Midterm Project

I’ve got the short story:  “The Library of Babel” by Jorge Luis Borges.  Borges is one of my favorite writers, a short story master, and keenly aware of the relationship between letters, words, books, and places that house books including libraries and the mind.  I think it’s a logical choice for this project as well as a challenge:  Borges demands a stretch of the imagination which is also required in this assignment.  I want the book to feel physically heavy and conceptually meta-textual.  I’ve got a couple of ideas in mind for a pamphlet book:  1) to create an endless pamphlet book that reflects the content of the short story and 2) to create a pamphlet book out of wood that reflects the original material for books housed in a library.  If I go with the first idea, I’ll have two book covers rather than one so that the book flips through without end.  There will be two copies of the short story.  I will probably use book board or cardboard and Mi Tienes paper for the end sheets.  If I go with the second idea, the book cover will be wood – of course, this makes it harder to reproduce ten identical copies, but I’ll try.  I worked with a wood for a large book I made for the Creativity class, so I might like to give it another try.  

Version 1 supplies:

Dimensions:  6″x6″ cardboard – no cost

Mi Tienes color paper – $12 for 6 pieces @ $2/ea

Text block – photocopy paper at no cost

Binding – ribbon $ 12 for 6 packs @ $2/ea


Version  2 supplies:

dimensions 12″x12″

wood for book cover – $40 for 4 sheets of wood @ $10ea

text block – no cost

binding – industrial metal of some sort, $30 for 10 @ $ea

Production schedule:

I’ll make the mock up this week, present it in class next week, Tues March 5, then make the 10 copies Wed, March 6 (if not before).  I’ll need to present them/the midterm project in class on Thurs, March 7 since I’ll be out of town the week of March 11.  It’ll be fast, but after making a mock up of both, I’ll know which one will work to mesh form with content.

1 comment
  1. Masks of Power
    K. Zauditu-Selassie

    For my mid-term book project. I have decided to create 10 Dos à dos books.

    I chose this format after selecting the two poems that I wanted to use. Additionally, when I thought about all of the skills that I have learned over the course of the semester (at this juncture, this format allows me to create that juxtaposition of ideas central in the two poems on masks


    On the front side of the book, I am using the poem by Negro (Black) poet laureate (unofficial) Paul Laurence Dunbar
    “We Wear the Mask” For this poem, I will use the western hemisphere mask that is made in the Mardi Gras colors of gold, blue and purple, decorated with sequins, and glitter. This mask represents the concealment that culture provided for African Americans in Mississippi and Louisiana in the celebration of carnival and other remembered African expressions of community solidarity reflective of these cultural manifestations and representations. The poet says, “We smile, but, O great Christ our cries to thee from tortured souls arise.” Here the poet expresses that word masks conceal the pain of the Black experience here in British North America and the associated brutalities of white supremacy.

    On the back side of the book (the back story) is the poem Prayer to Masks” written by Négritude poet and former President of Senegal, West Africa, Leopold Sédar Senghor. The theme of this poem on masks concerns the protective nature of masks and their association with the ancestors who themselves are emblems of culture within an African ontological frame. Here I have chosen to illustrate this ancestral protection masks using the spiritual tri-colors: red, white and Black. Senghor writes, “Masks! Oh Masks! Black mask, red mask, you black and white masks, Rectangular masks through whom the spirit breathes, I greet you in silence! Black in the trio of colors represents the earth and Black People. The red represents the blood, and white represents the vital forces of semen and breast milk. In Senghor’s poem, he notes the power of the mask to not only conceal power, but to also convey it.

    One poem per side (dos)
    10 Mardi gras masks
    10 Dogon masks

    Contents of book)20 x 10 pieces of paper 200 sheets
    Since each book is two-sided, there will be 10 pages per side, which equals 20 sheets per book.

    Supplies and Materials:

    Hardware tools:
    Tapestry Needle
    Paper folder (All of which I already purchased as supplies for this course

    PVC Glue I already have
    Mod Podge I have already left over from Steve Matanle’s Creative Ways of Seeing Class
    Brilliant Gloss Glaze to spray masks after I mod podge the masks
    200 sheets of paper 70lbs-100lbs No costs (leftover from previous project

    I large sheet of art paper 3.99 per sheet
    Two sheets of Cardstock paper to glue on the back of the masks to give them bulk and to make the masks more durable. 2.00 each X 2= $4.00
    Raffia ( I have already)
    Glitter (I have already)
    Sequins and beads. I have already from another project)
    Gouache paint red, black, and white @ $7.10 each with discount from Utrecht $21.30
    Ribbon (I have a couple of spools already
    Linen thread Black and Purple I have already from the other class.

    Total costs: $21.30 paint
    $ 4.00 2 sheets of Card stock
    $ 3.99 Art Paper Designer

    $29. 29 Total Costs

    Assembly Process:

    Day One 4 hours

    Cut out the paper
    Glue cardstock to designer paper
    Cut the mask templates

    Day two assemble Books 4 hours

    Day three 4 hours decorate masks (paint, apply sequins, glue beads).

    Day four 4 hours to copy all of the poems into the books.

    Day five 4 hours Place raffia and ribbons onto the books.

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