Wednesday, March 16, 2016
I took a rather disappointing workshop a few weeks ago that was supposed to be (I thought) about constructing simple artist books. We didn't spend the day as I had hoped, but I saw enough in the first few minutes to be able to put into practice what had been my original idea--I wanted to try to make a simple artist book that would be relatively easy to put together, but not appear too crude or "craftsy".
The leporello, a small, unbound booklet is usually made accordian-style and it allows for all kinds of modifications in materials, style and final appearance.
I threw this together as a sort of prototype of a book project that I've been thinking about that will combine moku hanga woodblock printed paper with text or type (think letterpress) as well as hand carved and printed words and images. I had some proofs of my cypress tree print that I made during a recent demonstration and I cut some 3mm hardboard to a size that would approximate the front and back covers. These were covered with Maroon bookcloth and the carefully folded print was also glued down (PVA) to the front and back covers.
I drew some text with sumi ink (written with a broom straw dipped in ink) in the manner of my English-language etagami and added my hand-carved chop/stamp.
(My apologies in advance to all my readers that are actual book binders or have skill and expertise in sewing book bindings and hand made artist books...this is a crude thing so please be kind).
It has a nice "object" feel. It's heavy enough and neat enough to look finished.
There is the risk that it has merely become a nice greeting card....(my simple phrase pushes it in that direction)...
But I think if the print is actually interesting enough--using the right paper and an image and handling that is a little spontaneous, the possibilities are intriguing enough to try something a little more important.