Thursday, August 16, 2012

Handmade books

It's been really hot here (not HOT like the rest of the United States, but hot for Long Beach), so I haven't been out digging on my side yard.  Which is too bad, because I got some really cool plants this morning that I'd like to plant out there, but they're going to have to hang out for a few days until I get that area ready.

What I have been doing instead is beating the heat and getting ready for the upcoming semester.  One of the classes I teach is a seminar for student teachers, and part of that course includes having them keep a reflective journal with entry assignments each week.  This can be a bit of a chore for them because they're busy with so much, but reflecting is a vital practice in teaching.

So to get them a little excited, maybe, about this part of their teaching, I've been making them some hand-bound books.  I love making books, and it was one of the things I wanted to do this summer, but I had so many ideas and I don't need that many books myself.  So instead of having them buy a composition book, which I've done in the past, I'm making a variety of fun blank journals.
So - clockwise, from the top:  I created the covers from old mounted slides, the one on the top left has glass and aluminum mounts, the one right below it has cardboard mounts.  They're sewn together with a coptic stitch and watercolor paper pages.  The one on the top right is made from an old license plate I cut in half, the two below that are composition books (for the more traditionally-minded students) and I used old music book pages, paper napkins and origami paper for decorations.  The one underneath has a definition of 'music' torn from an old dictionary.  Oh, I need to say here that the section I'll be teaching in the fall is half art education students, and half music education students, so I tried to give them some choices that might appeal to them.  OK, underneath the composition books is a book made from the covers of an old geometry book, again with pages added and sewn together with coptic stitch.  The one underneath the geometry book is actually made from oval opening photo mats, with the holes left open so they can add their own pictures.  The one at the bottom left is made from a coin holder and has grid paper inside.  The last one in this batch is a fold out accordion style book, made of small brown paper bags, and they can write their reflections on index cards or if they want to type it on the computer and print it out, they can put each week's assignment in a different pocket.

Here's another picture of that book, opened out:

This second set has some fun stuff, too:
Clockwise from top left:  These books are made from my old LPs - this batch has Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, Janis Joplin Live in Concert, and Arlo Guthrie Hobo's Lullaby.  Inside is a mixture of lined paper and watercolor papers, and the back is cut from the album cover.  Top right is a coptic stitch book with paste paper edges, and a map of Michigan.  I added some fun dangly things (the word says 'teach').  Bottom right is a Cheez-It book with watercolor paper, and the bottom left book has clear plexiglas covers and nice watercolor paper pages, with some fold-out pages for larger images if that's what they want to add.

So far I've made 18 books this week - some of them are duplicates of what I have above, and I have a few more parts cut out - one for a book made from an old Monopoly game, some more old records and I found some more old junk in the garage that I'm going through to see what else I can use.  I haven't spent anything, all this is found stuff from the house, and the paper I've already got on hand.  I need about ten more, maybe a few extras.  I want to be sure everyone has a choice and someone's not 'stuck' with one they didn't want.  I think I'll have them draw names to see who gets to pick first. 

So this week has been fun for me.  I did go out this morning and dig up some gorgeous agaves, my arms look like pincushions, but they're worth the ouchies and scabs (and I got them free on craigslist).  Hopefully I get that side yard dug up and the planting beds ready this week, I have some plants to move!


Isabel said...

Do those students know how lucky they are?!?!

I'm wondering if I have anything lying around that you could use . . .

danger garden said...

I am so completely impressed! Seriously? Like you just made all those different amazing books out of stuff you just had laying around? Lucky lucky students! Makes me so glad to hear you also got more free Craigslist deserve a little cosmic gift shower!

rosa said...

you're great!
(by the way, HOW could you write in those books?, they're way too gorgeous to use them!)

Anonymous said...

where are you from? i'm from brazil :D

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