Me, Myself and I

As the sun sets on another beautiful spring day, I find myself experimenting with a new technique called pochoir.  

What is pochoir?  Pochoir is French for stencil.  Merriam-Webster defines it as: "a stencil process for making coloured prints or adding colour to a printed key illustration."  While Britannia defines it as "distinguished from ordinary stencilling, is a highly refined technique of making fine limited editions of stencil prints.  It is often called hand colouring or hand illustration." 

I'm not sure I have reached the 'fine' aspect of pochoir, as this is my first attempt at using the technique, for a book of five panels folded in accordion or leporello style.  

What is a leporello? Abe Books defines a leporello as, "printed material folded into an accordion-pleat style. Sometimes known as a concertina fold, it is a method of parallel folding with the folds alternating between front and back.  Many leporellos are used as a way of telling a story, while others are purely visual."

Flow Magazine defines a concertina booklet as, "an origami-looking pop-up book.  It is called a concertina booklet because the folded structure resembles a concertina, an instrument similar to an accordion."

While Materials for the Arts defines an accordion book  as, " books (that) can be constructed without stitching.  They are composed of a continuous folded sheet of paper that can also stand up to view all the pages at once.  As a book form, accordion books had origins throughout Asia and were created to accommodate scroll-style books."

A more in-depth definition of accordion books is by Peter Thomas who wrote an article about accordion books for Bound and Lettered, Fall 2016.  He discusses their origins and how accordion and concertina shapes differ.  He tells who made the original accordion book and includes pictures of it at


As a single person, I like to occasionally dine out.  When waiting at the door of a restaurant, I am often asked, 'for how many?"  I have come to respond, "three for me, myself and I, but I only need one chair."  So in thinking about making this into a book, I wanted to create something different.  I saw an artist demonstrating the pochoir technique for a fine book binding competition.  I looked into the technique and decided I would try it out. 

I prepared the stencils beforehand and then practiced quite awhile with them to get the right combination of brush, paint and paper.  The more I practiced the more I was able to define the look I wanted for the images in the book.  

Once satisfied, I decided on a fine cream-coloured German paper.  I researched poems that represented Me, Myself and I and then proceeded to create.  There are five accordion panels to this book.  Each can stand alone or as a group.  

Front Cover.  
The straps around the cover are made from paste paper. 

Back Cover 

Inside cover.  
I lined it with paste paper I had made earlier.  The ribbons are loops for opening the covers. 

Panel 1:  has a poem by Lester Young called, Me, Myself and I 

Panel 2: has a poem by Ruth Bourdon called, I Am Only Me.  There is also a definition of me and a brief description of how I view me. 

Panel 3: has a poem by Edgar Guest called, Myself.  There are three definitions of self and qualities, starting with the word 'self' are  written around the body images. 

Panel 4: has a poem I wrote called, Who Am I?.  There are definitions of essence, I, and soul.

Panel 5: has a poem by Derek Walcott called, Love After Love and a quote by the Persian poet Hafiz.

I used acrylic paint and synthetic gold leaf on the images.  I used a heavy cardboard to make the stencils.  The text was written with an archival pigment pen.  



Popular posts from this blog

Playing: Music, Medieval Times and Shapes

Day Dreams Night Dreams and Everything In Between