Last weekend I needed to create something entirely different, something made just for fun. So, I set out to make a kaleidocycle artists’ book! As a person intrigued by math, and geometry especially, I found this project a real treat. And here it is: my very first kaleidocycle, made for my own amusement to celebrate the end of a long writing project and the seeming endlessness of a kaleidocycle.
And just for insanity’s sake I decided to create the lettering using 6mm tall reverse stencil letters I cut out individually. (Mind you, I’ve done much smaller crazy letter cutting projects before, with less haphazard results.) While working at the letters I half-purposefully created myself a distraction free zone by placing the letters on my tablet, keeping me from writing anything stupid online until I was all done with the letters and the urge to comment had subsided…
I’m still taking it easy with bookbinding: lots of fun projects, loads of new ideas, and a new journal for myself in the making. For those in need of a fun paper project: artist Paula Beardell Krieg shared a template for a kaleidocycle on her fantastic blog not too long ago, so if you’re itching to make one yourself, her blog is a great place to start! She frequently features brilliant projects, often with templates/instructions, so, off you go to explore!
Finishing Vastness suddenly must have burst some creative dams – on Friday I finished the first full draft of my poetry book as if everything just tumbled in place. It had been in the making ever since my first book came out two years ago, and these past two years I worked at a snail’s pace until a week or two ago. Of course after this first draft there will be rounds and rounds of revisions and lots of time spent waiting for comments from my editor(s), but it’s still a big accomplishment to reach a massive goal quite unexpectedly.
Working intensely with my text and suddenly being done with it (for a while) left me a bit overwhelmed by all this creative emotion and energy. So, I try to bury myself into mixed media art while it lasts – god knows it won’t last for long… Today I don’t have anything finished to show you, just snippets of things I’m currently working on. The above photo is of a personal magnetism course book I’m planning to chop to pieces – it’s fantastic stuff, really! Straight out manipulation combined with physical exercise instructions at the back of the booklet. You know the type of exercise fit for women: neck rolls and arm raises. But if you do all that hard work, in the end you’ll become a master of men… Actually I have no idea what to do with any of it anymore. There was an idea, but it flew away. Now the book is on my desk waiting for the idea to return. The eye is a test image transfer onto antique linen. It, too, will become something, eventually.
There’s a reason why I share all these not sure what’s going to happen bits with you today. The personal magnetism book raving on and on about how we can control pretty much the whole world with sheer will power reminded me of something I’ve thought all through the process of writing my own book: the control we have over ourselves and, more particularly, over our memories. Ideas come and go, that’s perfectly natural and unremarkable. What’s remarkable how we hold on to some memories no matter how seemingly unimportant, yet we can eventually fail to remember the people who are closest to us. How you forget you are forgetting. How you have forgotten you should even remember. Also, how difficult it can be to forget if you’re trying to do it on purpose – how you forget you should be forgetting instead of remembering.
At first I thought this memory piece was going to be just a one off piece made with silk and mica, but the more I thought about it the wider it began to grow. I guess it’s going to be a series, then.
This is what my desk looks like when I have too many ideas at once. The clay pipe stem project and the cube thing have to wait, but I have yet to find a moment to clear off everything extra. Now it’s all just about pulling out potential materials, putting together prototypes, jotting down ideas and notes, doing a tiny bit of yoga twice a day, and listening to great songs. One would think creating a piece about forgetting would be somehow quiet and gentle – so far it’s been loud and energetic (that’s why I need that twice-a-day yoga). I even have a 17th C. articulate trumpet on my desk… (no, I have no idea what articulate trumpets are, and the illustrations on that book-plate aren’t helping me understand – I just found the idea quite charming!)
Now I’m off to the library before my editor comes to pick off my draft. It’s a beautiful day here, so I’m going to soak in the sun, and get to work with forgetting things. I hope you all have a lovely week!
These days writing my second book of poetry takes a lot of my time, but I try to sneak in some bookbinding projects, too. These gilt linen journals have been in the making for a while, but now the whole stack of six is available in the shop.
The obligatory spine shot – there’s something irresistible about stacking a finished set of books and taking a photo of the spines alone.
The distressed gold leaf finish is a perfect match for the textured linen. Even after the leaf metal has been brushed vigorously to distress the surface it remains a beautifully reflective strip of ‘light’ at the edge of the cover.
My next book project will be something different once again. Hopefully a new twist on an old design of mine if all goes well!