Coconuts, at last

What is the concept for my book? In what ways is that concept creative and original?

The concept for my book is born of the title, “Buiki Gasa and Ignoble Coconut Pearls.”  I wanted to push the book form much further than I did at midterm, and build the book around the book.  My books are contained by trees and coconuts.  There might be tree-books, but it’s not the most common book form, probably, and certainly nothing I’ve ever created before.

▪   In what ways does my concept challenge me creatively and structurally?

The concept totally challenged me.  It’s been a multi-week process.  I started with the mock-up, and worked around the wire frame with other materials.  After the mock-up, I made each element individually.  This is not something I would have ever attempted before, and while it’s been challenging to give detailed attention to each element, I am pleased that I forged ahead and with the final project.

▪   What is the level of craftsmanship that I have brought to the book? What successes and failures did I have in constructing the book?

Wow, a lot.  I’ll go through the process step by step.  I started with measuring, cutting, bending, and using pliers to fold over the edges of chicken wire.  I formed it into the tree trunks.  Then I took electrical wire and wove it into the top layer of wire to secure it as a base for the palm fronds.  Then, I glued light-weight corrugated cardboard, artist paper, decorative paper on the trunk, then on the fronds.  Onto the coconuts.  I created a paper mache mix from flour and water, and used strips of newspaper to cover balloons in order to create the coconuts.  I left them to dry for a couple of days, and then returned to them to apply spray paint (two coats over two days).  Next, I turned to the actual print part of the project.  I edited the story into four pieces of micro-fiction, and adjusted the margins for printing so that I could fold the book accordion style.  I then printed the three sets of four stories.  Then I trimmed the document.  I cut 24 book covers out of Diet Coke cardboard containers.  I pasted the book covers to each of the documents, then cut and pasted book cloth.  To label each separate micro-story, I stamped the appropriate number of the piece (i, ii, iii, iv) on the covers.  Then I turned to the actually title page (overall book cover) which I printed on artist paper and drizzled with coffee.  I let that dry in the sun.  The rest of the elements include small corked bottles for the overall book covers and colophons, plastic pearls to decorate the sand, sand and clear containers in which to present the book, and hemp with which to affix the coconuts.  Whew, I think that’s it!

▪   In what ways have I fully explored and even stretched the book form I used?

I think I stretched it about as far as I can for this project.  Whereas for the midterm my books look quite conventional, this doesn’t even look for a book.  With the text hidden in the coconuts, one might know it’s a book at all.

▪   How is the form of the book linked to the content of the book?

The story centers on the coconut tree and it’s fruit that a boy is trying to pierce.  His father watches from the patio, and they are both engulfed in the August Florida heat.  The tree – the flora – of the location almost suffocates the characters much like their asphyxiating lives.  So, the story is thus contained in/by a coconut tree and its fruit.

▪   What graphic and typographic choices did I make for this book and why? How do these elements impact the book and my concept?

The tree is the 3D (4D?) graphic.  It has come from the content to be a real, touchable element that takes over the story.




▪   What is the name/title of my book, and why was that name/title selected?

My book is titled “Buiki Gasa and Ignoble Coconut Pearls” because it is about a coconut drupe and the root system, that although connects the father and son, does not facilitate communication.  The story’s central character is really the tree and its fruit.

If I were to make this book over again, what things would I change (in process, concept, and construction), and why?

I might do less although I’m extremely pleased with the outcome.  I would probably change the way I bound the actually text booklets.  That is the least exploratory part of the project, but it still took a chunk of time.  I might use larger containers (but they’re expensive), so really I’m happy with what I’ve got!


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