The Kindness of Strangers

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Another small edition completed! While the finished piece has a fairly simple look, the construction was a bit more elaborate. The theme for this year’s Guild of Book Workers call for entries was ‘Formation,’ and I started thinking about how we’re formed – the things we pick up and discard, both in terms of physical objects in our lives and in terms of the traits we see in others and either adopt or reject. I was thinking specifically of Virginia Lindberg, a lovely woman who made an off-hand comment to me once that I’m sure didn’t even register with her, but which has stayed with me and helped me to see what true kindness is.

I wanted the book to be made from scraps and formed into something larger. I started with narrow strips of Rives Heavyweight left over from another project, folding them into what I call an ‘infinity fold,’ which is basically a figure 8. You can watch a quick tutorial on how to make the panels below.

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The finished panels were then sewn together with pamphlet stitches, then small patches of Fusion 4000 were sneaked underneath some of the folds so that the resulting accordion could be relief-printed using acetate masks to keep the panels discrete.

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The plates were made from pressing heated closed-cell neoprene onto remnants and an old book that I’d found at thrift stores and estate sales, with one carved piece in the mix.

The text was impressed into stripes of Rives Heavyweight with a label maker, the texture playing into the quilted theme of the piece. The words that weave through the piece read,

Pulled apart
Scattered
Lost
Found
Picked Up
Stitched In
Passed Down.

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The finished book is just smaller than the size of my hand, and the folded, printed pages provide a nice weight and texture. In the end, the piece wasn’t accepted into the exhibit, but I’m happy with it all the same. Details available here.

Watch a quick tutorial on how the folded panels are made:

4 thoughts on “The Kindness of Strangers

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