With my newly deacidfied paper (note the crinkles) I began some new creatures from the batch of Winnicott books I've managed to find.
The paper pieces are strengthened then stitched from the outside using a whip stitch.
Each piece is stuffed with wool roving in a another reference to a child's blanket.
Once stitched and stuffed the pieces are jointed.
I only made one paper bear as part of my MA course work but was asked if it was for sale. I would never sell the original as I'd not considered how archival the materials would be. I sourced a few more copies of the book but as they were all decades old, the paper was already deteriorating. .
The pH tester pen tests for the acid in paper.. the pale yellow lines at the top of the pages shows the acid is high. After searching reviews I found several people recommending Make it Acid Free and bought some on Amazon for about £30.
I sprayed boths sides of each page and retested with the pen. The lines stayed blue indicating that the acid was neutralised. Perfect! ...Or so I thought, but next morning the blue lines were yellow again. I wasn't sure if the spray was faulty so retreated the pages several times but with the same results.
The Amazon seller agreed to refund my money if I returned the can. When I looked up postage on Royal Mail it turns out it is illegal to send aerosols through the post so it should never have been sent in the first place. This seems obvious when you think of the hazard it could cause. Eventually I did get my refund without having to return the can but I did feel bad that the seller was out of pocket.
At the moment I'm spending a lot of time thinking about our final show .. I have a pretty definite idea of what I want to make and have started it already in the hope of avoiding a last minute panic... As I was told in my interview nearly two years ago 'books are slow'.
There is so much to consider but rightly or wrongly I'm working out some of the practicalities first.... It's no good making a book for a show then trying to figure out how to display it ...more importantly how do I encourage the viewer to engage with a book long enough to get something from it? Plus living 2 hours from uni makes dragging a plinth on the train less than an attractive prospect. If I can sort out the details then I can relax and really enjoy the process of making.
I have also been working on some altered ladybird books....They are very satisfying though there is still the twinge of guilt at taking knife to paper. I think for me the cutting is the equivalent of doodling.. while my hands are busy my brain is doing its thing in the background with ideas seeming to flow easier when I'm not consciously trying. The idea is not completely formed so won't give anything away just yet but maybe later.
Just a week left to make decisions about the book I am showing for the Book/print show next week.
I have tweaked and remade the pages, (this time some words were chosen and left in place while the rest cut away) but now am trying to work out the most suitable method of joining them into a concertina. Cotton tape worked ok but wasn't quite right and I still haven't decided on covers... do I have any at all? what colour? more cut words? plain.. so many things to consider and as minor as they are they can make the difference between between a success and a failure.
It will be a big show with around 60 students from Book Arts and Printmaking MA. Choosing what to make and negotiating where to show it is great practice for the final show in September. Competing for space and attention got me thinking again the difficulties of showing books. Touch or not to touch? How do you get the viewer to engage long enough to get what you are trying to say but not so quickly that they lose interest? These and a string of other thoughts are pinging about my brain tonight.. I think I will sleep on it.
This is an ongoing project which seems to finding its legs and going somewhere at last..
I have always shied away from using text.. words aren't my thing... The text relates to my research project and I select and cut out words that catch my eye.I try not to over think these choices. Sections are turned round and reinserted into the space. This satisfies my need to be able to restore the text if need be .. nothing is lost.
The reverse is actually the front and eventually will become the page of a book.
I'm following my bliss.