Books and Butterflies

Books and Butterflies
Fairytale Bookmaking

I recently had the opportunity to teach a classed entitled “Fairy Tales”, to a group of 5 and six-year-old extremely creative girls. What an amazing experience!

A favorite project was the “butterfly book”, a single signature book of folded bright tagboard bound together with plastic cord easily strung through punched holes.

When the structure is bound and the form is made, the fun begins…

Using a mix of humble materials such as binder hole reinforcements,

and “fancy” ones, including glitter glue, stickers

and metallic tape,  the young artists transformed their books into unique butterflies of beauty and whimsy.

They mastered tools that required a bit of manual dexterity and control, such as stamps.

and some added plenty of plenty of “gems”.
The above is an envelope accordion book, but the butterfly theme rules!

Creativity and Imagination.
Space, Time, Focus and Support.

Let’s Fly!

 

 

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Tunneling our Way Through…Making Tunnel Books

Tunneling our Way Through…Making Tunnel Books

For the last class of our recent children’s bookmaking class at LACMA, we made tunnel books…comprised of two spines or sides, a back “page” holding them together.

To prepare for our project, we visited the beautiful LACMA Directors Roundtable Garden, resplendent with its Alexander Calder sculptures: mobiles and stabiles.

We observed how perspective is created by distance, saw how things looked smaller the farther away we are from them, and did a group exercise where each student in turn stated what they saw behind what the previous student said they saw…learning to see in “distance layers” (my terminology), I.E. in perspective.  We also explored the idea of scale seeing how large or small objects are in relation to each other.

Finally, we repaired to the lovely glassed in Plaza Studio, to put our learnings and observations into action, and create our books, exploring color, character, story and setting/environment in the process.

The results are…well, you can see for yourself why I called this class our “Seven From Heaven”!

Students of their own volition devised a theme,

such as this figure hiking,

and followed it through, in this case in silhouette form.

This young artist found images from magazines,

and created a scene with them.

Some created land, city and seascapes through cutting and shaping paper and cardstock strips, and adhering them to the spines,

to beautiful effect.

Students” individual color choices are always interesting…

and often very consistent…also with their clothing color choices, and probably more.

This innovative and well-traveled maker added the words, “Paris, London, New York” on these strips. her travels and where she has lived with her creative family is an important part of her identity.

The red spines on either side create a theatrical effect in this piece, that this bookmaker worked on with meticulous attention to detail, and tender loving care, as she did with all her projects.

I am so going to miss this class. It truly was heavenly to work with such motivated, thoughtful and devoted young creatives in the nurturing, inspirational and magnificent setting of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. May the “Seven From Heaven” ride LACMA art-mobile again soon, and may it be with me!

Process

PROCESS

In process: an interactive book commissioned by a local museum, to engage viewers of an upcoming book arts exhibition!

The book is a flag book, investigating color interactions, with text potentially added by the viewer/participants/co-creators.

The covers are made of book board, resurfaced with torn and crumpled pieces of unique “brown paper bag” colored folders, of  limited quantity, using neutral pH Lineco adhesive .

                      Corresponding stacked windows were cut into the front and back covers,
process5

through which file cards (the piece is partially composed of file folders, after all) of different colors, process1

or white…can be seen. The cover colors and composition will change, depending on which cards are used.process2

Within, untorn and uncrumpled pieces of the same file folders are folded into pockets, edges glued together with a  UHU acid free glue stick, one edge stitched with linen thread, and the other side glued to the book’s concertina spine.process3

The accordion spine is made of watercolor paper, resurfaced on the back with pieces of torn and singed rice paper. The edge of each fold is covered with the same folder material as the covers, and the inside of the spine. process4

The flag page pockets will have the same size and shape windows cut out of them, all aligning with the front and back cover windows, so that anyone can add and subtract file cards, changing the color balance and composition of the cover and contents.process6

In this way, the viewers can become true creative participants and co-creators of the piece, creating chromatic interactions and meditations through their own actions…interactions with it! 

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 4

And A Ribbon Ran Through It 4

The French Link stitch can uniquely engage the ribbon in fun and functional ways.

The French link is a beautiful binding that links signatures (gathering of folded pages or sections) and creates an open spine book through which a ribbon can weave.

WEB3Covers transformed with decorative paper, chain link stitch above and below the French Link stitch which is sewn over the ribbons.

WEB1 WEB4 WEB5 WEB6Fun book for preschooler with foam sheet pages, Eco-fi felt covered covers, and thick ribbons for durability. Extra cuts in the felt allow the ribbons to weave through the front and back covers, adding visual interest and texture.

WEB1 WEB2 WEB3 WEB4The “Honey Bear Brown Book”! Ribbons used for closure ties and detailing, as well as under the French Link stitch.

WEB2 WEB4 WEB7Using ribbons here for closure ties, under the French Link stitches, and to create the first letter of the young recipient’s first name.

WEB1WEB2WEB4WEB5The imagery on the ribbon supports the “outer space” theme of this book, while the double closure ribbons flow and waft.

WEB1a WEB2 - Copy WEB3 - Copy WEB5 - CopyThree French Link stitches over ribbon creates greater stability. Matching closure ribbons add a touch of whimsy.

WEBa“Humble Materials” sample, practicing the French Link stitch. I often love these models or samples…perhaps because they are done in the spirit of exploration, learning and discovery and feel free and inventive.

Here’s to learning, invention, freedom, with a bit of whimsy thrown in for good measure!

In my book, the French often know how to do this best. Go for it…The French Link Stitch! Use those ribbons!

Flags and Found Fun at the Fowler

Flags and Found Fun at the Fowler

WEB4aIt was a joy to teach aFlag Books and Found Writingworkshop at the Fowler Museum at UCLA last Saturday.

WEB3Participants created the Flag Book structure (invented by master Hedi Kyle),

WEB11after perusing plenty of samples,

WEB13experimenting with color, and expressing their own sensibilities.

WEB5Then filled their books  with “found” writing, and images,

WEB7garnered from myriad scrap, recycled and repurposed print media. assorted papers, drawing and writing materials, and their own creativity.

WEB10They played with pattern, texture, shape, font, similarities and contrasts.

WEB9pgThere were many surfaces of each book to consider adding content to.

WEB8pgEach student displayed an individual approach to color, collage, layering, placement of images, and use of text and image in their books.

WEB12Indeed.

WEB14This student cut letters out of paper patterned with…letters. (words),

WEB15integrating color, pattern, text and imagery.

WEB16They were focused!

WEB17This artist used the program from the museum about the current José Montoya show…re-purposing it for her book!

WEB18We used beautiful wooden tools designed for ceramics work, as our “bone folders“, to make our folds crisp, and “smooth” the process along (!).

WEB6This adventurous student even took off with the accordion folding technique, creating a second accordion fold book.

I was thrilled to hear what some of the participants felt about our workshop…

“….I really feel I have learned something useful. Thank you for offering the workshop.”

 “I enjoyed the flag bookmaking class very much. ….each of us produced something totally individual yet with the same format…. More, please!”

Yes, more indeed!

Behind the Mask 3

Behind the Mask 3

It has been fun integrating my Mom, Judy Disman’s “mini-masks” into a series of my handmade books.

WEB1The series is comprised of small (approximately 4.5 x 6 x1-1.5″), single and multiple signature books,

WEB3made of repurposed board, paper, jewelry parts,

WEB6 hemp cord, linen thread, and Eco-fi felt (made from recycled plastic bottles.)

WEB5It is a joy to play with color and  the tension of opposites.  Here the compliments blue and orange, are couched in bright white, reflecting flag colors of red, white and blue, with a twist.

WEB4The stitched, or “lashed” edges are inspired by  medieval clothing and lacing.

WEB2

Braided ties can keep the books closed, and the pages are blank.

All the better of stashing secrets!

 

Behind the Mask 2

Behind the Mask 2

It has been fun integrating my Mom, Judy Disman’s “mini-masks” into a series of my handmade books.

WEB2The series is comprised of small (approximately 4.5 x 6 x1-1.5″), single and multiple signature books,

WEB6made of repurposed board, paper, jewelry parts, and raffia,

WEB1as well as hemp cord, linen thread, and Eco-fi felt (made of recycled plastic bottles.)

WEB3The stitched, or “lashed” edges are inspired by

WEB4medieval clothing and lacing, and of course…color.

WEB5The books tie together, and the pages are blank…

all the better of stashing secrets!

 

Behind the Mask 1

Behind the Mask 1

It has been fun integrating my Mom, Judy Disman’s “mini-masks” into a series of my handmade books.

WEB3The series is comprised of small (approximately 4.5 x 6 x1-1.5″), single and multiple signature books,

WEB5made of repurposed board, paper, jewelry parts, and raffia,

WEB1as well as hemp cord, linen thread, and Eco-fi felt (made of recycled plastic bottles.)

WEB6The bound edges are inspired by

WEB7medieval clothing and lacing,

WEBaand of course…color.

The books tie together, and the pages are blank…all the better of stashing secrets!

Family Booking

Family Booking

It is wonderful to work with families, sharing with them a project through which they can experience the creative process. I had such an opportunity, leading a flag bookmaking workshop for residents of a building in Santa Monica owned and operated by the CCSM: The Community Corporation of Santa Monica. CCSM “Creates Housing and Strengthens Community.”

One of the ways it does that is to provide programming for building residents, which includes arts/crafts workshops. I have been gifted with the opportunity to lead several workshops, and this one was a blast. Both adults and children were able to complete a unique Flag Book, and had fun doing so while learning skills and techniques in the process, end expressing themselves creatively. What could be better?!

WEB3The black cover makes the letter’s in Mario’s name pop!

WEBeThis young Angel artist is adding all sorts of adornment to her Flag book creation.

WEBcMichael, recently turned five, who started out drawing, added layers of color, texture and mixed media to his book!

WEB9Michael’s book just vibrates with movement, action and vitality!

WEBdHis  Mom, Lynn, said, “I think I may be enjoying it more than he is. When you do projects with your children, it’s just fun!”  We agreed that adults, especially Moms, certainly deserve to have fun too!

WEBaBlue and orange, complimentary colors (opposite each other on the color wheel), contrast with pink and purple, which have red in common! Flag book color schemes are infinite!

WEBfSomeone loves pink!

WEB9cWEB9dSamantha’s Mom embellished both the powerful red and black front and back covers of her book using a variety of materials,  and tied it all together with silver cord!

This is the kind of experience that a teaching artist lives for. Here’s to more and more of them!

The French Connection or How I Learned to Love to Link 2

The French Connection or How I Learned to Love to Link 2

Books made for children, featuring the “French Link” stitch

WEB1   I continue to play with the “French Link” stitch I recently learned. The best way to learn and skill is to do…so inspired by some special upcoming birthdays, I went to town with color, ribbons, and, of course, the “x” -like French link stitch!

WEB5Using “Eco-fi” felt (made of recycled plastic bottles, no less) in brilliant colors. The pink and green pop, in complimentary fashion. I hope the heart is seen as coming together, not breaking apart. This book was made for an eight year old girl!

WEB4The French link stitch over ribbons, using hemp cord.The knotting below and above the French linking gives the effect of a chain stitch, though each knot is independent of the others.

WEB1The flowing ribbons are folded in half, the loop pushed through a slit in the cover, and the ends then pulled tight through the loop.

WEB4The theme here is outer space, based on the ribbons, hopefully the polka dots elicit the feeling of planets roiling about in space. The red and black color scheme is meant to be positive,  powerful and masculine, with a bit of white to soften the effect.

WEB2The shape of the ribbon ends brings a sense of flags and heraldry to the piece, while the imagery on the ribbons remains playful.  This book was created for a six year old boy (after all!), who is fascinated with space.

WEB1   Designed for a spirited three year old girl, this book sports pink, purple. polka dots, and pastels. It’s green ties are made from shiny cord, knotted at each end.

WEB5The connecting ribbons are woven through two slits on both covers, with the end of each folded under and glued down. The polk-dotted ribbon glued to the page is the same colors, but a different scale then the connectors. it is fun to play with scale!

WEB4The extra slits for the ribbon create a pattern, and add an extra bit of zip to the cover design.

This work isn’t only pure love, it is sheer delight and great fun. Of course there are challenges and ups and down in the process, but the result is arresting and gratifying to the soul. Link On!