This is a book that I started at least a year ago (may have been longer, I’m not sure) and only completely finished just now. It’s strange for a project of mine to take that long, but this one went through so many different changes as I learned more about book-making and pop up books. There is a real ceiling when you’re making things where your abilities and your ideas sort of clash; for me, that ceiling of ability kept constantly changing (I’d learn something new and it would go soaring up or I’d totally screw up another project and it would scare me enough to basically have it clamp down). And I am really, really trying to find a way to combine this idea of the pop-up, which I absolutely love, with my work so that it’s not just gimmicky or cute but instead refers to this interior space which is infinite.
Anyway. At very long last, here is the book.
Here is a picture of my gimpy hand opening it (not sure why I always show my hand in these pics but I do so why stop?):
Inside the cover:
Then you turn the page and you reach this part you have to assemble:
So it’s not a pure “pop up” in that you have to do some of the work, but it is incredibly easy to assemble. The five-sided cobweb basically comes out at you and all you have to do is latch the side into a little perforated latch I created. When you do, and interior part naturally falls down and it looks like this from above:
…and like this from head-on:
You fold it up to read the rest of the story, but from there on it’s just symmetry in terms of the design part:
and the last spread:
I worked like crazy trying to get the hinges on the pages so that it could be opened and assembled over and over and over (100s of times) with no worries about damaging it… and in the end, I think it has to sort of remain a fragile work of art.
Ok, I’m excited! I think this is a big step!!
It’s funny for me to think that there was a time several years ago when I absolutely swore I would never make artist’s books, because I really felt that the whole medium had become this ghetto that women artists for whatever reason gravitated to, only to have relatively few people/institutions collect them… and in that way it was a sort of self-perpetuating ghetto. Why would I ever choose to put myself in a category that is so routinely ignored and overlooked? Why would I basically go out of my way to make my life and my work so much harder than it is already? But I’ve done an about-face on that as I have with crafts and sewing – it’s not so much that I don’t care about that ghetto (I think it definitely exists and is very real) but more like I want to exploit it, to examine it in some sort of way, and maybe… I don’t know… report back? Do something interesting with it?
I’m not sure. But this is the conversation I’ve had in my head over and over today as I bound and re-bound a book, trying to get it just right. It took 12 hours… of course not continuous work, but setting it up, waiting for glue to dry, tweaking it, cutting this or that, waiting for more glue to dry, and so forth. Frustrating as hell. And yet I’m leaving the situation wanting to make more books and thinking that craft-based projects and books may be what I spend the rest of the year doing.
Pictures soon. I just have to get the binding just right…
p.s. sculptures out of paper, too. I was thinking about that all night after I wrote this.
That is the only way I can really explain it: The tunnel book I have labored over for the last few weeks is somehow sentient and has decided for itself that it doesn’t want to be photographed properly.
That is why these photos are so… lame.
I’m really frustrated. Few things make me feel quite as satisfied as working on a piece, getting it just right, and then posting a triumphant photo on my blog. It’s kind of a big downer when the photos suck.
Anyway. Bah. Here’s what we have for now.
No, really – it looks awesome in person. Trust me.
Ok, it’s hard for me to explain, but this just rocks my world:
I cannot overstate this: When it unrolls, it’s a leaf. That’s completely amazing. The idea of taking the shape of a utilitarian something (a blanket) that we just automatically assume we know and then switching it to something else entirely (something from nature no less)… I dunno. That just rocks my world. And yeah, I know it’s based on Thumbalina, but it’s still a really amazing idea.
I don’t have a baby, but if I did I would buy five of them – I am completely serious. The woman who made this blanket is a genius and I really hope she makes a bazillion dollars off of them. Click on the picture to get to her store or else click here. And give her money.
It’s slow-going, but here is a shot of the tunnel book about halfway done:
I really wanted to make one that was tiny (actually, I wanted to make a series of them that were tiny – like maybe 2 x 4″ when laid flat), but it just wound up being way too difficult – I was so limited by the amount of text I could put on it, that it just didn’t feel right. This one is a little bigger (don’t have it in front of me, but maybe 5 x 6″?) and I’m still limited, but it’s much better. Anyway, once this one is done and bound and everything, I’m going to make a nice little box for it to live in, and I would really like to do a few more with in that format.
Meanwhile, the Tiny Fabric Houses are going amazingly well – I have such a backlog of orders, I’m not really sure when I’ll ever be caught up. And add to this that I’m trying to constantly keep coming up with new models to keep things interesting and… I have a lot of sewing to do!!