Friday, February 15, 2013

The Things Behind: Book-In-A-Day Wk7

Title: The Things Behind
Structure: Double Signature Pamphlet
Dimensions: 4 x 6

Video of the process.

This was another great bookmaking experience. I enjoyed the time I got to spend on content for this book. I knew I wanted to do something with black and white photos, but I didn't know which photos or what I wanted to do with them. After attending CODEX earlier in the week, I was inspired by many book artists and their work. I found myself really digging the miniature books, but I didn't want to make a mini this week. I knew I wanted to try the double signature pamphlet. I'm planning on making a few blank art journals using this structure (do you smell a give-a-way?) so I thought I should create an actual book using it first.

At CODEX, I got the chance to experience a book created by my dear friend, Lyall Harris. Her book, The Indistinguishable Bones, inspired me to look at black and white photos as my springboard. I had a ton of fun journeying down memory lane with my old photos.

Eventually, I felt drawn to a pattern (I talk about this in the video), so I let that guide me. A good deal of my time was spent selecting old photos, scanning them into a digital format, and manipulating them using Preview and MS Word. Then, I had to figure out how to get them on the page the way I envisioned.

Once I printed out the first set of photos on plain printer paper, I sat with them, examining and brainstorming. I spent time writing the text and twice as much time revising. And in the end, I did a happy dance because I love the way the photos inform the text and vice versa.

But getting to that point was not easy. I toiled over the words and it took them a while to come. In the video, I talk about using strategies to help me arrive at the content for this book. One of the things I did was make lists.

I started with the color versions of the photos and listed all the colors that stood out. That list became my descriptors. Then I wrote freely while trying to use those descriptors when it felt right. It was an organic process, a lot like my art journaling. In the end, the writing gave me direction for how to order the photos in the signatures and how to pair them with the text.

One of the great elements of this book was how easy it was to assemble once all the pieces were in place. I mean, once I fumbled around with the formatting and printing :-). All the work is done up front and I can easily reproduce this book if I want to edition it.

Since I started learning book art, I thought I'd be someone who editions books. I wasn't really a fan of the one-of-a-kind book, but recently, I've found a lot of appreciation for them, so I'll continue to explore both book types throughout the year.

What I learned during the making of this book: 

  • Paper selection is key. The wrong paper can make or break the book. 
  • My printer is a little bit evil (or I just need to spend more time with it).
  • The way we view a photograph changes as we grow and live and experience life in motion. 
  • I love sewing paper. It's calming. 
  • My printer cannot do a full bleed print, no matter how much I beg.
  • I need a better paper cutter. I'm planning to buy this one: x-acto laser trimmer 
  • When the content doesn't come easily, change your perspective. 
To see a list of materials I used for this project, please join the free community at

I'm looking forward to what next week brings. If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site (where you can view the list of materials I use and see more photos). 

See you next week!!


  1. you're a bad-ass artist in so many ways!! I love the book and sewing paper!

  2. Thank you!! I'm sewing paper today as a matter of fact. More to come..


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