Author Archives: nancymurray7

The concept of my final project was Dark Clouds and Silver Linings. I wanted to show poetry that expressed pain and then some that expressed how pain often leads to growth. I chose  to use the dos a do binding style because I liked the idea of presenting two opposing perspectives in one package. My initial idea was to create two full signatures of poetry for both sides but when I finished my mock up I realized that I had not gone out of the book box and I needed to be a bit more creative.

Being a die hard once I get started with something I kept with the idea of the dos a dos and the dark clouds and silver linings but I changed the construction of the book so that the middle section was more than a hinge. I made it into a cloud and I bound the sides of the dos a dos into the center of the cloud. It was a bit challenging because I had to figure out how stay true to the binding method and be sure that it all worked but to create the sense of a cloud with the construction.

I couldn’t use paper because the cloud was to curvy so I spray painted the book board after sanding it down to be smooth. I painted the dark clouds side black and I used silver glitter paint for the silver linings side.

I used embossing powder to write the names of each side onto the covers because I wanted to keep the silver and glittery feeling in every part of the cover.

I used plain white paper of a heavier thickness than regular copy paper because I wanted to keep with the black and white theme and I didn’t want the pages to be too bulky. I used calibri font because it gave the poem a clean look on the page. 

The poem I wrote for the Dark Clouds section was called Shock. I carved an image of a cloud with lightening and printed the image into the poem. I used a pamphlet style sewing method for the Dark Clouds section but when you flip to the Silver Lining section you will see that I went in a completely different direction. I used the turkish fold for that side because I wanted to give the feeling of opening up like a sun rise. I even highlighted the lines of the fold to look a bit like a sun.

The sun is the only color that is in the book because color comes into a thing only when we can see the positive side of it.

If I were to do this book again what I would change is that I would have figured out a way to make the sun beam out of the fold like a pop up burst of light. 

I wrote both of the poems for this book and I would probably like to add more poems to accentuate the themes.


I finally decided which of the two ideas I was going to do for the final. I will do the dos a dos titled Dark Clouds and Silver Linings. I will have two poems for each section of the book.

Depressing poems for Dark Clouds and more optimistic poems for Silver Linings.

I already have the book board ($8.55) I will use the dimensions in the pamphlet.

The book will be covered with book cloth. ($9)  The one side will be black and the other will be silver. (Book cloth will be spray painted – Spray paint $8)

I will emboss the title “DARK CLOUDS” on the black side with Silver metal Powder: ($8) and I will put “Silver LInings”on the silver side with Black.

I will use artists paper for my end papers.  That I will make by printing a watermark on a sheet of heavy zerox paper. The watermark will be of a photo of clouds that I took.

I am struggling with figuring out how to print the pages with my limited printer and my even more limited experience with any publishing programs. I am falling back on word and failing.

I will keep at it.

I considered making the cover of the book in the shape of a cloud but that isn’t working either. Sewing the signatures makes for a straight line and rolling clouds make for a difficult line up when the dos a dos is done. I am still playing with it. We’ll see.

Again, I will admit that when I signed up for this class I really didn’t know what I was getting into. I have had no previous experience with book arts and my idea of a book was, well, a book. So I have felt some resistance as I have floundered along trying to get supplies and cut boards with a dull blade and sew signatures that look remotely like the one we sewed in class. But I think I am starting to get it.  I am starting to see the beauty of a tiny frame with words inside. I find myself exclaiming “WOAH” when the ukelele unfolds to reveal an accordian (fold). I see it as an art form and I respect it as such. Mr. Thomas thinks that the book art form will replace other kinds of visual arts because it is becomming so easy for anyone at all to excell in photography, printmaking and even painting. Bookart may, indeed, become the promintant visual arts form. While I doubt it will ever replace the book, it might change the way books are thought about and presented. I know my thinking as shifted a bit!

30 Inspired by the Pelican Complete Shakespeare.

This is a hardcover book that includes the complete works of William Shakespeare- his plays and his sonnets.

My concept for the book was to create a hand held stage. I chose stab binding because I wanted to maintain the feeling of a classic book with the whole theater inside. I chose the sonnet #30 for my text because it is my all time favorite. I used images of Shakespearean productions that may have fit the mood for each stanza of the sonnet. I brought them to life by making them three dimensional.

I made everything else black and white to represent the fresh page of a writer and the words he put on them.

I attempted to use some element of everything I have been learning in class. I carved stamps, decorated paper with the salt technique, cut the boards and paper (and my fingers) and bound them together using the stab binding technique.

 I made MANY mistakes and consider much of what I attempted to do a flop but I did learn a lot in the process.

I tried to use InDesign to set up my pages but failed miserably at that. I have no experience with any desktop publishing software so I bungled and bungled until I ran out of time and gave up.

I then made the mad mistake of using pre cut paper to try to print designs on. Another fail.

I ended up printing and cutting and pasting every book.

I failed at the decorating the paper. I think the kind of paper I used was already textured and so the texture that the salt added was practically unnoticeable. I also picked black as a color since I was trying to make the appearance of curtains for the “stages” but that just landed me with ugly paper. I had to enhance it with pen and ink to create the idea I wanted to express.

My 3D intention was to include the curtains but the binding proved to be too difficult with the many spacers I would need. I modified that plan to just create slightly lifted images and hope they don’t get smashed.  If I were to do this again I would figure out a way to protect the 3 dimensions better.

I feel good about the cover – the stamps – and the binding. While they were time consuming, detail oriented work I felt good about what they looked like in the end.

I chose purple and black for the cover colors because those are the colors of theatrical curtains usually. Red is another color but a red cover would have been too garish.

I typed the sonnet using Old English text because, well, it’s Shakespeare!

I named the book 30 because that is the name of the sonnet that I chose. As a title it was clean and simple. Shakespeare would have liked that, I think, since he never named his sonnets.

I had a bit of a panic this week as it seemed my plan was going to fail. I work full time (and then some) so it is very difficult for me to run around scouting the supplies I need so that I could budget and plan properly. I tried to do it on line but found that without seeing and feeling the paper I didn’t know if it would work for my particular plan.

I also couldn’t find the adhesive that I used back in the day when I did crafts so I was flummoxed on that end.

Then I couldn’t figure out how to do the stab bind with my particular plan without making the book too stiff and inoperable. It was a pickle.

Since I have so little extra time and/or money – and since I was completely unsure if my book was going to work or if I would have to scrap my idea and come up with something new – I didn’t use the actual materials that I will use for the project. I used regular paper and a little extra glue to reinforce them together. My paper will be of a more solid weight with a little flexibility. I’m thinking, perhaps, watercolor paper.  I have a sheet of that here at home already and it does seem to have the perfect weight, texture and give that I need.

I have taken images from the internet for my “scenes” and printed up three or four copies. I then cut several parts so that I could create the 3D image of them. I am concerned about copyright since these are not my images. I will ask in class how we handle that sort of thing. I know this is an exercise but it seems that doing this part correctly is most important.

I picked the images based on whether or not they fit in with the time or mood of the Shakespearean era. Also because they seemed to depict the right scene for the sonnet I chose.

I have framed the images with a mock curtain to indicate a stage performance.  Since the book I chose is the complete works of Shakespeare I wanted there to be at least the hint of theater in it. It is my intention (though I didn’t do it for the mock up) to make the curtains with a paste paint pattern to give it lushness and texture. We can’t have a stage with shoddy curtains now, can we?

 The sonnet is broken up and put into the opposing page from the scene.

If I have time I am going to try to create a way to stamp the sonnet so that I am not just printing it but that is a lofty goal. I might just end up printing but I will use a calligraphic font to indicate the old world.

I will bind the book with a leather strap instead of thread. This will require a larger hole for the stab but I think it will add something to the heartiness of the project.  I will add a feather to the remaining leather to indicate Shakespeare’s quill.

My cover is of a strong book board and it is my intention to cover it with either fabric or a paper textured using dyes and the salt technique. It is my intention to give the book a rumpled looking cover as if it has been around a while.

I will not have a cover on my mock up because I have a few questions about its execution.

I will use gold embossing for the title on the cover of the book.

Gold embossing is about $3.99

Water color paper (3 sheets) will be about  $10

I have the book board all ready.

The wheat paste materials are already in my kitchen but I will need the paint for it. $4

I already have the leather straps to sew with.

Fabric for the covers – I have no idea yet but I’ll budget about $20.

I found the adhesive! It was $6



I watched the youtube bit about art and craft and I must say that I got a very helpful word to use to express the divide between the two. REALIZATION. In the video he says that craft is about neatness and not about intensive technique or thematic ideas but I don’t agree with that. Craft may be functional as a standing rule but it can also be thematic while serving a purpose. The word they used on the video that stood out for me was REALIZATION. I think art is an expression that LEADS to a thematic idea – not one that  fits into one.

A craft can be shaped to fit into a theme or idea but art creates the idea and the artist experiences some insight or realization of that idea while creating the art.


That is the difference between the two. I have wanted to find a way to put it into words for quite some time but this video summed it up for me.


I am going to take a shot at this but I’m not sure if I understand the assignment entirely. I missed the class when you went over it. Here goes-

I am going to do a book based on William Shakespeare. My favorite book is the complete collection and I am going to take one sonnet (Sonnet 30) of his and make my book out of it.

My plan is to use the influence of Brian Dettmer and make a three dimensional cover for the book. Since I am making 10 copies I will have to make that a very simple 3D cover.

There is a 3D craft gel that I remember using when I was younger to make cute 3D pictures. I will get that.

I will create the image and copy it 4 times for each book (40 copies)

I will cut out parts of the image  and use the craft gel to raise the cut parts up from the base image. I will frame the image with heavy board and matting.

My thought is to make the interior of the book four pages with each page using the same image that is in the 3D cover  as a watermark behind the text. The last page will have the image with slight changes to reflect what is happening in the sonnet.

Now the question of binding is a pickle for me but I think I will stick with the stab bound  which will mean that the three pages will have to be hearty enough to hold up with the cover. It also means that my dowel will have to be pretty hard core!

Because Shakespeare is such a classic I want to give the pages a classic look. I will use gold embossing for the lettering on each page.

Part two will be posted shortly –