Monday, July 28, 2014

Instructions: Threaded Accordion Book for the Wall

Someone has probably named this accordion, but I have not heard its name. It appears to be a simplified version of some of the structures in Claire Van Vliet and Elizabeth Steiner's Woven and Interlocking Book StructuresIt is obviously an accordion, but has elements of slitting, weaving, and gluing as well. It opens like a single flag book, but the weaving adds texture and color to the pages. Its most distinguishing feature, I think, is that it can hang vertically on a wall; you can hide the text and leave the wall hanging as a painting, or incorporate the words as design elements. Perhaps this one is Accordion Book for the Wall. Vertical Hanging Accordion is a bit clunky. Layered Wall Accordion might be another option. And it's not really woven, but more precisely threaded through. Perhaps it should be called Threaded Accordion.

You can use other papers and decorative covering materials and end sheets. In this example I am using one half-sheet of painted Velin Arches and cutting it down. 

Example: 3 1/8"h x 4 1/4"w
Tools: pencil; bone folder; ruler (centering ruler is great for this); X-Acto knife; cutting mat; PVA; small piece of board or small brush for gluing; magazines for waste paper; awl; (optional: needle for threading the hanging loop)
Materials (all paper and boards grained short): Seven 4" x 6" pages; One 2" x 9" strip for accordion; Two 4" x 5" decorative papers to cover boards; Two 4" x 3" decorative end sheets; Two 3 1/8" x 4 1/4" 4-ply museum boards; one piece of ribbon or waxed linen thread, approximately 6-8" long
For optional slipcase: Two pieces of decorative paper, 10" x 5"; one piece of Stonehenge or other printmaking paper, 9 1/2" x 4 1/2"

Using acrylic inks (and gesso), paint a textweight paper such as Velin Arches, Rives Lightweight, Ingres Antique, or Strathmore Drawing. Cut paper to the sizes in the materials list.

1. Fold each 4 x 6 page in half.
2. Measure 1/2" from the open edges and cut a slit that is centered, 2" wide in each of the seven folded pages. You will be cutting through both layers.

3. Fold the long 9" strip into a 16-panel accordion by first folding all the valley folds on the wrong side, then folding back from each end until finished.

Seven slit and folded pages, one 16-panel accordion.

4. Thread the accordion through the slit in the first page.

5. Thread the accordion through the slit in the second page. This is what the opening looks like.
6. Continue threading the accordion through the pages until all seven are connected.

7. Use a small piece of scrap board or a brush and apply glue to the back of the second panel of the accordion.
8. Press the panel in place onto the page.
9. Continue applying glue and pressing down, leaving one panel unglued between each of the pages.

10. Apply a little glue to the inside open edge of each of the pages and press together.
11. Repeat the gluing for the remaining six pages.

12. Wrap the boards. (See page 209, with tip on corners on 207 in Making Handmade Books.)
13. Make sure there is space between the book block and the board for the book to open and close easily, and then glue down the end panel of the accordion to one of the boards.

14. Apply glue to the back of the end sheet and press in place.

15. Glue the other end of the accordion to the second board.
Make sure there is space between the book block and the board for the book to open and close easily.
16. Apply glue to the back of the second end sheet and press into place.

17. Use the awl to poke a hole, centered, about 1/4-1/2" from the edge of the front board.

18. Thread a piece of waxed linen or ribbon through the hole and tie in an overhand knot.

The book, opened completely, ready to hang.

1s. For an optional matching slipcase, apply glue to the back of one of the larger decorative sheets and smooth onto the piece of Stonehenge (or thick printmaking paper).
2s. Apply glue to the back of the other sheet and press in place on the other side,making a sandwich. 
3s. Let dry under a weight for about an hour.
4s. Trim to 9" x 4 3/8".

5s. Measure for a slipcase: the width of the book, doubled, plus the thickness. The thickness of my book is about 1/2". Head to tail: 1/2" + slightly more than the height of the book + 1/2" (Instructions for "Paper Slipcase" in Making Handmade Books on pages 193-194.)
6s. Measure and cut finger notches, centered, on left and right sides.

7s. This one was a tight fit, so I rubbed beeswax on the head and tail of the covers.

Here's another version. You can see how it is cut from the parent sheet. The white gessoed images were stenciled from a hand cut paper stencil (see "Handmade Stencils" in Painted Paper, pages 73-76). This one has a variation of sewing machine sewn page edges instead of glued edges.

Unfortunately, this painted paper cracked when I folded it. A few possible reasons are: the paper grain was going in the opposite direction; the glue was completely dry before I scored and attempted to fold it. Next time, I would fold up the slipcase before it dried completely, which I believe is what I had done with the others.

Here is a third example, in which the painted paper was painted, coated completely with gesso, and then scratched into. (See "Gesso and Sgraffito" in Painted Paper, pages 67-69.)

So many possibilities for this structure: many surfaces, many parts could be changed or varied. Every time you have a new part you have the possibility for more interaction, more color and texture choices.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Book House (a Little Free Library)

Up the hill, I think it was Edgecroft Road in Kensington, we spotted another little library, not officially connected to the Little Free Libraries and registered, but in the spirit all the same. This one, a "Book House," in a '70s style. About five books fit inside. And its night light is a sweet miniature lantern that you can plug in yourself.

More about the Little Free Libraries on their website.
See a map of them all over the world. Find the one(s) near you!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Lines of Communication: An Accordion in a Slipcase

I woke up with the image of painted black lines. The day allowed me to follow the vision. And add to it. What was it?

Pipes? Routes? Electrical wires? It wanted to be a kind of accordion so it would keep moving even after being cut up, because of course I was going to cut it up.

Lines. Connections. Lines of Communication. Two separately wrapped hard covers. Seven single sheets, folded in half, fold at the fore edges, glued to themselves at the spine. Separate 16-panel accordion woven through slits in each of the single pages, glued down on the fronts of the pages only.

Horizontal layout, opens upward.

Still can see the title.

Completely open.

Detail that shows the accordion woven into the pages.
Note the splot from the big sheet.

The back. You can see the unpainted backs of
the accordion.

The back, showing how the structure works.

The front, looking more typically bookish.

Top view. Always have to have a top view.


And a covered slipcase: two pieces of leftover painted paper
laminated to a scrap of Stonehenge printmaking paper, let dry,
marked, scored, and folded up 
(Folded Slipcase, page 222 in Making Handmade Books).

Title added with a brush and black acrylic ink.
More lines to come.
And instructions to be posted soon!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Yes, You Can Use Acrylic Inks on Museum Board

I had a cover dilemma. I wanted my covers to match the colors of the painted paper inside the book, but I knew I didn't have corresponding acrylic paint to match. I also knew I didn't want to distress the boards, so perhaps acrylic paint wasn't necessary anyway. Straight acrylic inks will normally warp the boards: they are just too wet. Mixing the ink with gesso would work. I used that mixture for the stencils for my 2004 book Night Monster. But I had not tried it for the covers. It turns out to create a nice faux marble or impressionistic effect. Here's an example.

Gesso on container lid for a palette, 4-ply museum board,

Draw with dropper tip.

Take brush with a little gesso and brush away from the lines.

Add more color, if you like.

Continue brushing away from the lines with the gesso.

More ink. Then brushing.

You could stop here.

Add an accent color, if desired.
This is Indian Yellow.

After teaching how to distress boards using acrylic paints for so many years I had apparently stopped thinking about the process. Long ago, I had banished the acrylic inks from the covers. I have a feeling there is more to explore.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Another World with a Little Free Library

I thought I knew my neighborhood, but it turns out there are streets with well-worn me-grooves in them and streets that don't know my feet at all. And I don't know them, even though they are two blocks away. For whatever reason, they are not in my path to anywhere, haven't been incorporated into a routine walk, and so they sit quietly (or maybe they party), and I have no idea what's going on. I justify this by saying I can't possibly walk by every house on every street every year, but now I wonder. The roads are in frantic upheaval this summer as the water company and the cities and the power company dig for gold on the pretense of providing much-needed maintenance. Jackhammers, hydraulic things, backhoes and pump trucks make raucous noises during business hours. But the good outcome of all of these sidewalk and street closures (aside from putting in the long-delayed curb cuts and fixing the water lines) is that it has forced me to take alternate routes. And because of one alternate route, I found a Little Free Library that is new to me, only four blocks from my house, but may have been there all along. I like it because it and its yard evokes another world. Now it will remind me that there are other worlds all around me, even though I've known this one for more than twenty years.

More posts on Little Free Libraries here and here and here.