Dec 23

Grackle Charm Book

I made some new books, on account of it was a certain person’s birthday and she didn’t have any of my little books yet. So I made covers for the last three book blanks I had. This is my favorite of the three. I started with some simple cotton cloth from a placemat. I pasted it to a piece of paper, and then layered over a piece of joss paper. Joss paper is nice for collage because it’s quite thin, and because the inks are not colorfast, so you get some interesting bleeding.

I wanted to do some linoblock prints, so I mixed up some red acrylic and did the print of the grackle over the joss paper. I then used the rubber stamp of the music score.  At this point, it was so boring, it looked like my throwaway cover. It needed a little more chaos, so after I used gold and metallic and interference paints on my other covers, I rolled the excess paint right over the top.

Once I’d had these layers, I was happy with how it looked conceptually, and now it just needed a tactile 3D element to draw it together. I decided to use one of the brass charms, because it had been long enough since I last used it that I’d forgotten what a pain in the ass they are. You glue the circle to the brass, then wait for the glue to dry a bit, and then you put the epoxy sticker over the top. At this point, the epoxy sticker immediately curls up at the edges enough to pull your background paper right off, and then you have to glue the whole thing down and weight it, sometimes more than once.

I’d gone with a brass, copper, gold color theme, so I decided to do grommets along the spine. As you can see in the second photo, I sewed along them with thin red and copper wire. I think that’s my favorite part of this book.  I sewed the charm on the cover with red embroidery floss, and finished the inside by using blue art paper with Chinese clouds on it.

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