As we move closer and closer to the exhibition there are a lot of preparations to be made. The first of these was choosing what look we’d be giving our exhibition. Last week we decided on the name Book of Seasons, so this week it was branding time!
During the week I took a little time to create three different styles of poster for the girls to choose from, so they had as much input into the overall look of the exhibition as possible.
The first example here is very much my own design aesthetic. I thought the combination of sage green and soft white lent itself to nature quite well, along with the simple leafy flowing lines. Because this is the kind of design I naturally make it was by far my favourite, along with Zoe, so we were hoping they young ladies would side with us!
The second design I based around Victorian style flora and fauna books. Remember going to your grandmother’s house and there being a ‘Complete Guide to Garden Birds’ and ‘Butterflies of Britain’? Well that’s what I was going for here, linking the name to the design.
And the final design. One I’m not a massive fan of, but I thought I’d make something entirely different in order to give as much choice as possible. Though I have to say if this had been the winning design I may have had to veto it… massively adapt it at least!
After the vote, including myself, the girls, and all the staff that happened to be in the room at that time we had 12 for number one (my favourite), 2 for number two, and 0 votes for number three. Success! During the week I’ll begin to adapt this to make private view invites, social media versions, and posters to print!
The girls selected 5 A4 sheets of paper, choosing from sugar paper, parcel paper, tracing, cartridge, and black. We then cut these down to end up with 20 A6 sheets. I thought having some paper variety might make the insides of the books look a little more interesting! Having put them in order, this would become our book block.
Then came possibly the silliest named action in the whole of bookbinding. You know the stereotypical paper stacking? Tapping it against the table to get it all neat? Well, the technical term for that is knocking up! I know… I told the girls that I would be incredibly disappointed if they didn’t remember at least remember that they were knocking up the paper.
Once this slightly odd task was complete there was an awful lot of repetition. We clipped our books together with bulldog clips (in lieu of book clamps) to keep it all lined up and began the laborious gluing process. One thin layer of watered down PVA, followed by a 30 second blast from the hair dryer. 12-15 times… It was a good job no one in the room had a headache, as the room was filled with the persistent droning of around 7 hairdryers!
Ordinarily if you were perfect binding a book, it would be slightly larger than 20 pages, and should this be the case there would be a few more steps. Having knocked up the paper and clamped it, you would give the spine a thorough sandpapering, followed by slicing it with a scalpel. This gives the paper along the spine more texture, allowing the glue to affix better. Then you would saw 3-5 lines along the spine, from left to right, around 3 millimetres deep. Thread would then be set into these lines, and glued in, allowing for extra strength for larger books. However because these were so small, simple gluing was plenty!
Next week we will begin to reflect on the processes we have completed over the course of the CAS at Kings project, and fill these books with annotations and photos. The idea being to solidify the methods in the girls heads, and provide something simple to mark for GCSE and Arts Award purposes.