Friday, September 25, 2009

Bookmaking Projects in Spanish

I am so pleased to say that the free bookmaking projects on my website are now available in Spanish. It's a wonderful story of the use of the web for communication and sharing. The translations were done by Lourdes V. Pichardo and Laura Mason Zeisler, M.Ed who kindly donated their efforts. Laura is the Executive Director of Explorations Unlimited, an education consulting firm specializing in training, technical assistance and resource evaluation and development. She had met me at a workshop many years ago. She recently contacted me to ask permission to translate the projects and I asked if the translations could then be posted on the web. She and Lourdes provided the translated texts which I then put into the documents used to create the pdfs and the web pages. Please share this information; I'm thrilled to be able to bring bookmaking to a wider audience. Thank you Laura and Lourdes.

Follow the link at the bottom of the Free Activities page

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Newspapers and Books

When it comes to the 3 Rs (reduce, recycle, reuse) and newspapers, our house follows the last two but not the first. As subscribers to the New York Times, The Boston Globe, and our local Daily News plus a gift subscription to the weekly Washington Post, I sometimes feel we are personally keeping the newspaper industry afloat. I have been using newspaper in bookmaking for a while, but was inspired to include it as this month's project by a visit to the Paper House in Rockport, MA which was constructed of newspaper in the 1920s and is filled with furniture made from newspapers.

The photos here show two accordion books. The top is A Book to Heal the Spirit with pages made from one half of a front panel of a grocery bag and illustrations cut from a newspaper.

The second book, A Time Line Accordion, was made from a newspaper page (one, not a double spread) folded in half the long way and glued together. I cut slits in the pages and threaded a piece of old videotape through the slits to make the line.

Both of these projects will be in my new book, Handmade Books for a Healthy Planet. It takes the projects in Multicultural Books To Make And Share and updates them to use recycled materials and reflect a freer approach to making books. It will have a new shape and design as well as the major revision in process of making the books. I am working on it now and expect it to be published in April for Earth Day.

Accordion Book Directions on youtube

Written Directions

The Paper House in Rockport
Here is the site for the Newspaper House in Rockport with some photos and an interview with the caretaker who is the grand niece of Elis F. Stenman, a mechanical engineer who designed the machines that make paper clips and built his summer home out of paper as a hobby.

How Newspapers Work at

A thorough explanation of the process of making a newspaper with a behind-the-scenes look at the Herald-Sun of Durham, N.C. as a real-world example.

History of Newspapers

Information about the development of the newspaper from Europe in the early 1600s until today.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Word Play at Maudslay

Maudslay is a place of connection between the made world and the world of nature; a place that can be a playground as well as a space to contemplate the beauties of the natural world. Word Play brings letters and a word game to the observation of this magnificent maple. Stand under the spreading branches and find 22 letters which can be unscrambled to form five words (3,6,2,4,7 letters) that are a quotation from William Wordsworth about nature.

Yesterday we installed Word Play at Maudslay State Park in Newburyport, MA. It was one of those wonderful times when the final result looked as good as I had hoped. It was the culmination of a long process. The site was chosen and the plans submitted in May. Then, of course, instead of working on it through the summer, I waited until less than two weeks before to start. I purchased what are called drops, small pieces left over from cutting down larger sheets, of 28 gauge galvanized metal and a pair of snips at Port Sheet Metal and left with instructions from Sandy on how to avoid injury. I managed to complete the twenty-two letters (first cut from paper using some of my old calligraphy teaching handouts as a guide) without a scratch but with a sore hand. Cutting metal is certainly not like cutting paper. I spray painted the letters brown. I gathered sticks, bark, and pine cones and to attach to the letters. I made holes with an awl and then wired the materials on. I hadn't given any thought to time when I made my original plans and it took way longer than I expected. Was my family surprised? Of course not.

The final stage came on Sunday. My husband was in charge of the installation. We had several ideas for getting the letters onto the tree (his favorite one, using a screw gun, was not allowed) and happily found that tying black coated wire around the tree did a great job holding the letters in place. My daughter came along and happily assisted by climbing the tree as well as from the ladder and learned how to tie a square knot.

If you are in the area, please come by Maudslay. There are 35 sculptures in the park and a catalog available to guide you through. A reception and tour will take place on Saturday, September 19 from 2-5 pm.

Find out more about Outdoor Sculpture at Maudslay here.

Find the unscrambled quotation from William Wordsworth in this free pdf.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Book Dynamics by Ed Hutchins

Ed Hutchins creates editioned books that are both playful and profound. In Book Dynamics, he has produced a wonderful record of his bookmaking adventures since the late sixties. Through photographs and words, he tells the story of his journey as an artist and a person. He shares his enthusiasm, humor, and commitment to his art and to making the world a better place. Ed's own words are complemented by essays by William J. Dane, Newark Public Library Keeper of Prints and Works of Art, and artists Bertha Rogers and C.J. Grossman.

You can find out more about Book Dynamics at Ed's website.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

In Memory of Ted Kennedy

I was so moved by the ceremonies for the passing of Senator Kennedy that I made a small book to remember both the occasions and the man. The inside of the accordion book (shown in photo) contains the line from Psalm 72 repeated in the Responsorial Psalm read by Kara Kennedy at the Funeral Mass at the Basilica of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Roxbury, Massachusetts.

Here's a pdf for you to print out on US Letter size paper and make a book of your own. To make the book, fold the paper in half the long way with the writing on the outside. Follow the written or video directions for folding an accordion book. When you make the first accordion fold, Justice shall ... should be on the outside.

You can see a pdf of the Funeral Service program here.

And here is my favorite photo in all the coverage by Frederick G.S. Clow, Special to the Gloucester Daily Times in Gloucester, MA.