10 March 2012

Book du jour - another inky page

It started with a failed photocopy of two pieces of embossed handmade paper, which already looked like book pages. I used a brush pen and copied some quotes from Michel de Certeau, knowing they would be covered up at the end of the day (copying text is a way to read it slowly). Then I ran a dressmaker's wheel over the text to get lots of puncture marks, and wrote on the back with a stylus to get texture in the black part.

Brushing on black quink resulted in some blue areas - a nice surprise -
The camera angle doesn't show it, but the black has been gone over with graphite, which didn't obscure the areas where writing  had already taken the blackness off.

On the back, some ink seeped through, and when I rubbed the periphery with graphite, the areas that hadn't quite dried, after misting to get the paper buckled, got very dark. The quink separated into bluey and orangey as it seeped through the holes. It is ugly and pointless.
And it feels uncomfortably like "play without a purpose" - I seem to be happy to dance round at the edge of the hole or tunnel that represents The Final Project (the show in September is getting ever closer...). The project seems to be moving away from "everyday journeys" into a dark area that I don't want to grapple with. Which perhaps explains my preoccupation with the form and look of the thing rather than the meaning or intent ... but you need that sort of focal point for this sort of Project. At the end, a piece of written work, a justification and explanation, accompanies it. Maybe the words are written once you see the final work (you explain it to yourself?) but that seems a bit late in the day to me! It's easiest to keep a focus, I find, if there are some key words or a title to keep coming back to. At the moment I have tooooo many such words, too many directions. That's ok for the next few weeks, during which I'll write down as many of those words as I can access, and during which we have an individual tutorial, which will involve gathering the work done since the Unit 1 assessment - another chance to get perspective and clarity. The book fair is out of the way (it was fun to make some "different" books), and further home improvements are on hold. So, it's just a matter of spending a lot of time in the studio - no excuses. And yet, and yet ... days like today, this sunny Saturday, alone at home while "the kids" are out, could be days of solid studio work; but I've been diddling about on the computer (also known as Doing Research...) and produced only the unsatisfactory page shown above. 

Too much information? A tempest in a teapot? "Oh we all go through that"?

How to take it forward:
-use the brush pen more - it makes for interesting writing
-can de Certeau's quotes be taken back into the work in another way
-the white pages/black border format is good for a codex but needs to be on both sides of the page (and not have a further white border
-the black toner resists water (does laserjet ink resist water?)
-avoid greyness of graphite - make it dark or don't use it
-rows of dots, with ink accumulation into their fibrous edges - are these "line as text"?
-gather and print relevant blog posts
-mind map, augmented by thesaurus
-re-read project proposal

More than a year ago we were asked to consider "what sort of book would you like to make" - many of us couldn't give a quick or cogent answer. Thinking hard about this would be another good thing to do - it's not all about the form, or even the content.

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