In tonight’s art journal session, we’re going to look at using large scale layouts. Though we will be working in our normal journals (mine is A4 spread), we’ll be using 12×12″ stencils and very large stamps to build our layers, only adding detail towards the end. This exercise is designed to encourage the breaking down of large patterns into manageable chunks… a lesson for life too!
For my next trip abroad, I wanted to make another travel journal. I have previously handmade a small hardback pocket journal and a fold-out accordion journal. This time I decided to make a handmade journal using a piano hinge. This, for the unfamiliar, uses tabs and cylindrical objects (in this case bamboo skewers) to attach the pages at the spine. The benefit for a travel journal is that every other spread is the depth of the bamboo skewer, which means there is plenty of room for additional items of collage and other ephemera, and pockets to store memorabilia. It’s also possible to easily disassemble the book at the hinge to work on individual pages, or remove and add pages as required.
Constructed from canvas textured acrylic paper, I knocked back the white using an off-white chalky finish acrylic paint. I added a darker shade at the base of each page, using the same paint to stencil the building outlines. Overprinting with various travel oriented stamps using archival ink completed the decoration. It seems that the convention for piano hinge books is that the spine is visible, and the skewers extend from the bottom and the top. I wanted a more traditional book appearance as well as a protective cover, so I constructed cover pages before covering them with lokta paper which resembles old leather. A few coats of soft-touch varnish added to that illusion as well as protecting the paper. Adding this type of cover does restrict the addition of further pages. As I intend to use this on the flight as well, I thought it wise to trim the skewers… Some care needs to be taken to keep the pages vertically aligned, but in practice friction seems to keep the posts in place.
I decided yesterday that I would catch up with some of the Wanderlust 2016 class activities, and watched Birgit Koopsen’s class as she demonstrated her signature style. This is my response to the fifth journal prompt from the beginning of March (‘what I see in the mirror’) using her techniques, albeit in a slightly different order! And it’s probably more of a reminder of what I should be seeing in the mirror rather than what I do… Anyhow, I wanted the background to show through the white layer (given I’d spent so long working on it!), so used I used thinned gesso for its translucency. I think the colours certainly zing against the white mask.