Collage and Sketching: A Look inside a Recent Journal—Part Two of Three

December 28, 2010

Part two of three, a 5-min. video on a recent collage and sketching journal.

Today I've posted a short video that is approximately 5 minutes long. It is the second part of a three-part video that covers, signature by signature, my recent collage and sketching journal. As I mentioned yesterday, this journal was made as a demonstration model in the journal class I'm currently teaching at MCBA (September 2010 to June 2011). 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.)

Note, if the above embedded video doesn't work, click here to view Adjusting part 2 on YouTube.

In the second signature video I talk about how I think it's important to use your own sketches as part of the collage material when collaging. I also had one $10.00 pack of collage papers (small rectangles of various sizes) that I used throughout this book—you don't need to invest great sums in purchasing supplies!

Think about how you use color on each spread and how that leads to the next spread and through the book. Can you work with a flow of colors either in your paper or your paints? When is this a good idea? When might it not work for you?

Think about reusing materials used earlier, e.g., a paper frame used as a stencil is used as a frame on one of these pages.

When beginning a collage book like this start your collage work before you have sewn your book together, add envelopes and paper before sewing the book together—it is often easier to glue things flat at that point. And you can always add more stuff to a page if you don't like how your original organization worked. (On one page I have an envelope added before the book was sewn. Then when I got to that page I added other collage material, as well as the envelope contents, because of the mood I was in at  the time.)

A photo of the book's cover and of the spread showing the vulture will be posted on Thursday.

  1. Reply

    wow….what a fantastic book!!! It had me talking out loud to myself…amazing,,,and when you opened that gatefold to that mega cool looking circus dog…well it got very loud around here:)……thanks so much for showing this wonderfully inspiring creation!!

    • Holly Waldrop
    • December 28, 2010

    Oh, Roz – this is wonderful!! Thanks so much for sharing!

    I have a couple of questions about the construction of the book, if you don’t mind.

    How are the glassine pages attached? Do you leave those in permanently?

    Do you ever add page extensions after the book is bound or are the fold-out pages planned as part of the book prior to binding?

    One last non-specific book question – I’m in a binding frenzy just now (don’t ask) – is there a way to cut the Davey board that’s easier on arthritic hands than an X-acto knife?

    Thanks, as always, for ALL your sharing. Your blog is a bright spot each morning.

    Happy Tuesday!

    • paula jarvis
    • December 28, 2010

    So impressive; makes me want to linger on every page. – paula

  2. Reply

    Cynthia, thank you, that’s exactly the type of reaction one can only hope to have to one’s journal entries! Thanks for writing.

  3. Reply

    Shirley part 3 hasn’t been posted here yet and I don’t have the youtube link handy and the book is in another room, so I’m not sure which collage in part three you want to know about.

    Basically ALL collage work in this book was done with Uhu Gluestick (the purple variety—doesn’t have an annoying smell), with the exception of a couple pieces that may have been run through the Xyron (again, I’d have to know which piece in particular you’re interested in).

    And then the masking tape finch was just it’s own glue to stick it down, BUT then I did cover it with a layer gel medium. I put some out on the paper and dragged a card across the page to move the medium around. I did that because I wanted to seal all the little bits that formed the collage. Cutting out those little bits was time consuming and placing them often required me handling the sticky side of the tape so I don’t think that they would have much stick left over time—and the book was going to be handled, so I thought it best to seal them in that way.

    But the short answer is UHU Gluestick (Purple).

  4. Reply

    Holly, I’m glad you are enjoying the journal.
    The glassine is temporary in this book, added to a page where there was something smudgeable opposite, simply to keep it clean until it could be scanned (which I could typically do the same day) or photographed (which I didn’t do until the completion of the book).

    The pieces of glassine are attached with a low-tack masking tape on the previous page and flapped over to the page I want to protect. You have to be careful because some tapes even low tack will take up the fibers of the paper.

    These were not meant to be left in permanently. I hope to show the book so I wanted it to stay “clean.”

    Upon occasion I will bind a book that has glassine interleaved between the pages of the book (useful in albums and in sketchbooks that use all smudgeable media, like pastel or colored pencil). They are a pain to sew and I typically don’t do that unless it is a special request from an artist, and they are paying me for the extra hassle.

    Page fold outs and extensions: For this book part of the learning process for the students was to have large sheets to tear down in ways that they wanted to tear them down. I talked about it all first and showed examples and we walked through the tearing of one of their sheets to accommodate foldouts, but then they could tear their remaining sheets as they wanted.

    I have a dream journal class in the Journal Practice series, that I haven’t taught for several years, which also focuses on many different types of paper and how to tear them to achieve these types of foldouts, fold ups and fold downs.

    In my casebound books where the textblock is sewn together and not to the spine, I rarely include foldouts. (I do it upon occasion so I have to say rarely, but it is really, really rare.)

    In those books, which are the ones I use most often for my own journaling, I do insert fold out pages. If you search for my video on strengthing glue seams in a casebound book you’ll be able to extrapolate a method to glue in foldouts.

    As to your final question about cutting Davey board, I know of only one way to cut bookboard successfully and that’s with a cutter. It’s the one piece of bookbinding equipment that even I (Miss-all-you-need-for binding-is-bone-folder-and-stuff-you-already-own-at-home) admit is not only useful but necessary.

    I have a small board cutter at home (22 or 24 inches square—don’t recall and it’s on a different floor).

    I will rent the large board sheers at MCBA when I have a lot of boards to cut.

    If you don’t have access to a large board sheers to rent, or in your home, I recommend that you seek one out on eBay or other venues. They can still be found at reasonable prices. With care they will last forever. (I don’t need a larger one because I have a place to rent a larger one, so I don’t have to worry about space issues, but if I weren’t near MCBA I would find one and something else would just have to leave the house! But then that’s said by a woman who has a perforator in her kitchen!)

    Nothing cuts boards as well as the board sheers. If you cut by hand, even the best hand cutter leaves a slightly uneven edge which can be viewed under the bookcloth even after sanding.

    Holly, it’s time for you to look for a board cutter. Save your hands for cutting large sheets of binder’s board in half. Then use a little bit of money to buy a small board cutter. It will save your hands. You’ll have a longer binding life.

    But most important you’ll be happier with the end result.

    So glad you enjoy the blog!

  5. Reply

    Thank you Paula. My desire to keep each signature’s video down to 5 minutes led me to speed past some pages I would have rather lingered on and discussed. So I’m glad you enjoyed the video.

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