In my WRTG 3035 class last semester, my professor arranged for the class to visit Norlin Library’s Special Collections & Archives. On display were handmade books from as early as the 16th century. There were Da Vinci sketches in giant leather bound book and small artisan books from the modern era.
I wanted to make my own interactive book with features and novelties similar to the books in Norlin’s special collections. I thought I could work with mediums such as leather or origami paper. I was even thinking about having some of the story line written on a piece of paper inside of a fortune cookie.
Overall, I knew I wanted the book to be interactive, dynamic, intricate, and beautiful. Eventually, I decided to make an origami accordion book bound together by origami.
I determined my top four constraints to be time, patience, ability, and content.
Time: Origami takes time, and I micro manage my time.
Patience: Paired well with lack of time, lack of patience could cheapen my book.
Ability: While my fingers are deft and nimble, they can only evade clumsiness for so long.
Time was my enemy, and the origami skills I gleaned took lots of time. Each page took a few hours of work between the planning, paper marbling, folding, and binding. I have little patience, and could only work on the pages for about an hour at a time before giving up, leaving my mess of paper scraps on the coffee table.
Money was not a huge constraint, since I just bought paper. It was relatively cheap, and Dr. Hertzberg lent me her water coloring kit.
I folded the pages of the book using this method:
The book pages bind themselves, by folding together and creating a paper hinge. In true origami practice, I used no glue, tape, or cuts to interlock the book pages.
Following the origami theme, two of the three scenes incorporate origami mountains, a cat and mouse.
The center scene displays an “Emerald Cityesque” Engineering Center. The green popup of the ECCR is an example of perspective, a skill we focused on in class. The Towers have a slight bend in the front to make them appear to go in different directions.
Many pages of the book incorporate marbled paper that I made. I filled a kitchen pan with about an inch of water. Then I dropped colored ink into the pan and swirled it around. Before the ink sank to the bottom of the pan, I quickly laid rice paper on the surface of the water, transferring the ink design onto the paper. I laid the paper to dry on a clothes rack in the sun. When it was dry, I ironed it on low heat. Finally, I adhered the marbled paper to pieces of origami or card stock as accents or backgrounds.