AuthorElissa

The Art of the Fold: The Accordion, part 2

Welcome to the second entry in my series of posts detailing my adventures working through Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol‘s new book, The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. This post includes the second batch of structures included in chapter one, The Accordion

If you’re new to my blog, then you should know that I’ve been posting my structure of the day on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there. You can click on the name of each structure below and you’ll be taken to its related post over there. No pressure though – as you can see by this post, I’m also writing roundups on my blog on a biweekly-ish basis.

Let’s get right to it and dive into the pool of accordions!

7. Pocket Accordion with Integrated Cover
This structure is made from just one sheet of paper and you end up with not only a cover, but also a spine. A double-sided paper works well with this structure because it adds interest to the cover with the variation. The process for making the cover is a bit hairy, but hang in there – it’s totally doable. I recommend trying it out on cheap paper first to make a model – save your nice paper for the second go around.

Pocket accordion book with integrated cover

8. Pop-Up Accordion
Oh, I love this structure so much. I think this was the first time I ever created a pop-up on an accordion. The process includes making a template for cutting, so don’t freak out over that part. Using an awl, you poke pilot holes through all 12 layers and then connect the dots with your X-Acto knife.

Pop-up accordion book

9. Flag Book
This structure is a classic and I imagine it’s the one that Hedi is most famous for. I’ve certainly made a few over the years. This project was the first one to require the making of hard covers – they’re needed to help support the weight of the paper held between them. If your book were small and the paper light enough, I’m sure you could use cover weight paper instead of bookboard for the covers.

Flag book

10. Two-Sided Flag Book
Ugh, I so messed up putting this together the first time around. Take your time and don’t rush with the assembly. If you don’t, you’ll end up swearing and ripping it apart – at least that’s how I responded. The project recommended recycled materials for the cover, so I went with file folders – they’re perfect. By the way, I’m now a big fan of using patterned paper for an accordion – there’s a lot of potential in that space for presenting content.

Two-Sided Flag Book

11. Interlocking Loops
This structure was totally new to me and I really like it. It’s a cousin to the Flag Book, although the flags are created from the same sheet of paper as the folded accordion and not attached to the accordion as a separate step. The layered loops offer multiple options for content placement.

Interlocking Loops accordion book

So there they are – the remaining five structures in the Accordion chapter of The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures.

Next up, Blizzards!

The Art of the Fold: The Accordion, part 1

Last week I mentioned that I was contacted by Laurence King Publishing, the folks putting out Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol‘s new book, The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. I was asked if I would help spread the word about the book – no brainer.

So, just like the story of Julie and Julia (but with books and not recipes), I’ve been working my way through Hedi’s book, one structure per day. My last book will be completed on October 2nd, the release date for Hedi’s book. 

I’ve been posting my structure of the day on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there. If you’re not into Instagram, no worries – I’m also writing roundup posts on my blog on a biweekly-ish basis. But just in case you’re curious about Instagram, click on the name of each structure below and you’ll be taken to its related post over there.

Here begins the first post in the series, focusing on half of the structures included in chapter one, The Accordion. For those of you who are new to accordion books, although these are cool, they are not the ones I’m talking about: No, no, and no.

The first three projects focus on teaching you the basics of folding accordions, so get your fingers warmed up!

1. Folding an Accordion 2-4-8
This one’s just like the name says – fold a strip of paper into two sections, fold those two in half (4 sections), and then fold those four in half (8 sections). If you want to go further, you can fold the eight sections in half to make a total of 16, as shown in the image below. Making a cover wasn’t part of the project, but I did it anyway.

2-4-8 Accordion Book

2. Folding an Accordion 3-6-12
This one’s is also like the name says – fold a strip of paper into three sections, fold those three in half (6 sections), and then fold those six in half (12 sections). Like the previous book, a cover wasn’t mandatory, but I added one.

3-6-12 Accordion Book

3. Folding an Accordion with Extensions
This project explains how you can create an accordion with two additional flaps at both ends. The flaps can be used to join accordions together or to attach covers.

Folded accordion with extensions

4. Simple Accordion
This is the first “real” project. This is when you get to make an accordion with five joined sections. Be sure to be oh-so-careful with your alignment – wonkiness can worsen with each additional accordion. Say that five times fast – “Additional accordion worsens wonkiness.”

Accordion book

5. Pocket Accordion with Separate Cover
This project has you adding the cover after creating the accordion. I super love the pockets. Unfortunately, I didn’t cut the cover tab long enough and it doesn’t want to stay in the cover slot. Bad closure!

Pocket accordion book with separate cover

6. Pocket Accordion Variation – Full Sheet
Here’s another book with super awesome pockets (unlike some women’s pants I know). You can also cram stuff into the inside cover pockets. Let the cramming begin!

Full sheet pocket accordion book

I hope you’ve enjoyed this preview of the first six structures in the Accordion chapter of The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures.

There are five more structures in this chapter, so stay tuned for my next post!

The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures

Book cover for "The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures" by Hedi Kyle and Ulla WarcholI am one lucky duck.

I was recently contacted by Laurence King Publishing, the folks putting out Hedi Kyle‘s new book, The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures. I was asked if I would help spread the word about the book – that was an easy decision. It’s not like it takes much for me to gush about Hedi.

Next thing I knew, I had an advance copy of the book (it’s not being released until October 2, 2018). I’m still flabbergasted that this happened. Many thanks to @atelier415 on Instagram for putting a bug in the ear of Laurence King!

Let me start out by saying that the book wasn’t just written by Hedi, but also by her daughter Ulla Warchol. When I took a workshop with Hedi at North Country Studio Workshops earlier this year, she told us that Ulla was indispensable in transforming her sketches into computerized images.

And.this.book. Check out the book wrap – it’s actually folded. What an awesome detail!

Close up of belly band on the book cover for Hedi Kyle and Ulla Warchol's book "The Art of the Fold: How to Make Innovative Books and Paper Structures".

This book is 36 projects of awesome. The different structures are grouped as follows (Hedi told us they were families):

  1. The Accordion
  2. Blizzards
  3. One-Sheet Books
  4. Albums
  5. Enclosures

You can see the full table of contents below:

So what to do with a book full of happy and a bunch of paper sitting around? Well, I’ve decided to go all Julie and Julia on this book, completing each project in the book one at a time. I’ll work on one structure a day until I finish the last one on October 2nd, the release date for Hedi’s book. 

I’ll post the structure of the day on Instagram, so be sure to follow me there. If you’re not into Instagram, don’t worry – I’ll also be writing blog posts with roundups about twice a week.

I’m primarily using these awesome papers from Debra Glanz over at Reminiscence Papers. The colors and patterns are so great – I think they’ll really make the structures pop.

Papers by Debra Glanz of Reminiscence Papers

Post #1 is already up, so head over to Instagram to get your daily Hedi fix!

Note: I just found out that there’s a website that accompanies the book. Not surprisingly, it’s called The Art of the Fold. Here’s what it has to say:

Coming this fall, we will be posting short tutorials on some of the techniques we often use and that are found in the book so please stay tuned.

So more fabulous folding is on it’s way – whee!

Trip to Acadia Leather

Last week I was on vacation with my family at the stunning Acadia National Park. Ahhh…the beauty…the serenity…the leather supplier 2 hours away from where I was staying.

Yep, I made a mid-week visit to Acadia Leather, an overstock company offering leather processed in the United States. They operate under the umbrella of Tasman Industries. Tasman opened Acadia Leather as a way to serve independent makers looking for quality leather at affordable prices.

According to LinkedIn, Tasman is the world’s largest independent cattle hide processor. When I visited, I had no idea that they were such a big deal.

Here’s what the building looks like from the outside:

Acadia Leather in Hartland, Maine

That blue second story tunnel to the right of the building, – yep, I was in there. And it was hot.

I was given a tour by the awesome Scott Doyon – he really loves his employer. He did a good job of making me want to buy all the things.

The warehouse was stinky and all kinds of awesome.

Leather sign at Acadia Leather

I just can’t do this place justice with my pictures. So.many.piles. I secretly wanted to take a leather nap on one of those carts.

Hides at Acadia Leather

I wandered all over that warehouse, making two separate rounds so I didn’t miss anything. I’m pretty sure I missed something.

Hides at Acadia Leather

Hides at Acadia Leather

Hides at Acadia Leather

Unfortunately, I had to make practical choices (blech) as the main reason for this buying trip was to get leather for my upcoming workshops. Check out the haul:

Rolls of leather hides

The rolls were all wrapped up in plastic to make it easier to transport. It didn’t really make a difference – the pack of rolls was so heavy that it was still hard to carry.

Rolls of leather hides

I bought nine skins total. Most of them were in the 18 – 20 square feet range. The fuchsia, green, yellow, black, and navy blue are all Pebbled Nappa – the weight is nice and I love the texture. 

I’m pretty sure that the light blue skin is White Blue Agave Easter Egg- Athens. The charcoal grey one above that is a mystery (who doesn’t love a good mystery?). I picked it out of an unlabeled miscellaneous pile.

Now that I’m home, I’m living in that place between “Oh no, what have I done?” and “Dammit! Why didn’t I get more?”

And also the place named “Where the hell am I storing all of this?”

I wholeheartedly recommend Acadia Leather for your leather happiness needs, so here’s what you should do right now – follow them on Instagram. They offer short-term deals just for their followers and the deals are insane. Like $2.50 – $3.00 per square foot insane. They also offer coupons for specific categories on their website.

By the way, I didn’t receive any compensation for offering my opinions here, other than returning to my lodging with a light leathery scent on my skin. 🙂

1,000 Etsy sales!

Check out what snuck up on me the other day. I logged into my Etsy shop and found this message in my sidebar:

Screenshot of Etsy message

I couldn’t believe it. Then I visited my shop and saw this:

Screenshot of Etsy message

So there you have it – I’ve joined the 1,000 Sales Club. Which I just made up. Yay me!

In celebration of this milestone, I’m having a sale on all books in my Etsy shop – use coupon code 1000YAY to get 15% off your entire purchase of any journal, photo album, and/or guest book.

Screenshot of Blue Roof Designs Etsy shop

The sale is active now through Saturday July 21, 2018.

Thanks so much to everyone for supporting my work!

Shereen LaPlantz books on eBay!

Yesterday I was looking for Gocco supplies on eBay for no good reason. I do that sometimes. The truth is that I have such a big stockpile that if Armagoccoggedon ever came, I would probably be the last survivor.

The cool thing is that during my search, I discovered 2 copies of the handbound book Designing and Working with Gocco by Shereen LaPlantz. After I found that gem, I clearly had no choice but to go down the rabbit hole.

I found two more of her books, Innovative Bookbinding: Secret Compartments & Hidden Messages and Visual Guide to Type. These books are hard to come by, so if you’re in the market for any of them, I’d go for it. (FYI – I have no stake in the sale of these books).

Designing and Working with Gocco was produced in 1996 and is an open edition – I own signed copy #106. Oh yeah, I’ve got a copy. 🙂 

Handbound book by Shereen LaPlantz - Designing and Working with Gocco

The book has about a dozen-ish original Gocco prints where LaPlantz tests out different techniques, inks, and papers. If you’re a Gocco nerd, then this book is well worth the purchase. Here’s what’s available on eBay:

My signed copy of Innovative Bookbinding: Secret Compartments & Hidden Messages was produced in 1997 and is part of the second edition. It’s #290 out of 2,000 copies. Yep, I own this one too. 🙂

The copy that’s available on eBay was printed in green and mine is printed in brown, as you can see below:

Handbound book by Shereen LaPlantz - Innovative Bookbinding: Secret Compartments & Hidden Messages

The eBay listing indicates that the book is part of the first edition and is #758 out of 1,000 copies. I think it’s cool that LaPlantz did the reprint in a different color to differentiate between the two editions – at least that’s what I assume is true. Can you imagine printing a book in an edition of 1,000? 2,000? It makes my brain ache.

Innovative Bookbinding is really fun in that not only does it share different ways of hiding things in your books, but it also has several examples actually bound into the book. If the price tag doesn’t work for you, you can get a mass market version of the book on Lulu for $27.50. It doesn’t have the built-in structure examples, but it does have the written content, which is awesome.

Here’s how to get your hands on the handmade version:

The last book I found was Visual Guide to Type. I don’t have this one in my collection and after viewing some of the pages in the eBay listing, of course I want it now. It seems to focus on the fundamentals of designing with type – spacing, kerning, choosing a typeface, etc. I think this could be a great resource for working with letterpress. 

The book that’s for sale is #256 out of 500 copies. Here’s where to find it:

If you want to buy one of the books, today is a good day to do it – eBay is offering 15% off everything for today only (details here). Use coupon code PERFECTDAY at checkout.

If you get any of the books, I’d love to hear what you think of them!

John Neal Bookseller is selling Ruth Smith’s Zhen Xian Bao book!

I received John Neal Bookseller‘s newsletter today and was thrilled to see that they were selling copies of Ruth Smith‘s book Zhen Xian Bao: A Little Known Chinese Folk Art. For those who aren’t in the know, that’s the Chinese Sewing Box.

Cover of Zhen Xian Bao: A Little Known Chinese Folk Art by Ruth Smith

I have wanted this book for quite a while, so I jumped on it. If you look on Amazon, you’ll see that copies of the book are selling for $500.00+, which is stupid crazy. Thankfully, JNB is selling it at a much more reasonable price.

To better understand my Chinese Sewing Box crazies, please read the blog posts I’ve written about the subject. In a nutshell, I attended a workshop with Erin Sweeney and she poisoned my mind forever. Thanks Erin. 😉

Smith’s email address has been floating around for a while and rumor had it that if you contacted her, you could get her books (yes, I said books) directly from her. Did I do that? Nope. And for no good reason.

I did a little sleuthing and found this great post by Lesley Watt over at Art Elements. She attended a workshop with Smith in October 2017 and shared some wonderful images of authentic pieces from Smith’s collection. Lesley also confirmed that you can order books directly from Smith by contacting her at ruthsmith@btinternet.com

And about those books – there are four of them. The title on each book is Folded Secrets: Paper Folding Projects and they have blue covers. If you Google the title and look at the image results you can find them.

If you order any of the books and are getting itchy while you wait for them to arrive, here are some tidbits to tide you over:

The Art of the Book – Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit at Frog Hollow

Last week I attended the opening for the second of the Book Arts Guild’s of Vermont‘s annual exhibits. This time I was at Frog Hollow Craft Gallery in Burlington, VT. The Art of the Book is open now until June 30th.

The Art of the Book exhibit sign - Frog Hollow Craft Gallery

If you go to the gallery, the show is in the back in a little nook. Here’s a partial view of said nook:

Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit at Frog Hollow craft gallery

I can’t believe that the guild managed to fill two shows. Just like the exhibit at SPA, this one doesn’t disappoint – the work is stunning.

Here are a few of my favorite pieces (it seems I was drawn to black and white work this time):

I had another piece from my Fine Art edition in the show:

Fine Art - Handmade book by Elissa Campbell

Fine Art - Handmade book by Elissa Campbell

Fine Art - Handmade book by Elissa Campbell

And apparently this is what I do in between group pictures with my fellow B.A.G. members:

Frog Hollow is located at 85 Church Street in Burlington, VT. The exhibit runs now through June 30th.

Gallery hours:

  • Monday – Tuesday: 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Wednesday – Saturday: 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
  • Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

For more information about the exhibit, please call (802) 863-6458.

Note: If you can’t make it to the exhibit, you can view all of the included pieces on the Book Arts Guild of Vermont website.

Spring Open Studio Weekend Recap

Open Studio Weekend has become a lot more complicated with the addition of Anna to our family. While I might have been able to put off my preparations until the last minute before, I don’t have that luxury now. I have to grab every free minute I can in between hanging with the nut baby and running errands.

Here’s what my studio looked like at 12:10 p.m. on Friday:

Blue Roof Designs bookbinding studio

Not too bad, right? Well, then this:

Hey, you! It looks like you barely did anything in the last NINE HOURS. Oh yeah, Anna. Okay, it’s still not too late. Just keep moving and you’ll be fine.

I am so screwed.

It’s pretty much a given that no matter how much I accomplish earlier in the week, I’ll still get little sleep the night before Open Studio. It’s all worth it though – I always get a warm and fuzzy feeling after putting out my yellow sign at the end of the driveway.

Vermont Open Studio Weekend sign

Let me give you a tour! When you walked in my front door, you would have seen this immediately on your left:

Bookshelf full of handmade books by Blue Roof Designs

Then walking towards the studio, this bookshelf would be right in front of you. It’s a bit of a lighting dead zone, but the clip lights help (sorry the pics are so blechy).

Bookshelf full of handmade books by Blue Roof Designs

After entering the door you see in the image below…

Blue Roof Designs bookbinding studio

…you’re in the studio!

Blue Roof Designs bookbinding studio

It doesn’t look like that 1:49 a.m. shot from Friday night, does it? Clean floors! Nothing to trip on! Books, books, books!

On the left wall is another bookshelf, this one filled with my artist’s books – some are one-of-a-kind and some are editions.

Bookshelf full of handmade books by Blue Roof Designs

Right next to the bookshelf is a desk with bookbinding supplies and small books. That metal triangle display thingie (to the left of the Kelsey) is an ornament tree. I started making ornaments last year that include three small leather long-stitch books, strung on wires with beads and they come in a bunch of colors. I plan to have them for sale on Etsy soon.

Blue Roof Designs display for Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Across-ish from the desk is my stack of flat files, topped with a selection of photo albums, accordion books, and collaged cards. And behind those is the ever-watchful, inflatable Jerry French (get your own here).

Blue Roof Designs display for Vermont Open Studio Weekend

Thus ends the studio tour. I’m fairly certain that my studio is smaller than most others on the circuit.

It feels awesome to have a clean studio when folks visit. Unfortunately, it doesn’t last for long once the event is over. I’m very talented at both throwing things on and piling things on the floor. But before the mess commences, I get to break it all down.

Thanks so much to all of the wonderful folks who visited me during the weekend – it meant a lot to me to be able to talk about the book arts and share my work with you.

If you couldn’t visit me during the event, just contact me and we can set up a private tour (please, oh please, let me clean first).

The next Open Studio Weekend will be October 13 -14, 2018, so save the date!

Beyond Words: Artworks by the Book Arts Guild of Vermont

Yesterday I attended the opening for the first of the Book Arts Guild of Vermont‘s annual exhibits – Beyond Words. That’s right – we have more than one exhibit this year.

The first (and currently open) show is at Studio Place Arts in the Second Floor Gallery. Here’s how the gallery describes the show:

Books can take on a language of their own, as shown in the multimedia work of this group of artists that use shape, structure, and materials to get their message across.

It’s a sweet little show with lots of wonderful member work.

Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit at Studio Place Arts

Sign for Book Arts Guild of Vermont exhibit at Studio Place Arts

Here are a few of my favorite pieces (I seem to be drawn to red, orange, and black work):

And this is my piece for the show – Fine Art:Fine Art - Handmade book by Elissa Campbell

I’ll be sharing the story behind this piece in another post. It’s part of an edition of five books and each comes with a protective box.

I’m really proud of the work I did and it’s a miracle that I could squeeze in its production during Anna’s naps. Well, and I stayed up late working for several days. It was hard.

Studio Place Arts is located at 201 North Main Street in Barre, VT. The exhibit runs now through June 30th.

It’s well worth the visit. And if you make it to Barre, my studio is about 15 minutes away – give me a call and we can schedule a studio visit. You’ll get two book arts experiences for the price of one!

Gallery hours: 

  • Tuesday – Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

For more information about the exhibit, please visit studioplacearts.com or call (802) 479-7069.

Note: If you can’t make it to the exhibit, you can view all of the included pieces on the Book Arts Guild of Vermont website.

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