Printmaking has yielded another book-like object, and it seems to me this has a Japanese feel, like the two previous ones, quite unintentionally.
This one started as a concertina pocket book, made from two sheets of paper, printed on both sides, using the same plates and colour choices, joined, then the bottom third folded up to create a pocket, and the resultant piece folded again to make an 8-page concertina.
Cuts were made across the folds so that the paper could be pushed against the fold at intervals to make a piano hinge. I inserted narrow bamboo sticks through the folds and hung on them the small labels that were printed at the same time as the main images. The purpose of the stilts was to allow the labels to dangle below the edge of the book, so they could be seen from either side.
The labels had been scattered randomly across the inked-up plates before the print paper was laid across the plate, so there are label-shaped areas interrupting the image, as well as embossing from the shape of the labels and their strings. The labels were turned over and printed again when the next plate was printed. (This is not so complicated as it sounds!)
Once the book had come to this stage, I had to decide what went in the pockets – I had intended the labels to be tucked in them, but they disappeared as the imagery was the same as on the paper, so I had to rethink. Eventually it came to me that it should be some kind of natural material, grasses or leaves. On my morning walk I found fronds from a pine tree that the cockatoos had stripped off, then a small twig with gum nuts and a few leaves. I already had some dried bay leaves, so they were included too. I am really happy with the way this looks, but it may not be the end. I am thinking of printing some contrasting larger labels that will fit in the pockets as the leaves are not really durable. Maybe the labels will have natural imagery on them …
Printed on Fabriano, each panel 90 x 100 cm, total length 72 cm, bamboo poles 20 cm