Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Headin' East

My usual group of co-conspirators and I are getting ready to begin another collaborative journal.....this one will have an asian theme.  It's not set to begin until October, but I was inspired to begin thinking about it because of my friend Sox.  Check out the amazing journal she created for this adventure.

I really wanted to learn how to do the exposed spine binding, searched the internet and youtube and got help from Sox too.  Did a little practice piece using plain old copy paper and coaster covers.  For my journal I'll make the signatures from good quality watercolor paper.  Here is my first attempt.  Several oopsies, which I'm sure the more practiced book binders out there will see immediately, but frankly, I'm happy enough with it to feel confident that I can use the technique in my journal without totally making a mess.


Since it was a practice piece I just used some seam binding and black button thread.  I'll look for something better for my actual journal.  Another look at the spine:



What I really like about this way of binding is that the book lays flat regardless of where you open it.  Really handy since many artists will be working in it, and it will get thicker and thicker......




As soon as I decided I could make my own journal this way, I began working on my cover.  (My journal will be 6x8").   Just about everything on it (besides the bit of fabric and beading) was created with stencils....even the figure, but more on that later.



Of the many many techniques I learned at the May Lynne Perrella workshop in Connecticut, was how to use photocopies of images to create custom stencils.  Even if you are drawing challenged, using this technique allows you to create an image which is unique, all yours, and far far beyond a simple altering of an existing image.

I'll give you the short version, but I strongly urge you to get yourself to a Lynne Perrella class if at all possible.  It will change you and your art forever!

You find an image you like, and make multiple photocopies of it.  On one, you cut out the image completely.  This gives you both an outline of the image and a mask to use later.   On the rest of the copies you cut away small sections....maybe the hair on one, part of the shirt on another, etc.  Be as detailed as you want.  You could use 10 or more copies if you like.

What I did was first use the outline page to fill in some color with my portfolio pastels.  Then I used one stencil after another to fill in with various paints, inks, etc. and a whole lot of commercial stencils.  I love those from Crafters Workshop and use them all the time.  Absolutely the only free hand painting I did was the loose outlining of the figure, which I did with a very small brush and black Golden fluid acrylic.  Even the facial features, tiny as they are were cut out from a copy with a very sharp craft knife.

To do the background, I placed the mask over the figure and just added color and lots and lots of stenciling.  In addition to the commercial stencils I used sequin waste, which comes in many shapes and sizes.....not just the round.  The tiny gold stars on the bottom of the geisha's dress were made with sequin waste and gold paint.

At first I wasn't sure I'd be able to make the time to participate in this project.  Now I can't wait!

And by the way, even though the "stencils" are made of copy paper, they last.  I think all the layers of paint and ink and pastel just makes them stronger.

15 comments:

Celeste said...

ohhh Eileen.so far it is beautiful... I just know it will be fabulous...

Socrates said...

Absolutely wonderful. Your binding is super too. You hid the ribbons inside your cover. Clever!!!! Now they're all going to ask me to do that too. :-)) You did a fantastic job.

Lori said...

Wow, very cool! Love the book binding. It looks fantastic! Great job with the Geisha, she looks awesome, thanks for sharing that technique.

Lillian Mederak said...

WOW Eileen
that is just fantastic
Im not surprised my friend
im a huge fan of yours
Lillian
http://www.canadianscraptramp.blogspot.com/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mixedmediaart/

Elena said...

Great job Eileen!! And the cover is wonderful! 6x8 is a perfect size too! I am still looking for just the right size book covers to use! This will be so great! We've never done an Asian one - it should be fun!

Patzee said...

I am VERY impressed. This is the perfect binding technique for the Asian journal project. Your cover is so cool. Thanks for the details on making and using stencils from copied images. Your blog makes me want to run to my craft table and start something.

Penny Duncan Creations said...

Love the binding!!!! I love we'll get to see your work in progress!!!

Helen said...

It's going to be a beauty!

Vic said...

Great binding and your stencil technique is wonderful.

Diann said...

Wonderful journal and I love the binding you chose and the cover is just awesome! That is a most interesting stencil technique - your Geisha is great! Diann

Alicia said...

Oh SO amazing!! The binding looks great to me! I can't imagine how long it took you to create such an awesome piece of art! *Hugs*

teri said...

This looks fabulous. I love the cover pattern and the exposed binding. I'm planning to try it, too -- so I'm loving seeing your finished book!.

Karen said...

Looking forward to seeing more of this project: Love this cover.
Your binding looks great to me too: Something I'd love to learn how to do.

Marilyn Harris Mills aka Maer said...

I'd say that you have this binding art down pat. :)

pamela said...

Beautiful!!!!!!!!!! You are so talented. Thanks for sharing.