We started off the week by dyeing papers and using techniques like batik and discharge to create patterns. Then we learned some iron on transfer techniques and applied them to paper and fabric. I used all of these techniques on watercolor paper, but I also used them on pages of a dinosaur book that I found the week before. Then we used the papers we created to make collages, this is mine:
I created this by pulling fabric over a stretcher frame (like you would canvas) and then applied additional layers of paper & fabric to it with acrylic medium. This made the layers really stiff, like a vinyl or waterproof shoes. But I didn’t want to just have this 24″ x 21″ collage piece, so I decided to cut it up in order to make smaller, more interesting collage surfaces:
After I had some interesting 3″ x 3″ squares, I knew I wanted to create a book with them. I have loved Jacob’s Ladders since I learned about them in high school (I didn’t have one as a kid), and when I discovered it can be used as a book form, well, I fell even harder for the magical structures. Since I wanted six panels, and a Jacob’s Ladder is viewed from both sides, I needed a dozen collages. I started cutting, arranging, and stapling my pieces:
If you have never seen a Jacob’s Ladder in person, you can watch this video to see how it works. The instructions I used are from Creating Handmade Books, a text I had from the first book arts class I ever took.
I ended up weaving a small basket out of my collage scraps to house this book. I would still like to make a lid for it, but I am pleased with how it’s turning out:
I feel like this class pretty much tied the entire summer up for me. I am positive I will use several of these techniques often. This book is very unique from any I have made in the past, and I am sure that with some more play, I can continue to push my books in new and exciting directions.
I’m excited to make this form again, even though it took me about 3 tries to bind it correctly. Maybe one day I will make instructions that aren’t so confusing so that no one has to go through what I did. Or maybe I’m the only one that had this much trouble with a Jacob’s Ladder? Either way, I plan on practicing this form again, so hopefully I will have more to share in the future. Let me know if you have any tips!