Sunday, May 22, 2011

Page folding

I have discovered the truth for myself of the notion that teaching takes you away from your own art. I am busy preparing for my upcoming workshops (Barry has almost been busier see here) and as a result my mind is full of the getting together of things such as collecting, collating, and preparing pieces for each participants's pack of materials to experiment with.

I've also been making sure I have the right tools for them to play with and that they are in working order - going out and buying extra things to be doubley-sure that there will be enough to go on with. Half preparing some demonstrations so that people can see where I'm headed with a piece and so on. And of course, writing the course notes and preparing the timetables/schedules. All normal preparation for teaching.

It's all in good shape and perhaps its just me, but I felt that if I was in the studio this weekend, then I needed to be doing preparation things, not creative things. So there was very little creativity - a few attempts at new fold for Book Art Object and a fiddle with folding a book into a sculptural piece.

Here's where the latter got to.

©2011 Fiona Dempster Folded travel guide
©2011 Fiona Dempster - folded travel guide detail 1
©2011 Fiona Dempster - folded travel guide detail 2
©2011 Fiona Dempster - folded travel guide detail 3
This is the first time I have attempted this; and I used an old travel guide to Cairo. I think I'd rather work with a hard cover book and one that doesn't have coloured pages in it - I found them distracting in the final piece. I enjoyed just making up the folds as I went along - with very little idea of how they would appear in the final piece.  I think there is an enormous amount of skill in knowing which pages to fold and just how to achieve the effect you are after.

I think the good news about this technique is that it is one you can play with by yourself and learn by doing, and if it's a book you don't really care too much about then you'll be happy exploring and having a go.

I really like the close-ups of the folded pages - a very architectural feel.


  1. I agree about the architectural feel, there is a real sense of structure now which takes it away from it's original life to become sculpture. Really, really thought provoking...

  2. Thanks Kathryn - I agree - it feels quite other than booky to look at it; but has enough sense of the book to keep you connected and wondering.

  3. whenever I see folded book pages I'm reminded of nicholas jones (here's a link for those who aren't familiar with his work....

    I'm sure it would be a very meditative action..... and I'd love to try some book folding myself 'one day' (sigh.... I think I need a few more lifetimes to get through everything I'd like to try 'one day'...)

  4. This is stunning! I love it. And I'm going to find a book to get cracking with.

  5. How wonderful! I too love the architectural feel of then folded pages. Also like the surprise of that little bit of color. Detail #2 is stunning.

  6. Hi Ronnie - yes he does amazing stuff; he can see the 3D form before he begins I'm sure.

    Annie - go forth and fold! Have fun!

    Jennifer - glad you enjoyed it; it was fun and as Ronnie suggests; quite meditative.

  7. I'm very new to this sort of 'altered book' and find it fascinating. There must be some mentally therapeutic value to sitting... folding. Tho' I suspect, like all art, the more you know, the more you feel your inadequacies. It looks great.

  8. Thanks Jo - yes I think it is harder than we think - like you I think we often start out going oh yeah; and then gradually realise the intricacies that we were blind to early on.

  9. Wow, Fiona this is a lovely technique for transforming a book!Thank you for sharing it.

  10. I love these closeups as well. Amazing how luring this piece is. Thanks for sharing this. I may have to have a go at this some point in the future.

  11. G/Tt - I think its something I could obsess about so have to be careful!

    Jo - I find them intriguing and beautiful and if I can make one without any prior knowledge, anybody can - sit, fold, play!

  12. I love these photos and it reminds me that folding paper is one of my favourite things. I'm at the beach, it's cold and very, very wet and I'm wishing I'd brought a few old books I could fold as I sit here by the fire with the grandpup. I do hope your finger has recovered by now - I've not been near a computer very often so do mad catchups when I can, and I'm really enjoying your posts of the past coupe of weeks.

  13. Hi Carol - sorry it' sso miserable down your way and I guess you can't start ripping into the house-owner's bookshelves! I have just done my first hearts and am getting into it totally!

  14. Great lights and shadows and how meditative. You could always paint over the coloured pages that annoy you :) xoxoxoxoxo


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