Sunday, September 14, 2008

Corrugated Cardboard


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.

8 comments:

DymphieM said...

I so agree with you about using non-archival materials. Thanks for sharing your lovely books. Ever since google-reader recommended your blog I'm 'drooling' over the photos of your books. Coming out of lurkdom now to tell so :)

Billie said...

I love your latest books, loving the little kisses on the spine. Looks like one of those bindings where it looks as pretty inside as it does outside.

I thought I had decided not to buy the single sheet book from Keith...back on the fence now hehehe Having seen these books I might have to change my mind.

Thanks for sharing

Billie xx

Kiley said...

I'm not quite over the archival phase yet. My first thought was- cardboard, eek!

However they are quite lovely books none the less.

The single sheet sewing is the last one on my purchase list, I'll be taking photography this term so it could come in handy.

Rhonda said...

thanks dymphiem, billie, and kiley :)

i know it can be hard to use materials like these... but really... keeping it in perspective, these are obviously not meant to be family heirlooms or anything.

Smith's single sheets book has some fun things to try - and worth purchasing if you think you might want to bind thick sheets like board and such. Not as much in there for binding thinner sheets - if you tried to do this particular binding on text weight paper or even coverstock, it would be difficult and there would be a lot of bulky swell on the spine. But you never know when you might need to bind thick sheets! And this book really has a lot of great options for that. He has several different chain stitches in there, I used one of them on my Tying Knots book.

Pegg said...

Rhonda I love your new corrugated books, love the pretty binding!

Rhonda said...

thanks pegg :)

jackie said...

I think that is a great idea and they look good too. Thanks for the advice re Keith Smiths' book.

FaerySarah said...

these are gorgeous!