Wednesday, 20 December 2017

Module 6 Chapter 10

A free standing display book.

I chose to make my book about Forge Valley, a really beautiful  area close to where I live.  There is a river running through it with a manmade boardwalk along one side, there is a little wooden bridge, a weir where the water runs fast, lots of wildlife and everything left to grow naturally.  Unfortunately there is a road running through as well which is used as an access to the roads going north of Scarborough and the traffic is busy and fast.  It makes walking along the road a bit dangerous but once you reach the bridge and can cross to the other side you can forget all about the cars and enjoy the nature around you.

I wanted to try and create the atmosphere of the valley, the tranquillity of the woodland and the lovely brightness of the green foliage in early summer.  I had put to one side two pieces of paper I had painted some months ago.  I think it was some left over paint and I just covered some wallpaper lining paper with it and dropped some cling film over it.  The resulting texture on the paint looked to me like a copy of one of my photographs and by adding a few lines in black ink I had created an atmospheric picture of the woods.

Unfortunately I can't get my photographs much better than this but the paper on the left has what appears to be a tree leaning across a river in a similar manor to the one in my photograph.  The other piece I think I considered to also be a river but when I turned it on its side, it became trees.

Having decided what I wanted to do on one side of my book I needed to work out how many pages, what size and what I would put on the reverse side.  I wanted to add some of the things you might see in the valley without going into masses of flowers and birds. I decided to make the whole thing from wallpaper lining paper as it is strong, takes lots of paint and paste and colours well. 

I next made a series of pieces of paper painted in shades of green to represent the valley.  Some of them I put cling film over and some I didn't.  I chose five pieces in all to make one side of my book.

I now have a size for each page plus a front cover and I have worked out where the folds will be. I cut a strip of paper the length I needed to make a central strip to attach my pages to.  I now had to decide what to put on the reverse pages.  I thought about birds and so I sat one evening and traced a woodpecker from a bird book that I have and I collaged it with papers from my box.  I was quite pleased with the effect and went on to make several other birds.  Some I had to enlarge and some make smaller so they are a bit random in their sizes but I was quite pleased with them. I made a background for the woodland birds from one of my earlier pieces in chapter eight and I used a painted piece of paper with a stencil for the river birds. 
I also liked the idea of lifting the birds up from the background to make them more 3d but that would be the last thing that I would do. These two pages above are separate and not yet attached to the book.  In fact, nothing gets attached to the book until every page is ready.  At this point my lounge floor is covered in papers, threads and various other items I might want to consider using.
The next two pages were to be on seeds and findings.  I had this piece of paper which is a natural fibre paper on which I have glued some strips of tissue paper then painted and printed over it all using dried leaves as print blocks.  I had one more piece of the paper left so decided to use that as the page on which to attach my findings.

Because the printed paper was a bit small, I had to add a border and I cut some strips of the natural fibre paper and put them round the edges of the centre piece.  The finding were first glued to the paper and then stitched round to secure them.

The last two pages were to be about flowers.  I wanted this to be a bit more delicate to reflect the subject so I found a nice piece of paper painted in pale colours.  Unfortunately it was just a bit short to make a double page so I would have to add something to each side to lengthen it.  The centre piece is strips of coloured tissue glued to newspaper background which has then been painted and hopefully represents a bluebell wood.  I wanted to put the wild garlic in, so I cut out a small portion of a photograph and stitched it in by adding more white flowers.  The marsh marigold makes another appearance, this time in chiffon, machine stitched and then cut out.

I needed to choose which other fabrics, laces etc. to add to the background to complete this set of pages.  The brown threads made a reasonable tree bark and led me into being able to use some bark rubbings I had made during a walk in the woods.  The only thing I had left to decide about on the inside of the book was some feathers I had collected.  I had a heron feather, a mallard, a wood pigeon and a magpie which I wanted to include with the birds but they were too big to attach to the pages so I decided to make a transparent nylon bag which I attach to the book on the fold where the two pages of birds met and this then completed the inside of the book.
The next step was to choose a border to surround each of the pieces of paper I had chosen for the front of the book.  I liked the spikey one I had done from the chopped up photocopy but it needed to be darker than black on white.
The border I had printed on the first page was quite nice but I needed something different.

This looked as though it would work.  Dark green background with black lines painted on.
This was the finished borders waiting for the green pages to be added to them.  Now for a front cover.  I wanted to used one of the photographs I had printed on the Khadi paper but as it was quite a bit smaller than my page size I needed a background and I had room for a title.  I made the background by making a montage of photographs, printing it out in colour then scanning it back into the computer and making it black and white.  I then made it a little bit fuzzy and lighter, printed it out and cut it up to fit around the photograph.

I wrote a title in Word in the style and size I needed and printed it part way down the sheet of paper.  I then covered that with a piece of painted paper slightly bigger than the text and sellotaped well down.  I then ran the paper back through the printer enabling me to get the writing onto the green paper which I then removed and was able to glue to my cover.

The last thing I needed was a means to hold the book together.  I hadn't used the bridge in any of my pages and to me it is an essential part of any walk in the woods.  I went back to my patterns I had made from the bridge designs in chapter 5 and decided to make a fabric piece using these designs which was then attached by machine made cords.  I made a long narrow tube for the cross pieces and two strips for the top and bottom rails.
The cords are wrapped around the book and the buttons then tied off to keep them tidy.  I have finished the ends with hazelnut shells which I found on the ground.
This was the point at which I started to assemble everything.  It didn't take long to do, waiting for the glue to dry was the long time.
So here are the finished pages.  I added a blanket stitch edge to this one and I raised the birds off the page by attaching them to small pads.

This shows the bag of feathers between the two pages.
Next are the seed pages.

Then come the flower pages.
 These threads are machine stitched to a piece of painted paper and a piece of coloured fabric takes the page to the end. 
 These are the tree rubbings I did which I have machined together and attached to the page
This side is finished off with a piece of matching blue fabric.

The finished inside of the book.

Now the outside.
 You can see a bit more clearly the trees by the river in this cling film print

This reminded me more of walking one of the mud paths with forget-me-nots and red camption.

Two more that give the impression of trees.

This is the front cover.
The finished front of the book.  I seem to have missed the front cover off this photo but it is on the left.
 This is the back of the book with the fastening

and this is the front of the book all fastened up.

This has been quite an enjoyable job to do.  The way I planned it, not completing any section until I was ready to do a final assembly meant that I never had moments when I thought I had done it wrong.  I have long wanted to do some work on Forge Valley and this together with some stitch pieces I did last year have finally resolved that need.  It has taken me longer than it should have done to complete the course but I have been able to do it in my own time which has been a bonus.  While it is good to work on a project on a daily basis, sometimes life can't afford you that kind of time.  I now have a collection of work books that I keep referring back to already and I am sure I shall use them over and over in the coming years. 


Thursday, 9 November 2017

Module 6 Chapter 9

Decorated edges and borders.

I have made a few books in the past and used a variety of edges to decorate the borders.  I quite like doing them and they do make a finish to a book.  Here are some of ideas I use.

These borders are slightly different.  A friend has these plastic rubbing strips and I took some impressions using Markel sticks and they are quite nice.

Lace is very useful for borders.  The piece on the left has been dyed with transfer paints and is attached with two rows of running stitch which can be used on the reverse of the page but they are a bit wide apart for that.  The one on the right has been more carefully attached with small stitches at each end of the opening.  Again, not necessarily suitable on the reverse as the stitches are large on that side but they could have another thread wound through them.  The piece on the right has a fancy thread couched down.  Definitely not suitable on the reverse for showing so I would glue two pages together.  The two rows of running stitch are threaded with another coloured thread to make an attractive pattern. This is useable on the reverse as the two rows match each other.

On the left I have painted a design which decorates one side of the page but leaves the reverse blank.  The right hand side has fabric folded over the edge and stitched down.  This creates an identical edge on the reverse.  On the right I have done a single row of running stitch to show how it just finishes the page and the reverse is identical.  On the right hand side I have torn the edge then added the piece I tore away, reversing it so that it fits in different places.  This is glued to the reverse but is not unsightly so it could be used decoratively. 
Unfortunately I had glued these pieces into my sketchbook before I realised I should have photographed the reverse sides.  I did think not to glue in the areas where I might want to turn it over in the future and look at the other side but I can't hold them back and photograph them.  This was a useful exercise to do, giving me a number of ideas I can look back on at a later date.

Module 6 Chapter 8

Photographs and Photocopies

I'm not really all that keen on using photographs in stitch work, I find it a bit hard edged but I have used it on a couple of occasions.  Working with paper prints is a bit different though, you can work onto a paper background which works in with the photos and copies.

I started by printing off some of my photographs. 

The one on the left is printed on ordinary printer paper and the one on the right is printed on Khadi paper which is quite thick and is a fingers crossed job when it goes through the printer.  It absorbs the colour better and is much brighter than the printer paper.  Also, the sepia effect looks more like an old print on this paper.  I am keeping these two as I may use them in my book.

The top left picture is a cyanotype effect and the top right is daguerreotype of the same photograph as in the bottom right.  The bottom left is a photograph taken elsewhere in the valley and I have isolated an area and enlarged it below.

I used the photograph of the squirrel for a pattern of squares which is brilliant for enlarging a picture.  Saves all that measuring and ruling lines.  The top right is a kaleidoscope pattern of the cow parsley photograph and the ripple effect below is the same photograph.

I then had a play with a few of these.

Here I have cut the cyanotype and the daguerreotype pictures into strips and woven them together.

The background is a sepia photograph and the coloured piece is a different photograph stuck on top. This could be done with lots of different shapes to create different patterns.  I quite like the effect.
Here I took the smaller photograph of the group of cow parsley and cut it into random shaped strips.  I then glued them to the enlarged photograph of the single plant and arranged them like stalks.  I quite liked this one.

Here I had another play with the cow parsley.  Another colour copy of the single plant which I then photocopied in black and white.  I cut the flower off and glued it under the coloured one.  I then took a photocopy of the ripple effect photograph.  I cut a smaller flower from the side of the main one and glued that underneath and then a smaller version of the ripple on top of that creating this stacked image.
Photocopying my photographs uses a lot of ink and I tried to do one onto a transparent sheet but there was too much ink and it wouldn't dry.  I ended up with ink on everything. To make it easier, I took two of my earlier photographs and make a colour copy and a black and white one which I then cut into matchsticks and dropped onto the page.  These were then glued where they landed.

This was done in my sketchbook. I then took two photocopies of this piece of work.
 The first I used here.  I did some hand drawn lettering and used a mixture of photocopies which I then colour washed   in yellow.  I was being lazy not putting the computer on to create some smart lettering so I'm not very happy with this one.

Here I have used the matchstick print to make a border around a copy of a photograph.  The border seems to pick up the fencing and make it stand out more. 
Not sure about this chapter.  I'm still cautious about photographs and especially photocopies but I might use something in my final book.