I really am a book person. I love to read. (I want to write — I’m starting small-ish with this blog.) I find that very often when I’m drawn to art, if it’s not related to Home, the written word or books are involved. So, no surprise, the idea of creating art out of books really captivated me.
I started experimenting with the shapes and textures that I could create with just the repetition of very simple folds. There’s no pattern involved. As with making 1000 cranes, I just folded the same thing over and over again. The first one I made looked like a stacked cones. I marked the middle of the length of the book with a pencil and then folded the top and bottom corners of each page down until a point was formed at that middle marker. To keep the folds neat and lined up, make sure that the start of the fold is as close to the binding as possible.
I wondered next, ‘what it would look like if the shape was inverse?’ I alternated pages, folding one corner from the top down and the next page, folded the corner from the bottom up. I got ‘crazy’ and stacked the two shapes — gluing them to the back side of a canvas rather than the front. Just because I like the rawness and the wood and the staples framing the books.
The fun thing about this project is that no pattern is required. You don’t need a ruler. You just need an old book. The art is in the repetition of the folds and then the repetition of the shapes that are created by the forms of the book. My most recent attempt was a simple assembly of 4 of the very first type of fold — the stacked cones.
And then I hid a few treasures between the pages — just like we find when we read a good book.
I’m having such fun with re-purposing books. I think there’s some leftover from long ago sense of wickedness about ‘destroying’ a book — remember when we checked books out of libraries or were loaned school books for the year and you couldn’t mark in them or dog-ear the pages? Maybe I’m assuaging my child-like guilt over destroying books by saving them from the dump and recycling them into art? In any case, I’m still deconstructing an old dictionary I picked up off the kitchen counter at work. It’s turned into flower garlands, cranes, roses, butterflies . . .