Two years ago, about this time of year, I initiated a book a week project. I’m feeling twitchy in that same way so am going to do it again. For this round I’ve changed the rules. Now I’m interested in speeding up my process for finishing up. So the intent is to do just that – whether it is an unfinished project worthy of completion, or determining a use for various materials set aside for a project ‘someday’ .
As an aside, the current trendy description of my comfort zone is that I’m a ‘renaisance soul’ – this means that my interest in completing projects is always duking it out with my interest in new projects. So, I have a lot of unfinished projects around.
Another of my realities is that it is hard for me to pitch things – this issue is multi-layered and deep; no need to go into all that now. Sometimes by treating heretofore unfinished projects as a new project, with a series of new challenges, I can trick myself into finishing projects that, with the passage of time, still seem worthwhile finishing.
The first, which I have to finish this week, will be for the visual journals show. I don’t often exhibit at my own gallery, but do sometimes use my curatorial ideas as incentive to do something I’ve wanted to do before.
This book binds several individual drawings I made in 2008 into a book. These pages were made over a period of several months in 2008 mainly to combat the tedium of waiting for performances (mostly live music at various clubs) to start. Arriving early enough to get a good spot meant waiting a long time for the performance to begin. I’d get fidgety and bored and sometimes felt conspicuous because I was by myself.
I made myself a little kit that fit easily into a handbag and worked on these pages to wile the moments away. The rule for the writing was to write of things going on in the moment, either internally or externally. Every space had to have a letter, so there are no spaces between words, and no punctuation. When the end of a row of grids was reached, I’d turn the paper 90 degrees and continue writing. After making just a few, I decided to designate a few blank areas on the gridded page that I could later work on in the studio.
I wanted to use an approach to binding Don Glaister recently taught in a workshop sponsored by the Guild of Bookworkers, Rocky Mountain Chapter. The workshop was held in Kozo’s new rental space in June. Sort of a modified photo album structure, where guards are incorporated into the pages at the spine edge; those guards are folded over, sometimes multiple times, to create enough thickness to accommodate the thickness of the page being bound. This book doesn’t have particularly thick pages, but I did need to fashion a method to bind single sheets of a material that doesn’t fold well – the gridded, frosted mylar the drawings were on.
I mounted each maylar page to an inner page of white Utrech drawing paper. Before I mounted the mylar, I painted colored shapes to the drawing paper, to add more depth to the drawings.
I often do this sort of thing – adding elements that may ultimately be invisible, or at least difficult to see. I want to include those elements but don’t always want them to be articulate. A visual mumbling.
The pages are mounted to the drawing paper, now with colored shapes painted on them, with PMA. The PMA is transparent and, as a dry adhesive, doesn’t cause the paper to curl. Works great for sticking porous surfaces (paper) to non-porous surfaces (mylar).
The drawing paper is cut larger than the mylar at the spine edge, the edges that stick out are what the tabs for the hinges are made from. I then sewed the pages using a supported link stitch on tapes and cased the block into a split board cover.
This resulted in loose tabs between every sewn signature. After the book was sewn up, I decided to add more pages by tipping in mylar drawings, these in black brushstrokes, to those tabs. The end pages are scraps of old prints from the same year the pages were originally made (2008). The cover boards are covered with some of my photographs, taken and printed in the late 1980’s.
Voila – Solo Navigations I – 2008. Finished in time for the exhibition Visual Journals at Abecedarian Gallery.