Monday, December 20, 2010

Paper Clay Book

Paper Clay Book Coptic Binding

Paper Clay Book

Paper Clay Book
I've been meaning to post this for a while and have only just got around to it. This book was about 4 years in the making, not because it was hard work but because I made the pages in paper clay first and had no idea how to bind them. The pages were made on a paper clay workshop during my MA at UWE, Bristol in 2002. I wasn't what sure to do on the workshop so I decided to make pages for a book. There was a punch there so I made the holes ready for binding.  I added the text using some lettering that was there. The text takes words from a line from a Chinese film - In The Mood For Love - "you can see the past but you can't touch it".

I have no idea why I chose the book format for paper clay and initially thought this is going to be one of those things that never gets finished. The pages lay tucked away in bubble wrap for about 4 years. I did my first Bookbinding workshop in 2006 and some time after this I got the brainwave to try a coptic binding for my paper clay pages.  It wasn't easy to do but it worked. I used a strong linen thread which went really nicely with the paper clay (top picture).

All the discussions on Book Art Object and especially this one by Abigail reminded me of the book again and also Gortys in Crete where I saw the Law Code inscribed on the wall. Which is a coincidence because Anna's  work for Book Art Object Project II is influenced by the Gortyn Code. 

Gortyn Code, Gortys, Crete

Gortyn Code, Gortys, Crete

12 comments:

Rhubarb said...

I love the book, Angela. How did you do the pictures? I made one myself by pressing porcelain paper clay onto text-based etching plates and bound the edges with wire. In fact I wanted to do a paper clay book for the BAO edition this time round but haven't managed to find a supplier locally yet! I've heard of flat sheets called Keraflex that you can incise with a knife, shape and then fire which sounds just up my street... Sara

ronnie said...

stunning angela! and the materials make an apt reminder of the fragility of memories (well that's my reading of it!)

Angela said...

Thanks. The photos are me as a child and I printed them on tissue paper and glued them on with PVA, which was fiddly (it caused the ink to run a bit) but it made them melt in nicely on to the paper clay.

I fancy trying something similar with slate but have no idea where to start. I did think about using wire for the binding and vaguely remember experimenting, but I didn't get on with it all.
Have you any photos of your book Sara? I would love to see it.

Fragility is right Ronnie - one of the pages is cracked but I like it.

Fiona Dempster said...

So beautiful Anglea. Paper clay is so perfect for a book - the paper link and the preciousness and fragility. I'm with Ronnie - there's a sense of the fragility of holding onto the past - we only ever have tenuous links...

Thanks for sharing how you included the photos as well -they are such an important part of the book.

Ida said...

A beautiful book Angela. I love clay and paper so this is right up my alley...and the link to the wall is very apt. I also like the fact that you have gone back into your own archives of making and returned to something started a while ago...there is a time for everything. Well done.

Carol said...

Really beautiful, Angela, and I love the way you've combined the words and photographs. I've never done anything with clay but BAO is certainly widening my experience and giving me the feeling that nothing is impossible.

moreidlethoughts said...

It looks delicate, yet it "stands up" suggesting a toughness.

Abigail Thomas said...

wonderful; saw it on artists books 3.0 yesterday too; great! also its interesting to see that text on the wall; very interesting - thanks

Amanda said...

Lovely Angela! It's interesting to see that you and Sara have both experimented with paper clay. It's a flexible material that's much more forgiving than regular clay, and cracks and so on can be repaired in a way that's just not possible normally. I love that this opens up clay to people who haven't much (or any) experience with the material, as well as the incredible scope it offers more experienced clay workers.

Sara, I have some keraflex in my garage and will be testing it out in January if all goes according to plan. I'll be posting my adventures of course, if you are interested.

Rhubarb said...

Oo, ooh! Amanda... where did you get your Keraflex from? I've emailed the Canberra office but haven't had a reply yet. Have you used it before? And Angela - I'm trying to find photos of my porcelain paper clay book AND my slates! If I manage to connect up the various computers and locate the files I'll put up a post. Sounds as if we're all having fun! Sara x

Angela said...

Woo! So you've already done slate Sara sounds very interesting, would be great if you can find some photos. Can someone tell me a bit more about Keraflex? I Googled it yesterday after Sara mentioned it and I am none the wiser.

I've added another picture of the cover to this post. Yes Abigail it is on Artists Books 3.0 Flickr, Facebook, my website and my blog. I tend to post things everywhere, though I may have forgotten to Tweet about it ;-)

Very interesting observations on here about the book - this is what I love about this blog. You have made observations/interpretations that would never have occurred to me, which also causes me to look at the piece in a new way and also inspires me further (hope that doesn't sound too cheesy!)

Late Blooming Bohemian said...

This all fascinating to me as I have just begun exploring making books using my printmaking. There is so much to know about and try. A whole new world! Paper clay is so full of character. I've never made it but imagine the process would be interesting in itself. Lovely work!