an ECHO thrown

This past Monday I finished a four-week project that consisted of 4 different books. Each had a different construction theme: one mainly printed, one with cut elements, one with folded elements, and the final being ‘open’ to any type or combination of fabrication. The content consisted of a free-verse poem I wrote two years ago. Each book is one stanza of the poem. I kept the size a consitent 5″x7″, but other than that each book is quite different.

Reflections on each book (pictures to come hopefully soon):

1. The printed book
I didn’t absolutely love the way the printed book turned out initially, but by the 3rd iteration it has been vastly improved. This is the only book with more than just neutral colors, and I am happy with the way they turned out. Some details that I am still processing is the foil backing for each page. At the moment it looks rather like a hacked-off wedding envelope.

2. The cut book
This book was pretty much a disaster in just about every way. The wood cover originally had brass hinges. Instead though it needs to have some type of fastener other than those. I removed the hinges, but am still thinking about what I might hinge it with instead. Possibly a little bit of thread through the nail holes left by the hinges, or a strip of bookcloth. This book was designed to be a ‘book within a book’…so the main pages were left blank. The first mini book was also a dismal failure. I have come up with a new way of creating the mini book, a sort of fold-out puzzle. I’m still debating though of whether or not I should design and print the sections, or hand write them with white ink.

3. The folded book
This particular book had two weeks of thought put into it, because of spring break. I also folded multiple test pages in practice and experimentation to prepare. It might be my favorite out of the set for that very reason. The middle hinge flap is a little odd, I suppose. I am still looking for opinions of whether or not I should have some kind of latch closure, or whether or not I should just remove the middle flap entirely.

4. The ‘other’ book
I had the wild idea based off of several of Tore Terrasi’s pieces to create a ‘water’ book…or one with squishy, water and oil filled pages in which the poem’s words floated. I had initially thought to create a plexiglass box to hold the loose pages, but realized that the shower curtain material I had chosen to create the pages out of was just too flexible and sticky. So instead I cut down the plexi to form barriers between each piece, and drilled holes through everything to be held together by large rings. The one element I wish I had done differently is the type – it is very small…which isn’t an issue if it is displayed on a lightbox but is difficult to see if not. I had the passing thought of having each word of every line begin large, maybe 24 points, and then get successively smaller with each word in the line. But I got distracted before that thought was fully formed and made them all 12 points.

Overall, I think that I am pretty satisfied with where this set of books is headed, even if each is not quite there yet. One thing that I did discover was that is very easy for me to think of weird ways of creating a book and how the form can relate to the content…but I’m still far from executing the content with skill. Probably because I’m still fascinated by the form and get distracted by it.


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