COOKING BOOKS AND BINDING FRANKENSTEIN
The dog days of summer are still lingering as we turn the corner from August into September. Soon leaves will be falling from the trees, the days will get shorter and frost will be seen on the tops of puddles in the early morning rush. Geese will be gathering in flocks, riding the waves until one of the leaders tells them it's time to fly south. And all the while I will be preparing my books for the fall and winter season.
In order to keep things fresh with my book making, I tried out a different technique for decorating the pages of a book. I started cooking books. Yes indeed, these books have been cooked for a long period of time over a high heat. The most interesting thing about it is, I never know what I will find once the cooking is done. I use all sorts of flora to create the designs, combined with clothing dye and a cotton rag based paper. It's all in the mix and once cooled down, and dried, there are some very interesting variations.
These are three of the cooked books. I used an olive dye, but the finished colour was more brown; still beautiful though.
This book is made up of the decorated pages only. Below are some of the pages from the book. What patterns will emerge depends on the type of plants and foliage that go between the pages, before the cooking. Some patterns are very distinct, while others are more subtle and sitting in the background.
As I progressed with the making of the books, I decided to include sketch paper to sketch on or write on. I used a leaf die cut on the corner of each sketch paper page.
I used a blue dye for the second batch of cooked books. It was not as vibrant a colour as the olive. It gives a more subtle, serene quality to these books.
The leaf pattern is very distinct on the front page of this book. When I incorporated a piece of flora with a thicker stem, it created the indentation in the paper leaving a lovely texture to the paper and the pattern.
I also embossed some of the pages in a few of the books. A tree was embossed in the front and middle pages of this book.
An hibiscus flower has been embossed on the front and middle pages of this book.
I recently purchased a printed, unbound copy of the original 1818 version of Frankenstein. I had seen the movie many years ago, but had never read the book. So, I read the book in order to better get a feel for how I wanted to bind it. I used some of my ebru marbled paper for the outer cover of the book and then appliquéd anatomy images from, 'The Human Anatomy: from the Renaissance to the Digital Age', by Benjamin Rifkin, Michael J. Ackerman, and Judith Folkberg, onto the covers. These are some of the anatomical images Mr. Frankenstein would have consulted when creating his creature. I coloured the images with watercolour paints.
Front outer cover
I used these images for a number of fly leaves at the front and back of the book. I intentionally left these images uncoloured.
Front fly leaves
Back fly leaves
I bound this book with a soft cover and long stitch binding. Then I created, as a protective shell, an hard, outer cover. Here you can see a portion of a skeletal foot on the front of the soft cover.
This is the cover page of Frankenstein
On the back cover of the book I created a pocket and inserted a laminated bookmark.
The appliquéd image on the back cover
I had great fun binding this book. In the near future I will create a clam shell box in which to store it.
I will be at the Ottawa Maker Faire at the end of September: 29th and 30th. I am hoping to be able to demonstrate suminagashi marbling. It is being held at the Canadian Museum of Science and Technology on Lancaster, just off of St. Laurent Blvd. It is a very interesting faire and if you are curious about how things are made, drop in and have a look. You will be surprised at all the amazing creative work done by interesting people.
That's all the news for now. If you have any questions about my work, feel free to contact me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view my earlier work, go to: www.bookartiste.blogspot.com.
To purchase my work, go to: www.etsy.com/shop/BookArtiste; if you are in Ottawa, you can also go to: The Ottawa School of Art on George Street in the Byward Market, or the Ottawa Art Gallery boutique on Daly Avenue; or you can contact me directly.
For those in Canada, wishing you a happy labour day weekend and for all others, wishing you a happy autumn.