Friday, 25 October 2013

First stage - book structure and presentation sheet

In previous modules the last three blog postings before approaching my resolved piece see me contemplating and collecting ideas and making small samples that help me explore further in the last push before completing my final piece.  
For this last chapter the picture, left, of Oysters by Jason Houston,  who has kindly agreed to allow me to reproduce it, has  pushed me along a track I began when I made the shell paper in Chapter 4
As well as going through my sketchbook I enjoyed going through pieces rejected from previous chapters to see if they make a last call on my imagination. The picture,right of a grid pattern found as a path on Hadrian's Wall had a certain resonance to how my thoughts were progressing. I also looked at my pinboard to see if something was lurking behind the plethora of notes and reminders - it  helps me clear my workspace which by chapter 11 is somewhat overcrowded! So here are the evolving thoughts for the final sample. 
Perhaps before I go into my concern regarding the fact that the sample must have an A4 piece of fabric for the cover I should talk through the background concept of the piece.
Ref 4.11.1
Ref 4.11.2
The concept of the fan and shell remained an image that I wanted to investigate. Ref 4.11.1 shows simple fan shapes that could become books one using a screw bolt, bottom left, to secure the papers but it was the concept of an accordion flag book , bottom middle that appealed to me.  The fact that the inside flags gave a rhythm and interest while also showing an 'E' shape held a certain irony.  My thoughts played on the theme and in 4.11.2 I considered how the flags could be elongated with handmade paper flags and attached with buttons. The strips of paper also appealed as I wanted to use favourite sayings in the finished book. The scale of the piece needed to be resolved as the large plastic fan shape, top right, seemed cumbersome.
Ref 4.11.3
Ref 4.11.4
Drawing the shell shape onto a piece of A4 paper - not very evenly -I could see how the piece could be made but would I be cutting away too much of the fabric in the shaping to qualify the piece for a resolved sample? Ref 4.11.3.  The accordion fold could be placed in the centre of the two shells and attached with sticks or shells to the covers.  I thought square board covers would be needed for stability of the piece so that the book could stand open. To this end I made a sample with thick card and an additional accordion ridge for the flags thereby allowing 18 rather than 9 flags to be included (just 9 flags are shown in 4.11.4) but the idea would be for longer flags.  I also noted that the accordion needed to be as long as the cover boards to ensure stability!! A decision would be needed as to the material to be used for the accordion ridge.  The ridge needed to be stiff  with a clean folded edge to hold the flags - could bond webbing fabric on the 160grm paper I was using be the solution? 
Ref 4.11.5b
Ref 4.11.5a
I considered making the front cover- seen on yellow felt in 4.11.6  as a three dimensional shell shape which would be achieved by machine stitching threads and wire onto water soluble fabric and molding it over the shell 4.11.5a.  Becoming playful, 4.11.5b  shows  letters that could be visible under the shell and would incorporate the random letters of the title of the piece that had been playing through my mind, Pearls of Wisdom  - a title I had used previously in a commemorative bowl to my mother using clothing and her pearls.  It would be timely to revisit the theme and give a new twist.

The concept is still to be worked but has been roughly placed and unworked in 4.11.5a.  The letters could be stitched in place on a piece of hand dyed fabric.

Ref 4.11.6
The reverse cover, shown on green felt on 4.11.6  could be made as a flat textured surface, reflecting the ridge shape of the front cover placed over hand made paper.

Hopefully the piece has a resonance with the theme of Module 4 and the rough drafts of my idea are acceptable for the final workout!  I have many of what I used to call 'wise oneliners' it will be lovely to sort priority ones into this book.


  1. Love your idea of using the oyster bed image and the shell for your book. I look forward to seeing the end result - will we be able to read your "pearls of wisdom"?

  2. Oh that the next stage lives up to the imagination!!!!
    The resolved piece, no matter how you plan it, seems to take on a life of its own. Possible that you will just get a glimpse of the 'pearls', the one that keeps going round my head at the moment is: Forget your perfect offering, there is a crack in everything that is where the light comes in.
    That is a Leonard Cohen 'pearl' from Anthem. If you are strong enough to take ten minutes out of your day there is a You Tube link

  3. How fascinating to read how your mind is working as you approach the final outcome of this project. I love the idea of revisiting a piece you have already made, but giving it a new twist. I'm full of excited anticipation now to see your final book.