I feel like I am moving in spirals these days: circling back around but learning and applying new skills as I go. Currently my major art focus is on working my way through the projects in Making Handmade Books by Alisa Golden, using just regular printer paper and making a model of each technique. In keeping with my “a little time every day” personal commitment, I’ve been doing one or two a day.
I’ve made several different types of handmade books over the last year or so, and especially enjoyed using my handmade papers, collage papers, and dyed papers in those. Then I got distracted from that by encaustic painting. But as I was working with encaustic, I kept thinking how it would be amazing in hand-bound books, especially in book covers. However, to really delve into that I felt I needed to beef up my skills and experience with making various types of books. That prompted me to go through my personal library of book-binding books, and I pulled out Golden’s as the most suited for I want right now. It has over a hundred different projects, starting with simple folded books and becoming more complex as you go along.
Then in July, I went back to John C. Campbell Folk School for a class in Stitched Collage, taught by Jennifer Reis. She is a talented artist and wonderful instructor, and it was a very inspiring class. Now I have even more techniques to bring to handmade books, and I am doubling down on working through those paper models.
So the spiral keeps coming back to books, with the desire to use all these fun skills and techniques to birth creative new ideas. Today’s project was crown binding, where one piece of paper is folded to make a spine that holds inserted pages in place.