I finished without almost bleeding out on my cutting mat this time, and my sense of hyperbole is still in tact. I qualify that as a success. As discussed before, my book is a blueprint of a house where each room contains a part of the story. I would say the concept was creative and original because I haven’t seen a book a done this way before. In many ways, it doesn’t look like a book, but it does contain a story, and I think that there are all the elements of a book to found in my project. It was more of re-appropriating a project that I had to do in my technical drawing class from high school into a book form.
This book was definitely a challenge to actualize. When I proposed this idea a couple of weeks ago, I had only a vague idea what I was talking about. I knew I wanted to do a frame of a house in balsa wood, and that each room would contain a part of the overall story, but how exactly I was going to get each part of a story into the rooms, and still make it look like a blueprint of a house, I wasn’t completely sure of. In the last few weeks that I have gone from proposal to finished product, I hit a bunch of bumps in the road. The biggest one being the fact that my idea to use actual blueprint paper fell though, and I had to scramble to try and figure out how to best imitate that blueprint feel. Another struggle was that my book involved a lot of math with sixteenths and eighths of inches. I’m not great at math to begin with. What I ended up doing, was relying on InDesign to make sure that all my room book covers were the right size, and using the program to make sure that all my balsa wood was cut to the right size. After that, it was a lot of glueing and double checking to make sure I was doing things correctly.
I wanted my book to look like my character in my story could have created it. In many ways, my form is just an extension of the story. I wanted my book to actually tell part of the story itself. Because of that, the craftsmanship teeters somewhere between book art (not sure art is the right words) and a DIY craft for children. It was tricky to maintain this balance. On one hand, my project can be reduced in description to balsa wood glued to paper, and other hand, I’ve used a lot of the techniques we’ve learned in class this semester to achieve that. The biggest example of that for me is the cover to each room. If you look at it, you’ll see that it’s the same way did all of our hard bound covers this semester. The paper that the story is on, is in an accordion fold, which is one of the first things we learned this semester.
I would say my success was that it is complete and kind of looks like I wanted it to. I also think the form is an extension of the story (or maybe the other way around) and I’m pretty proud of that. I would have liked for my book to put together even more precisely. I would probably label that as my failure in constructing the book. Specifically where the pages of my story were glued to the room tops. Not all of them are as straight as I would have liked. I never really did figure out a great way to glue them, and keep the construction tight.
I think this book was kind of like its own graphical element, and I like that. I definitely focused more on the book form than I did on the story itself. The story is an experimental form where I just give highlights (or low lights) of a family. This was based on the idea that I just wanted to give the frame of the story like the frame of a house. The difference between connotations between house and home was inspiration for this story. I always think of house a blank structure, and home as the idea that we have of our own personal space. To that end, I gave the house of the story and not the home. I wanted the reader to fill in the home, and do the heavy lifting. It is also why I went with the title of “A House Is Just A Frame.”
Other graphical choices come on with typeface choices. I used a font that emulates the handwriting of an architect on a blueprint. It’s a very specific kind of handwriting. I also used a lot of straight lines. I wanted straight lines to be a thematic element to the piece