Instructions: A Version of the Gallery Book

 There's a little flurry of excitement as the 23 Sandy Gallery in Portland, Oregon is getting ready for an exhibition of books inspired by Hedi Kyle called "Hello Hedi." Although I can't find definitive provenance, I believe that one of Hedi Kyle's book structures is the Gallery Book. It is quite sculptural and works well for display. I've looked around for this structure, and after studying a picture of one on Cheryl Moote's website, here are the instructions I came up with and things I discovered along the way. It is slightly related to an accordion I was playing with several years ago here.

Left to right: my first model with soft Cave Paper covers only and ribbon tie; 
Parched with narrow hardcovers; Aura with wider hardcovers

This is a rather small sixteen-panel accordion that needs to have the folds parallel to the grain. To work from a piece of 22 x 30 printmaking paper such as Stonehenge or Lenox (which are usually grained long), a strip that is 6" x 22" works well. You can paint each side a different color, as I did for this tutorial, or leave blank and add tiny pictures before you glue it together, which is what I did with the books in the photo, above. 

The only other materials I recommend are two pieces of museum board cut to 1 1/4" x 6" (grained long) OR two pieces 2 1/2" x 6" for the version that closes completely flat and protected. You first may want to cover these wider boards with two pieces of decorative paper, 4" x 7 1/2" (grained long).

Tools: bone folder; pencil; 30" metal ruler; X-Acto knife and large cutting mat; circle cutter or large rectangular or 1" square punch (optional); PVA or heavy gel medium; brush or piece of scrap cardboard for gluing; magazines for waste sheets

Paper is face up. 
Fold in half, the short way.

Fold ends in to center fold.

Match fold to fold so you have eight, even segments, all valley folds.

Close the first panel along its fold, and then match that fold to the second fold to begin the accordion. A mountain fold is between them.

Continue to align the sections as you fold the mountains.

At this point you must decide which kind of book you want.
You can leave it like this if you want to make it with wider covers.

Or you can make it with narrower covers.

I like how it looks displayed with the narrower covers, so I will proceed by folding those last panels as well. Note that this accordion now begins with mountain folds.

Measure and mark down along the first and last valley folds at two-inch intervals.

Align the ruler with the marks and make two long horizontal slits.

Choose a circle cutter or a punch, or you can cut out shapes freehand for the next part.
The holes need to be one inch or less in diameter.

I made a template so I could align the circles in the panels.
It has a drawing of the outline of the circle cutter itself for placement.

Cut out at panels 4 - 8 - 12
top and bottom rows

Cut out at panels 5 - 9 - 13
for the center row

Fold up top and bottom rows so they face right with the background showing behind them.
This means that for top and bottom, you fold back the panels that are after the holes.
For the center, you fold back the panels that are before the holes.
You could glue little pictures under the windows here.

With heavy gel medium or PVA, glue down the edges of the windows to the backgrounds.
Center row faces left. (Like a flag book.)

Getting ready to glue the cover boards into place.

Turn the book over. I've put heavy gel medium on the two end panels on the back.
The gel medium works well as an adhesive when the paper has been painted; the ink/paint makes the paper less absorbent and less likely to accept the PVA.

Pinch together the paper around the board for a few minutes, or put the ends under a heavy book or weight until it is dry.

As you can see, when it is closed, this version looks a little awkward as a book.

But it is proportioned nicely for a sculpture.



lettrera said…
Hello Alisa.
While surfing on Pinterest, I found what I thought would be 'some' instruction on the gallery book structure. Since I had tried to guess it from a few pictures years ago and I had given up somewhere, I just had to visit the site.
What a nice surprise to find not only such nice, easy, and complete illustrated instructions, but also, and especially, to land on the site belonging to one of my favorite authors.
I've owned a copy of "Expressive Handmade Books" since 2006, but never dreamed one day I would be thanking Ms Alisa Golden herself for sharing some of her precious knowledge on the Internet.
Thank you so very much for taking your time and patience to say the least, and offer such a comprehensive and unique class!
The very best,

(From your book, the 'First Response' is one of my faves.)
Alisa said…
Thank you so much! I'm so glad this was helpful, and I'm grateful to hear from you.
Very best wishes,