Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Altered Book Classes

Sunday at the Nova Studio in Point Richmond,I taught a lovely group of ladies all about getting started creating altered books. We began by learning how to prep pages and then created some basic structures - how to create torn flaps, sewn pockets and triangles with hidden pockets. We discussed the tricks to finding the best books and what to watch out for.
Generally you want to avoid "book of the month club" type books. Even though they are so easy to find, they just won't hold up to the stress of altering. You should avoid anything that does not have a sewn binding. And cheaper books, like anything by Danielle Steele, will typically have a glued binding. I prefer vintage books that are pre 1950. I just like the way they feel in my hands. The soft yellowed pages and a worn linen cover just inspire me to create. But you will develop your own preferences!
After our basic structures were done we experimented with background techniques - keeping with dryer mediums - for that instant gratification! No time to let glue or paint dry in a 4 hour workshop! We did direct to paper inking, stippling and applied metallic glazes which create a nice transparent glimmer on the page.
Then we were ready to create our spreads. I selected materials for three themes: Autumn Leaves, Vintage Travel and Asian Origami.
For the autumn spread, i chose to emphasize colour blocking using bright hued mulberry paper. It is the easiest method to create, most similar to a scrapbooking technique, where you create frames for your focal point images. A few well chosen embellishments -like buttons, leaves and copper tape add some nice texture to the piece.
For the travel theme we used a sewn pocket spread and aged foreign text to create the effect of a collected journal while traveling through Europe back in time. We also created faux postcards using decorative edge scissors and cardboard along with the travel images. An old key tied to the ribbon adds a vintage touch.
Next we created a bold asian themed page - using triangle points to create three dimensions on the spread. I used red and black mulberry paper intersected with asian text for a background. For focal points i cut a kimono shape from printed origami paper, and a fish from wrapping paper. Paper and sticker butterflies complete the page. Inside my hidden pocket i added a chinese watercolour mini scroll.

If you are getting excited about learning all about the magical world of altered books, i am teaching another workshop THIS SUNDAY, at Scrapbook Territory on 4th street in Berkeley, CA. Conveniently located near some great shops and cafe's, Scrapbook Terrritory is THE place for all your crafting needs! I am looking forward to teaching there, I have taken several workshops myself - including three with Tim Holtz. The space is very condusive to creativity and I am hoping to meet many new students, to share my love of paper arts!

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