Material Girl: Many Pieces Create the Whole

Material Girl: Many Pieces Create the Whole

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Preparing for bookmaking programs at the West Hollywood Library, the Fairview Library, and the Montana Avenue Library isn’t just a labor of love…it can be pure joy.

Web_p.Prepping for any kind of teaching can be a wonderfully creative and stimulating experience…but preparing the materials for bookmaking can be especially inspiring: sifting through a plethora of colors and textures, cutting an array of papers and boards into a variety of sizes and shapes, and marveling at just how versatile a ribbon can be!

ribbonWEBFor fellow ribbon-obsessed souls…check out “Michaels” dollar a roll ribbon collection…you may just get lucky! I try to keep it limited to one-three rolls each time I visit.

Web_c.The “accordion” or “concertina” fan-folded book spine  is incredibly useful, integral  and applicable to numerous handmade book structures. Here is a “found” accordion spine…meaning it came to me without me looking for it, in the form a brochure for designer tile!

Web_d.Here we have studio “spine-o-copia”…accordion, stitched…and spiral bound handmade and repurposed book spines, vibrating with creative potential…which is what a studio should do, in my book. (!).

Web_aBlicks Art Materials is one of my “team partners.  I love their West LA store, filled with helpful folk, and beguiling materials.  Above is a colorful collection of acid-free tag boards cut to size, ready to be folded into accordion spines.

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For the fun and innovative “Flag Book ” structure,”flag” pages will be attached in a pattern to each fold of the accordion spine.

Web_n.Front and back book covers  in bright colors, and natural “tan” are cut to the same height as the brightly-hued spine pieces.

Web_k.Also prepared are cover pieces in softer, mottled pastel, grey and cream tones…to appeal to a variety of  color palettes.

Web_i.The result is a  cover color cascade…

Web_h.A gray “tone-on-tone” (gray on gray)  spine and cover sample will help participants understand how the spine is attached to the covers, and what the design options are.

Web_o.The paper cutter is a tool critical for both accuracy (and peace of mind) and avoiding the aching eyes and muscles that can result from  the hand-held cutter and straight-edge method.

Web_m.Flack jack stacks? No…Flag page stacks…the satisfaction of seeing the flag pages cut and ready to go. Don’t they just shimmer with bookish potential?!

Web_l.Various sized flags an be used in one project…the trick is arranging and attaching them in a consistent pattern to the spine, to avoid a flag page traffic jam and collision.

Web_g.View from the drafting table drawer: materials prepped and safely stowed. We don’t want paint splatter on any of them…yet!


Web_e.Material row…UHU glue sticks, hemp cord for sewing, and covered Japanese paper boxes. Tools of the trade for future projects.

Yes…I will answer the question You may not even know You are formulating…

Yes…you do have to love it!!!

I do…do YOU???!!!

Special thanks to Barbara Meltzer, and the Friends of the West Hollywood Library, for their heartfelt support of creative bookmaking programs at the West Hollywood Library!!!

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