The post has comments and embedded video of the first signature of a recent mixed media journal which focuses on collage and sketching and which was used as a demo book for the class I’m currently teaching at MCBA, through June 2011: Journal Practice: Collage and Sketch.
Today I've posted a short video that is approximately 5 minutes long. It is the first part of a three-part video that covers, signature by signature, my recent collage and sketching journal. This journal was made as a demonstration model in the journal class I'm currently teaching at MCBA (September 2010 to June 2011). Note, if the above embedded video doesn't work, click here to view "Adjusting part 1" on YouTube.
Students were given a variety of papers to use. We discussed, with the visual aids of previously made books by me, the features and requirements of our book structure. Each student then created a customized set of signatures, prepainting some pages, collaging on others. Their task was then to continue the collage and sketching process in that book (and others as their first book filled) throughout the class. The main goal of the class is to establish a healthy journal practice—hence the title of the class Journal Practice: Collage and Sketch. (It is just one in the Journal Practice series of classes I've taught at MCBA since 2000.)
To make the videos managable in length I went signature by signature through the book. In this first signature you'll see the completed page spread where my finch, collaged out of decorative masking tape, landed.
If you would like to see a still photo of the masking tape collage finch fold out page spread click here.
Also in this video you'll see examples of using small scraps of collage papers (various decorative papers) as blocks of color and design elements to break up the page or unify a page spread.
Many pages in the journal were pre-painted before the book was constructed. Class time allowed the students to do this to their papers for their books as well. Readers of this blog know that I love pre-painting my pages when I start a new journal, but mostly I talk about this approach used with a already constructed book of blank pages.
However, I will also pre-paint every page of a book before constructing it, upon ocassion. It creates an interesting challenge when working in the book, but it can also have a unifying effect throughout the journal.
Besides pre-painting you can also pre-stencil pages. In this first signature I have pages that I stenciled before the book was bound together. Later in this book you'll see pages where I stenciled after the book had been bound. In a book where page sizes change dramatically from spread to spread , protecting the pages you don't want to paint, once the book is sewn together, becomes a little more challenging, but it's still fun. I recommend it.
In this journal you'll also see me playing around with a couple pens I don't normally use. Part of the reason I don't use gel pens is that they don't always work with the other media I'm using, or don't work with the particular papers. For instance, I found that the Sakura Glaze Gel Pen doesn't work well on the Rives BFK printmaking paper that is the basis for most of the pages in this structure. It soaks in and has hardly any glaze effect. However, on the Canson Mi Tientes small insert page contained in the first signature that pen created a lovely raised surface.
I don't use Canson Mi Tientes for journal pages much, it doesn't like wet media as well as other papers I might choose. But clearly it's a fun paper to use with this type of pen.
That's part of the fun of making a book like this one, with pages of different sizes and shapes. You get to use scraps you have saved. And the scraps get used as a vital part of the structure, not an after thought. Also you get to experiment with media that you don't normally use. You might find a new favorite pen that leads you to a new favorite paper (or confirms old favorites).
Tuesday and Wednesday of this week I'll post comments about the second and third signatures of this book. I hope you enjoy this page-by-page peak at this journal. Check back for comments on the other signatures of this journal.