Progress, Final

My plan has changed. I threw out everything about the former idea due to disinterest. The new plan is as follows:

My books will feature a prose piece I wrote about being afraid of getting your big toe stuck in the tub spout. I chose this piece because I like it and want to do something with it, and because I thought it would give me freedom to do something silly and fun. It also presents a few nice possibilities for themes that can be integrated into the book itself.

I’ll be making non-traditional books for my final project. The books will be 2” x 2” accordion folds with the text printed vertically so that it is read from top to bottom rather than left to right. It will be printed on bright blue paper.

The text block will be housed between two objects. The “top” of the book will be a three dimensional tub spout made out of cardboard and spray painted silver. The space where water would come out on a real tub spout is where the pages will be housed when the book is close. The “bottom” of the book will be a three dimensional clay toe that I will sculpt, bake, and decorate using paint or markers. The text block will be attached to the top of the toe (probably with glue), and to close the book, you simply insert the toe into the tub spout.

To make this book, tentatively titled “Tub Spout Blues”, I will need a host of things I already own, such as: a bone folder, some scissors, a cutting mat, an exact-o knife, cardboard, and glue.

I will also need a few things that I don’t own yet, including: a few sheets of nice blue paper ($3), 1 pound of beige Super Sculpey ($15), assorted carving tools ($5), a can of silver spray paint ($6),  three thick nails or other metal objects to mimic the stopper on a tub spout (I’ll be safe and say $10).

At this point, I’ve already made my first mock-up, and everything seems to be working out.

I was a little nervous about working with Sculpey for the first time, but it’s actually pretty simple. The first toe I made for the mockup is rough, but definitely evokes the idea of “toe”. I think the final ones will look even better. I was even able to waylay some of my concerns about the toe by talking to the guy at the art store. I’ve been assured that after I bake the kind of Sculpey I have, it will be very durable and able to be easily painted and glued.

The tub spout, the other major component of the project, took a little more work, but I think it’s coming together well. I measured and cut my cardboard into four pieces (left side, right side, top, and bottom), and then assembled them using scotch tape. Obviously, I wasn’t yet sure how to get the spout to stay together, and the scotch tape was just a temporary workaround. I’m still not settled on what I will ultimately use to keep the thing together. The edges seem too small for glue to work well (though maybe something stronger like rubber cement?), and sewing seems like an unnecessarily complicated solution that still might leave the final product feeling loose. At this stage, I’m considering those thick staples you sometimes see in cardboard or just duct tape. I might also experiment with making the spout from one piece of cardboard that is just folded into the four sides. I didn’t get a chance to paint the spout for my mockup, but it shouldn’t be too hard to imagine the same thing, but silver. For that, I’ll likely use spray paint.

The text block was tricky to layout (I’ve never made such small pages with In Design), and I still have some work to do with it. Though it seems obvious and essential now, I didn’t have the idea to lay the text out vertically until after I had printed and folded the copy for my mockup. I was a little worried about the legibility of a book so small, but it looks like I’ll still be able to maintain 10 or 11 pt text, so that shouldn’t be an issue. I now have the blue paper I’ll be using for the final product, but since I was still learning how to correctly print it double-sided, I opted for plain Xerox paper for this first mockup. For me, there’s little question that my blue paper will work out, even without using it here. The Xerox is very thin, but still gets the job done, but the blue paper is a bit thicker and should hold up better to being folded and unfolded.

So yeah, everything’s good so far. I’m on budget and will be able to use the same schedule as my first proposal. I’ve encountered a few minor concerns, but nothing too worrisome.

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