What a whirlwind this whole project is! It is pretty exciting to see it all taking shape after all our planning and scheming. For me yesterday was really a turning point as the big pile of materials that has been lurking in my studio was magically transformed into the beginnings of the books which will make up the installation. But wow! was it difficult for me to watch as others got to work. Remember a large part of this project for me was letting go and cooperating with other artists, but my inner control freak was doing exactly that – freaking – yesterday!!
We began by cutting the book board to make the covers. I cut hundreds of boards a year – it is a pretty simple, chore-like activity for me – I forgot how hard it was to do the first time I tried. Watching the others trying to manage the knife and the steel ruler, not cut off their fingers, and stay in a straight line reminded me. It was REALLY hard for me not to snatch the knife from their hands and do it “properly” myself!! They all turned out fine and I didn’t explode!
Next we cut the paper to cover those boards – and I learned that my instructions are not always very clear! We had to cut some of the papers over again -with better instruction. Again I think for me the problem was that this is something I do hundreds of times…
Finally the time had come for glue – the part I had been dreading. The book covers will feature this fabulous Nepalese marbled paper, but it disintegrates easily if it gets too wet, and glue will show if it gets on the right side of the paper. I have taught enough beginners to know that they nearly always have problems with the right amount of glue! A couple of times I snapped a little – but we got through the tricky part and then the covers were stacked between layers of wax paper under weights to dry. Phew!!
We moved on to the accordion folded page that will hold the photo flags. We cut the sheets of painted paper from last weeks workshop down to size and then we folded them. Folding an accordion is not difficult, you just have to go slowly and be precise, you want all the folds to be parallel to the vertical edge of the book. We practiced on the smaller take home version before tackling the folding for the “real” ones. Again – it all turned out just fine!
Finally – the work was done, and we could all have some good creative fun – decorating the flags for the take home books. We used old library card catalog cards for the base, and collaged away!
All that remained was to assemble all the parts, the pages were added to the covers and the flags stuck into the “take home” versions.
Another HUGE thank you to everyone at Infinity for letting us play in their space – came out and join us in two weeks when we put the whole thing together. I can’t wait to see them all installed, with all Jen’s fab photos.
These and more photos: