Thursday, January 21, 2010

Project B, § 1: Evolving Self

This project has been in the back of my mind since last October, and is now taking off. The idea behind it, for me, is to help me document the effects of life circumstances onto the tracing of my body, acting as somewhat of a flat art journal of sorts. My husband Phil was kind enough to help me begin the project by tracing my body outline--standing up--onto a long strip of paper. I intend to bring it to the studio course at least once a week (we meet twice per) to work on, but primarily intend to make it a home project.
(if you're wondering, that little guy on the left of the image is Alvin, our chinchilla, out to stretch his legs)

At first I wasn't sure why I wanted to add the white. Perhaps it was to cover up the black marks... and because I like the way white looks on brown paper? But as I applied the crayon (which became paint due to the crayon not fulfilling my need) I realized I was more readily covering up the areas where Phil had accidentally mis-traced and had to go over it again, which created double, crooked lines. To me it was just part of tracing a person--it's difficult to get it "perfect", and sometimes it's better to not be that way. But why did I need to cover up those places? Was it for aesthetic purposes? Maybe partially, but that's the only reason I can conjure up even though I'd like to say it could be something different.

Working on a tracing of yourself may seem somewhat vain or narcissistic, which is not what I want to be, and I don't see the project as being that way. I want to better myself to better help others, and right now, it seems that if this project is still burning in my mind, I prefer to kindle the fire and let it run its course rather than suppress it.

I am still developing my final, underlying question for the Creative Process course, and I am working to piece it together (I thought I knew what it was--working through themes--but would prefer to link it to my research project question for my thesis). My intention is to actualize my thesis research question partially through the "postcard" book, which is described in the previous post.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Project A, § 1: My first book-making

The first day of our Creative Process class, I had no clue what to make that day despite my thoughts of creation before meeting. It came to mind that making a portfolio of some kind would be a good start. It began in my mind as a loose binding of simple folders that swiftly evolved into a book, similar to the art journals I have.

Initially I was unsure of the order of operations to make a book, but luckily I knew what kind--the kind with "signatures"--a decent start. After observing other handmade books of this type I set out to make my own. It began with the pages varying in size, ranging from 8.5x11" to 4x6", with other sizes in-between. As I gathered the signatures together to consider the binding process, I realized that perhaps I should stick with the dimensions of a normal postcard, which is what I will expect in the long-short of my research project (please message if explanation is desired).

I cut down the pages to size and began punching the holes in the individual signatures to bind the individual papers together. *I learned that in future endeavors of bookmaking, I might want to consider using thicker paper, as my thin paper turned out to be less stable than I thought.* Thin calico fabric was cut for a spine, sewn to glued-together pieces of construction paper, and voila, the cover! But I still had to attach it to the loose signatures.

By guess and by golly, I sewed and looped the individuals together to form the book, and sewed the fabric spine to the twine from the signatures. I may have bent the rules of bookmaking, but regardless... it works for me for the purpose I have for it.

This book is expected to provide a keeping place for further documentation of my processes (notes, insights, etc.) as well as noting images in regards to my research.

For a piece of what I've been listening to, click here.
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