Thursday, October 30, 2008

No Books Were Harmed in the Making of This Post

I've spent the last month working on "Watch Out for Whales," a rhyme book illustrated with collage images. It started out to be a stab stitch book and ended up an accordion book because I got to liking the bright illustrations and thought they looked well spread out on the table.I've had a lot of fun and, of course, some frustration. The fun is obvious: What's not to like about painting, cutting, and gluing?

The frustration? Well, gluing doesn't *always* work as well as one would like. I've had a hard time getting the back and front to lie flat together against the joining ribbons. I've been working on is an accordion book & a fairly big one. I've been saying all along that what I really need is somewhere to spread it out flat, but I just didn't have one. Today, by co-opting the kitchen table, four tray tables, and about half the books on that shelf you see back there--the entire gardening section, several phonebooks, most of the hardcover science fiction and fantasy, numerous mysteries, plus a few "assorted," and by taking up the entire room, I managed.

I think it worked, too, and just in time, as the book goes off to the show tomorrow. There, I am afraid, it will have to go on the "Do Not Touch" shelf. I wanted people to be able to handle it, but with so many layers of paper involved, the glue just doesn't dry quite fast enough and I do not think I quite trust it in people's hands. Not yet, anyway.

This is also the anxious mama speaking: The other two books I have in the show, stab stitch books I do want people to hold, are older and I've had the chance to let go a bit. "Whales" is still new, still my baby, unsupplanted as yet by other projects.

Oh: And thanks to the careful use of the paintbrush and miles of wax paper, no books were harmed in the process. Everyone is back on the shelves and glue-free. In fact, the books may be better off than they were before: I dusted them a bit as I took them down and put them back.

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