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The Playful Artist’s Book with Julie Chen – Day 5

Part of day 5 of Julie’s class focused on different ways to make marks.

She introduced us to Old Stone Rubbing Wax, which can be used to pick up surface textures by rubbing it over piece of paper (it ain’t just for gravestones). Julie recommended that we use the edge of the wax when working with it. The stuff is really cool.

Next we learned about mylar stencils. You can use either an X-Acto to cut out your shapes or you can use a stencil burner to create smoother curves. You then take a stencil brush, rub it into some ink and get your stencil going.

We also talked about pressure printing, which was something I already knew about from PBI (and loved). We didn’t have access to a Vandercook and used what I believe was a printmaking press. Here are some of our process notes:

  • We used mylar for an ink surface and we were told that frosted mylar holds ink better than clear for pressure printing.
  • Roll ink on the mylar on both directions to get even coverage.
  • Lay paper on the inked mylar.
  • Lay your pressure plate on the backside of the paper.
  • Lay newsprint on top of the pressure plate to keep the press clean.
  • Lay Davey Board on top of the newsprint.
  • Run through the press!

Something else I learned about was the flexicurve, which is a tool used for making curves. You can use a X-Acto knife right up against it.

Next we were introduced to the mounting press. One of my classmates referred to it as the “Alligator”.

Dry mounting press

The dry mount press we used offered 15 pounds of pressure per square inch. I’m not sure if that’s standard or not, but it sounds like a lot to me. We used Clear Bond 2000 adhesive for our work. Here are the tips we got for using the press:

  • When putting something in the press, allow for a 1/4″ overhang of the adhesive on the paper.
  • For text weight paper, keep it in the press for 30 seconds.
  • After removing the paper from the press, put it under weight while cooling to help keep it from curling.
  • You can use a glue stick to tack things down before putting them into the press.

We also started work on 2 books that would go with our model game set. The first was a stacked folio binding, which I had done before, but didn’t know its official name. I liked how the binding looked from above.

Stacked folio binding

Julie gave us a great tip – when gluing, whatever adhesive you use on the outside, you must use on the inside. It helps to even out the warp. This is something I already do, but mostly because I’m too lazy to work with different adhesives. PVA is easy.

We also made a small concertina book. We got another great tip on how to fold your pages. Take the width of your panel and multiply it by 4. Make a pin mark at that 4x mark. That’s where you start folding. This tip is great for when you have an odd number of panels because you can just match the next fold to your even stack of panels.

Funny enough, I decided on the concertina structure for my game instructions. Why I was crazy enough to choose a hexagonal shape, I’ll never know. That was hard. You can see the mock up below.

Concertina game instruction manual

So what do you think? I'd love to know!

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