|Here, you can see a charcoal drawing (left), followed|
by gesture eight (middle), and a photograph (right)
I printed most of the text and artwork on regular white paper; however, I experimented a bit with some translucent printing at the book's beginning and ending.
|the title page is printed on translucent|
paper, through which you can see
the photograph below
|at the book's close, a cropped version|
of the cover photo is printed
on translucent paper
I wanted to learn to do a sewn binding for this first book, and so I chose what I thought would be an easy beginner's bind--a Japanese stab binding. A quick online search will illuminate tons of stab bindings in crazy intricate patterns; I, however, chose the most simplistic 4-hole version. Not totally elegant, but it sufficed!
|I used red handmade paper (though not handmade by me!) as a liner|
between the covers and the book proper--protective and pretty!
Though thus far, the books I made were pretty uniform, I did decide to do a few things to individuate my books. First of all, I decided to do a series of 12 books (again, in keeping with the dozen roses/flower bouquet conceit); I hand-colored each book's front and back covers with a fountain pen and ink, shown below. The back cover of each book includes my (brief) version of a colophon, where I included the publication year, my last name, and the numbered edition of each book.
|Here, you can see (in the rose) that this book is number one|
out of the 12 books I made.
I have also always been a fan, since I was a child, of books with flaps, particularly ones like The Jolly Postman that included notes for me to open and interact with. As an adult, Nick Bantock's Griffin & Sabine series inspired similar awe and delight. I wanted my book to have a similar quality of discovery for my readers. And, of course, I did only originally write eleven "gestures". So, for the run of the artist's books, I chose to write individual, unique twelfth gestures for each of the twelve books.
|the picture (above) and text (below)|
from Book 1
|the text (above) and picture (below)|
from Book 12
On the book's last page, I included an envelope, numbered XII with a rose insignia. Upon opening each envelope, the reader would find a photo-quality print of a new, unique artwork I'd done. On the back of each print, I included a final, handwritten textual gesture.
I also included, with each envelope, a blank card, with the instructions "please use this card for your own gesture."
After finishing the run, I gave many of these books away to good friends. I don't know if any of them have chosen yet to use their "gestures"--or, indeed, if they ever will. But I love the idea of a book that continues on beyond its own bounds--a book that prompts creativity in its reader, rather than just passive absorption. That's what books, after all, have pushed me to do...and I'm so very grateful for that.