Sunday, September 14, 2008
Once you leave the realm of archival materials behind you, there is no going back. When I first started making books, I never strayed from archival materials. Gradually, though, I have come to believe that not all books need to be (or should be) archival.
I've heard a bit about a movement in the art world to produce temporary art with the understanding that its existence is transient, temporary, and immediate; it does not need to be preserved; we simply cannot preserve everything, we do not have the means or the space to do so; so just enjoy it now and allow other works of art to take its place when the time comes. In this same spirit, I do not think it is reasonable to expect all books to be preserved and certainly many little notebooks and scribblers just don't need to last hundreds of years...how many little notebooks full of "to do" lists will be of interest to our future generations?
So, these are tremendously non-archival books (which are also not works of art, they are just silly little books that might be fun to use for grocery lists or such things).
Each is made using 10 sheets of cardboard; a mixture of corrugated cardboard, pressed board from sketchbook covers, scraps of Eska board and mat board, etc. I'm not sure what the life span is for acidic corrugated cardboard... 10 years maybe before it begins to deteriorate? There are some varieties of corrugated cardboard that are archival, but I have not made any attempt to find archival materials for these books. All the cardboard used in these books was cut from boxes and boards that were lying around my workspace. The Eska board and mat board sheets were archival, but after lying next to acidic cardboard, they are not archival any more.
I used some of my paste papers to decorate the covers and also used folded strips of contrasting paste papers to make the sewing supports. The books are bound using a technique from Smith's book, Sewing Single Sheets. It looks nice, creating little Xs on the spine like this:
Also, the books open completely flat with minimal sewing visible on the inside, just a neat pattern like this:
At times, I still like to get serious and do things 'by the book' and use entirely archival materials - but there is lots of room for these more temporary books. Maybe I will just stamp a little message inside, indicating that the book might self destruct in ten years!
There are a few more photos of these books on Flickr.