Sunday, January 28, 2007

CBAS Study Group: Piano Hinge Books

The Cincinnati Book Arts Society to which I belong has a study group. We meet at a local library, nine times a year, on the third Saturday of the month.

Being a member of the study group means being willing to participate by being in charge of a program. It’s not as scary as you might think. We are a friendly, informal group and you do not have to have a background in the topic you want to share, just agree to learn about it and pass along what you have learned to the study group members. It is also fine to have a joint presentation with another study group member and while most of the meetings are about book structures, this year we are also planning a field trip to a member’s studio.

Our last program was the first of a two part demonstration of interlocking and woven books structures, specifically the piano hinge structure. The image at top left, Crown of Thorns by Tennille Shuster, believe it or not, is just such a structure. The one at top right by our program presenter, Cody Calhoun (who, incidentally has a book in the online Flag Book Bind-O-Rama Exhibit), is the more traditional format. Here is a free tutorial. Don’t be confused by the name, skewered book. Skewers are often used in the construction of this type of book, but piano hinge is the traditional name.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Origamic Architecture: Intricate Pop-ups

Origamic architecture is an amazing paper art. It involves the three-dimensional reproduction of architecture, geometric patterns, and everyday objects, on various scales, using cut-out and folded paper, usually thin cardboard. Visually, these creations are comparable to intricate pop-ups.

Like origami, origamic architecture originates from Japan. Tokyo Institute of Technology professor Masahiro Chatani is credited as the art form's creator, a practitioner of it since the 1980s. While his website showcases some incredible examples of his work, the website, Willem’s Origamic Architecture. from which I obtained the images in this post, pairs a photograph of the actual architectural model with the origamic rendering. The models are pretty impressive. To get a feel for what is involved, download one of the models that the site offers and make one yourself.

Himeji Castle, Himeji, Japan, 1333, rebuilt 1601

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Flag Book Bind-O-Rama Winners

Have you been wondering who the winners of the Flag Book Bind-O-Rama challenge are? Wonder no longer. The twenty-eight winning books are being featured in an online exhibit on the Book Arts Web. And, as promised, the exhibit also appears in the latest edition of the Bonefolder (Volume 3, Number 1), which I highly recommend downloading and reading, even if it takes a long time for those of you with dial-up connections.

It was hard to chose which books to feature here, they are all wonderful in different ways. Content, materials, and structure are important elements in all but what I found is that usually one dominates and because it does the book makes a statement.

Starting at the top and working down, Hedi Kyle, originator of the flag book technique, uses the traditional structure that she developed, but the very untraditional material of mica to capture the play of light and shadow that has captured her interest. “I often envision the flag book as a movable screen to define space,” she says in her statement. Marcia Ciro’s book compares the man-made car environment with the natural environment. As successful as the comparison may be, the placement of the car side mirrors and their repetition reminds me of clasped hands and interlocked fingers with the mirrors representing fingernails. In Esther Kibby’s book, the Native American story, How Porcupine Got His Quills, is used to explore flag shapes that become a sculptural book. Finally, I could not resist, Sheila Cunningham’s book, Shut Your Mouth. It’s funny and visceral. Makes me want to laugh and tremble at the same time. I'm sure if I get close I will feel the air reverberating.

Top to Bottom:
Hedi Kyle, Philadelphia, PA, USA
Marcia Ciro, Watertown, MA, USA
Esther Kibby, Dallas, TX, USA
Sheila Cunningham, Dallas, TX, USA