Page edges create images of their own

I have created a few accordion books in the past – mostly handmade from scratch. Small and imperfect with simple imagery flowing across the folded pages.

One thing I love about these current woodland books (both from Seawhite of Brighton – but you can also find them elsewhere) is how they fill out with each new painted page. The one I was working on in late Spring of 2021 was A4 in size. Around 8 x 12 inches, so lots of room to play on the pages. With wet media such as high flow acrylics and inks, the folds in the pages can become a little fragile so each fold is taped to reinforce it. I can then be as messy with watery inks as I want.

Accordion sketchbook

Endless pages of the accordion book

As a result of the extra tape and layers of paint, the book becomes quite sculptural. Even when closed, parts of the inner images are revealed – like an invitation to open and see what is inside. Of course, as the accordion is opened out, the pages can be viewed in different ways – not just face on as we would do normally – but edges and peaks and valleys. We can view many pages at once, and even change the usual order of the first few pages placed against the last few pages or any other combination as the book is folded in and out. 

It makes me think of books as sculptures – curious folds, changes in shape and scale, unexpected connections between one page and another depending on how the book is held or placed.  I am curious to see what could be done with this subject if the forms of a book were thought out differently. My brain is itching to see what I could do! 

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