I have always been fascinated by celestial objects, especially stars. My name, Kokahvah, means star of God in Hebrew language. I was named after my maternal grandmother, Esther, another name for star in Persian language. For my final book project, I am going to make a book using the Coptic stitch. My short story titled, “Star Girl” will fit well with this format. This short story, which uses the format of a frame story, tells a fantastic tale of a little girl named Étoile born to a barren woman after her prayer to a star-filled sky and an encounter with a mysterious dark-eyed stranger.
The Tuareg, also dark-eyed and mysterious are masters of the desert who navigate the sparse land by navigating by the stars—astronavigation. Astronomy is one of the world’s oldest sciences. Additionally, a starry night in the Sahara desert is something magnificent to behold. I am also inspired by the existential writer, Antoine de Saint Exupery. Best known for Le Petit Prince, Saint Exupery was an aviator who also wrote, The Wind, Sand, and Stars has an asteroid has named for him Asteroid # 2578 Saint Exupery. In Le Petit Prince the pilot crashes in the Sahara desert and is enchanted by the sparkling vault of heaven. I want to create a connection between the world of ancient desert dwellers, magic, fantasy, and nature.
The materials for the cover will be made from an old Tuareg pillowcase made from leather that I purchased in Timbuctou, Mali in 1994. Besides using the leather pillow case for covers, I will stamp each of the pages of the book with the eight-pointed star to reiterate the central importance of the stars to the thematic content of the story, which is set in the Faubourg Tremé section of New Orleans.
Curious about the baby, people fired a barrage of questions concerning her identity. When asked, Chantal replied, “Her name is Étoile, which as you know means star.”
“Which star?” they asked.
“All of them,” she responded.
They were equally interested in knowing the identity of Étoile’s father. No one knew who he was, but throughout the Faubourg Tremé people whispered that her father was the mysterious stranger who had charmed most of the femmes de couleur that summer of 1857.
Supplies and Material
(I have all of these items already)
Waxed linen thread
Box cutter Paint
A variety of beads to glue onto the leather to create the eight-pointed star on the cover.
*No expense for the materials besides what I have already invested.
I am not sure if I am going to use in-design or not, so I don’t have the page length. The original short story is 4 pages 12 point type. Each page will be hand painted.
I will probably make this into a journal and allow for some blank pages in order to have enough for three signatures of four pages each. Total of 12 pages.
April 10 Gather materials
April 11 Cut out materials (cover and signatures for mock up)
April 13 Stamp paper and paint covers
April 16 Place text on paper and fold signatures
April 17 Sew the signatures to the covers
April 20-28 Revise the design
April 30 Complete second mock up
May 1-6 Make the final three copies and submit on time with commentary on the process.