I'm suffering from change-of-mind-itis, which is linked (medically speaking) to anxiety about my New Year's resolutions/everything and can probably only be resolved by a brain-ectomy, which I hope isn't happening any time soon. I guess I'll just have to live with myself, as usual. On the bright side, it's only January 2nd and I've clocked up hours in the studio! Hurrah!
While I was there I realised why my earlier idea of making a leporello sadly won't work: my darling Epson printer takes maximum A3 sized paper, and an A3 sized sheet of paper folded down into a leporello results in a few folded pages measuring approximately 7.5cm x 10cm which is very small. Even doing something on A3 etching paper such as 280gsm Hannemuhle will result in something fairly unsubstantial - hardly worth bothering with and definitely too small to fiddle about making a hard cover or a box.
Hmmm. So what should be Plan V? I've been through so many! And then I took a look at my bookshelf and noticed the fortuitous alignment of the Lark book of 500 Handmade Books and Carol Barton's The Paper Engineer, Volumes I & II.
I really, really want the form of my book to convey something about the physicality of the ideas within it. As mentioned before I struggle with the structure of my books before anything else (although content implicitly gets a mention in my thought processes along the way). What intrigues me most about Jeanette Winterson's text is the image I have in my mind of the boys crawling round among the scrolls, making tunnels and running up and down ladders to find things. And the second thing that intrigues me is what might have been included in the library.
I wondered if I could adapt an accordion structure with a folded cover to represent the tunnels through the greatest collection of knowledge available in the world at that time. This afternoon I played with a sheet of A3 paper, slit lengthways and joined together at the thin end to make a long strip that I could fold into an accordion book. Then I made "ladders" from tapered strips of paper and began to attach them to the pages.
I tried many variations, most of which were too complicated, before I settled on three ladders and one tunnel.
Yesterday I was playing with text, discovering that Aristotle's Metaphysics was written sufficiently far in advance of the library's construction that one might reasonably speculate that it would have been included in the collection. I learned New Testament Greek while at university and it was good to know that the Reverend Morgan-Wynne's thrice-weekly lectures retain some benefit because it turns out I can read Aristotle's Greek! I'm not saying I understand what all the words mean, mind,. After all, the New Testament has a somewhat limited vocabulary so while I'm fine with loaves and fishes I need a dictionary to help me with words like 'art' and 'experience'.
At the moment I'm thinking of printing the text from Art & Lies on the paper first, then blind embossing it with the Greek text before making and attaching the ladders.
It may all change again, of course, but as of this evening I feel a quiet satisfaction with the idea, at least!