Vastness suddenly in all its glory. It’s an artists’ book I made for the Pushpin & Poetry publication series in a limited edition of 10 copies. It’s a monocular-like cylindrical object with text inside and out. It can be read by rotating the cylinder or by peering through it. You ask: how is this supposed to be a book? Artists’ books can take many shapes and formats, but if you’re stubborn and demand a book has to have pages in order to be a book, just think of the transparent sheets with words on them as the pages of this book.
Vastness suddenly – an artists’ book by Kaija Rantakari, 2017 / Pushpin & Poetry volume 25 – numbered edition of 10
3,5×4,5cm / 1.4″x1.8″
I have three numbered copies available at 80€+shipping each –
please contact me directly if you’re interested in purchasing one.
As I mentioned in Monday’s blog post this artists’ book is also my entry for the #AreYouBookEnough Instagram bookbinding challenge. The challenge has a changing monthly theme, and this month the theme is ‘peace’. After hearing the theme I instantly knew I wasn’t going to go with the more concrete, opposite-of-war kind of peace, but with the feeling of peace. I don’t remember a time without depression. I’m not exaggerating, I literally don’t remember a time without depression. It’s something that has been a part of my life from a time before I had even heard the word for it, ebbing and flowing as years pass. That being said, I do know peace. Lately there seems to be more and more of it. Life is mostly good. And suddenly: sudden vastness suddenly less vast / water less restless.
I didn’t expect to experience the kind of joy creating Vastness suddenly gave me. I haven’t really known that feeling since making some crazy strangely shaped boxes over 12 years ago while still in school studying bookbinding. There’s just something so special about making a thing with no instructions whatsoever. A part of me truly enjoys all the problem solving and math that goes into engineering an idea into reality. Had I wrapped the cardstock core for the cylinders once more round the mold I used, the finished piece wouldn’t have come out of the container. It would’ve gone in, but getting it out intact would’ve required more dexterity and patience than I can expect from most people. I also could’ve used just clear plastic for the see-through part, but it would’ve been too bright, crisp, and clear. Adding in disks of mica made the experience of peering through the cylinder like looking into water – more deep, more organic, and ever so slightly muddy. All these little details add up, and from out of nowhere appears the perfect balance between artistic creativity and practical product design.
If you want to see some behind the scenes photos of the creative process of this piece, take a look at my previous blog post.