Friday, 13 May 2016

Book Art Project part 1

When I was in Paris last summer, I came across a booth selling the most amazing book sculptures. Unfortunately the photo I took didn't turn out and the business card I grabbed was for the other person sharing the booth space so I can't give proper credit for this art project idea or show you what it was supposed to look like.

Anyway, the artist carved books into fantasy landscapes which became stands for D&D figures. I've tried to find the original artist online without any luck, so if my project reminds you of something, please pass their name/website along so I can see if it's a match.

I realized that I'm a crafty person and I have a lot of books I have to dispose of (Advance Reader Copies aren't meant to be passed on or sold, so I typically tear them apart and recycle them).  So I thought I'd give making one of these landscape books a try.

I watched a few online videos, but they weren't really doing what I wanted to do, and some required specialized that I don't have.  So I did a test book, seeing how easy or hard it was to use an exacto knife to cut pages out of a book, how to fan the pages to make a stand for figures, and how to actually keep the book pages in place.

My test book worked out better than I'd hoped, so I moved on to making an actual book sculpture. I've blurred some of the text so it's harder to recognize the book I used - you have no idea how hard actually cutting into a book was for me - and I'd feel terrible for the author to know how I maimed their baby.

Step one was to make the book the right size for my project. I wanted something shorter but thick, and so decided to use a mass market paperback.  The book was too tall for what I wanted, so I took a hack saw and sawed about an inch off the top.  While not terrible difficult, this was a bit time consuming.  It also created a ragged edge, and got less straight as I got closer to the loose ends of the book.  I decided to make this work for me, creating a bit of a peaked mountain look instead of going with my original ideas, which was to sand the paper even.

Once I had the book the size I wanted, I fanned the book while liberally spritzing it with water and then let it dry.  I did this several times, over several days, fanning the pages a lot so it would build in volume.

When the book was puffed up enough, I went on to the next phase: cutting it up. I'll show what that looked like next week.

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