This is the third of my posts about the Blizzard Book, a folded paper design by Hedi Kyle. Since I just taught a class on how to create this book I have been able to indulge my great interest in different approaches to the papers, proportions, and covers of Blizzard Books. My last post showed the Blizzard Book as a single sheet of paper that is folded in such a way that each page becomes a pocket. This post features a variation which will include adding in pages onto the spine of the book.
Blizzard Book Spines: left, in progress: right, completed
The first step in making a Blizzard Book is to fold accordions to make the spine. In the Card Carrying Blizzard Book the spine becomes the whole book because the paper, which is 17 inches x 7 5/8 inches, is divided up into only eight accordions. To make a Blizzard Book with pages I begin with the same size paper, 17 inches x 7 5/8 inches, but I divide this one up into sixteen accordions. The result is a tall, thin spine that has tabs on the tops and bottoms.
I know that this might be hard to see and understand from these photos, but part of the charm of this book is that it is tricky to figure out right away. Tabs are created, head and tail on the spine, by making V-folds on the accordions and then laying down the V-folds, thus creating a tab. Long papers folded into an accordion can then be tucked under these tabs on the spine as pages of the book.
The Blizzard Books in the photo above have the same size spine. What makes them different is the size of the width of the paper used for the accordion pages that fit into the spine.
Since I really like using standard size copy paper whenever possible, I do a book base fold with 8 1/2′ x 11″ paper to mimic the qualities of the accordion (photo above).
And some of the spines of my Blizzard Books start with a standard 8 1/2 x 11″ copy paper, too, which I then cut down to 8 1/2″ x 7 5/8″. When I use this proportion, I make only eight accordion sections to begin with. This size spine creates tabs which work perfectly with folded 8 1/2″ x 11″ papers when I fold them like a book base. The extra bonus fun thing about using these standard sized papers is that I can use standard size envelopes, A4s, for the covers of the Blizzard Book, as shown in the photo above.
It’s also worthwhile working out how to make covers which echo the inside folds of the Blizzard Book. But, when teaching a three-hour class, the envelope-covers work out just fine.
Now, I realize that I have just put out lots of details, that might seem like mumbo-jumbo. During my class last Saturday at North Main Gallery I was nearly apologetic to the participants about all the precise folding and math talk that learning this structure requires. Even though these folks assured me that, although it was challenging, they appreciated being able to learn how to make this book. I am feeling uncomfortable here, now, writing a post that might be hard to follow. I’ve been encouraged, however, to feel that it’s worth the effort.