Saturday, 22 September 2007

process

I like this picture. I think its because it reminds me why I like making books, all the possibilities...


I have a few boxes like this, from different times, when different ideas were running around my head, and when ever I feel a bit stuck or uninspired it often helps to take them out and have a play...

As the pages unfold it starts to come back to me; how paper can be manipulated, folded, bent and sewn; and my fingers start to get itchy to have another go at cutting, folding, stitching...


I suppose its like kind of like drawing for me, seeing what shapes I can make with the paper. These boxes are like my sketchbooks. And I suppose its quite systematic, I often take one shape and try all the different combinations of fitting it together. I think its quite funny that these messy boxes, with bits sticking out and thread trailing, are really my attempt to create order...


One of my favourite shapes to experiment with is an 'M' shaped piece of paper. All these books are made from simply this shape, just sewn in different combinations and ways.


And I make notes, I like to cover all the possibilities (impossible, I know!) and when I can't hold them all in my head I scribble them down...


Then I take a combination I think has potential (this is the difficult bit to explain, how do I know it has potential? Perhaps something in the way the paper moves as the pages turn or move. Something in the way the pages connect?) and extend it, make it longer, bigger, smaller. Use different paper... and this is where the possibilities become too numerous again, so it's back to the note book, write them all down. Then try one...


Sometimes I feel like there are so many possibilities I can never try them all. I think that's why I limit myself to simple colours and textures, I would love to be more adventurous but feel myself loosing control. I know I need to ask myself if that's a bad thing. Perhaps I do need to let go more, and that's something I'll keep working on...

6 comments:

BookGirl said...

I so enjoy hearing about other bookmakers' creative processes. Thanks for telling us a bit about yours, and sharing those wonderful photos.

And on an only tangentially related note (in light of your "M" books), I did some research this summer about the letter M, in advance of going to a book arts class at Penland. From earliest days, M was the symbol for water and, as such, was one of the first symbols to be associated with the feminine and the female life force. Gee, I knew this would come in handy some day ;-)

Sarah said...

I'm always up for interesting bits of information! And that's a good one! p.s Its one of my dream to go to Penland, one day...

marta said...

just love your books. keep up the good work. i think they are enchanting. such patience and detail and such mini masterpieces. i adore them.

amisha said...

i love that top photo of all of your books... what a wonderful collection of process and inspiration! i was thinking of you last weekend when i visited the center for book arts in nyc. you should check out their website, i think you would love it! i was drooling over all the class descriptions... all sorts of binding + letterpress classes that were fascinating. and i found that the teaching assistant for my bookbinding course in college works there too! xo

Camilla Engman said...

Sarah, this is such a fantastic post. I love your photo's. I found my way here through Edizioni http://angelaliguori.blogspot.com/
Where you at Origin last year? If, I bought some of your lovely work.

Heather Moore said...

Oh, great to read this whole post after seeing the lovely first pic on Angela's blog. You make such lovely things, and I am totally in awe of the dedication you show to the process of things. And I LOVE your cutout drawings. What a stroke of brilliance!