Passport to Art

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Thursday, 13 June 2013

Preparation for the journey

Today let's look at preparing your book.  This blog post has a great many photographs.

But first ....

How to choose your book
It is considered to be best to choose a book that has been sewn together at the spine.  Sheets of paper are folded together and these are known as a signature.  A book is made up of several signatures.  Each signature is sewn to the spine and often a small amount of glue is used to fix two signatures together along the spine.

It is getting harder to find books that are sewn together - so many of them are glued.   If you can't find a sewn book don't worry.  Use a glued one but be aware that as you work into the book you may have to do some running repairs.  This could be by gluing a strip of paper along the spine edge of your page or using masking tape and putting gesso over it.

Preparing the book
Because we are going to fold pages and add gesso and paint the cover of the book will be put under strain as our finished article will be much thicker than the original book.  So we will remove some pages.  You may find as well that your book as far too many pages for the project so remove a few more pages.  I cannot tell you how many pages to remove because it depends on your book.  Carefully remove pages from the middle of each signature and keep the pages for other projects.

If your book has very thin paper for pages you should glue 2 or 3 pages together which also has the effect of reducing the number of pages in the book.   Use glue stick rather than wet glue unless you like the wrinkled look.  I recommend the Ranger gluestick as it has been designed particularly for collage.

I removed the paper cover from my book.

I took a page out from the middle of each signature.  Sometimes it's hard to see where the stitching is so pick up the pages at the bottom and you can see where it is.

When I had gone through the book once I counted the pages and there were still too many in the book so I went back through the book again.  When I had done that I had about 50% of the book left.

Sometimes the pages at the back and the front of the book don't lie flat so I glued the two pages at the front together.

Folding the pages
There are lots of different ways to alter a book but these are the alterations I have made.

Folding the page down from the top.

Folding the page up from the bottom.

Finding the middle of the edge of the next page and folding both corners to meet in the middle.

I love that when you look at the three pages together you can see the different shapes.

For the next set of three pages I folded the first in half towards the spine.

Then the next page not as far as the spine so some of the page shows behind the half page.

And then the third page is folded about a quarter of the way in.

I turned over the page behind this set of three before starting to fold another page.  This one I folded down from the top
 and then back on itself.
I turned over the next full page and repeated the folding.

When these are opened out they look like this.

I turned over the full page and on the next page folded it in half to the spine.  This could be glued top and bottom and stuck to the page behind to make a pocket.

I turned over the full page and folded the corners of the page to the middle as before and on the next page folded it in half to the spine.

I turned over the full page and folded the corner down on the next page and up on the next.

I repeated the two folds on this double page.

I decided I would cut a shape out of the next page so glued two pages together with glue stick.  I managed to rip the page as I was applying the glue so that decided where the shape would be cut out!

 I put a spare piece of paper behind the circle so you can see where it is!

The last two pages were glued together because of the way they were lying in the book.

Come back on Saturday for a short video run through of my book and some extra information.  In the meantime here's a PDF to download with photos of the different folds.  Next week we'll look at other ways of altering a book besides folding.

See you soon!