Book Making, Printing

Inching Forward – 21st June 2021

After giving much thought to ‘Vulnerable to Alteration’ over the last few weeks, my mind wandered around those words to ‘Alter and Adapt’ or perhaps ‘Adapt and Alter’ – the latter seeming to be appropriate during these times.

I have over the years made my own clothes, from dresses to coats and suits. I remember Aran sweaters knitted for myself and my husband, which, when the sleeves wore out, I turned them into cushions, not quite altering or adapting, but yet making use for a different situation and place. 

There are records of a lady at the English Court in the C18th who altered her  Court dress eight times for different Seasons as it was just too expensive to buy new. This seemed to be a planned campaign on her behalf.

So many aspects to Adapting and Altering. I always save the linen fabric from clothes, as I love the texture, and now I make our face masks from them!

I’m sure that we can all come up with examples of alterations, which cover necessity and practical through to the creative and decorative.

So from these vague thoughts I looked again at my work over the last year. There were some printing plates which had had very few runs through the press, so I looked at them again, how could they be altered, and coupled with a different book format that I had devised whilst playing around with paper, I came up with a book.

Three different sizes were made before I could decide

It was a challenge as I had to print on both sides of the paper. I used Indian cotton rag paper which has lovely frilly edges and an indigo ink, so that the effect wasn’t too hard.

One side
The other side

Here are the pages folded together, they have yet to be bound and covered, which I shall do when they are completely dry.

All folded together

And my reading pile, not too many books, as the weather has been dry so offering many opportunities to dig and weed the garden.

Book Making, General, Printing

Bringing it all Together – 17th May 2021

The four individual books are now complete.

The covers had had a great deal of consideration given to them, in the end I used silk paper, as a reference to the original silk fabric used as inspiration, which I painted. The text was hand printed and I used the sewing machine to give a line of holes around the edge to represent the unpicked parts of the alteration.

Such a complex pile in order to glue the covers on!

And the books

Unevenly folded
Evenly folded
Flag Book
Reducing in width concertina

The reading list this time looks slim, but there was plenty of gardening and also these books were read cover to cover, as well as holding lots of memories

Whilst I was working through this series of books I thought to myself, that we all alter and adapt, just like the textiles that I am inspired by and that seems to have particular relevance at the moment. May we all look forward to a peaceful and stable future.

Book Making, Printing

Vulnerable to Alteration – 3rd May 2021

Getting to this stage in the process of constructing the second set of books on the ‘Vulnerable to Alteration’ theme seems to have taken ages. It was back in the winter that these prints were made. 

Process Again 8th February 2021 and Back on Track  22nd February, see here and here

I do like to see a project through and here I was hampered by the silver ink being very slow to dry and this led me to the set of postcards that I designed and printed, which were featured in my last blog.

Anyway the ink is now dry and I have been able to fold the books. I found it difficult to retrieve my thoughts, the ‘alteration’ needs to meet certain parameters, the books are each unique, for after all why would you alter a dress to be the same? They had to be different and reduce in style and size and only one print could be used in each book. My initial plans for the design of the books had dissolved a little during the months waiting for the ink to dry, it was therefore necessary to replan and re measure, all this took time.

I chose the papers needed for the constructions

And they are now folded waiting for their covers.

My reading has now progressed to a shorter shelf where there are catalogues from exhibitions, these hold memories of the art work seen and the people who were with me at the time. I’m looking forward to gallivanting again!