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Cutting, folding, layering

In this post, I briefly discuss bringing the book together through paper cutting, folding and layering. I say 'briefly' because I really need to devote more time to writing my exegesis, but throwing my thoughts and reflections down in the blog beforehand really does help me work through the stages of the process!

One thing I really needed to consider before even thinking about what would be included in the book was how long the prints needed to dry. Whilst one can technically hang a wet print on the wall, one cannot bind them in a book! Furthermore, I wanted to paint and gild some of the pages, which meant that ink had to be completely dry (the relief ink will bleed if it's not completely dry).

Here I am in my alternative studio space, aka the dining room. The best part about this space, besides a large table, is how much light there is. I've become very fussy about the lumen-count in my led lightbulbs - the higher the count, the more I can see - and the more awake I will stay if I plan for a long day!

Here you can see I already started cutting the pages, but I decided that some would be cut to varying dimensions to allow for more folding opportunities. I even left one print completely uncut - I ended up being too precious about it and, in the end, decided to just fold it. I created an enveloped page for it, with little cut-away designs. You'll see the process for making this a little further down.

You won't see it here, but I ended up gilding these under-pages with gold-leaf. If you check out the 'Intimus Bound' page you'll see the final results there.

I had to play around with the placement of the pages. Some colours interacted better with each other than others. For example, the turquoise and blue creatures kind of got lost against the turquoise and green background pages, and the only colours that made them really pop were the orangy-red pages, as you can see here.

I continued experimenting with page layering in this way - literally just placing page upon page and seeing what worked and what didn't. There were even a few pages that I quite liked that I omitted completely, because I couldn't decide on where they belonged in the sequence. It's not that they will never end up in the book at all, but that they just didn't have quite the right place for this iteration.

The pages below are the monoprints on Gampi. They've been mounted to perspex with a mix of rice paste and water and left to dry. I adore how transparent they become when wet, and I've thought of using beeswax to achieve a more permanent, glassy effect with them, but I'm a tiny bit put off by how sticky the paper becomes when using beeswax (although it smells divine)!

This is Kozo paper mounted to perspex and left to dry. I painted it with varying shades of grey so that the eye is drawn to the colours that peek through the cutaway windows.

Because bubbling is inevitable, I use waxed paper to smooth them away without disturbing the fibres of the paper.

And, of course, it's hard to see here, but this is where I started painting two-toned glitter on the creatures. I had thought about using gouache, but it's just too loud. The glitter is subtle and makes the creatures quietly stand out from the background.

The paper started pulling away a bit prematurely, and I ended up washing the whole thing with water again, to flatten it. The glitter mostly held up, though some of it did swirl away with galactic effects.

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