Wednesday, October 18, 2006

An Exercise in AB-Making

This book was the inspiration for me to enter the world of altered books.

You should know that this was my first attempt after thinking about, reading about altering old books. And of course Larry is a collector of old and fine books so I have an almost endless supply. Which is just where I found this book, The Girl Warriors.

I suppose I was feeling a bit of a warrior this summer. And, indeed, the AB project seemed to offer just what I needed: something that could be fitted into whatever amount of time I was able to muster for my studio.

Let it also be known that I am someone who begins projects with a great deal of excitement. Which has a way of falling off. And the project becomes a UFO: unfinished object. But don't ask how many; I never tell! Anyway, this summer, I discovered a new patience for problem-solving and perseverance for completion with this altered book. Why? Don't know. But I think of it as a great gift. Among several that I received this summer season . . . . .

The summer of my altered book and gifts was also a summer of learning new lessons. "And this is the rest of the story". Now who used to say that on the radio? A bit conservative for my taste but I did like that almost-crying-voice that said those words. Oh, where was I. Oh the summer of lessons.
  1. Chugging along on the AB but feeling constrained by the tight binding and in the interest of "art" I ripped the entire text block out of the spine. That's lesson #1: if you don't know how to get the text block back in, don't rip it out!
  2. Working on the unconstrained pages I just tripped right along. And, discovered that two pages would make terrific inside front and back pages. Impatient novice that I am, I adhered them both. That is lesson #2. Don't! It seriously limits your cover options. Who Knew!!!
  3. With the number of pages I wanted complete, I searched around for a way to get the pages back into the spine. And found a Japanese valley fold type of binding. A wonderful idea. For a Japanese book. Not mine. That type of binding is too tight; I couldn't open the spreads sufficiently to view my work. This really belongs to lessons # 1 and 2, suppose as does the following.
  4. So, I invented my own type of valley fold binding -- but it didn't work. Two times!
  5. Along the way somewhere, I covered and embellished the old book and think I did a great job.
  6. But of course, its an empty book; it has no pages ~~~~~ just a spine and altered covers!!!!!! Huh????

So, here's where I am now. This is over-long, I think but here goes.....

  • I abandoned the wonderful altered covers. I will get backt to them one day; promise.
  • I prepared pages in a new-old book.
  • The new-old book is one that I've saved for a long time: it has a sewn-in text block, leather trim, the words, "Newspaper Clippings" in gilted script.
  • This book is smaller in overall dimensions, so the altered pages must be RE-altered. Hmmmmm????
  • But that gave me another go at "Pentimento" ~~
  • The new book is nearly done and I WILL post pix.

Of course, since my obsession with re-binding the first book, I came across Lisa Volrath's instructions for removing and re-binding the text block!!!! on the Yahoo Altered Book Group.

But what stopped me from thinking outside the BOX during all that angst? I mean who said those "pages" had to be in a book. With covers? And it's just come to me that I could have created a wallhanging with them using any number of ways to string them together. Eyelets and fibers. Wire. Leather. Beads.