One of the most challenging projects mentally was this November’s Intellectual Collaboration with Kristin at Space Paste Press. We decided to do two altered books. Neither of us had tried an altered book yet, but with so many book artists who have done such cool things with manipulation of an already existing book, we had to try our hands at it. Each book we chose would dictate how the book was altered. The first and most difficult challenge for me was to find two books I didn’t mind cutting into. This goes against my nature with books as of late and it took me quite a while.
The Rock Garden
One morning, I remembered a book I received in a trade at a book swap. Thinking that the cover was an indication of what might be inside (I believe we are all warned against thinking this way) I grabbed it. I really didn’t like the book…I didn’t even get through more than two chapters. So I felt happy about cutting up its interior. The content was quick to come with this one.
Center cut out and ready for glue.
Drying under weight.
In this photo you can see the lines created from the text pages. I stacked the portions of the pages I had cut out of the center. Cutting every centimeter, I created many strips of paper. These were all stacked and laid together on their side. Clamped and glued, the strips were placed (glue side down) into the open space. Rocks were made by wrapping some scrap paper with pieces of the text left over.
I am happy with the unexpected way the lines of cut text simulate the raking patterns seen in many rock gardens. I am also glad I chose to hide the glue wherever possible. When closed, the book looks like any other book since the pages look like they turn.
After struggling to find the second of the two books, I sat down on my couch opposite my bookshelf. My eyes wandered aimlessly until they rested on the book The Hive. I had picked this up at the public library in Kalamazoo, Michigan while on vacation one year. I find the activity of bees very interesting and entertained the idea of learning all about them. Well, my intentions were bigger than my actions and the book proceeded to collect dust for a solid year untouched. Until now. I am sure I will find another copy of the book if I am destined to read it, but since it only cost me a dollar or two, it was a good candidate for my second altered book.
The entrance to the hive.
These scraps that covered my bench like snow are still too enjoyable to throw away. So after the series of clamping and cutting, I kept the remnants, or the honey, from this project. The book was left unglued as it is highly entertaining to flip through the book and witness the varying depths of the hive tunnels.
Space Paste Press November Altered Book
Past Spring Leaf Press Intellectual Collaboration Projects
August: Tunnel Book
July: Paste Cloth
April: National Poetry Month
March: Stuff in a Box
January: Jacob’s Ladder