Structure: 8 panel accordion with pockets
Dimensions: 6 x 4 1/4 (closed) / 34 inches expanded
Click here for the video of my process.
This week's book is my favorite so far. I had a great time making it and working with the content that eventually ended up in it. The book is a homage to my journey to Oakland, CA from Jacksonville, FL in 2008.
Oakland gets a bad wrap from folks who have never lived here. They see images on television or go on what they have heard others say and they don't realize that Oakland is an amazing place to live. But the book isn't really about that. It's actually about how a "southern/country gal" like me moved to the city and found herself. It's about how the city almost broke me during the first two years, but in that breaking, I was rejuvenated in so many ways.
Most of my time in the first 24 months here were spent in transit between our apartment, Mills College, San Francisco, and all the places in between. I learned about Oakland from the people I met and sat beside on the bus, the Bart, and the shuttles. They were a huge part of my breaking and my strengthening.Urbanite, (page spread)
Urbanite is an accordion style book with pockets that hold poetic musings about the city and my time in it between 2008 and 2010. I loved the way this book was born out of my process with the book-in-a-day series. When I started creating the pages, I didn't have any content in mind. I allowed the artistic process to guide me and it did. It's not what I had in mind when I woke, but I could not have planned it better. I LOVE THIS BOOK.
For more photos and a list of materials I used, please visit the givinghands.ning.com site.
What I Learned During the Making of This Book:
Blank Dos-á-Dos Journal
I'm really happy about this week's book. I selected a simpler structure this week to give myself time to ease into having to teach and make a book each week. I'm glad I did. This structure, the Dos-á-Dos, is one of my favorite blank books to make.
The first time I made this book, I was assisting my dear friend, Lyall Harris as she taught a letterpress class at the San Francisco Center for the Book. I've been trying to revisit the structure ever since and this seemed like the perfect time.
This book reminds me that January is a time for reflection. The two back-to-back signatures give me amazing opportunities for journaling and thinking about the past (2012) and the future (2013). That's what January is all about, right? Reflection, recollection, and reinventing. Well, at least for me that's what happens in January. You know, like the story of Janus. (here's another great source for the story of Janus)
The video for this week is here.
The Dos-á-Dos structure has reminded me that:
This week has been crazy, but I managed to get the book done on Thursday as planned. The camera and the transferring of the video did not go as well. I've got to get a new camera! That's my first epiphany for the week.
Again, this week's book was an amazing experience. I realized that for the short time I've been making books (2 years), I have thought of book art as a precious product made over time, so this adventure of making one book each week and doing it in a day causes me to really take another look at my relationship to the book art world. Like most subcultures, it has its own set of unspoken rules/ideas/ideals. For a time, I thought I wanted to live right in the heart of those rules, ideas, and ideals, but I'm not sure that's my path. I think I'm more inclined to spread the word about book art and the power of the handmade book. I want it to be accessible to everyone, especially to those who otherwise would not have access to it. A bit idealistic, I know.
Abyss, (full page spread)
The book I crafted this week is more along the lines of an "artist's book" in the sense that there isn't any text. The images relay the narrative and just like any good narrative, the story unfolds (literarily). My vision for the book was something different when I started out, but it morphed as I folded and creased each section. Eventually, the book was much more than I had hoped.
The color scheme was inspired by my first look out the window at 6AM on Thursday when I woke to start the book. I ended up LOVING these colors together and found them tranquil and invigorating at the same time.
I remembered learning this folded structure from one of the teaching assistants in the Mills College Book Art program. Then I saw it again on this YouTube video. It reminded me how much I loved the outcome of the fold and the potential for the 21 "panels" -- the possibilities are endless.
But I had to remember my lesson from last week -- Keep It Simple Sweetie!!! So I did. No text, just art. And I could not love it more.
In the end, I created a narrative with the images by mixing and matching the triangles from the original squared paper. Of course each "reader" will bring their own experience to this book and that is one of the things I hope will happen. Click here to watch the video and see my process.
Next week I return to teaching at the college and I'm excited to meet my students, but I'm also really afraid of what that will do to the BIAD time. It's an experiment right!? And my goal is to prove (to myself) that art and living can happen in the same life.
If you're watching the videos, I'm honored! If you're making the books, I'm intrigued, so please post them to the flickr group or on the Giving Hands Creative Community site (where you can view the list of materials I use). See you next week!!
HOORAY!!! The first book is complete. It was an amazing experience and I learned so much. More than the learning, it feels great to accomplish something creative and I imagine having that feeling every week of this year will do something to add years to my life :-).
The first book, Safe Passage, is a homage to the journey my husband and I made in 2008 when we sold EVERYTHING we had accumulated in our suburbanite lives and made the trek to Oakland, CA so that I could pursue a second master's degree at Mills College. We both agree that it was the single most defining moment in our lives as a couple.
Not only did we free ourselves from a lifetime of collecting and gathering unnecessary material objects, we shed a great deal of financial stress and unhealthy habits. There were times, during the planning, when we thought we might not be able to make a huge move like that, but we were granted safe passage and our lives have never been richer.
The first BIAD book uses a one-page structure that features a map of Northern California on one side and uses text from a poem I wrote in 2009 while attending the Voices of Our Nations (VONA) summer workshop in San Francisco. I studied with the amazing poet, Ruth Forman, who had us consider "home" in one of our writing assignments.
That poem, at the time, was about my fear of returning to my hometown for a visit and finding myself unable to leave. Home is comfortable. It's where we can relax and, for me, it's where I am most vulnerable. The thought of being so open and exposed frightens me and so I have mixed feelings about going home. The poem captures that, I think, and does a good job of sharing both the fear and the awe I have for my hometown (Pensacola, FL).
I wanted the book to give the reader the experience of a long journey, while also entering into an intimate relationship with the idea of home.
The one page structure allows for two levels of viewing. There's the actual large page when you view it full sized (representing the vastness of a journey), then there are the internal pages that you view as a traditional book (intimately, one city at a time).
I'm Kiala, a student of life first and foremost. And I'm also a published poet, book binder, fountain pen collector, Life Alchemist & Intuitive Soul Guide. I make things, paint things, and write things. I love teaching & empowering women to live with intention. Please, grab a cup of your favorite warm drink, a fountain pen, and your favorite journal. Let's connect!
My Articles for the StencilGirl® Blog
i'm teaching here...
journal with me
my favorite supplies
my favorite classes
I participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.