The idea of what constitutes a book has always fascinated me. Now that I’m doing loose-leaf journal pages, the ease of work has made me think of books in a new way. For a long time, I had trouble thinking of wire-bound journals as real books. Then I realized that wire-bound books allowed for more freedom than bound books, and did both.
Working on loose-leaf pages allows you to work on several at once, without having to put wax paper between bound pages. You can also turn the page to keep the angle right, without working on a pile of other pages. And the binding becomes a metaphor for the attachment you have to the pages and how much you use them. You bind the books with attention.
Yes, loose-leaf pages could go out of order, but that’s why you put dates on them. And then you can put them in any order–all your red pages, all the collages, in date order, just happy pages, just serious ones. It’s a wonderful freedom.
So this weekend, I indulged in two of my favorite studio pursuits: poured acrylics and making covers for journal page collections. I’d already made the Monsoon Papers last week, conveniently enough. You’d almost think I planned these things.
Poured acrylics are simple. Or complicated if you want. I push mine a little harder. First I put down some PVA glue (on deli or freezer paper) that dries clear, then instead of acrlyics, I use inks and acrylic glaze, stir them with the back of a paintbrush (or Starbucks stirrer, being careful not to lick the stirrer, again), and let it dry. Here in Phoenix that takes a day or so. Your results may well take a week. Once dry, you peel them off and put them on journal pages.
I like the effect of a paper mosaic with its rigid edges softened by a poured acrylic in the same colors.
Then, the folder to keep them in. Monsoon Papers, again, because it can look like leather or vintage metal. I’ve been pleased with the new technique that gives really deep, rich colors.
Here’s the folder front. I decided to sew this one and use variegated thread.
Here’s the folder open:
The folder holds about a dozen loose-leaf pages sewn this way. It can easily be made to hold more by adding a gusset.
And finally, the back:
I made another one with hand-stitching, and a slightly different closure. I love the effect of a group of them. And the fact that I can use them to carry the pages around without bending the corners.
–-Quinn McDonald is working on upcoming workshops. She’s solving problems as she goes along.