Monday, 29 September 2014

From collage to books and back again.

A few months ago, my step daughter asked me if I would make a guest book for her upcoming wedding.  I very happily took on the project, though it had been a while since I'd made a book of any sort.  

About a dozen years ago, I took some courses through CBBAG: Canadian Bookbinders and Book Artists Guild.  In the last few years, I'd done very little binding and didn't realize how much I'd missed it.  

To get back into it, I decided to make some smaller journals.  Just to refresh my skills and to become reacquainted with my tools and supplies.









For the past few years, rather than make books, I've been making collages.  They include antique photographs and letter fragments, flowers that I pick and press, shells and pebbles I collect, hand painted papers, skeleton keys, porcelain doll parts.  When the collage is at a certain stage, I write a line or more of text, print it out, stain it integrate it into the collage.  





When I made the first journal then, it was no surprise when I found myself including a collage on its cover.  I use this one now for jotting down ideas and images which will eventually become the lines that I use on my collages.  





I have some gorgeous leather scraps which I've been carting around with me for years, and finally decided to use one of my favourites for a full leather binding.  Which meant bringing out my leather-paring knife.  I also wanted some variety, so decided to stain the pages.







The collage on the cover of this one includes a porcelain doll's arm, fragment of an antique letter, and a couple of matt glass beads.










As I went on, I had some paper cut offs.  As I've traditionally done with these, I made a smaller journal.  I decided to use another arm from an antique porcelain doll as well as a fragment of an antique letter, and hand painted papers to decorate this one.  









There were paper scraps left over from this one too.  So...wash, rinse, repeat...


















The journals got smaller and smaller, until I finally reached the limit of what my eyes and fingers were capable of in this ca. 2 x 2 cm journal.   













By this time, I started to think about my collages again and wondered how I could incorporate these mini journals into them.  While Molly looked on.








This is how it turned out.  Full circle.  
Her text is: 

'She collected things; some forgotten, discarded, stolen:
fragments of a love letter, dead flowers from a locket, a child's first dreams,
and sang them into her book of shadows, to become songs for her own subtle magic.'


15 comments:

  1. Beautiful work. Did you stain the pages with tea or with some other medium? That 2x2 size is amazing. I love the inside cover paper you chose. Great photographs too. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Thank you, Megandd.
      I had only ever tried tea staining pages before, so I wanted to experiment a bit. For the leather covered book, I used a combination of tea and espresso. Then I used some watered down metallic acrylic paint and 'splattered' some onto the pages for a dotted / foxed look.

      The only thing about using the coffee is that the pages *still* have a bit of coffee scent to them. Which for me isn't a problem, but I can imagine that it would bother some people.

      So glad you enjoyed the post!

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    2. A whole lot of people love coffee.... do need to worry about that. I'm sure a little perfume might cover it if they wanted to do that too.

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    3. You're right Megandd, journals with a coffee scent might actually be preferable to some people!

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  2. Hi Lynn, Thanks for sharing, I especially like your collages with the mini books! You are inspiring me to dig out all the supplies I've been collecting and do more book making!

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    1. Thank you for your lovely comment, Jasmin! So glad to have been an inspiration. I tend to purchase supplies, and sometimes years will go by before I find the right project for them - or in some cases overcome my worry that I'll mess it up and waste a gorgeous paper or leather. : )

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    2. Jasmin, I just popped over to your blog. Stunning work. The colours and patterns and overall effect are just gorgeous!

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  3. I really enjoyed seeing your work in progress. How it unfolded and became so beautiful. And, I adore Molly, I can see her putting her perspective to you ! x

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    1. Thanks, LeeAnn!
      Molly's almost always with me in the studio - often sitting on whatever it is I'm trying to work on. You know cats. : )
      x

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  4. wow... so many images of your work in progress.. and what stunning work, making a book from beginning to end must be so satisfying, kudos.

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    1. Thanks, Donna! It is so satisfying. I've always loved books of any kind, and making journals is something I really enjoy. It's been fun seeing how I can incorporate them into my collages. Hope you're having a good Autumn. I've been loving your new work!

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  5. I really appreciate that you are sharng your creative process with us...beautiful and inspiring!
    Best wishes!

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    1. I'm so glad you've been enjoying it, Magdalena.
      Many thanks.
      Best wishes to you!

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