Wednesday, October 3, 2007

sketchbook happiness!

Between New York city and ra training at Winthrop, i had about a month of adjusting from the busy city life and the more relaxed, slow southern life Augusta had to offer. there was
a lot of time for journaling and reflecting on the summer and also thinking about the future and what being back at school might be like.

A few of the kids from the Friday Arts Project (a new organization at our school) had been sending emails back and forth, and after about 12 pages of conversation, we decided it would be cool to make sketchbooks to promote FAP. the way the idea developed was pretty awesome to say the least... many different people were able to contribute in huge ways, and it became a collaboration across the many miles of the south east between our homes.

i happened to have some reams of recycled paper at my house, a paper cutting machine, and a deep-seeded love for book making. Carlee was able to get a bunch of scrap matboard from Martins (the art store she works at) and she and a couple of other people got together to cut the scraps into manageable rectangles that would match the paper inserts. Mary Courtney Blake was passing through my hometown and brought the box of scraps to my house. Long story short- everybody pitched in and we got a pretty neat looking result!

This is what the paper inserts look like without a cover. There are five sheets folded over to make a signature and there are seven signatures total in a book. The pages are sewn together with off white quilting thread and have strips of linen sewn in to secure the glued covers down with texture. (think sticking clay together)

Small sketchbook from the side- you can see the "kettle stitch" going down the right side holding the signatures in place.

The idea was to have these sketchbooks small enough to put in a pocket. Moleskines are a common choice for illustrators and artist of the sketching type, so we decided that keeping the sizes close would be easier and more condusive for sketching in other sketchbooks once these are all used up.

Once again, another view of the sketchbooks in comparison, this time with thickness and width.


Each book took about two hours to finish... surprisingly i enjoyed every minute of it! i'm glad i stayed busy and productive. i think it cut down on post-NYC insanity! i got to mentally process and decompress the summer with just a lot of reflection time.... it was such a neat feeling to be making something specifically to be given away.... i thought a lot about the people who might own the sketchbooks.. just holding those books in my hand and thinking about the changes that happened inside me in the timespan of only one year of classes.. i thought about the freshmen and how they would be scared at first of college, but then they would find friends and be accepted by each of the different groups that would form. i wondered what they would be like and what kinds of things they would put in the sketchbooks. whether they would let it sit on a desk in their room, write poetry in it, copy down their homework, tear out a page to give away their email address, or draw sketches of their friends in a coffee shop. isn't it cool to know that something made out of pleasure might could bless someone else some other day? i prayed for those people who were going to pick up sketchbooks. i hope they learn so much in the next years to come... i hope they find friends who love them and are prepared in such a way that they are ready for anything that's thrown at them. i hope they write down a quote one day that means something to them and later, while flipping through some of their first sketchbooks, find this significant something and remember.

when my hands began to cramp up from the repetitive stitching, i went out and did other things, one of being taking some of the kids i babysit ice skating! i had missed them so much! And, i got to feel an entirely different kind of pain- one that involved my derrière crashing onto a very solid slab of ice.

aren't they adorable?!


God was definitely working on teaching me patience when i was trying to get these books done. at any point in the process of making a sketchbook, if you try to rush things, something will 99% of the time go wrong. for instance: drippy glue, messy stitches, uneven pages, and just poor craft altogether. in this picture you can see the 'headbands' drying to the now bound and sealed with fabric edges. i didn't really feel like going out to the store to specifically buy 'headband ribbon' - i thought that would just be silly. plus, everything used to make these sketchbooks was stuff we found lying around, were small to be used, or just plain unwanted. so i thought that i would just go into my hair ribbon collection and use what i could find.

once one side of the ribbon was glued, i had to wait and then i could fold it over to kind of clean up the edges of the books and hide any mistakes that happened when i was trying to even up the pages.


August rolled around and Convocation was just around the corner. i was still working on the books through ra training and in the first part of welcome week, and i finally finished the day before the Convocation Picnic. the Amazing Carlee, once again in her wonderful resourcefulness, brought her camera to my room when everybody got to see the finished product of what they had all helped make.

yay for finished sketchbooks!

Stephen Crotts talking to the group about how we should give them away

Jared White holding a plaid-bound sketchbook. it's definitely him :)

the whole stack! it was exciting to see them all DONE!

And lastly, we all signed a member list for the Friday Arts Project to be an official organization at Winthrop University. God is so cool.

1 comment:

hake pagino said...

man, that is so ridiculously cool. such an inspired way to reach out. :)