Pivoting Panels: How to Design the Panels

We had a lively couple of classes surrounding the pivoting panels structure. This post is about creating the panels, which you can make at the mountain folds on most kinds of accordion books. Mine is based on the circle accordion (pages 119-120 in Making Handmade Books) and taped at the back with self-adhesive linen hinging tape (because all other tape is evil). Hedi Kyle's original structure utilizes what I would call an inverted house shape. To help generate ideas for other kinds of imagery, I handed out a variety of postage stamps and from them each person chose a shape such as a bird, butterfly, rocket ship, circle, and other simple abstract shapes.

After drawing the shape centered onto frosted Mylar, we cut it out completely and stenciled it onto strips of Stonehenge printmaking paper. The Mylar was the height of the paper strip and half of the width. We had room for two images per paper strip. After using gesso to stencil onto the strips we painted over the stenciled images with acrylic inks.

When cutting out the paper image for the pivoting panel, however, we needed to leave uncut about 1/4" - 1/2" or 6 mm - 1.3 cm verticals top and bottom (along the fold). The panels are on the mountain folds, which are the first folds in the book. Fold the paper strip in half and the valley fold is between them.

With other shapes, we found it helpful to think of earthquakes: tectonic plates shifting about 1/2" or 1.3 cm. That shift not only holds the shape to the paper, but it is also a fold and the pivot. So you could use a half of a heart shape on one side, slide it down, and use the reflected shape on the other side.

Chehie's. Mylar stencil: upper right
 Fold the paper away from the image along the "pivots", keeping the image flat with no crease down the center. The image becomes a movable part that is manipulated by the reader.

Attach the long folded strips at the back with linen tape. Add a tri-fold soft cover or wrap boards and add endpapers to finish. We made extra stenciled images and glued one to the front cover to indicate the beginning of the book. The photos are samples of what we did in class. You can see my example at the end of this post, "Invited to Adapt."



Penny L Weaver said…
Oh, my! These are all absolutely stunning! Thanks, too, for the detailed descriptions :-)