First session back from the new term! And we are now moving forward with our project. The girls have a pretty good grasp of various different printmaking processes, and we are about half way through my residency.
As such I began to shift the lesson plan around a little. I’d spent plenty of time with the class now and began to suss out what was working well and what was not.
They benefitted hugely from having multiple sessions on the same topic, so I reduced some of the activities allowing extensions for others. Although this way they would miss out on a couple of techniques, it was far better in terms of outcome. I also included a couple more planned exhibition sessions, so as the girls could properly consider the curation and branding of the show.
Now we will be going on to have sessions with focus on three main topics. Zine making, bookbinding, and exhibition preparation (including branding, editioning, and curating). We will be thinking about our arts awards within these sessions too, getting ready for our private view!
So now the admin and planning was over it was back to work. Starting back with zine making! This was a technique I enjoyed a lot a university, and thought would be a good introduction to making books. They generally don’t require any binding, are often coverless, and are very “cut and stick”. Because of this we didn’t need to worry too much about the content being beautifully cut out and perfect.
We began the session by looking at a series of artists and historical zines, thinking about where and why they originated, and the focus on easy distribution and sharing of ideas. This solidified that they definitely did not need to be perfect looking. Now we had some inspiration we began making! Using the standard no staple 8 page format, we made our imposition sheets, as below:
- Take an A3 sheet of paper and fold in half, along the length.
- Fold it in half along the width, and then in half again. When opened you should have a grid of 8.
- While in landscape orientation fold in half again, cut half way along the centre line.
- Pop out the sides so as it looks like a plus sign, and fold along the spine.
There you have it! I promise it makes more sense when you see it happen… In the bottom of each of these pages we then wrote the page number, so as when the zine was unfolded for sticking and photocopying, the girls knew what orientation to stick things. I have to say, it’s much easier when you have InDesign to do it for you!
To fill up the books we had a selection of magazines, and books to work from all on the theme of natural forms, along with different kinds of paper. I have to say, I was very impressed with how different they all turned out! Though not finished just yet all of them are really quite individual and unique. We have a photo journalism text block style, one like a photobook, text and word collages, and even a rainbow of gardeners world fruit and vegetables!
Encouraging them to fill the background first worked well, as it removed all the worry of white paper. Empty space can sometimes be a little daunting, and by first filling it with a photo or colour, removes the fear of starting slightly.
Next week we will be finishing the zines off for the first 10 minutes or so, though most have been taken home to continue. We will then be leaning into the sharable and easily self-published and replicable nature of zines. The imposition sheets will each be photocopied to allow for one per person, then I will be teaching them how to bind them all together to create a zine compendium.
This is something both their teacher Zoe, and I had done at school/university and still have copies of, so thought would be a nice momento for them! So much so I am tempted to make my own zine, so I can jump on this one too. I’ll use the excuse of needing to so I can show them how to bind them! Perfect plan, do check back next week for that.
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