Saturday, January 18, 2014

The story of Conversations

Having shared the get-together of our two books on Wednesday, I thought I'd take the time to show you through my book "Conversations".


These prints were never made to be seen together and I worried, no doubt as Susan did, about how to tell a cohesive story; how to make them seem as if they belonged in the same book.

I spent time pairing them up and finding ones which I felt spoke to each other, and could begin a conversation.

Then I had to work out how to present them, how to link them somehow to stop them looking they were just two prints stuck next to each other.  I know how important words are to me, and this notion just gets regularly re-enforced. It is natural for me to turn to words when trying to find a way through an artistic or design dilemma.

I am also quite regular and structured in my work - I am not a free-flowing organic shape kind of gal. I wondered about writing haiku that drifted across the pages, I wondered about words just dropped into pages…in the end I chose to write a few words about different conversations in a square, centred on the opposite page to the prints.


Detail of a conversation...


One of the warmer pages...



Print and embossing detail…



Each of the written conversations reflect a conversation type I have with friends or family, and which for me could be linked somehow to the imagery.


The end result, was too much structure even for me; staid, a bit sterile, a bit blocky.

I wanted to link the pages, to bring the words and the prints together as if they were conversing, to make them seem joined and connected.  I thought about marks, I thought about stitching and in the end I just chopped some squares and rectangles into embossing plates and hand embossed them in a free-flowing manner across the two pages, linking the imagery and the words. Ahh, now we're talking!



Some more pages…



Having done the pages, the next thing to sort was the cover - how much of the inside to reflect? More embossing? Prints? Free-flowing or structured? 

This is a detail of the cover - wee scraps of prints, both Susan's and mine. These are the same size as the embossed shapes inside the book; yet are structured into a square the same size as the calligraphy block. Somehow this holds...


The quiet 'title' page introduces the conversation, without actually stating a conversation…


So finally, I had a look I was happy with - simple, uncluttered, yet gently conversing across the pages...

38 comments:

  1. Beautifully elegant and precious. Thanks for the peep.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jack, glad you enjoyed the peep. I think one of the beauties of blogs is getting the story, and getting behind the story…go well.

      Delete
  2. This is beautiful. Makes me want to hold it and physicallly turn the pages to explore it

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Jac - I think it's good if you feel like your want to reach thru the screen and pick it up and spend some time with it…if only we weren't so far away I'd be very happy for you to do so!

      Delete
  3. The way you linked the conversations is wonderful - playful, flowing, highs and lows. There's laughter, serious moments, lightness too. It all makes the reader (this one especially) want to be part of the conversation - want to sit at the kitchen table, enjoy a cuppa and talk about anything and everything...til someone needs to get up and put more coffee or tea on...or break out the wine.

    Just simply exquisite Fiona.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Jennifer - I'm glad you got the lilting feel of conversations and the quiet pauses, the silences too I guess. And boy, imagine just sitting conversing at the kitchen table - I'm sure we could ramble over several pages!

      Delete
    2. I think it would take few books, you're right! ;- )

      Delete
  4. I love it how all in this book works so nicely together, such great details all over.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your kind words Dymphie. I'm glad that all the thinking has worked out so the book does feel as if all the bits belong together...

      Delete
  5. Wow, Fiona, just stunning! You must be so delighted with the way your book turned out. I love the way conversations meander through the book....... and the text is exquisite whether I read it or not..... and when I do read it , I feel the coziness of conversations. It's interesting to see how you and Susan have interpreted your specific "topics".

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Robyn! I'm glad you enjoyed and got the feeling of the conversations. It is always intriguing to see how we both approach and interpret things - and in this instance we were both true to ourselves, yet very simpatico. The conversations feel very real to me as I based them on real life and the care and love I share with folk when we chat...

      Delete
  6. oh wow fiona.... everything about this is gorgeous.... you have created something greater than the sum of the parts! As soon as i saw the flow of embossed shapes thought 'that really pulls it all together' lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Suzi! Glad you enjoyed and felt it as all coming together with those dancing squares…I like too that it feels like greater than the sum of its parts - I think that's a great way of looking at it!

      Delete
  7. ~words left unspoken even though they are ever so finely printed...a conversation left for only the mind to read...a beautifully silence quietly unfolding as the pages converse...i do so love your book...much love light and blessings~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Many thanks Brandi - you have experienced the essence and the feel of the book for me, and that is wonderful. Go well.

      Delete
  8. It really turned out wonderfully! The use of the squares for connecting the pages works so well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Roberta - I was a bit worried there for a while, then just went straight into them when I realised that was it! I love those moments of clarity after much pondering and searching.

      Delete
  9. Replies
    1. Thanks Jo, it does feel precious to me...

      Delete
  10. Replies
    1. Thanks Velma, sometimes you have to dig deep to grab hold of a gem and this one took a fair bit of working through and quite a few moments of angst. But in the end it holds together…go well.

      Delete
  11. F - as always a balance of thought, design, meaning and words. Great book. B

    ReplyDelete
  12. Thanks B - you get to live with its development, so its nice you can enjoy the result! It's a lovely thing I think...

    ReplyDelete
  13. This is beautiful Fiona and I appreciate the fact that you shared the process of putting it together. The use of the embossed squares throughout was a brilliant idea.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Seth - I love getting a peek behind others' thinking processes, tests and trials, so am always happy to share mine! As I review my work, I am always surprised a the number of decisions that are made along the way, and how in the end it all looks quite seamless; yet we know it has been quite complicated!

      Delete
  14. I love the way you say 'I thought about marks, I thought about stitching and in the end just chopped up some plates and embossed them.....' this makes it sound something done 'just like that' but I know you think deeply about these things and I see those embossed rectangles exactly like stitches, the only difference being that the thread is implied rather than seen. It still looks like stitch marks linking the two pages into a cohesive spread. The whole thing is beautifully executed. Another winner.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah Lesley…you do know how long I would have thought! I think it took maybe 2 days to workout what to then it just happened. Altho the embossing took me three days - by hand and each square/rectangle placed just so in relation to the previous ones… I still want to do more stitching on paper one day tho!

      Delete
  15. This is a beautiful book, a real piece of art bringing your lovely work together. The embossing draws all the elements together in a simple, effective way. Congratulations!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks Anna - it does seem the right choice when I look back over it - there but not too obvious, gently connecting….

      Delete
  16. What a wonderful, concept - so beautifully expressed and contained within the pages. I feel a great peace and contentment as I look.
    What a pleasure it always is to visit your blog. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Charlton - it is quite a gentle piece isn't it? I like the quietness of it, the sense of intimacy and togetherness…just a nice gentle book. It's nice to know you feel calm and quiet when you view it...

      Delete
  17. You've done a beautiful job of embodying the theme of conversations, Fiona. What a pleasure to meander through your photos of the book, enjoying the well thought-out details that bring it so beautifully together. I love it all, from the mosaic-y cover to the introductory 'title' page, & then on through the conversations...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks so much Lisa - I'm glad you enjoyed the whole as well as the parts…it all came together in the end for which I was grateful. Welcome back to blog-land after your visit here!

      Delete
  18. When simplicity works as it does here, it is simply stunning. Your conversation solution is very elegant and clean. Just beautiful. I look forward to further blogs.
    Hilary Florence

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Hilary - such kind words! Simplicity can be hard to achieve as you say - and hard to make it not look like something isn't finished, or you have been lazy…I am pleased that this one avoids both of those horrors. Glad you enjoyed, go well.

      Delete

I appreciate your thoughts and comments; thanks for taking the time.