Accordion Books

Folding Together

The twelve weeks of Saturday zoom folding are evolving. This has been a fun experiment for me, to get together for just thirty minutes once a week to go over some basic paper folding skills. People are showing up, and I get feedback that they are picking up and sharpening their skills.

This Saturday will be the last one before the interruption of the upcoming holidays that will be falling on December 25 and January 1. To keep the continuity, INSTEAD of Saturdays, during Christmas week I will do sessions on Monday December 27 and Thursday December 30 at 1:00. The earlier time is meant to accommodate time zones across the Atlantic. I know this time won’t be good for everyone, but it suits some overseas people whom I’ve been in touch with.

The zoom link will be the same as it’s been every week, which is

Paula Krieg is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 732 8168 5909
Passcode: XBFUX2

Now for some pictures from last meeting:

Pocket Accordion by Susan Joy Share

We created pocketed accordions this past week. My emphasis was on how to fold up the pocket evenly without using measuring tools. I wrote about this in detail in a 2014 post. After folding, we examined the possibilities of the form.

Susan Joy Share sent me the stunning example above of what she made. Taking advantage of the characteristics of these folds, she slipped design elements into the pockets, emphasized the pocket’s edge with strip, echoed that strip with another one above it, which has a number line feel to it. Then she took full advantage of the folds to create pop-ups, both on the pockets and on the space above. She lined the back of the accordion, too. I love the detail of the hot pink in the bottom edges, and all the lovely hand drawing that she included.

Jo Michalski’s Pocketed Accordion

Here’s one from Jo Michalski. She’s taken advantage of the pockets in two distinct ways. Like Susan, she included pop-ups on the pockets, which takes advantage of the fact that the back of the pop-up is lined by the lower layer, but then she went on to include this delightfully clever second color into the pockets, which offered another pop-up opportunity. Doing this makes the upper layer of the accordion be the background for the new set of protruding shapes. Then she glued fun little add-ons and made some interesting cuts to finish off.

What Jo and Susan both did was that they explored the different opportunities that the structure offered. Looking at what’s in front of them, they came up with a direction and followed it. For me, it’s this process of development that captivates me about others peoples work.

Accordion by Paula Krieg
Pocketed Accordion by Paula Krieg

What my challenge was, after seeing Susan’s and Jo’s work, was to figure out some other ways of playing around with the same structure. What I chose to do was to add curves to the pocket and the the top of the page, sew in a couple of tiny pages in a couple of the valleys, make slinky little cuts in the pockets that show some gold beneath, glue in some geometric shapes, then include something like paper dolls into the pockets.

I made a little video of it. It occurs to me that this would make an interesting stage set.

Tomorrow, Saturday December 18, I’ll be doing another 4 pm EST session, using the same zoom link that I listed earlier in this post. We’ll be making a different sort of accordion (maybe I’m pushing to even call it that) which will result in a six-sided snowflake. I have all sorts of tips to share

Bring scissors, lightweight copy paper, and, if you have some, bring some paper napkins, doesn’t matter what size. Hope to see you.

Book Art · Sewn books

Little Black Book

Bookmaking in the Afternoon
Bookmaking in the Afternoon

Sometimes I make a book for no other reason than it’s something I like to do. I like folding papers and sewing them together. I like working out the details: the  color and weight thread to use, which folds to make, what papers to use, what sewing pattern to follow.

3 signature book in progriss
Papers folded, sewing stations pierced

I have quite a number of heavy weight black paper strips  left over from last week’s school residency. This paper has a linen-like finish, it feels good in my hand, and it is rich and beautiful. I wondered what kind of small book I could make. The strips are 4 inches tall and 26 inches wide (about 11 cm x 68 cm). I folded a number of accordion pleats from the center out,  left enough unfolded to so I could fold in a cover.

I have stacks of interesting papers which I like to mix up when I’m making a book. I used white, beige flecked, gray, graphing, and soft white papers, cut to 4″ x 6″.

3 signature book before sewing
Getting ready to sew

At each stage of construction this book looked good to me. This is a reliable sign that the finished product will have some charm.

3 signature book shwoing thread insideAfter this book was sewn together it wanted to pop open all the time. Here’s something I’ve never seen anyone write about: often books don’t seem to want to stay shut when they’ve first been made. A book like this should be placed on bookshelf, fully closed and between other books, and a week later that same book that was popping open now remains shut. It’s like the papers have to get used to the idea of having been transformed into a book.

3 signature book pocketThe cover of this book is two thickness of paper, created by folding over the ends. I wanted the fold to stay shut, but didn’t feel like gluing it down, so I sewed it down, and the folded over paper became a pocket. .

3 signature book other pocketThere’s a pocket on the other end of book, too. I sewed one of the accordion flaps on to the cover to make a narrowe pocket.

4  3 signature books

Over the last few days I’ve made 5 or 6 of these books, trying to work out what looks best to me. The book on the left is where I started. First thing to change was the sewing. It just didn’t look good to me. I had seen as description of this linked binding and wanted to try it out, so that’s what I did. I like this change in sewing (though it used far more thread: 45″ of 4 ply waxed linen) , but it seemed to me that the signatures were too thick, so the next book the signatures were made from 5 papers rather than eight (5 papers = 10 leaves = 20 pages, and since there are three signatures, that makes this book 60 pages long). All good. But then I wanted to see if liked a more colorful spine, so I tried out purple. I’m not sure whether I like the black or the purple better, so now I’m stuck, and will stop here for now. Which is good thing because I need to get ready for teaching tomorrow.

How-to · Non-adhesive Book · simple book binding

V-Pockets Book Cover

V-pockets Book Cover
Click on drawings to enlarge or print

        Last Sunday morning  I was trying out different ways of folding 11″ x 17″ paper to make a folded book cover.  When the structure that I’ve drawn out in the document above appeared in my hands I was so excited that I kept making one right after the other, and, thus began my Off To South Africa day of bookmaking.

When I wrote the post about sending off the V-Pockets books that I had made I wondered if anyone would notice and ask about the folding method. I wondered if anyone would ask how to make it, and how long it would take for that inquiry, if ever, to come.

After posting it took me three hours to get back to the computer to look over the post. Bronwyn, who is literally half the world away from me, had already noticed and asked. I was so pleased that I immediately got to work on some sketches and sent them out to her. Here’s an excerpt of her response, which might be helpful to people who work with A3 rather than 11″ x 17″:

“….those instructions – they work perfectly!! I…. got an A3 piece of paper (which is 29.7cm x 42cm) …. and cut it to 22cm x 34 cm – not the same size as yours, but the same proportional dimensions.  I’ve ended up with an 11cm square, so you probably end up with an 5 1/2 inch square.”

So, there you have it, the metric measurements! Roughly, a proportion to keep in mind is that the starting paper proportions should be 1:1.5,  so if your paper is 10 units wide, is should be about 15 units long.

Thank yous to Bronwyn and to the others who asked for instructions on this structure. I hope you enjoy making books (or folders) with these directions.