As an infant…[we]…learned that some visual features (mother's face, and father's) don't change. They are invariant patterns.… (92)So, it seems, we start out as visual learners. The book includes a chapter on dyslexia and how some people learn differently, particularly how they may use the more visual, right sides of their brains to help solve usually left-side-oriented tasks like reading.
From the start…children search for invariant features when they try to learn something new. (92)If this is a basic human function, perhaps adults look for these patterns when learning something new as well. I began to wonder if "invariant patterns" might be useful in teaching bookmaking. If, from the beginning, students learn what is fixed, it is possible they could create their own work more easily. Certain outcomes are always the same. Perhaps we can create "book faces" that become familiar and that students can continue to recognize.
What, then, might these invariant patterns, or rules, be? What might these "book faces" look like? Here are some features regarding The Properties of Paper, Adhesives, Thread, Materials, Structures, and Function.
- Folding and tearing paper with the grain is easier (and makes a better and cleaner fold) than folding or tearing against the grain.
- Most tapes will become brittle, lose their adhesive properties, and leave a residue on paper over time. Only self-adhesive linen tape is archival, holds its tack, and does not yellow.
- Glue stick doesn't stick indefinitely.
- PVA dries quickly and is not repositionable.
- Homemade wheat paste will only last 1-2 weeks if it is kept in the refrigerator (on the longer side if you add a little PVA to it).
- Photographic paper is best mounted with rub-on adhesive or put in corners, slits, or pocket frames. PVA will warp. Spray mount will lose its tack.
- Aleene's tacky glue will hold nonporous items (like metal or plastic) on paper or board.
- A sewn book will eventually come apart if the thread used stretches or breaks easily.
- Acrylic paint will make book pages stick together. Acrylic inks, if not allowed to pool, won't.
- Thin papers and cloth must be backed with a strong paper (such as mulberry paper) so the boards and glue don't show through.
- For clean holes, you must wait until the covering material dries before you drill into boards. Drilling into damp boards will leave ragged holes.
- Pages do not open completely with a side binding.
- Pages do open completely with a Coptic binding.
- Accordion-folded books are best for display.
- Making a smaller book is faster and less expensive than making a larger one.
- For a book with signatures, holes are always poked along the fold.
- If a book will have multiple signatures, chances are you will need to know the kettle stitch.
- For a hardcover book to open and hinge properly, the measurement between the spine board and each of the cover boards should be 3 board thicknesses (the thickness of 3 of the cover boards, whatever you use)
- If you put one word on each page your reader will have to work to remember what came before.
(Related post: "Active Learning: Students Are Not Sponges").