What I Found Out Making I Found Out

Folded books are easy enough. They generally don't need any glue or sewing, just paper and scissors, and a bone folder or the back of a spoon to make tight creases. They are often the first books we teach to kids and to beginning adults. To use them in finished work, however, we find that they are finicky. The folds don't always align, everything must be precise. Something that has always bugged me is the little crease that remains when you cut on the fold. My latest bookwork, I Found Out, uses the snake book format originally created by Scott McCarney* (from a binder's fold mentioned in a previous post) with three cuts, and I didn't want those little folds to show. The book folds up to 2" square, made from 8 1/2" x 11" index cardstock cut down to 8" square. Sixteen squares make up the pages. I designed it so that the major folds, the ones that needed to be parallel to the spine were folded with the grain. The three little foldovers fold against the grain. I decided not to fold the perpendicular folds, just cut them.

I first folded the major folds with the grain.

I aligned one sheet with the grid on my cutting mat. Measuring two inches down, I cut horizontally at the two-inch mark and stopped at the last fold.

I measured two inches down again, then started at the first fold and cut across to the edge.
Measured two inches down from there for a third time, and cut across from the edge to the last fold again, just like the first cut. 

I accordion folded the book up along the folds, but when I got to the foldovers, I aligned the segments and pressed into place. It worked pretty well.

How a snake book usually looks. The foldovers splay open like tents and pockets.

I didn't need that look or those pockets. For stability, I put three dots of glue at each of the foldovers and pressed together. You could dot all four corners.

Glued, it looks like this. It has a different rhythm.

The white boards are 4-ply museum boards, the brown ones are Davey or book boards. Grain is vertical, to match the grain of the book. I glued the book to hard covers I had individually wrapped in book cloth: one at each end, like bread of a sandwich.

 And repeated 33 more times.

 The book I Found Out is available at my Etsy store, nevermindtheart.

*Keith Smith writes in 200 Books, "He [McCarney] first referred to it as boustrophedon, 'as the ox plows.' This seemed a little obscure, so he now calls it the snake format" (p. 173, Book 101, 1984-85).