Postcard Portfolio

Top to bottom: paper mosaic, sponged paper, collage

After making the postcards as teaching samples, I decided they needed a portfolio to hold them. Nothing complicated– but something that would store them and maybe even display them.

Accordion-pleat journals are favorites of mine. They are versatile and simple to make. They are comfortable to work on, because you can turn them and open to the page you need. That was a good starting point.

To hold postcards, you need a pocket. To create one, you simple cut the height of the accordion fold larger, and fold the bottom up two inches to create a generous pocket. Deep pockets keep the postcards from falling out or scuffing as they slide.

Front of portfolio, closed

Instead of the traditional back-and-forth of the accordion fold, I folded the sides in twice–so no postcard was showing on the front, and giving the portfolio more of a book shape.

Opening the book shape, you see a spread of decorated paper, but the pockets are still hidden.

To make the portfolio, I cut and completed the folds using Arches Text Wove. The high cotton content of the paper allows a lot of surface design. Using a bone folder to make all the folds, I then opened the sheet up again and wet it thoroughly. I then crumpled it into a loose ball, opened it up, and applied India inks in sepia, brown and black, allowing the colors to run at will. Once the colors had soaked and spread, I hung the paper in the fig tree to dry. When it was still damp, I ironed it between parchments sheets to set the color, then refolded it along the original accordion fold lines. I then added loopy lines using Sakura gel pens in metallics and glaze inks.

Cards in place and fully open.

To keep the first and last postcards from falling out, I stitched the edges with waxed linen. I would do this more decoratively next time. I tried leaving the thread longer and tying bows, but I’m simply not a cutesy bow-lover.

The fourth postcard, third from left, is a foil-on-paper that I colored in using Copic markers. It’s edged in copper foil used by stained-glass makers.

The class for making all four postcards and the portfolio is tentatively scheduled at The Creative Quest on Sunday, June 12 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. I’ll post it on my website when its confirmed.

© Quinn McDonald, no copying without permission. 2011.