Book Arts Improv Book #1: Clayton’s Big Problem
Well, I did it. I successfully completed my first week of the Book Arts Improv. There were many moments this week where I seriously questioned my sanity, but I pushed through. Phew!
Just to remind you, here are the themes I was working with this week:
- Bad Habit: Paper addiction
- Popular Tourist Spot: Taj Mahal
- Article of Clothing: Girdle
Here’s the finished product – a miniature book entitled Clayton’s Big Problem:
Obviously, I used the Taj Mahal as the shape of my book. Carving the book board covers took a long time.
For those who are wondering about the weird tail at the bottom of the book, that relates to the girdle theme. Believe it or not, there exists such a thing as a girdle book. The structure was used between the thirteenth and sixteenth centuries, primarily by religious figures. The book’s knotted tail could be tucked into one’s girdle or belt for easy transport.
Because I worked in miniature, I chose to use suede cloth instead of leather. Tying the knot was surprisingly difficult. Rather than envelop the entire book with the fabric, I decided to integrate the tail into the cover. I also used the suede cloth in the binding.
The covers were collaged with handmade paper from India. Coincidentally, the winner of this week’s drawing is the one who gave me this paper after she returned from a trip to India.
I drew in the details on the cover using a black permanent marker. I was inspired to do this after I did a rough drawing of how I wanted to block out the colors. I think like the sketch more than the finished book cover.
This book is part of an edition of three (shhh…I haven’t started the other two yet). I printed the text pages using Book Antiqua on Strathmore Writing paper.
I decided to create a book with content, something I don’t do very often. Now you’ll see how the paper addiction theme is brought in:
Clayton’s Big Problem
Clayton Lybrand had a problem.
He had an addiction. And it wasn’t any ordinary addiction.
He was addicted to paper. And it wasn’t any ordinary paper addiction.
He was addicted to piles of paper. Whenever he saw a pile of paper, he had to put it in his mouth and eat it.
This greatly distressed him.
He was particularly susceptible to the influence of paper by Crane & Co. The watermarks were hypnotic.
One day, he was down to his last dollar – definitely not enough to continue feeding his addiction.
He decided to go to Las Vegas and try his luck. The Trump Taj Mahal had always brought him luck.
Clayton loved playing craps because whenever he heard the word “crap”, it made him laugh.
He sat down at a table. It was his lucky day. He won big.
He had to use the bottom of his shirt to carry all of the chips to the cashier.
The cashier smiled at him. He was ecstatic.
She asked him how he wanted it. Without hesitation, he asked for small bills.
She reached into her drawer and started counting out bills. When she finished, she pushed the stack of bills towards Clayton.
He quickly shoved the pile of cash into his mouth and started chewing.
This is my very first edition! I was excited to write a colophon at the end of a book for the first time.
I’d like to thank the Fake Name Generator for giving me the protagonist’s name. You too can generate your own random names using the gender and/or obscurity factor of your choice!
I’ll be posting the new Improv themes tomorrow, so be sure to come back if you’d like to enter the weekly drawing.
I look forward to next week’s challenge!