Process of Making an Artist Book

Several months ago, I watched a wonderful video called Between the Folds which went into great and surprising detail on the art of paper folding, also known as origami. The video covers way beyond what we traditionally think of and even gets into how the art form is also being used by scientists to study complicated problems.  So of course after the show was over, I got a piece of paper and started to fold it. The form that I liked the most is pictured below. It reminded me of a mother holding a baby.

Folded paper
Experimenting with paper folding

I saw this video not long after visiting my grandson. One of the things I enjoy most about my visits is participating in his elaborate and nurturing bedtime routine. I started to think of lots of parents and their children and bedtime routines, remembering the one we had with our daughter. It quickly came to me that this was the making of a “bedtime story”.  So I started to experiment with coloring papers and different types of papers thinking of a quilt like form to play with.

quilt squares
Experimenting with colors

After deciding on the colors I would use and folding a number of the squares, I pieced things together as seen below.

quilt together
Squares pieced together

While this may look nice, it was clearly not going to work. My overall idea was to have this structure fold up into one square that could be stored in a box, sort of like folding up a quilt and storing it and taking it out when you use it.  The other problem was that I wanted to add stitching and it was very difficult to stitch in this form. So after wresting with this for several weeks, putting it away and taking it out to think about it some more, I decided it needed to come apart.

Quilt pieces
Form now cut apart: what to do next????

Maybe I am putting too much emphasis on the ‘quilt’ idea and not enough on the ‘story’ idea.  Perhaps putting equal emphasis on both: the quilt and the story?  I found some handmade paper I purchased a few years ago that spoke to me for no reason except that I knew they would be perfect for something someday.  That day came today. So here is the current version of the Bedtime Story, though it is still far from finished. The smaller squares are not yet glued down so this is a layout pictured below. I will post the piece when it is finished.  I am also documenting this via short (1 minute) videos on my Instagram account.

quilt book form layout
Getting there but not done yet

 

Postscript note:  you can now see the finished project here.