Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Spring Squam 2015: Turn the Page (Altered Book Project)

I was so interested in Colleen's process of making "altered books", her class was one of the chief draws to Squam for me this year.

After taking some time to think and write what feelings and intentions our book was going to be about, she had us start on the cover. First step was to lay gesso over the whole thing since I wasn't keeping any part of it.
After that, I'm afraid there are no progress photos as I was intensely working on it! I know I modge-podged on some old magazine pages, music pages, and other cutouts. I applied molding paste through a stencil to give some texture. I added texture paste and thinned paint to give a colour wash effect. I took a piece of tulle and sewed down the length a couple times and then modge-podged it onto the front for some more texture.

Progress at lunch time. Everything was left to dry
in preparation for the afternoon.
Colleen had given us each a packet of items to use and mine included a big three-legged metal object and a large button. Immediately I knew I would glue the button to the top of the metal piece and then glue it to the book. Originally I thought I could tie a ribbon around the book and fasten it to the knob to close the book, but it looked so much like a door knob that I kiboshed the ribbon idea.

In the afternoon, Colleen showed us how to get started on the inside pages.

Here are some pictures of my pages by the end of the class. Most are still in progress. Colleen's process involves a lot of layers so it takes some time!

Here is a page in the early stages. A strip of paper is sewn to the edge of the page. The page is treated with gesso and then "distressing" ink:
Here is a pocket with a page marker. The pocket is made by sewing the two pages together along the side and bottom.
Here are a few layers of vellum I sewed stuff onto before then sewing them onto a page in the book.
Here's a spread which includes a picture that was in the book. The left page might be done. The right page needs more and especially a main focal piece.
 Here's a detail from the left page where I added elements to the printed picture.
 Here's something I sewed together before gluing it into the book.
The translucent envelope contains a little key and the word "sacred". The way it is sewn onto the page, it would be impossible to get the key out. On the other page, the man there is so open. I liked the contrast. I may do more to these pages as well (especially the left).

Included with the supplies we could use was a large map that included both the area where I grew up and the area where I live now.
I sewed in strips of the map to a page where I had transfered a photo of a car. I sewed a little road for the car. :) It hasn't found a place in the book yet.

And here's another little piece I assembled but haven't placed anywhere:
The blue paper (both light and dark) is paper I made years ago. The stamping was "practice" when I was making some Valentine's Day cards. I thought it suited the little phrase cut from a magazine. It was sewn in like a tag on clothing.

Here's the back inside cover where I added some brick texture and the word I got from Colleen. It's cut from cardboard that would have gone to the landfill.
And when I needed a mental break or a little inspiration, this view out my classroom window worked very well:
As a last touch just before I was ready to leave, I made a tassel from some twine, gold thread, and netting for the front cover. And Colleen even had a little elephant for me to tie on!
It's amazing how attached you get to the book you've worked on. This book was heavy to start with and now it really has a nice heft to it. I just wanted to carry it around in my arm! (I'm not the only one--classmates said the same thing!)

I'm not sure how I'll be able to continue working on this at home. I don't have the supplies and feel like I don't have the space to spread out like I want. But supplies I can buy and perhaps I can just work on one page or one part at a time. We'll see.

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