Tip Jar Thursdays! No. 7 - Accordion Fold-Outs
Hey there Sketchers!
Yep, it’s Thursday, which means we have another gem from the Tip Jar to share with you! The Sketchbook Project has returned from Florida, its final stop in on the 2011 Tour, and they’ve all arrived safely back home at the Brooklyn Art Library. Stacking the books back on the shelves here at the Library after touring always seems to take me so much longer than expected because I’m constantly flicking through each one as I’m placing them back! Not very efficient. Anyhoo, this week I’ve decided to fill you in on the ins and outs of accordion fold out books. The accordion book technique originated in Japan with orihon books consisting of individual sheets of paper arranged horizontally and glued together, creased at regular intervals and folded accordion-style. Using this technique, it’s possible to leaf through the pages, or to open the book completely into a long strip.
Take Callie McLeod’s Boys and Girls sketchbook for example, full of the most incredible painted portraits, which works as a fold-out family photo album in itself! Accordion books work perfectly with this kind of imagery because you can stand them up and view all the pages at once. This means they are ideal for displays and exhibits.
This is the sketchbook of Celeste Ramos taking up the entire length of our reading table at the Library! A feat in itself, this 32 page sketchbook allows for a colossal 13 foot long space for uninterrupted creation. And all the pages then flip back into a nice tight fold-able package!
I’m also digging Leslie Pearson’s Alphabet Sonatina sketchbook, which shows off some serious talent in the embroidery and stitching department, with hand drawn alphabet illustrations stitched onto the entire length of a Sonatina manuscript.
Fancy trying your hand at making your own fold-out sketchbook? These tips should get you heading in the right direction:
- First off, try experimenting with making the absolute simplest kind of accordion sketchbook - a long strip of paper, folded accordion style, and framed by a piece of thick cardstock at either end.
- You could also try cutting a large sheet of heavier drawing paper such as Fabriano into bands, folding them, and sticking the sections together using a glue and narrow strips of strong thin paper. Try using a spray mount adhesive instead of liquid glue to avoid the paper buckling!
- For the cover, cut pieces of thick, archival quality, acid free card stock slightly larger than the pages of the book - these should extend 5 mm beyond the edge of the sketchbook pages.
- You can always use the paper and cover of your Sketchbook and adapt it by removing the pages and taping them together using a masking tape to form one long continuous page, then rebinding them using the Sketchbook cover to protect it.
- Lacking inspiration? Another idea is to make one long drawing out of several smaller daily sketches: place the date of each drawing beside the sketch, journal-style, and draw lines off the edges before folding, to continue into the next sketch.
- If your accordion pages are a little tricky to fold back into a book, why not enclose simple instructions? All the better if you can make them blend in nicely with the rest of the pages of the book,à la the pretty painted instructions from the “And A Tree Grew” sketchbook by Caroline Walshe from Roscommon in Ireland.
Book artists frequently experiment with this form of paper-folding in book-making. If you’re dropping by the Brooklyn Art Library, be sure to take a look at The Exquisite Book. 100 artists collaborated on the book, which is based on a game which starts with the first player drawing a picture, folding the page, then passing it onto the next player who continues the story with another drawing. This game is a modified version of Exquisite Corpse, which was invented in the 1920s by the Surrealists. Also, check out the über-cool sketchbook of Andres Sandoval, an accordion fold-out sketchbook completely filled with repurposed sticker collages, which you can view completely page by page here.
Now you’re all set to start on your own fold-out sketchbook! Don’t forget, there’s still a couple more months to sign up for the 2012 Sketchbook Project!
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