I recently completed a 30 day online class run by Helen Hiebert called Weaving Through Winter. The class had a very open structure, Helen did a 30 minute video introduction each week on a theme and workshop participants could take the concept and run with it. We posted pictures of what we made and offered comments and suggestions to each other. It was a wonderful daily practice and meditation. If you want to see all 30 of my pieces check out my Instagram posts at @gina_pisello. I will show you my favorites below and tell you a bit about what inspired them.
This is one of the last pieces I made in class. I was inspired by weaver Kay Sekimachi and light streaming onto the red paper before sunset.
This weaving went through several stages before becoming the piece at the bottom. I tried folding an origami bowl with it, but the shape and size of the weave was wrong for this particular origami piece. I would like to try again with a different weaving pattern.
I wove abaca paper strips together then folded it into a Tomoko Fuse spiral. I love the way this turned out.
A simple weave around a silhouette.
I didn't know what to weave on this day but found inspiration in torn paper torsos I made years ago that sit framed on my desk. This one was hard to weave, but I really like the results.
This is a Danish heart basket, commonly made at Christmas time. I used folded paper and wove a love letter with a Japanese paper bag for this simple weaving. There are many more designs for this if you search Pinterest.
One week of the course was about weaving shapes. I wanted to do a simple circle and the tension of the weaving caused this to curve nicely off the page.
I experimented with hexagonal weaving trying to work out the formula for doing so. Turns out quilters have a way of doing this called triaxial weaving. I liked building this out from the center, but want to try doing it the "right" way sometime soon.
The completed hexagon weaving.
Another hexagon weaving.
I remembered that Claire Van Vliet and Hedi Kyle invented ways to weave books together in the excellent book Woven and Interlocking Book Structures. This one is my favorite with its crossing shapes and locking structures. I created the pages with eco-dyed paper.
This was an early weaving from the class. I wanted to explore strips that were angled. I like the optical illusion of it.
This is one of the later weavings. I cut warp strips around the leaves on the eco-dyed paper. Then I cut weft strips one at a time to bend around the leaves. I wanted to enhance this central image.
I am pleased to announce that one of my artist's books, Small Migrations was juried into the Abecedarian "Art of the Fold" show. The online catalog is here. The books were all inspired by Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol's book The Art of the Fold which I have blogged about before. I hope you check out the catalog or if you are in the Denver area before September you can see the show in person.
Small Migrations is just 3 inches high by 5 inches wide when open.
This is a slightly different version of the same kind of structure. I call it Subverting Expectations because the cranes fly opposite the direction of the flaps. It is slightly larger, but still small. I have made larger versions of the book in the past, but I like to work small so I can make the whole book from one piece of paper ( an atlas double page spread in this case).
Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol have written a wonderful book called The Art of the Fold. My last blog post was about samples I made from the book. Today, I want to present a modified version of one book that I have come up with. I will introduce other works I have made using Hedi's structures as a jumping off point in a later post. I am including a diagram of measurements, divisions and how I folded this new work. You will need lightweight, but sturdy paper that measures 6 x 18 3/8 inches. You will also need to score many of the divisions between sections. Do so accurately and you can fold this project. I used Hedi's directions for folding the boxes and added the extra "bridge" section between boxed so that they can fold inside each other. Each box gets slightly wider to accommodate the precious one.
I hope you try it and let me know in the comments what you think.
Diagram showing how to divide the paper before folding. Each 3 square division represents 1 inch. The first 8 divisions are exactly 1 inch each. The next 2 are 1 1/16 each followed by three 1 inch sections ( labeled side, bridge, side). Finally there are two 1 1/8 sections followed by three 1 inch sections. I made a model of this on graph paper to make it easier to score the lines. Then I moved on to decorative paper.
Here is the structure folded and ready to pop into boxes with bridges between them.
Here are the boxes from the back showing the extra section between them. This extra paper is necessary to act as a hinge to allow each box to fold inside the next one.
The boxes beginning to be nested.
All the boxed are nested inside the largest one. You can make this with more box sections by increasing the width of each box by 1/8 inch. Good luck.
Hedi Kyle was my favorite book artist before I even knew her name. I learned several of her structures early on in my book making career and loved them for their versatility. You can imagine how excited I was when I heard she was writing a book with her daughter Ulla Warchol that I could peruse at my leisure. I was also hoping there would be new structures to try. The book arrived on October 2 and I got busy making samples and experimenting with structures right away. I was enthralled by the easy to follow diagrams and the paper suggestions as well as information on changing dimensions. Below are pictures of samples I made using my stash of papers and book cloth.
My samples so far from this amazing book!
My variation on the tree fold introduces a long leaf followed by a short one and then a long one. That way half of the leaves (pages) are hidden from view. The possibilities for a book are endless.
The same book open.
The Blizzard Box invented by Bill Hanscom and Hedi Kyle. I also make a square version (in blue).
The Blizzard boxes nested and holding some of my sea glass.
The Star Box is very satisfying to make as Hedi's dimensions give you a perfectly nested box and cover all in one.
Three variations of the School Book Wrapper, 2 with pleats and one without. I used book cloth to make these as it is sturdy and folds nicely around journal inserts.
This structure was new to me and I loved playing with the pop-up. I ended up creating a shape that I could fold into cranes.
I love the simplicity and creativity of this book. The triangle structure is unusual, but it fits so nicely into the covers. I can't wait to use it for an actual artist's book.
Another simple, but effective book structure is this Pocket Accordion with Separate Cover. I had fun coming up with the cat closure.
The Crown Greeting Card is lovely and easy to make.
I have made many Blizzard Books over the years; it was one of the first Hedi Kyle structures I learned. I never thought to create this kind of structure though. Thank goodness for Hedi and this book!
The Telescoping Ziggurat was a new structure to me and I enjoyed folding it and creating two pieces from one structure by cutting the very long strip of paper on the diagonal so that it rises up like a tower.
I ordered some beautiful eco-dyed silk noil from Tierney Barden last week and she sent some extra goodies along in the package. One of them was a little yellow tea tin and when I saw it I knew that I wanted to try binding it into a book. I got the idea from Andrea Matus DeMeng in her Propsero's Books class last month. When she was teaching us the coptic stitch she said she had bound a mint tin into a book. I was intrigued and wanted to try it myself.
My daughter Lila saw the first book and joked that I should bind a tin book that fits inside another larger tin and so on, hence the title of this blog and the title of the book she inspired: TInception.
I hope you like the pictures.
Mica and Tintype photo cover for my first tea tin bound book.
Coptic stitch is used to sew the signatures and tin together.
Book parts ready to be sewn.
The finished book. I actually resewed this book (not shown) as I made some adjustments on the second one that I wanted to incorporate in this one as well.
Signature on left and tin on right.
Back of the tin and the next signature.
The tin contains some bits Tierney sent me and 3 pamphlet stitched booklets.
Another signature in the book. I like using vintage papers and photos to give books a sense of time and place.
More book pages/signatures.
TInception; for each book level you descend it becomes an order of magnitude harder to bind! The top level book measures 4 x 2.5 x 1.5 inches.
The bound tin (right).
Book two inside book one. This book measures 2 3/8 x 1 5/8 x 3/4 inches.
The tin bound in book two (right).
Tin book three measures 1 3/8 x 1 3/4 x 1/2 inches. I could only put on a front and back cover before running out of room in the larger tin. It was still the hardest one to bind.
All three books showing their relative sizes.
The 3 little books bound and nestled inside the final tin.
All 3 books showing the photos and mica covers.
The binding of each book.
I used mica and antique writing from autograph books or inscriptions from old books as the back covers. I love the way the natural mica has inclusions that look like ink spots.
I spent a hot and fun weekend with a wonderful group of fellow artists and my dear friend Bhavna Mehta cutting, folding and playing with paper. Bhavna is a patient teacher who always takes this everyday item to new heights with her cutting techniques. The workshop focused on cutting and folding paper which created some lovely effects. Everyone made the same cube, frame and cuff projects, but the diversity of results was stunning and inspiring. Please check her Instagram feed for pictures of other people's projects and see mine below. I am off to cut some more!
She asked if anyone knew how to fold it and I thought, "That's easy, it's just a twist fold but on the back side." I didn't have time to study it that day, but yesterday I decided to tackle the problem. I tried several folds that I thought would work and they didn't. Then I tried something that seemed similar, but wasn't. Then I desperately tried to find the directions online. There were none. I stared at the image and tried to unfold it in my mind and couldn't quite see it. I decided to take a break and come back to it today after finding a YouTube video that made a similar fold called the square tato.
Long story short, after much trial and error I figured out how to fold the envelope called an Ori-Sue used for holding slips of paper that have scent names written on them. This is used in the Japanese tea ceremony from what I could find out. Maybe you would like to try folding this lovely little envelope.
Crease pattern for Ori-Sue fold. Red lines are mountain folds and blue lines are valley folds.
Start with a square piece of paper. Different colors on each side make for a more dramatic final product.
Mark the center of the paper by folding in half and pinching each side. Do not crease. Then fold up one side past the center (so more than 1/4 the paper width) but less than 1/3 the paper width. For example, if your paper is 6 x 6 inches, fold up the side more than 1.5 inches but less than 2 inches.
Left sample has sides folded to 1/4 the length (in other words each side is folded to the center of the paper) and there is no center square. The middle sample has sides folded into thirds and the whole center is the twist triangles with no edges. The sample on the right is what we are trying to make and is folded between 1/4 and 1/3 the paper width.
Fold in the corners creasing very lightly to mark the square. Fold up the two sides to the point where the diagonal meets the edge of the paper. This will give you the same width as the first fold without having to measure.
If you have done things properly the two sides should overlap each other, but not meet at the folded edge.
Rotate the paper 90 degrees. Again fold the corners in lightly to meet the straight fold and mark on the paper's edge. Fold the last edge up to this diagonal mark. Now all for sides are folded. You have a square in the center of the paper and four squares at the corners. Crucially, you have rectangles between the corner squares on the four sides of the paper.
Next you will fold each side up and fold in the left side corner to meet the vertical line as shown above. Repeat on all four sides, only folding the left corner up. Fold the corner to the back of the paper as well to make the last step easier.
Your paper should now have all of these folds (minus the red and blue lines). It's time to collapse.
To collapse the model, fold up one side then fold back along the diagonal on the right side. Fold in the corner and turn the model 90 degrees counterclockwise.
Fold up the second section the same way, folding in the side then the corner. The center square starts to take shape.
Fold in the third side the same way then open up the first side at the top left corner to tuck in the last corner mountain then valley folds.
Pinwheel the four sides overlapping them to form the final shape.
Here is the final model. You can make the square of contrasting color bigger or smaller depending on how close to 1/4 or 1/3 you fold the first side of the paper. Play around and see which size you like best.
I recently spent 5 days in Idyllwild, CA at their Art Center taking a class from Andrea Matus DeMeng , intriguingly titled Prospero's Books. We had an ambitious plan to make 4 different books and decorate a wooden box to hold them all in just 4 days! It was a busy and creative time and I didn't finish everything there. I am still not really finished, but here is my version of Prospero's Books so far.
Prospero's Books: The Book of Harsh Geometry, The Book of Mirrors, The Primer of Small Stars, and The Book of Architecture and other Music.
A different arrangement of the books.
The Book of Mirrors, coptic stitched with folded signatures and single sheets bound together.
A page spread in the Book of Mirrors.
The Canadian binding was used for the Book of Architecture and other Music.
A page spread from the same book.
The Primer of Small Stars is of course a small book bound using long stitch.
The case bound Book of Harsh Geometry resonates with me as Geometry was my most difficult class in high school. I barely passed. I also find case binding difficult so they work well together.
Page spread from Harsh Geometry.
The Book of Water, long stitch binding.
I used plastic sheets to create this book's pages as I wanted the contents to look like water.
Making a book with mica pages presents some challenges. If you use natural mica, you can't glue or tape it as the top layer will simply pull away and leave the rest of the mica sheet unattached. There is also the issue of binding a single piece of mica without a center crease to sew into. One solution is to use Keith Smith's Sewing Single Sheets method, but I don't like sewing if I can fold instead. So, to make my book I used Beauty in Use's slot binding method shown in Claire Van Vliet and Elizabeth Steiner's Woven and Interlocking Book Structures. The pages vary in size and width, with the bound edge and bottom squared up. This gives the book an irregular top and fore edge, which I like.
Hope you enjoy!
Preparing the binding strip.
Mica ready to have the corners cut.
In the middle of adding the mica to the binding. This method uses slits cut into the paper as well as the corners of each page. They go in opposite directions and make a perfect fit when bound.
The finished book. I love this kind of mica with red, blue and black inclusions. It looks like ancient writing or a secret star map.