V. Rip out the top V to thin your book. rip out a few v's.

6. Start gluing. For my book most pages were 4 thick so I would apply glue to a page, smear with an old credit card, use bone folder to press a page on top, repeat, repeat, cover pages in plastic wrap/wax paper/ziploc bag so glue doesn't stick to the wrong things, let dry, repeat for all pages. I have 29 pages. That's a lot of gluing and waiting.

7. add gesso to cover the print if that is your kind of thing. Maybe you want a word or sentence on each page to be seen, the rest not, then add masking tape (not the hardware store kind, special removable craft kind)  use post-it sticky paper over the words you want to "keep" and then go gesso-crazy. One layer does a cool kinda translucent white. More layers cover, well, more stuff but also make the pages and book thicker so you must remove more top V signatures or else your right angled book becomes kind of....round.    You do not have to do gesso at all. You can add paint to your gesso to make it colorful. It is up to you.   But let gesso dry, using plastic wrap to protect what you do not want gesso-ed or what does not need gesso that very second. This, like gluing,takes forever. A week in and I still have 11 pages to glue and gesso.

8. Cut whatever needs cutting

9. Start decorating with paint, collaged paper, mixed media, stamps, string, feathers, you name it.

10. Voila, done.

So I have 29 pages to decorate (once glued and gesso-ed) and some have cuts.... for example one page looks kind of like a book safe with a square hole/cubby cut in. Some pages are shaped like the sqiggles on a topographical map, but 3-d and they make a hole. Some are shaped like parts of a house. Ok all that has yet to be done but I'm getting to it!

I got all out of order and started my book in the middle, gluing and gesso-ing backwards and forwards....this is not advised as your pages get too warped and you get confused "where" you are and what you are doing.

OH!!! big oh!!! when you glue pages,,,glue them, wrap in plastic, and close the book, weighing it down to attempt to straighten your pages or they will be super wavy and your book will end up fat and warped because glue is wet. Gesso is wet. They wrinkle paper.No matter what, you get wrinkles but the less, the better.

Here is the big reveal.
My book will contain the lyrics to 46&2 by the band Tool.

The middle of the book has ribs. My mom asked, "ribs? What are ribs?????" I hadn't an answer. What are ribs? Well, they are ribs inside me but they are paper ribs in a book. Bone ribs of paper. It seemed so simple but yet hard to explain. "Ribs, like...ribs. Ribs are ribs!" I wanted to yell.

So I had to finish my gluing, gesso-ing, cutting, and add words and voila, ribs. I had to take a picture to be all, "mom, ribs. Like I told you!"

Except my pen ran out of ink partly through. And being in a small town, nothing but 7-11 is open past dinner time and they do not sell fine tipped permanent marker-pens.

So here are the song lyrics and music video thingy and then my art. Enjoy!

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