A Concertina Book

I recently launched a series of book making classes. The book arts are relatively unknown here and my hope is that my informal classes will prompt my “students” to explore contemporary aesthetic interpretations of the book and book-like formats as art objects.

In our first class, we explored concertina structures. “Concertina books were traditionally used for Buddhist sutras or for albums of calligraphy or paintings. A typical concertina is made from sheets of paper pasted into a long strip that is then folded accordian fashion into the desired length.”

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A wonderful introduction to book structures that need only a needle, a pair of scissors, and a few other minor tools to make is Non-Adhesive Binding Volumes I-V: Books Without Paste or Glue, a series of reference books by Keith A. Smith. Singapore-based readers: several volumes can be found at the Central Branch of the National Library.

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OT: I took the above photographs using my new $10 (yes, you read that right) tripod from Mustafa Centre. It’s flimsy; I wouldn’t use it outside for fear a gust of wind would blow it over. However, it’s perfect for these sorts of indoor still lives.

6 responses

  1. How beautiful! I’m so bitter to be missing your classes – hope there is a round two to sign up for, preferably when I’m back in May/June!

    I’d love to plot a folded book out and letterpress details onto the pages before it’s bound…

  2. WOW. My pal and I are about to start a fanzine together and obviously we’re thinking how we should put it together. The cheapskate way using print and staples or bind it or something. This is an idea :). x

  3. Beautiful! You have book making classes! How talented you are! I wish I could come to your class! :) I also bought a very inexpensive tripod for my use and I love it, but it does look flimsy as well. I didn’t think about the wind! Good point. I shouldn’t use it outside maybe. I do use it for indoors for now and it’s good enough for me.